House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was families.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, out of respect for Canadian taxpayers, our government is committed to spending tax dollars wisely. After years of Liberal corruption, scandal and waste, Canadians elected us to do better, and better we have done.

We told Canadians we would rid Ottawa of the culture of scandal and entitlement and replace it with the Conservative culture of accountability. Our first act in office was passing the most comprehensive anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history, the Federal Accountability Act.

Sadly, we were reminded just yesterday about the legacy of Liberal scandal, as the public accounts showed that Public Works recovered just over $233,000 last year from the dark days of the Liberal sponsorship scandal. Unfortunately, millions in outstanding money is owed to Canadian taxpayers from the Liberal Party coffers and remains unpaid.

My constituents of Okanagan--Shuswap are asking when the Liberals will return the full amount owing.

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are finding it tough just to make ends meet. The only Canadian who is showing no interest in restraint is the Prime Minister. The budget of his personal office has ballooned to $10 million a year. That is a 30% increase in the last two years.

When will those borrow and spend Conservatives show some respect for taxpayers and stop this Conservative gravy train?

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and our entire government believe we have an important responsibility to communicate with Canadians. This requires some fair and reasonable resources, and that is one of the reasons we have seen an increase in spending in this regard.

Also, last year was an extraordinary year for Canada. The Prime Minister made visits to Afghanistan to support our troops and made important trade visits to China and India to create jobs for Canadians right here in Canada.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Too bad he could not get a seat on the Security Council, Mr. Speaker.

The fact is defence procurement expert Alan Williams says that Canadian taxpayers will spend at least 20% more for the F-35, wasting over $3 billion, because the Conservatives refused to have an open competition.

Why will the Prime Minister not listen to Alan Williams? Why will he not listen to the Auditor General? Why will he not listen to today's National Post, which said, “press pause on the largest military purchase in Canadian history”?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Liberals would know a lot about pressing pause on military procurements. In fact, they have the worst record in the country's history on military procurement going back to 1993 when the Liberal Party spent $1 billion to cancel the EH-101 maritime helicopters. Canadians will recall that with the stroke of a pen a Liberal prime minister said “zero helicopters”. Seventeen years later we still have zero maritime helicopters.

Let the member opposite explain that to the pilots who have to fly 40-year-old Sea Kings.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party was opposed to those purchases.

Furthermore, by having an open competition we will show respect for the military and will show respect for the taxpayer at the same time.

An ordinary Canadian would not walk into a car dealership and give the salesman a blank cheque. Ordinary Canadians would not buy a car without checking out the competition first. So why would their government spend $16 billion, their tax dollars, without checking out the competition first?

Why will those borrow and spend Conservatives not show some respect for the Canadian taxpayer?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let us again set the record straight. There was in fact a competition begun in 1997 when the Liberal Party was in office. It was the Liberal Party that began the purchase and the process for the F-35. We have now exercised the option.

What I am finding very curious is that by once again ripping a page from Liberal playbooks past of cancelling and caving in military projects, what we are seeing now are members opposite, none from Montreal I might add, getting up and putting in jeopardy an important contract for the military that will cost thousands of jobs to the Canadian aerospace industry and billions of dollars to our economy.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, expert Alan Williams said that in order to maximize the number of jobs in Canada, there should have been a request for proposal. He said there needed to be a request for proposal if we wanted regional economic spinoffs.

Request for proposal: more jobs; Conservative plan: fewer jobs and planes that cost up to 20% more. Why is the government refusing to seek economic spinoffs and guaranteed jobs for Canadian taxpayers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the opportunity for Canadian aerospace companies to bid on $12 billion will create thousands of jobs in this country.

With respect to the competition, yes there could be another competition, but let us listen to what the current assistant deputy minister for materiel at the Department of National Defence said. Dan Ross said, “Let's state the obvious”--and I know the obvious goes over the heads of the Liberals here--“you must have more than one viable supplier to have a competition, and there is only one fifth-generation fighter available”.

That is what Dan Ross said. I will take his word over that of the member opposite.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, that just does not make sense. It is the largest military purchase in the history of Canada, and yet they want to go ahead without a competitive bidding process and guaranteed economic spinoffs. They should wake up.

Another example of waste is the explosion in the Prime Minister's spending. Why have the Prime Minister's communications expenditures ballooned when he never meets with citizens or journalists? Does it cost that much to muzzle journalists?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. The Prime Minister and the government have an important responsibility to communicate with Canadians. The Prime Minister takes that responsibility incredibly seriously and obviously there are fair and reasonable costs associated with that.

The Prime Minister also has an important responsibility to get off Parliament Hill and travel the country and listen to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That is something he does and it is something that is tremendously important. He does a lot of listening and he is able to communicate the important projects contained in the economic action plan. That is good news for Canada.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

October 29th, 2010 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, while hundreds of thousands of people were losing their jobs or facing economic insecurity, the number of staff in the Prime Minister's Office rose by 30% in two years. This bureaucratic spending explosion contrasts with the lack of assistance provided to the unemployed and the regions that are victims of the economic crisis.

Given that the Conservatives have asked Canadians to tighten their belts, is this not further evidence of the bad decisions made by the Conservatives?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. I would have thought that the opposition would congratulate us for our economic growth. In fact, the opposition had a good opportunity to tell us that Canada is continuing to prove that we are on the right track with our economic action plan. The opposition chose not to mention that we created 420,000 new jobs in the last 11 months. That is a performance worth mentioning.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, rather than conjuring up political fantasies, the minister should take a look at Conservative waste. There are other examples of the government's misplaced priorities. The spending explosion in the Prime Minister's office is due primarily to the increase in communications expenses. In other words, rather than helping the people and the regions of Quebec that are having problems, they prefer to invest in propaganda and information control.

Is that not further proof that, for the Prime Minister, the government must put the interests of the Conservative Party first, rather than meeting the needs of citizens?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister takes communicating with Canadians very seriously. In today's media-saturated world, there are more media organizations to accommodate and air time to fill. In addition, 2009 and 2010 were exceptional years. No matter, the Bloc Québécois always opposes any action taken by this government to foster the economic recovery of our country and continually refuses to vote with—