House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was census.

Topics

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, this government has a strong track record when it comes to supporting Canada's veterans and supporting the men and women in uniform today with the huge investments that we have made to support the Canadian Forces.

I have a question, though. Why is it that every time Canada gets into a disagreement with another country, and in this case, we have a difference of opinion and a disagreement with the United Arab Emirates, the Liberal Party always lines up against Canadian interests?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister should not confuse Conservative interests with Canadian interests. They are not the same thing.

The government is also not telling the truth about fighter jets. Both Boeing and Dassault of France testified yesterday that they do, in fact, have aircraft equal to or better than the F-35s, at a lower price, with full regional industrial benefits and technology transfer.

So the government's non-competitive, sole-sourced rationale is shot full of holes.

Why did these Conservative bunglers not even bother to ask Boeing or Dassault?

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, it was started by the previous government. The previous Liberal government spent $170 million designing and developing this new aircraft. That is why we are continuing this process. The Liberals had a transparent, open competition and Lockheed Martin won.

And it not just Canada; it is 10 of our closest allies that are acquiring this first-rate aircraft, because the men and women of the Canadian armed forces need the equipment required to fulfill the responsibilities that the Canadian people demand of them each and every day.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, they spent $300 million because the Conservatives ministers were not able agree among themselves; they spent $300 million because the Prime Minister woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and decided to take competent ministers off the file.

The Prime Minister spent $300 million of public money just like that because he wanted to prove that he was right.

Who on the other side of the House thinks that wasting $300 million on the Prime Minister's whim was a good investment of tax payers' money? Stand up.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, while we do not comment on operational matters, the Government of Canada will always act in the best interests of Canada and Canadians.

The closure of Camp Mirage does not impact our mission in Afghanistan. We continue to support that mission through arrangements in Cyprus and Germany. None of these basing or logistical challenges change the fact that the Canadian Forces will continue to progress on the military mission right up until July 2011 and will redeploy from Kandahar in accordance with the 2008 parliamentary motion.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, they spent $300 million that could have been invested in veterans or the navy.

What is worse, all of our Afghanistan pullback operations have to be reviewed because of the Prime Minister's whim and his ministers' lack of backbone.

It is an irresponsible decision that was made on the backs of taxpayers and our military.

Why did the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defence give in to the Prime Minister?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in veterans and we will try to continue to do more. We have invested billions of dollars in the navy as part of the Canada first defence strategy. On this side of the House, we know how to take care of veterans. We know how to take care of the Canadian Forces.

The simple fact is that the most important thing is the mission on the ground in Afghanistan. That mission continues with the full support of this government, and I just wish the opposition would get onside with it.

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

November 5th, 2010 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who promised to introduce the highest ethical standards, does not find it odd that one of his ministers negotiated his leap to the private sector while still in office. The problem is that a minister must put the public interest first, not the interests of the big banks.

Does the Prime Minister realize that it makes no sense for a minister to allow himself to be courted by CIBC between cabinet meetings and his various ministerial activities?

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, all of us have had the opportunity to work with the member for Calgary Centre-North. We all know that he is an individual with incredibly high ethical standards and incredible competence and that he has contributed not just to his constituency but to all of Canada.

The member in question spoke yesterday that he had been in touch with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in September and indeed this week to get her guidance on conduct, her advice and counsel, which he followed.

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, CIBC is constantly negotiating with the government. According to the registry of lobbyists, it is interested in fiscal policies, Labour Code reform, banking regulation and money laundering laws.

Does the government realize that CIBC, by laying its hands on the minister who was involved in all of these decisions because of his role on cabinet committees, is also laying its hands on government strategy, which puts the Conservative government in a vulnerable situation?

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister at the time sought the advice and the counsel of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and followed that counsel.

It was our government, as a matter of first priority when we were elected four and a half years ago, that brought in the Federal Accountability Act, brought in the toughest ethics reforms in Canadian history, with a strict five-year ban on lobbying, which the member in question will follow to the letter.

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have known for a long time that this government is under the influence of big business. There is a reason why CIBC, which has significant interests in the oil sands, did not hesitate to court an environment minister who was rather complacent about the industry.

Does the Prime Minister realize that when a business that invests in the oil sands rolls out the red carpet for an environment minister, it proves that his commitment to fighting climate change is not credible?

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government has an unprecedented commitment towards the environment. The former minister of the environment and his predecessor accomplished a great deal for the environment, including a 30% increase in the amount of protected areas in our national parks system, also including the Haida Gwaii marine protected area and a whale sanctuary in northern Canada.

We have a strong environmental record of which we can be proud.

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the comings and goings of government members between ministers' offices and the private sector prove that this government is controlled by private business. First, Onex generously lends the Prime Minister's Office a chief of staff for 18 months, and now CIBC has recruited a senior government minister just prior to the five-year review of the Bank Act.

How can the Conservative government say that it is not influenced by major private interests?

Member for Calgary Centre-North
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has consistently, over the past four and a half years, stood up for the best interests of Canada. We saw that this week with the actions taken by the Minister of Industry, a difficult decision that certainly, I am sure, was not welcomed in every corporate boardroom in the country, but this government will always be motivated by what is in the best interests of Canadians and the best interest of Canada.