House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was illness.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence says that he was not kept in the loop about all of the details of the Afghan mission.

In the book titled The Savage War, the minister talks about the decision to strike a committee concerning the mission. He said, “It wasn't discussed with the broader cabinet, no.” And he added, “I didn't know all of the specifics.”

How can Canadians trust this government? How can they trust a minister who is kept in the dark by his Prime Minister?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to that I would simply say that Canadians must have had some level of trust because in May of this year they re-elected this government with a majority, national Conservative government.

It is the important decisions with respect to Afghanistan, Libya, our contributions in 16 missions internationally, our various government departments, including CIDA and the Department of Foreign Affairs, that we continue to make Canadians very proud of the efforts that Canadians, in both the armed forces and our professional service, are making around the globe.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is a majority of 39%.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs tabled documents in the House of Commons regarding the transfer of Afghan detainees without having them translated. This is in violation of the Official Languages Act.

However, this government refuses to look into why the minister violated the act. His attitude is disrespectful to francophone and anglophone Canadians who want to understand what is happening in Parliament in their own language.

Will the Conservatives finally respect the Official Languages Act and have the documents translated, as provided for in the act?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yes, I tabled the documents in the House. Before I tabled these documents in the language that the judges used to send them to the government, I asked all of the NDP members whether they were in favour of having them tabled, and all of the NDP members said yes.

National Defence
Oral Questions

October 4th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, CBC revealed that the cost of the F-35s could double by the time they are delivered. Rather than the $65 million that this government initially told us that each plane would cost, they could cost over $133 million each.

Why is this government the only one that believes Lockheed Martin's initial cost estimates? Why does this government not see the obvious? The replacement of the CF-18s requires an open and transparent competition.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear. We have dedicated $9 billion to this important acquisition of F-35s.

These aircraft, as the House will know, will replace our aging CF-18 fleet of fighter jets. These aircraft, like other aircraft, have served our country extremely well. They are used in Libya today. They have been used in previous missions, but that they aging.

As a matter of course we are taking the responsible step of following a procurement process that has been in place for a significant period of time in which a number of countries are participating.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the costs related to the F-35s continue to rise, the Associate Minister of National Defence and the Minister of National Defence claim that the F-35s and their long-term maintenance will cost $9 billion rather than $16 billion. While every other country that wants to buy F-35s expects to pay a lot more, this government is the only one that thinks that it can get them for a low price.

Will this government stop trying to mislead the public and tell people the truth: that the F-35s are not going to cost $9 billion or even $16 billion but $30 billion?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have been crystal clear. We committed $9 billion for the replacement of the CF-18. In fact, it not only includes the cost of the aircraft, this will include: spares, weapons systems, infrastructure and training simulators as well as the contingency associated with this important procurement.

We are purchasing the most cost-effective variant at the prime of peak production when the costs will be at their lowest. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer has admitted to that.

Why are the NDP members constantly against getting the best equipment for the best forces in the world?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to pour money down the black hole of the F-35 program. That is despite multiple delays, multiple setbacks and massive cost overruns predicted, not only by our Parliamentary Budget Officer, but even by the Pentagon .

The out-of-touch government would rather blow billions of dollars than admit it has made a mistake.

We know the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence do not talk, but is the Prime Minister aware that the F-35 jets are an unaffordable sinkhole?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I know the member is new to the file and new to the House. I will repeat for him, $9 billion have been set aside for this project. We will be receiving these aircraft some time after 2016. This is a result of a pressing need to replace the current CF-18 jets.

This is the best aircraft, the only aircraft, which is fifth generation, available to the Canadian Forces. This recommendation comes from the Chief of the Air Staff. All of the experts agree, this is the best aircraft for the best country for the best forces.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have submarines rusting in dry dock. We have helicopters being raided for spare parts. Yet, Conservatives insist on writing a blank cheque to the U.S. military. Even John McCain calls the F-35 program “a train wreck”.

Other governments are reducing their F-35 orders, switching to other fighter jets or investing in equipment they already have, so why are the Conservatives taking a flyer on the F-35s, even when they are in a tailspin?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, so much of what that member just said is completely off base. So much of it is completely disconnected to what the needs of the men and women of the Canadian Forces have clearly expressed. So much of it is against our national defence interests, but I am not the least bit surprised.

Consistently in this House, consistently throughout our history, we have seen the New Democratic Party oppose every step that we take to improve the life, the training, the work of the Canadian Forces. That has been its consistent position.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, from the chief coroner's reports to pleas from the chief and Grand Chief Beardy, the suicides in Pikangikum First Nation, 60 in the last decade and 5 this summer alone, have become a tragedy of national proportion.

The chief coroner had 100 recommendations.

What exactly will the Minister of Health declare that she will do today to deal with this unbelievable tragedy before one more life is lost?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, our government has made the investment in programs to support initiatives under the national aboriginal youth suicide prevention program. To date, we funded over 150 community-based projects with the investments that we have made in budget 2010. This is an area that is of concern to us, as far too many Canadian families have to deal with the anguish, but we are acting on the recommendations through the national aboriginal youth suicide program.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Nunavik, the suicide rate is 25 times higher than the Quebec average, which is already the highest in the country. Earlier this year, two young people committed suicide in less than two months in Kuujjuaq, a community of less than 2,200 people. No government is doing enough to address the issue of suicide.

What does this government plan to do to improve support and health services in the community?