House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the member's information, in 1999, 2000 and 2001, we worked on repairing the Champlain Bridge and also invested money in it. There is a bit too much asbestos in his riding and he is insulating himself. There will be a new Champlain Bridge, but there is a problem with the existing one. We want to know whether it is safe. We are not looking for quotes about how happy people are. We are happy about the new Champlain Bridge, but it will take 10 years to build. If the existing bridge collapses in the meantime, it will be a case of criminal negligence. It is a matter of safety.

We want to know why the government refuses to table the inspection reports.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, this is complete nonsense. They may very well have made investments, as they said, which were too little, but we have made massive investments—$359 million, including $159 million in the 2011 budget—and the member voted against them. Frankly, that says it all. If they care about safety, that makes no sense.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, Majeed Uddin Ahmed, a Canadian citizen, together with his wife and their two Canadian children, ages five and one and a half, have been arrested and incarcerated in Saudi Arabia's notorious Dhaban prison for two weeks. One of the children is sick and requires medical care.

From the beginning, the minister was made aware of this situation. The family in Canada has been advised that it will have to wait until next week for news as officials have told them, “It is not in our route of travel”.

When will the minister order her officials to change their travel plans and bring these kids home?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, we are in fact aware of reports of this family being detained in Saudi Arabia. Canadian officials have been working, and will continue to work, with local authorities to receive formal confirmation of the family's present situation.

In addition, consular officials are seeking, if there is confirmation of the family's detention, to have consular access with the family. We are in constant daily contact with the family here in Canada and we will continue to work for the well-being of this family.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

October 6th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is finally responding to NDP pressure to build a new Champlain Bridge. We barely had time to celebrate—

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. Is there a problem with the translation?

The hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, we hope the bridge will not be built in Muskoka.

We barely had time to celebrate before we learned that families will be the ones footing the bill. Why is the government taking money from families instead of making their lives more affordable? Can the government tell us how much each family must pay to cross the bridge?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, this is an odd question.

I have an article here written by Louis-Gilles Francoeur on December 23, 2005. This article says that in a hotel in Montreal North in December 2005, the member for Outremont, then the environment and sustainable development minister, openly said he was in favour of extending Highway 25 and the bridge, a project that included tolls. Some people began to call it the Mulcair Bridge .

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport is saying that there will be a toll on the Champlain Bridge but that the bridge will not cost taxpayers a penny. Let us be clear, it is families that will pay. The municipalities of Montreal's south shore are wondering why their residents will be the only ones footing the bill. Families are also wondering why they are being punished.

It is currently free to cross the bridge. Why should families have to pay?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, this is an odd question because the member for Brossard—La Prairie has also publicly stated that he is open to a toll system. I do not understand this double standard.

Everyone is happy about the bridge. They should be looking at this in a positive light and stop casting a shadow on this wonderful news. There will finally be a new Champlain Bridge that will be sustainable for future generations and affordable for Canadian taxpayers. That is what is important.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's vague announcement is going to hurt Montreal families right in their pocketbooks. First, it decided to ding commuters every time they go to work; then, it saddles taxpayers with a cost overrun we know will come from these risky private ventures.

Could the minister tell this House who will own the bridge? Does he even know how much these tolls will cost? Will the government have any say? Or will the new bridge become a cash cow for some private company?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I just stated what the member for Brossard—La Prairie said and I will quote him. He said, “In terms of tolls, it's still to be seen. Like we've always said, we're open. With regard to the Champlain Bridge's replacement, we're not dismissing the idea of tolls”.

What is the problem today?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will also try to build bridges.

The Champlain Bridge construction project contains no plans for public transit. The minister says that that is a provincial responsibility, but if this bridge is 100% federal, as he likes to remind everyone, why are there no plans for federal-provincial coordination of public transit? That is important. So, the federal government is going to spend $5 billion on the bridge, while, at the same time, further down the same road, the provincial government is spending $3 billion on the Turcot project.

Will the Conservatives work in partnership with Quebec for more public transit, or is $8 billion going to be spent to wind up with the same congestion problems? Talk about short-sightedness.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, one thing is clear: everyone seems to agree that a toll system is a viable solution for Canadian taxpayers. Finally, a new bridge will be built.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has been very clear. We have taken the first step. We know where we are headed. We know that this viable infrastructure will be there for future generations. Yes, consultations will be held with the mayors in question and with the province in order to maximize this investment. That is how we will move forward.

Let us be clear: this viable infrastructure will serve future generations and will be affordable for Canadian taxpayers.