House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Paralympic Winter Games
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Paralympic Winter Games will begin in Vancouver and Whistler. Over 500 athletes from 43 countries have come to Canada to compete for Paralympic gold. Team Canada will be represented by 55 Canadians, who will make us all very proud in their pursuit of excellence.

I know our Paralympians are eager to show all Canadians that they are ready to win gold, much like Alexandre Bilodeau, who won Canada`s first gold medal in Canada, or Maëlle Ricker, the first Canadian woman to win gold on home soil.

Canada of course won 14 gold medals in total, setting a record for most gold medals won by a country. In every sport, there was a Canadian athlete to cheer for and to unite us all as Canadians. I would like to thank each and every one of them for their efforts.

On behalf of the good people of my riding and all Canadians, I wish our Paralympians the best of luck. Go, Canada, go.

Government Spending
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, while this government is trying to balance the budget by proposing flashy but ineffective measures, the media were reporting this week that the Department of Public Works awarded a contract worth $6 billion over 11 years to Profac for federal building maintenance.

By maintenance, they mean installing a doorbell to the tune of $1,000, purchasing two potted plants for $2,000 and installing lights for no less than $5,000. The problem is that the government refuses to provide itemized receipts for those costs. How does it intend to prove any irregularity?

It is even more distressing to see this Conservative government try to shift the blame to public officials. It was this government that extended Profac's maintenance contract. The government is responsible for this waste of public money by virtue of a basic principle that the Conservatives do not seem to grasp, and that is ministerial accountability.

The Budget
Statements By Members

March 12th, 2010 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister misled Parliament and all Canadians when he said in his budget speech, “balancing the nation's books will not come at the expense of pensioners...or by raising taxes on hard-working Canadians”.

That simply is not true. Commencing during the 2010-11 budget year, employment insurance premiums for employees and employers will increase by almost 9%. The government will be imposing a 31.5% punitive tax on income trust distributions to over 2.5 million Canadians, primarily seniors, and it will be imposing a new air traveller's tax.

As the leader of the official opposition said to the House yesterday:

The issue that goes to character is that the Conservatives will not stand up in the House of Commons before Canadians and admit they have increased taxes. That is the issue of character. That is the issue that undermines confidence and trust in the government, and that is why we will continually [expose] the Conservatives when they seek to tell Canadians things that are simply not true.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning Statistics Canada confirmed that Canada's economic action plan is working.

Last month almost 21,000 new jobs were created. Five out of the past seven months have seen job gains and since last July close to 160,000 new jobs have been created.

Our low tax policies and economic action plan are fueling Canada's recovery.

Canadians should ask the Liberal leader more about his plan for the economy. How many jobs would be created by the Liberal leader's GST hike or his carbon tax on everything? How would the Liberal plan for massive and reckless new spending encourage economic growth? How would the Liberal plan for a higher deficit create the jobs of tomorrow? The answer is simple: higher taxes and reckless spending do not create jobs and they do not encourage economic growth.

Our Conservative government is dedicated to creating jobs and growth while keeping our taxes low.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. It is now clear that not only in 2006 but even today there are widespread and well-sustained reports of the ill-treatment and indeed torture of prisoners in the Afghan prison system, including detainees from NATO forces.

Why were these reports ignored in 2006 and why are they being ignored today?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Speaking on behalf of the government, Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is aware that these kinds of allegations are allegations that have cropped up over a number of years. They have been covered at length in terms of the debate in this place as well as investigations. That is one of the reasons why three years ago the government created a new and more robust transfer arrangement that replaced the arrangement put in place by the previous Liberal government before we came to power.

When our military and our officials have been presented with a credible--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have often thought of the Minister of National Defence as being many things, but a shrinking violet is not one of them. I am sorry he is not in a position to answer the question.

To the same minister, the Minister of Industry, who is now answering questions for the Minister of National Defence on the question of the detainees, how can he explain the following contradiction? The state department report that was issued yesterday with respect to what is happening in 2009 is a public document that can be seen on the Web.

I would like to ask the minister very--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to answer the question from the hon. member, who is in fact acting for the leader of the official opposition. I suppose we are two peas in a pod.

Of course, some of the questions the hon. member is asking will be reviewed by Mr. Justice Iacobucci, who will be doing an independent, comprehensive and proper review of the redaction of the documents. He is a respected jurist, known by Canadians to be in the highest regard. I anticipate, or at least hope, that the hon. member--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has raised the question of Mr. Justice Iacobucci. It has now been a week since the former judge was asked to do something by the government. We do not know exactly what he was asked to do. We do not have the terms of reference of what he was asked to do.

The other day the Prime Minister referred to it as a thorough inquiry and on the same day the Minister of Justice said that there will be no inquiry, that there would simply be a review.

I would like to ask the minister, when will we finally get the terms of reference of the work that will be done by Mr. Iacobucci?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

With the greatest of respect, Mr. Speaker, we already know what the task of Justice Iacobucci will be. He is undertaking an independent, comprehensive and proper review of the documents related to Taliban prisoners.

He is a respected jurist, as I mentioned before, and he will ensure that the proposed redactions genuinely relate to the information that would be injurious to national security, national defence or international interests, and he will be reporting to all of us.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time the government has asked Justice Iacobucci to conduct an inquiry. Last time, the government completely ignored his recommendations and shelved his report. The last time the government ordered a public inquiry, it took six months to get the process up and running.

What will happen this time? How long will it take? We want to know when the inquiry is going to begin, how long it will last, and when we can expect the results. These are simple questions, and we want answers.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it was just indicated that Justice Iacobucci, who is clearly a respected jurist in this country, will undertake a comprehensive review of documents.

By the way, this is the same type of review that is done routinely by independent public servants in examining documents. Mr. Iacobucci will do the same thing. That information will be reviewed by him. There will be a report back to the House or to a proper committee. This is very much in keeping with practices around documents such as these.