House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was restitution.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are always happy to work with our friends in the New Democratic Party when it comes to cutting taxes for Canadian families, but they arrive once the train has left the station. It is our government that has cut taxes for the average Canadian family by some $3,000 per year since we took office. If the member opposite is so concerned about tax on the heating fuel, maybe he should travel to Halifax and talk to the provincial NDP government there, which has raised taxes on the HST. Maybe he should visit Halifax.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP government in Halifax just took the sales tax off home heating fuel.

The fact is the government does nothing for home heating and for hard-working families. But look at what the Conservatives can come up with: $1 billion for a predatory corporation known as Vale. This is $1 billion for a Brazilian giant that broke its promises to Canadians, laid off hundreds of people, attacked workers' pensions and even used scabs for months to fuel a year-long strike. For 16 months, the Prime Minister would not lift a finger for the communities that were being attacked by Vale, but now he has $1 billion to help it recoup its profits. Job well done, boys. When will they put a stop to it? When will they take action?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Export Development Corporation is an arm's-length corporation that seeks to assist Canadian companies and workers in exporting products. The Vale loan is designed to facilitate an expansion of a nickel processing facility in Newfoundland and some other projects in Ontario, and as well, to facilitate the purchase of equipment manufactured by Canadian workers, to be used in projects abroad. We think these are all good things for the Canadian economy.

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

October 4th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, when members of the PMO announced the new chief of staff will be a corporate executive, Nigel Wright, they failed to mention that his appointment was only a temporary leave. The media had to confirm that fact in a September 24 communication with Onex. The PMO also failed to mention that Mr. Wright had close ties with Lockheed Martin since at least September 2009 in a partnership to sell military aircraft to the U.S. government. How could Mr. Wright possibly serve as chief of staff given his plans to return to work with his corporate clients?

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright has not even started his first day as chief of staff and the Liberals are already planning for his departure. Let me say that he will follow and respect all the rules that apply to ministerial staff. He will disclose everything as required by the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He will recuse himself on all matters directed by the commissioner. This is the high standard that this Conservative government set when we brought in the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest ethics reform that the Liberals complained went way too far just four and a half years ago. He will follow all the rules and we will ensure that ethics and accountability remain the hallmark of this government.

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, then the government should be open and transparent and release the information.

Onex says that Mr. Wright heads up its aerospace, defence and energy portfolios, and states that he will return in 18 to 24 months.

How can the Prime Minister have a chief of staff who will be perpetually facing conflicts of interest with departments as important as industry, national defence, natural resources, public works and finance, just to name a few? Whatever happened to the cooling-off periods?

Will the government release the employment agreement, with all the terms and conditions, or will it wait until a committee has forced it to do so?

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, by raising this kind of argument, I guess what the Liberal Party is now saying is that anyone who has been successful in the private sector, who has been successful in tackling issues of the economy, should not come and give his or her talents and skills to the people of Canada. That is very regrettable.

Mr. Wright will follow all of the high ethical standards that are contained in the Federal Accountability Act. He will disclose everything that is requested of him by the independent, arm's-length Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He will follow all the conflict of interest rules and recuse himself whenever necessary. That is the high standard that the Prime Minister has set on ethics and accountability.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 3, the Minister of Natural Resources told a committee that ministers are personally responsible for the actions of their employees. Just imagine what happens when it is something that affects them personally.

My question is simple. Was the Minister of Natural Resources aware that his assistant, Sébastien Togneri, had an access to information request concerning asbestos, a delicate subject in his region, that he attempted to interfere with?

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is this government and this party that fought very hard to expand the access to information system in this country.

We put literally dozens of new government agencies under that access to information law, and we are very proud of that.

It is very important that public servants make all ATIP decisions. Political staff should not attempt to override these decisions.

Mr. Togneri has offered his resignation. The minister has done the responsible thing and accepted it.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, ministerial responsibility also consists of answering questions about his department.

It has been said that information is the cornerstone of a democracy and that without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, incompetent or corrupt governance can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy. Who said that? The current Prime Minister of Canada.

Will the Prime Minister heed his own words and ask for the resignation of the Minister of Natural Resources.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, those of us on this side of the House do not need any lectures on ethics and accountability from a member of the previous Liberal government.

The high standards that the Prime Minister has put in place for his ministers is appropriate and is important. The now Minister of Natural Resources has accepted the resignation of the staff member.

The whole of that matter has been referred to an independent Information Commissioner. All the files that will be required in the investigation have been forwarded by the department. We look forward to co-operating fully with that study.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2,000 delegates of the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités adopted a resolution calling for the extension of the deadlines for infrastructure programs. Without this extension, a number of projects that have already begun will not be able to be completed, and this will result in losses and will be a waste for municipalities.

Will the federal government finally listen to the call from the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités and the real Bernard Généreux, and push back the deadlines?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we had a great meeting of transport and infrastructure ministers in Halifax late last week. All governments from across Canada were represented.

There is a lot of good news out there. Nova Scotia says that 98 out of 100 of its projects are going to get done on time. British Columbia says that they will almost all get done. Saskatchewan is hoping for a late frost and it thinks all of them will get done. Alberta is of the same mind. Quebec wants to extend on the Preco projects the deadline of December 31 that it imposed on itself. We are going to be reasonable and are working with Quebec to discuss how we can make things happen in Quebec as well.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the review of the projects would be “fair and reasonable”. The case-by-case approach breeds uncertainty and stalls investments. What these municipalities want is for the government to respect the financial commitments it has already made.

Can the Prime Minister dispel these doubts and tell us that his “fair and reasonable” approach will ensure that all approved projects will be completed, without penalty, regardless of the deadlines?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course, we are good for the full commitment that we made, as we are hoping they are good for the commitment they made as well.

Listen to this quote:

In just over 18 months, the Government of Canada, in partnership and cooperation with provinces, territories and municipalities, has exceeded the expectations of Canada's public works community in successfully rolling-out billions of dollars in stimulus spending under its Economic Action Plan.

That comes from who? It comes from Darwin Durnie, the president of the Canadian Public Works Association. We are getting it done, and we are exceeding expectations.