House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

Topics

Government Spending
Oral Questions

November 3rd, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week the public accounts were released.

What a tale of out-of-control spending they tell: $3 billion more on professional and special services since the Conservatives became government; $9.5 million more on cabinet since 2007; and $2.5 million more on the Prime Minister's office.

At a time when Canadians have had to make hard economic choices, their government chose more spending on press releases, management consultants and cabinet. When will this borrow and spend government get its reckless spending under control?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that there were unprecedented demands on the government, especially last year, whether we are talking about the Olympics, the unprecedented nature of the H1N1 epidemic, or the G8 and G20, a number of things that do not occur on a usual basis.

It is unfortunate that the opposition does not reflect on the fact that all government operational spending is now frozen for three years, all ministerial and MP salaries are frozen for three years, and all ministerial budgets for next year have been reduced by $11 million. It is too bad the member did not mention that.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, what we are told is that the increases for the PMO are for communication, yet the Prime Minister has not had a single public meeting since taking office.

Instead of giving fiscal updates to the House of Commons, he wasted $250,000 to hold two closed press conferences. The PBO now estimates that the Conservatives have added $210 billion to the national debt. With all due respect to drunken sailors, this government is spending like one.

When will the Conservatives stop wasting hard-earned taxpayers' money?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I just found today an area where we could cut some wasteful government spending.

We have learned today that a member of the Liberal caucus has spent $700,000 over the last three years, despite the fact that he was suspended from the Senate three years ago. That is $700,000 of taxpayers' money for travelling and office expenses to keep a senator who has been suspended and has not worked for one minute. Maybe the Liberal caucus could look into that.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, do you know what foreign takeovers have meant to my community?

Two of Canada's most profitable companies, Inco and Falconbridge, were taken over by international mining giants. Hundreds of jobs were lost. Pensions were attacked. Wages were cut. Workers were forced into the longest strike in history. That is how Xstrata's and Vale's takeovers worked.

How is that a net benefit to Sudbury?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that the recession has been hard on a number of communities, including Sudbury. That is why this government has approved many different infrastructure projects for the city of Sudbury, working with municipal officials. We have also deployed the community action fund for the city of Sudbury to make sure that we can grow new jobs, new opportunities in new areas as well as some of the tried and trusted areas where Sudbury has a competitive advantage.

We care about these issues. We care about the people who are affected by them. That is why we have acted through the economic action plan, and those members voted against it every single time.

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservative government rubber-stamped Xstrata's takeover of Falconbridge, we had a world-class copper and zinc refining capacity in Ontario. What happened after the takeover? We lost 1,000 jobs in Timmins. The copper refinery was shut down. The ore was shipped out to other jurisdictions. That is how Xstrata's takeover has worked, so God help the people of Saskatchewan if they are looking to the Tories for help with potash.

Where was the net benefit to the people of Timmins when the government sold them out?

Mining Industry
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know where the hon. member was when the mining industry needed some help to defeat a bill that would have hobbled them on world markets. He was not in his seat defending the interests of his community or the mining sector. He was not defending the interests of his rural constituents when it came to the long gun registry.

He has a lot to answer for. We have nothing to answer for.

Trade
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in this time of continuing economic uncertainty, our Conservative government is continually striving to create jobs, boost trade and open new markets for Canadian workers. We stand in contrast to the Liberal-led coalition that continually promotes policies that kill Canadian jobs, such as their support of Bill C-300 or their promise to cancel the purchase of F-35s.

Could the Minister of International Trade update this House on Canada's ambitious free trade agenda and how it will benefit Canada's economy?

Trade
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government is clearly focused on the economy, on creating jobs and growth for the benefit of Canadian workers and Canadian families. An important way to do that is through securing access in foreign markets.

The predecessor Liberal government in 13 long years only did three small free trade agreements, all of which we are now upgrading. In contrast, in four years we have already delivered eight new free trade agreements and are in talks with 50 other countries, including the cornerstone, a free trade agreement with the European Union which stands to deliver an annual boost of $12 billion to Canada's economy, in fact creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous prosperity for Canadians and millions in growth. It is great for Canada.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, Giselle from Lanark sent me an email. She wrote:

It will take more than 10 minutes per photo to download because...yes...yes...I'm still on Dial-up. Hard to believe in this day and age that being 110km from our great capital...I don't even have access to High Speed yet...Even cell phones and BBerrys don't get the signal.

Can you imagine...can you do something for me

Why is it that the Prime Minister ordered that millions of dollars be spent to track 9,000 propaganda signs by GPS but cannot find the money to help Giselle?

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government has acted to bridge the gap between rural and urban Canadians when it comes to broadband. We have, as part of our economic action plan, a $225 million fund to ensure that we can help bridge that gap.

Where were those hon. members then? Where were they looking out for those kinds of issues? Where was the hon. member when the long gun registry vote occurred in the House? He was voting against his rural constituents in favour of the Toronto elites. We will not do that to rural Canada.

Immigration
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the Conservative government promised to speed up the processing of applications for permanent residence in the context of the special Quebec-Haiti humanitarian sponsorship program. Yet as of October 16, 2010, only 18 Haitians had come to Quebec.

How does the immigration minister explain the fact that, despite his promise to cut red tape, now, 10 months later, only 18 Haitians have come to Quebec through that special program?

Immigration
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud of how it responded to the crisis in Haiti, including in the area of immigration. We are going to grant temporary status to all Haitians who were in Canada at the time of the earthquake. We have sped up the processing of family sponsorship applications. Over 2,000 have been completed. It is true that the Quebec government created its own program. We just began receiving applications from people who went through the Quebec program. I have no control over the Quebec procedures.

Steel Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you what foreign takeovers have meant to my community. U.S. Steel took over Stelco. The result? It shut down the blast furnace and now no steel is being made; 800 jobs were slashed; the remaining employees are being threatened with a lockout; and the workers who put the value into this company have been abandoned by both the foreign owners and the government.

Due diligence has to happen at the front end. Taking U.S. Steel to court after the fact did not save jobs and it did not save production. How is that a net benefit for Hamilton?