House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Ports of Sept-Îles and Baie-Comeau
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to be able to say that, thanks to the Bloc Québécois, the Manicouagan region has managed to collect a portion of the funds to which it is entitled.

In September, the strong will and hard work of the community leaders, stakeholders and elected officials resulted in a $7 million investment for phase two of the La Relance terminal in Sept-Îles. A few days later, Baie-Comeau received $4 million to consolidate the hospitality infrastructure at its international cruise ship terminal.

The Bloc Québécois is standing up for the regions of Quebec.

I congratulate all the stakeholders whose determination and hard work are enabling the North Shore to play its part in the economy by bringing major investments to the region.

Long-Term Disability Benefits
Statements By Members

October 27th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to Bill S-216, which is currently in the Senate and must be passed by Christmas in order to prevent 400 sick, disabled and dying Canadians from having their long-term disability benefits cut off.

Josée Marin, a former Nortel employee who will lose all her benefits, says, “the passage of Bill S-216 will mean the difference between living in my home and dying in my car”.

The Prime Minister had the power to appoint 32 senators with full benefits and a pension for life. He also has the power to fast track the bill through the Senate and protect the benefits of hundreds of Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister use this power and fast track this bill to protect Canadian pensioners, or will he sit on his hands and force Canadians like Josée to fend for themselves?

We only have until Christmas. Let us get this done.

Aerospace Industry
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are promising to abolish the F-35 program and thus jeopardize all related jobs. However, the Minister of Industry today reaffirmed the unequivocal support of our government for more than the 80,000 men and women working in this industry.

This investment will benefit the Canadian Forces as well as the Canadian economy. The Canadian Forces will be able to replace an aircraft that is approaching the end of its useful life, and the Canadian aerospace industry will benefit from the spinoffs, enabling it to create very specialized and well-paid jobs for Quebeckers and Canadians for years to come.

Investments in the F-35 program will result in significant spinoffs, including contracts of more than $350 million for Canadian corporations, research laboratories and universities. Tens of thousands of workers in the aerospace sector—

Aerospace Industry
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. It is time for oral question period. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General slammed the government's incompetence and wastefulness regarding its decision to purchase the Chinook helicopters without a bidding process, and the government is making the same mistake with the fighter jets.

Why will the Prime Minister not listen to the Auditor General, cancel the contract and launch an open, competitive and transparent process to replace the CF-18s?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the Auditor General's report. She made some recommendations concerning the helicopter purchase and future transactions. Of course the government will act on those recommendations. At the same time, a process to purchase the fighter jets has been in place for quite some time, and the government will proceed in order to ensure the best aircraft for our air force personnel.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that there was no competitive process to prove that that is the best aircraft.

First it was the Chinooks. Now it is F-35s. The Auditor General is telling Canadians that the procurement policy of the government is an incompetent mess.

Will the Prime Minister listen to the Auditor General, cancel the contract and open up a free, competitive and transparent bid to replace Canada's CF-18s?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is reviewing and will implement recommendations by the Auditor General.

However, the reason there are problems with the helicopters is that 17 years ago the Liberal government cancelled the helicopter contract, paid $1 billion to get no helicopters at all and subsequent governments had to deal with that decision.

We will not make the same mistake when it comes to replacing the CF-18s. We are going to buy the best equipment for the Canadian Forces. We already have work going to the aviation sector across the country, which the coalition will put in jeopardy, but this government will not.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a pattern in the government of refusing to take responsibility. The Conservatives lose the Security Council vote and they blame someone else. They mess up the helicopter deal and they blame the previous government. When is the government going to take responsibility for its own action?

The Auditor General is clear. These mistakes happened on the Conservatives' watch. They have a chance to correct it by getting the F-35 deal right with an open, transparent and competitive bid process. When will they listen to her?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government does listen to the Auditor General. We have the right process when it comes to the CF-18s and F-35s. They are not the same file, which the opposition does not seem to understand.

However, let me tell everyone about the responsibilities we have. We have a responsibility to replace fighter aircraft and not play politics with the lives of our men and women in uniform. We have a responsibility, when it is National Aviation Day, to ensure we protect the people, the men and women who work in that industry, against the irresponsible behaviour of the Leader of the Opposition and his coalition. That is what we will do.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's indictment of the Conservatives' reckless spending was shocking. We learned that when purchasing the Chinook helicopters, the government never defined the operational requirements, misled Canadians about the real costs, ignored ongoing maintenance requirements and did so without any public competition whatsoever. This is exactly the same process Conservatives are now prepared to use to buy a flying credit card.

Why not do the right thing and cancel this purchase and put the replacement of our fighter jets to an open Canadian public competition?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is more feigned rage against the machine. The member is singing a different tune than when he was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence when this project was first brought forward by his government.

We appreciate the recommendations from the Auditor General. As the Prime Minister has said, we will act on those recommendations. However, my concern and the concern expressed by the Prime Minister is that we continue with a process and procurements that will give the men and women in uniform the best equipment we can afford to ensure the success of their missions and to protect them so they can come home safely.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, four countries taking part in the F-35 program have already cancelled their purchases or are buying fewer planes.

The United States is making every effort to control costs. The Pentagon believes that costs have spiralled out of control. The Tories in Britain are downsizing their order by several aircraft.

Those are the two countries most involved in the program, and this Conservative government is completely ignoring them.

Why are those countries protecting their taxpayers, while the Conservatives here do nothing for Canadian taxpayers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false.

I think the Leader of the Opposition is having an Ebenezer Scrooge moment. We are seeing echoes of Liberal cancellations past. Everyone knows that.

The year was 1993, and the Liberal Party of Canada spent $1 billion not to buy helicopters. The Liberals cancelled the maritime helicopter project. With a stroke of the pen, they wrote “zero helicopters”.

Seventeen years later, we still have zero maritime helicopters as a result of Liberal irresponsibility.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, an RCMP officer recently said that the Vito Rizzuto clan controls part of the construction industry in Quebec and requires contractors to pay it 5% of the contracts they win. Here we have the Minister of Natural Resources attending a cocktail party at a restaurant whose owner, Ricardo Padulo, had previously borrowed money from Vito Rizzuto and whose father, Henri Padulo, was photographed with the Prime Minister. Henri Padulo's daughter will be a Conservative Party candidate in the next election.

Does the Minister of Natural Resources not find this situation embarrassing, if not worrisome?