House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was consultants.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working with our partners—the provinces, municipalities, the private sector, universities and colleges—to ensure that these projects are completed. It is interesting to note that the Bloc Québécois is attacking the project deadline even though it opposed the program. That is a completely irresponsible position during a recession. The people of Quebec do not need such a party.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the March 31, 2011 deadline is jeopardizing numerous infrastructure projects. For example, some municipalities have had to interrupt their work for lack of materials, notably pipes. They cannot continue their work; there are no pipes. That is the case in Lachute, St-Eustache and Beauharnois.

Does the government realize that maintaining the March 31, 2011 deadline is putting numerous projects in jeopardy and potentially depriving Quebec of several hundred jobs as well as major municipal infrastructure?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we know that the infrastructure stimulus funding, which was part of the economic action plan, was timely and targeted, but it was temporary. It had to be done by March 31. Everyone who signed an agreement with the federal government or other participants signed on that they could get the job done by March 31. Thankfully, of course, those projects are getting done across the country. Some 93% of the projects are well under way.

We continue to work with the provinces and proponents on individual projects to see if we can re-scope and work with them. We are getting good work and good co-operation in Quebec and we hope to see all of those projects concluded by March 31.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the deadline, artificially set by the government, is having other negative effects. For example, in order to complete projects by March 31, municipalities are having to pay overtime. That is the case for the recreation centre in Saint-Lambert. The federal government's lack of flexibility means that we are paying more than is necessary for our public infrastructure.

Why is the government insisting on maintaining the March 31 deadline?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can say that everyone who signed an agreement on any of these construction projects signed on that they could get it done by March 31.

Whether we are talking recreation centres or other needed infrastructure throughout Quebec, the Bloc votes against all of it. What is interesting is that every time there is an announcement about infrastructure spending in Quebec, every time we put up one of those signs that the Bloc hates so much, it tells us to take down the sign because it is a sign of prosperity, hope and unity between us and Canada.

The Economy
Oral Questions

September 22nd, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government says that we are somehow in the home stretch of the recovery but there are hundreds of thousands of Canadians limping on the sidelines right now. That is because they are facing a loss of a quarter of a million full-time jobs and they are forced into part-time work that simply does not pay the bills. It is not an economic recovery until those people are back in full-time family-supporting jobs.

Is the Prime Minister willing to peek out from behind his billboards long enough to come out with a plan that will create full-time work that will give us a full middle-class recovery?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note to begin with that the Canadian economy has net created over 400,000 jobs in the past year, one of the best performances anywhere in the world.

I am the first to say, and have said repeatedly, that our economy has not yet fully recovered. We need to see further progress in the labour market. However, the way to do that is to support the actions being taken by this government to get projects rolling and also to build the long-term base of the Canadian economy.

If the leader of the NDP is worried about those things and interested in those things, he should start supporting what the government is doing for the economy.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, part-time jobs are not a true sign of economic recovery, and the Prime Minister should know that.

The Conservatives are once again attacking the middle class, small-business owners, local businesses and entrepreneurs by increasing employment insurance premiums for employers and employees.

Since the recovery is stalling and people are still looking for stable jobs, will the government work with us to create permanent jobs for people?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian economy has created over 400,000 jobs in the past year. That is one of the best performances in the developed world during this economic crisis. The recovery has started, but it is not over. We need to see further progress in the labour market. That is essential.

The way to do that is to support the actions being taken by this government to protect the Canadian economy, to protect our industries and to create jobs. I encourage the NDP not to vote against these measures as it has done in the past.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government will bring all those projects to a dead halt in six months. That is wrong. What we need is an extension of stimulus here to create work.

I would like to turn to another very troubling report that we read about today. Sean Bruyea, an advocate on behalf of veterans, a veteran himself who served this country, found out that the Conservatives have been rooting around in his private medical records. That is contrary not to only decency but to the law. We found that the Minister of Veterans Affairs was trying to find out about medical appointments.

Will the minister stand in his place and apologize today?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear about the facts. It appears that certain private information regarding this individual had been widely circulating in the bureaucracy and, by the way, before this government came to office.

That is completely unacceptable. Canadians take the privacy laws extremely seriously, especially for those who have served our country in uniform.

I understand the Privacy Commissioner is looking into matters such as this. The Privacy Commissioner will receive nothing but the full co-operation of this government to ensure that these kinds of things do not happen again.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians certainly question the decisions of the government to borrow and spend $16 billion on untendered stealth fighters and over $1 billion on a weekend photo op. It wants to spend $10 billion on prisons for unreported crimes. Now it is reviewing a program designed to improve access for people with disabilities, a fund that has almost $100 million less in it than what the government spent on government propaganda.

While this review is being conducted, will the minister promise to evaluate all the evidence, including the evidence that indicates that over 90% of this fund has gone to Conservative ridings?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we introduced the enabling accessibility fund to overcome something that the Liberals had not done for years and years and that is to remove barriers for the disabled right across this country. We have done that and are doing that. We are opening up churches and municipal buildings. We are investing in federal buildings and making them accessible so that the disabled have access.

We have extended that program. There is a review going on. The review will not be completed until after the program is completed. Meanwhile, we want to ensure that Canadians who are disabled have the access to the services and the opportunities that all other Canadians have.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we have to ask what is happening over there.

The choices that the government makes: $1 billion for G20 photo ops and $45 million over two years for people with disabilities. It cancelled the PALS disability survey and then the long form census which disability groups need desperately to serve their clients.

What kind of choice is that? That is a choice that puts ideology ahead of evidence. How can the Canadian government spend $1 billion on a photo op and then have the nerve to review spending on a program for people with disabilities?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's hypocrisy is breathtaking. He is criticizing us for opening doors for the disabled, doors that the Liberal government had kept shut for years.

Through the enabling accessibility fund, there are over 300 projects across this country that are making government facilities and municipal facilities available to the disabled, including Iona Presbyterian Church in the member's riding. If it were up to the member, those doors would not be open.