House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

How much did you pay for the almond-scented soap?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Pontiac, QC

They have been deemed to be in line with the cost of summits.

Maybe the member for Wascana, instead of yapping as he is doing, should be listening to the answers then he would not ask ridiculous questions.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has such disregard for taxpayer money that another billion dollars does not phase it a bit. It is just like water off a fake duck's back. That billion dollars could pay the full cost of four full years of post-secondary education for 23,376 low-income students.

Does the government believe that the 72-hour spendapalooza, fakes lakes, lighthouses and choosing wallpaper that would make Martha Stewart blush is a better use of our money than investing in the future of Canadian students?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, both the G8 and the G20 are excellent opportunities to showcase Canada's strengths to the world, to attract investment and, obviously, create jobs.

We are leading by example. As members know, we have the lowest taxes on new businesses and new business investment of any major economy. We have the lowest debt of any major economy. We have the strongest economic growth of any major economy, including from 2010 to 2011 to 2012. All of this is according to the IMF. We are getting the job done.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an open letter, journalists from all the media and all parts of Quebec and Canada condemn the Prime Minister's information control. They say—these are their own words—this is designed to manipulate public opinion.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the set-up for journalists at the G20, complete with a fake lake and virtual and cardboard decorations, is another illustration of his obsession with controlling the message at the expense of the public's right to information?

Access to Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not at all. Communicating with the Canadian people is one of the government's most important jobs. That is why the Prime Minister and other ministers have spent the past 18 months travelling from coast to coast telling Canadians the good news about our economic action plan. It is also why we have gone the extra mile to communicate with the local and regional media. Canadians can count on us. We are going to keep on communicating with Canadians.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that all the parliamentary bureau chiefs across Canada, including Hélène Buzzetti here in Ottawa, have said the exact opposite.

These same journalists are witnessing the erosion of democracy under the Conservatives: redacted documents, muzzled officials, intimidated witnesses, broken parliamentary rules when the Conservatives ban their political staff from testifying in committee, broken laws as in the case of the Minister of Public Works and the Access to Information Act.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all these tactics have one goal: not to be accountable to the public—

Access to Information
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is quite normal for a government to communicate with taxpayers. That is what we are doing and what we will keep on doing so that we can tell people about the good things our government has done, especially stimulating Canada's economy and creating jobs. Those are things that count, not just for Quebeckers, but for Canadians. Unfortunately, I cannot say as much for the Bloc Québécois, which has accomplished nothing in Quebec in the past 20 years.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc has been rising in this House for 20 years to stand up for Quebeckers.

Clearly, the Conservative government has used the G8 and G20 summits to reward its friends. For instance, a $20 million arena was built in the industry minister's riding. To justify this expense, the government is telling us that it is to accommodate the members of the press at the summit. However, with the events about to start in just a few days, organizers are now saying that the arena will be used for neither the G8 nor the G20 summit.

These summits have essentially become open bars for the friends of the Conservatives, have they not?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, a good part of the costs involve security. Yes, a part will be used for the promotion, the marketing of Canada and the province of Ontario, as well as the area where these events will be held. That is perfectly normal, and that is the standard practice in other countries when they host summits. Many officials are applauding us for it.

I will say one last thing. For the past 20 years, they have been big on claims, small on delivery. They have not delivered a thing for Quebec.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not the impression we have been getting from Quebeckers in one election after the other.

On top of buying his industry minister's re-election with an arena, the government has lost control of its spending on the G8 and G20 summits. The list of ridiculous expenses keeps growing: $2 million for a fake lake and its scenery; $400,000 for a steamboat; $300,000 for a washroom located 20 kilometres away from the summit site; $1 million for a backdrop and bear-proof garbage cans.

How can the government display so much arrogance when taxpayers are fuming over its patronage and wasteful spending?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, infrastructure spending has been and continues to be part of programs that necessarily had to be approved by the House, by government. That is our economic action plan. The benefits of this plan introduced by the government can be seen across the country. We certainly are extremely proud of delivering. I can say that, over the course of 20 months, we have delivered—

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Outremont.

Standing Committee on Finance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, after hearing dozens of witnesses and experts, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is currently preparing its report on pensions. Yesterday evening, the Minister of Finance announced his agenda for this issue without waiting for Parliament's report.

The Standing Committee on Finance is chaired by a Conservative and his contribution has been collaborative, non-partisan and excellent.

By pre-empting his Conservative colleagues and the other members of the Standing Committee on Finance, is the Minister of Finance respecting our parliamentary institutions?