House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are in debt. They are trying to save by cutting their spending, and they expect the government to do the same. But what do they see? A billion dollars spent on the G8 and G20 summits, advertising expenses that have tripled, untendered contracts for fighter aircraft. And now, a $6 billion borrow in order to give a gift to corporations.

How can this government explain all of this waste to ordinary Canadian families?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on one big thing. It is jobs and the economy. It is what we can do to ensure that Canadian families have jobs, well-paying jobs, and that remains our top priority.

However, let me be very clear. We do believe we also have an important responsibility to our men and women in uniform. The planes that are being purchased will replace planes that will be more than 30 years old. These planes will last to 2040. That is why we are taking a different approach. We actually strongly support our men and women in uniform and want to equip them with the very best.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives care about providing adequate equipment for Canadian soldiers and airmen, why not a competitive bid? That is the issue here.

Ordinary Canadians are struggling to balance their domestic finances. They want the government to do the same. What they see is an airplane purchase without a competitive bid. They see $1 billion lavished on a 72-hour photo op. They see a tripling of the publicity budget of the government. They see a $6 billion borrow in order to help tax rates for large corporations.

The question Canadians are asking is this. Where is the fiscal—

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. government House leader.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has made jobs and the economy our number one priority. That is why we have seen the creation of some 430,000 net new jobs. That is tremendous good news, but the job is not done. We remain focused. That is why this fall, the Minister of Finance, this entire government and entire Parliament is focused on jobs and the economy, doing more to get even more results.

However, with respect to the decision about an open and transparent process, this is what one individual said, “The decision announced by the government is the culmination of the selection process undertaken between 1997 and 2001 by the Liberal government. That is when Canada decided to join the F-35 program and invested $165 million”.

Jacques Saada, former—

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot duck the issue of the record. When the finance minister took over in 2006, he inherited a $13 billion surplus. He then spent at three times the rate of inflation and took us into deficit before the recession began. We now have the largest deficit in Canadian history.

Is it any wonder, with that record, that instead of defending it in his speech at the Chateau Laurier, he decided to launch a slash and burn attack on the opposition instead?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Canada's economy, among all the OECD countries, the industrialized world, is the bright spot. It is the one that is creating jobs. It is the one where there is more hope. It is the one where there is more opportunity.

The Government of Canada is running the most fiscally responsible government in the western industrialized world. On every initiative that this government has taken to ensure that we live within our means, the Liberal Party has said, “spend more, tax more”, and that is not what Canadian families want.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister would like Canadians to believe that an MOU compelled Canada to buy the F-35 stealth fighters, but in 2008 the then industry minister said, “this participation does not commit us to purchase the aircraft”.

Former senior defence official, Alan Williams, said, “Never did we promise to purchase the aircraft”.

Why is the Prime Minister misleading Canadians?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let us be perfectly clear. In fact, it was a former Liberal government that participated in an extensive and rigorous U.S.-led competitive process between 1997 and 2001, where two bidders developed and competed a prototype aircraft. Then, after that competition, it was the Liberal government that signed on with the joint strike fighter program in 2002, after an extensive competition to choose the F-35 Lightning.

Why was it okay for the Liberals? Why, once again, are we seeing a Liberal Party backing away from previous decisions and trying to shortchange the Canadian Forces?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I hope he is not accusing his colleague beside him of lying.

This summer, the Prime Minister boasted about making the rules himself.

Now he is making up stories about the F-35 fighter jets. This $16 billion contract was untendered. There is no guarantee of regional spinoffs and jobs in Canada. And other countries got a better deal.

Why are they making Canadians pay for their incompetence?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker. As always, what the member is saying is incorrect. He is not sticking to the facts.

It was in fact his government that started down this road.

Our government has now exercised the option to purchase the F-35 aircraft, which will create a win-win situation: great for the Canadian Forces, a stealth aircraft with service that will take us into the next decade and well beyond and a tremendous benefit for the Canadian aerospace industry, with the opportunity to bid on 5,000 aircraft, opening up opportunities for $12 billion in contracts for Canadian companies.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was in opposition, he repeatedly accused the Liberal government of the day of not respecting the will of the House. The Prime Minister's statement following yesterday's vote suggests that his feelings have changed. He has no intention of respecting the will of the majority of the members.

If the Prime Minister thinks it is so important to respect the will of the House, then why is he not respecting the outcome of the vote, which confirmed that a majority wants to maintain the gun registry?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. Our party made this election promise in 2006 and in 2008. We object. We want to scrap the long gun registry. We object to making criminals of honest hunters and farmers who do not register their long guns, period. We do not object to regulating firearms in general. We said that we would scrap the long gun registry, and we will keep working to make that happen, and that is all there is to it.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons promised to work with the opposition and listen to what it had to say. If the government House leader really meant what he said, why does he not start by ending the gun registration amnesty, which is compromising the registry?

The role of government is to enforce the law, not to find ways around it. Its job is to enforce the law. Why is it doing the opposite?