House of Commons Hansard #73 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

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, we now know the Conservatives spent $200 million on things like rent-a-car, rent-a-fence, and rent-a-lake. Canadians are still waiting to hear about the over $1 billion more that was spent for the 72-hour meeting; this at a time when Canadians are struggling to make ends meet.

Why is the Conservative government not open, transparent, and accountable for the hundreds of millions, over $1 billion, it spent? When will Canadians see the receipts? What are the Conservatives trying to hide?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, from the outset I said that the Auditor General was welcome to go through the books. Indeed, the Auditor General has said she will be reviewing summit expenses, and we look forward to seeing her report.

The Liberals should stop trying to score political points on the back of Canada's international reputation. They did it regarding our efforts at the UN Security Council, and they are doing it again on the G8 and G20 summits.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this party does not need a lesson from the member on standing up for Canadians abroad or maintaining our international reputation.

The Conservative government spent 40 times more on security than the U.S. did at the Pittsburgh G20 summit. Incredibly, the Minister of Public Safety approved a $27.5 million RCMP command centre that could have been bought for $3 million. Instead, it was rented for $1.5 million, incurred another $24 million in operational costs, and then, after just 72 hours, cost another $2 million to tear down.

Would the minister not agree that this high-priced farce is a threat to Canada's economic security?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member is going to use facts and figures, he should use the correct ones. This was a $2.2 million lease for a 24-month period, and it was a competitive lease.

The Liberals should stop trying to score political points on the back of Canada's international reputation and on the backs of the police officers who were providing the security at these summits.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the recent facts. The minister authorized $27 million on a command centre that stood in Barrie for just 72 hours. Just a few hours ago, this minister told reporters he was not even aware of it. Talk about ministerial irresponsibility.

If the minister wants to talk about police, that kind of money could have been used to purchase 400 police cruisers, or to hire 225 RCMP front-line officers. It is enough to run the entire Barrie Police Service for over nine months.

Canadians cannot afford the government's egregious waste. How can this Conservative government be so incompetent? How can it be so derelict with taxpayers' money?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I was not aware of a $27 million expenditure, because it was not made. There was a $2.2 million lease for a 24-month period. It was a competitive lease.

I am wondering why that member would stand up and deliberately say what he knows is not true.

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, a unanimous motion of the Quebec National Assembly calls on the federal government to reconsider its decision to eliminate the mandatory long form census to meet basic requirements in terms of socio-economic data. The Conservative government's ideological and illogical decision will result in additional costs for the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Does the minister realize that by eliminating the mandatory long form census, he is taking away essential tools that policy makers need to make the best choices to serve the public?

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, our fair and reasonable solution is to find the best balance between the collection of the necessary data and the privacy of Canadian citizens. However, the Bloc might have another solution. A few months ago, the Bloc leader said, “We can tell people, ‘Well, if you refuse, certain government services won't be provided to you for as long as you refuse.’ A passport, for instance. Employment insurance, for instance.” That is not our government's solution.

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and Ontario wrote to the Minister of Industry, asking him to bring back the mandatory long form census as quickly as possible. They said that the quality of services provided to the public will be impacted.

Will the minister reconsider, listen to the urgent calls from Quebec and bring back the mandatory long form census as soon as possible?

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, we must respond to the demands of Canadians, not all Canadians, but those who want the Government of Canada to protect their privacy. Our solution is a fair and reasonable balance between the need for information and the privacy of Canadians. We are proud to be implementing this solution.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the employment insurance system is not responding to the needs of workers. It needs a complete overhaul, which is why we have introduced a bill to improve the employment insurance system and facilitate access to it, notably by establishing a single, universal threshold of 360 working hours.

Does the government plan to support this bill, which will be voted on tonight, to ensure that workers' employment insurance premiums are not used for other purposes?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, during the recession, we added and extended benefits that unemployed people needed. What the Bloc is proposing is irresponsible and would permanently increase employment insurance costs and premiums by 35%. That is unacceptable for hard-working Canadians.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of pilot projects to help unemployed people deal with the infamous “spring gap” are coming to an end this fall, notably the initiative that provides five supplementary weeks of benefits.

How can the government claim to not have any money to help workers who lose their jobs when it is ready to pilfer $20 billion from the employment insurance fund?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, through our economic action plan, we increased payments and other benefits for unemployed people who were hit the hardest during the global recession. At that time, we said that these measures would be targeted and temporary, for the duration of the recession. Luckily, Canada is leading the world in terms of recovery and the programs must be temporary.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know now that the Conservative government has spent more than $1 billion on things such as a fake lake, snacks, and hand lotion at the G8 summit. Meanwhile, over 200,000 seniors are living below the poverty line in Canada. That $1 billion could have given seniors $5,000 each, enough for groceries for the year.

My question is quite simple. As the Prime Minister was attending his caviar summits, did he even once, just once, think about how he could have helped those thousands of seniors to make ends meet?