House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the previous government preserved the right to tender.

When the typical Canadian family is struggling to care for an elderly parent, trying to put their kids through school and carrying $96,000 in debt, when they are counting every penny just to make ends meet, it is hard to fathom their government buying fighter jets by a process that is bound to overspend by at least $3 billion.

Former senior officials in the Department of National Defence say that the government is wrong and reckless. The Auditor General says that it is high risk. Why can the Conservatives not do what is right for the air force and right for the taxpayer at the same time?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing. When the party opposite was in government, it understood this was exactly the right thing.

However, when it comes to managing taxpayer money through a recession, I will not make any apologies to a party that cut the military, that cut health care, that cut education and that raised taxes. We are on a very different track in this government.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the previous government in fact made the biggest investment in the Canadian armed forces in more than 20 years. It is not just Alan Williams, the former assistant deputy minister, or the Auditor General. It is also the Pentagon that says the system managing the F-35 project is a mess. Other countries, such as the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom are all scaling back. It is only the Conservative government that insists on being reckless, that demands a blank cheque, that says to satisfy the air force, it has to break all the rules and waste $3 billion.

Do the Conservatives not know what an insult that is to the Canadian—

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals can talk all they want about investments they made in the military. We are not going to find a single person in the military anywhere in the country who believes that. People know about the decade of darkness.

The party opposite and its coalition friends use every attempt, every piece of misinformation to try to oppose anything we do for our men and women in uniform. It is absolutely disgraceful.

The member named several other countries, all of which are going to buy the F-35 and so are we, because our air force is going to have the best equipment in the world to do its job.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was the policy director for the Reform Party in 1993, he had this to say about the replacement of the Sea King helicopters, “the best approach is to defer the replacement beyond the year 2000 and to re-evaluate the role of a ship borne helicopter”.

Why will the Prime Minister not apply the same judgment he had in 1993 at the beginning of his so-called decade of darkness, stop the irresponsible sole-sourcing of the F-35 and have an open Canadian competition in the interests of taxpayers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, when the member was on this side of the House and was the parliamentary secretary to defence, he used to extol the virtues of the F-35 project. He used to espouse the benefits that would come to the Canadian aerospace industry. He has completely turned himself inside out.

As the Prime Minister said, we will move ahead with the purchase of the best plane on the planet, to give the best protection to the men and women in uniform and bring tremendous benefits to the Canadian aerospace industry. Jobs in Canada, benefits to the Canadian air force, this government is all about that.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is ignoring Alan Williams, who literally wrote the book on defence procurement. He is ignoring the Auditor General, who has said that the purchase of the F-35s is too risky. He is ignoring the actions of the Pentagon and the British Conservatives and even his own comments in 1993.

Why is the Prime Minister going along with such irresponsible spending? What does he have against good management of taxpayers' money?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what does the member opposite, the defence critic for the Liberal Party, and the interim leader serving for the Liberal Party here today, have against giving the men and women in uniform the best equipment that we possibly can? Why do they continually oppose efforts to build up the Canadian Forces so they can do the important work that we ask of them?

All of the experts know that this is the best aircraft. This is the best opportunity Canada has to replace the CF-18 with the aircraft that the forces need for the next 20 and 30 years.

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the centre of the scandal that is the treatment of Omar Khadr is the Conservative government's stubborn refusal to acknowledge that he is a child soldier. The UN's special representative on children and armed conflict recently said, and I quote, “In every sense Omar represents the classic child soldier narrative, recruited by unscrupulous groups to undertake actions at the bidding of adults to fight battles they barely understand”.

Will the government finally acknowledge that Omar Khadr, who was captured at the age of 15, is a child soldier?

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to answer that question on numerous occasions. I repeat: this government decided to comply with the American authorities and let them to try Mr. Khadr, who has acknowledged his guilt. The American trial is under way right now. The court is hearing from witnesses, and until this process is complete, we will refrain from making any other comments.

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr was forced to plead guilty because the government abandoned him. Not only should Omar Khadr have the rights provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but the government had and still has the obligation to ensure that his constitutional rights are respected. These rights are currently being violated, as was pointed out in decisions from the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Will the Conservative government finally take responsibility, ensure that Omar Khadr's rights are respected, and have him repatriated?

Omar Khadr
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, he is guilty. Mr. Khadr answered the charges. He testified and said that he was guilty. As soon as he said that he was guilty of murder, the Bloc Québécois was convinced that he was exonerated.

National Defence
Oral Questions

October 28th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie's mandate was to trim 5% of the Canadian Forces’ $19 billion budget immediately. In the meantime, the Conservatives want to spend $470 billion on military procurement over the next 20 years.

Does the Prime Minister realize that without a real foreign defence policy all these cuts and all these purchases will be totally improvised and inconsistent?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I could have sworn I saw the member opposite's comments in the paper today supporting contracts such as the F-35.

With respect to reserves, we are going to continue to value their service. They are doing an extraordinary job in Afghanistan, as they have around the globe in previous missions.

I find it a little ironic that we are getting advice from the Bloc, a party that does not want the country to succeed, let alone our foreign policy to succeed.