House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prorogation.

Topics

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat my earlier answer. We all thank Justice Major for his report and for his incredible devotion over, I think, the past three years in getting to the bottom of this and getting to the truth in this matter. I know it has very difficult for everyone involved.

There is absolutely no doubt, in my own experience, that there was a lot of resistance to this inquiry. I think Justice Major made some reference to that fact and also to my interventions in that regard. The government will take those recommendations into consideration and ensure we drive forward with real change.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Prime Minister's answer but it has to be said that the commissioner takes the unusual step in his report of saying that even up to the point of the evidence presented by the government before the commission, even during the last two or three years, he did not detect a change of attitude on the part of those agencies, not only with respect to what had happened in 1985 and the years before and immediately after, but even up until today.

There is a culture of complacency, which is dangerous for the country. I wonder if the Prime Minister can tell us what specific steps he intends to take to ensure—

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I did have a good discussion with the families on that very subject today. It is very clear that this government intends there to be change, which is why we appointed the inquiry. Obviously, while we commit to moving forward on the recommendations, today is a day to think about the families and the loved ones who have been living with the deaths of these over 300 Canadians for a quarter of a century now.

I am glad we are getting to the bottom of this and will be able to move forward but it is a reminder that we should never treat security lightly in this country.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, when next week's G8 summit starts, world leaders will not visit $50 million in unfinished mud parks, bridges, gazebos and a sunken boat paid for in their names. While world leaders cannot visit unfinished pork, tourists will not be going to Toronto. The U.S. just issued a travel advisory not to visit Toronto during the G8.

At the height of the tourist season, Conservatives are shutting down Toronto.

The Economist magazine is now calling the $1 billion in waste a “loonie boondoggle”. How much more of an international embarrassment can this get?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very proud to be hosting the G8 and G20 meetings. We have indicated that a large part of the costs associated with these meeting deal with security concerns. These concerns are legitimate and they are in line with what most consultants have indicated to us. We are looking forward to welcoming here in Canada the leaders from these countries, as well as all of their delegations.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, he should tell that to the 78% of Canadians who think the spending is out of control.

Here is the problem. The Conservatives approved $50 million in projects under the banner of the G8 that have zero to do with the summit. This is not a gazebo and ice rink sales convention. It is a world leaders' meeting on international debt.

I am not talking about the $500,000 the Conservatives spent on the bunny hop trail or the $50 million and other pork shoved into the minister's riding. I am talking about this G8 legacy fund, a bonus $50 million for the minister in the name of the summit that has nothing to do with the summit at all.

How do they justify this?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government has done some 12,000 infrastructure projects in every corner of the country.

We have two major goals as part of our economic action plan: one is to create badly needed jobs in the short term, and the other is to improve public infrastructure in the long term. We are accomplishing both of those objectives. We have seen since July the creation of more than 300,000 new jobs. Our plan is working.

Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, 20 years after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the Conservative government has proven over the course of this parliamentary session that it will never back up its recognition of the Quebec nation with concrete measures. The government's bill to reduce Quebec's political weight in the House of Commons is evidence of that.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, for him, recognizing the Quebec nation was merely symbolic and that what he really wants to do is marginalize it?

Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, those of us on this side of the House have made it clear that we recognize the Quebec nation within a united Canada. The only party in the House of Commons still questioning that is the Bloc Québécois. Proportional representation by population is a basic principle in the 1867 Constitution.

Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that principle has been applied very generously in the case of Prince Edward Island.

Federalism has been bad for the Quebec nation both politically and economically. The government is refusing to give Quebec the $2.2 billion it is owed for harmonizing its sales tax, despite having compensated the Atlantic provinces, Ontario and British Columbia.

Is that not further proof that the Prime Minister could not care less about Quebec, its priorities or its National Assembly?

Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. Again, this government's policy is to offer all provinces the opportunity to harmonize their sales taxes with the federal tax, the GST. Five provinces have decided to do that, but Quebec chose another route. It decided to keep two separate taxes. We want true tax harmonization. Negotiations with Quebec are ongoing, and I hope that Quebec will decide to harmonize its sales tax with the GST.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, disputes with this government have multiplied. Open federalism has become predatory federalism. The issue of securities, in which the Conservatives want to take from Quebec to give to Ontario, is one example. The project is so flawed that the minister is incapable of clearly telling us whether or not it provides for the dismantling of the passport system.

Could the Minister of Finance clearly tell us if the passports issued by regulators, such as the AMF, will be unconditionally recognized, should his commission ever see the light of day? Clearly, please.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have been saying, it will be a system that is—