House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

G8 and G20 Summits
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians head up to the lake this summer, let us remind them to think about how they are paying for the Prime Minister's trip as well: his ego trip.

In a series of radio and YouTube ads launched yesterday, Liberals are reminding Canadians that their tax dollars are being wasted by the government on an unprecedented scale, well past $1 billion and still counting, for 72 hours of G8 and G20 meetings that have turned out to be little more than a photo op for the Prime Minister.

Because of poor planning and pork-barrel politics, the Prime Minister is wasting Canadians' money on a fake lake, a dry-docked steamship, gazebos, public toilets, and sidewalks that are nowhere near the G8 site. Just witness the $1 billion security bill. The government must have the Canadian navy patrolling the fake lake.

At a time when world leaders are preaching restraint, this G8 and G20 photo op is an ego trip for the Conservative Prime Minister that Canadians simply cannot afford.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is breaking news from the Liberal caucus. Upon returning to Canada after 34 years abroad, the Liberal leader wants to meet with whom he calls “the Canadians”. Just visiting every province is what the Liberal leader thinks he needs to break through with “the Canadians”.

It is unclear what the Liberal leader wants to say to “the Canadians” that he has not already said, but maybe he plans to try some of his favourites: that he called the United States of America his “country”; that he might tell “the Canadians” he wants to raise their taxes; maybe he can tell “the Canadians” from northern Ontario about his opposition to scrapping the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, there is a good idea; or maybe he will remind “the Canadians” that he is embarrassed of our country and that he thinks our flag looks like a beer label.

On this side of the House we call them friends, neighbours and constituents. When the Liberal leader calls them “the Canadians”, he proves he is not really in it for “the Canadians”, he is just in it for himself.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

June 14th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, your ruling on the Afghan detainee documents was very clear. You said it was up to Parliament, not the government, to decide which documents could be seen by the members of the House. But so far, the government has not reached a final agreement on this matter.

When will the Prime Minister tell his representatives on the committee to reach a final agreement and comply with the ruling of the Speaker of the House?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would tell the hon. member that if he chats with the members he has put on that committee, that progress has been made. Again, we have been very clear. We will do nothing to compromise national security and will certainly do nothing that would jeopardize the men and women who serve us in uniform. However, I continue to be optimistic at this point that an agreement will be reached.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the tentative accord safeguards national security. The minister knows full well that it is fully possible to reach an accord this afternoon. But it is also clear that the government is dragging its feet, with no good reason.

Will the Prime Minister and the government issue clear instructions to their representatives to conclude an accord today to respect the judgment of the Speaker of the House of Commons?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure how much research the hon. member has done on this but, again, what he will find out, if he has a look into this, is that we have been prepared to sign an agreement at every single meeting. We have had at least 10 of them at this point.

Again, I look forward to the meeting that is scheduled a bit later on this afternoon.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister opposite that it was seven weeks ago that the Speaker ruled on this matter. We have had a tentative agreement about a month ago. The government keeps inventing excuses to avoid dealing with this matter.

How long will this stalling go on? When will the government sit down, do the business, and respect the will of Parliament and respect the will of the Speaker?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have been doing that each and every day. Again, I think there have been over 10 meetings. I thought they all had gone well. We have been prepared to sign at each and every one of those meetings. We have presented documents to the hon. members in his party and other parties to get those things signed.

However, if he wants to really get fully informed, I invite him to the meeting later on this afternoon. He might find it instructive.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, just days after the industry minister bragged about the cost savings of hosting the G8 and G20 in a single location, his riding, the Prime Minister announced it could not fit. After $50 million in gazebos, bathrooms and a sunken boat, the Conservatives finally figured out the venue was too small.

We now learn Toronto, “the whoops, we messed up site”, was only given a heads-up 15 minutes before the Prime Minister announced it. There was no consultation and no effort to contain costs. This summit was planned on the back of a napkin and taxpayers are left with the billion dollar bill.

How did the government so badly mismanage this?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously, I do not agree with the premise put forward by my hon. colleague. We have indicated here that costs of holding both summits, a large part of the costs, are attributed to security, which is extremely important.

We have, of course, put aside some money to ensure that we can celebrate Canada and do its promotion. We have done it through our experience Canada pavilion and we are very pleased that we are doing so.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is as shallow as their fake lake.

Conservatives inherited a $13 billion surplus. They turned it into a deficit before the recession even started and snowballed it into the biggest deficit in Canadian history.

Now they blow more than $1 billion on 72 hours of meetings and defend it as normal business. The lake may be fake, but the money is real. This is taxpayers' money and Conservatives are spending it like they are having a going-out-of-business sale. Now we learn that 85% of the contracts are sole-sourced, untendered, no competition.

How much worse can this boondoggle get?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the member opposite that the entire process is managed by the professional members of the public service. They work to ensure that everything is done in a fair and transparent fashion. Our goal is to ensure that taxpayers get value for money. That has always been the hallmark of our government and it always will be.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister paid lip service to the idea of putting climate change on the agenda for the G8 and G20 summits. Recently, Mexican President Felipe Calderón and six Nobel peace prize laureates stressed that it is important to use these international summits to talk about the environment and climate change.

To clear up any doubt, will the Prime Minister put climate change on the agenda for the G8 and G20 summits?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said last week in response to a question from the leader of the Bloc Québécois, the economy is the main priority for the G20. We have said that this forum will obviously focus on the economy. Of course, a number of issues will be dealt with, including climate change.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the environment and the economy cannot be separated because they are so closely linked. Moreover, if climate change is going to be discussed, it should be on the agenda. The Prime Minister is not hesitating to take advantage of the G8 and G20 summits to invite heads of state and discuss different issues with them.

Why not broaden the scope of the meeting and invite Yvo de Boer, the senior climate change official at the UN, and officially put the environment on the agenda for the two summits?