House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prairie.

Topics

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the meeting I had on Friday was a great opportunity to hear about what the provinces are doing to improve health care in their jurisdictions. Minister MacDonald, Nova Scotia's health minister, told the media that the meetings were very productive and that the discussions focused on issues that are important to all jurisdictions. The minister from Quebec also said that there was very good harmony among all partners. They all had the same goal and that was to improve the health outcomes for all Canadians.

Health
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that this issue relates to the CETA, not the provinces. If this is the government's idea of defending the interests of Canadians, so much for that.

We will have to spend an estimated $2.8 billion more a year on drugs if Canada signs this agreement with the EU. And Canadians will receive nothing in return: no access to better drugs, generic drugs or low prices.

Why is the minister taking this file so lightly without showing any leadership? Why is she defending large pharmaceutical companies instead of Canadians?

Health
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely disagree with the premise of the hon. member's question.

I would remind the hon. member opposite that our government always protects and advances Canada's interests during international negotiations, and we will only enter into an agreement that is in Canada's best interest. We will continue to consult closely with Canadian stakeholders and with provincial and territorial governments with respect to all issues regarding the CETA with the European Union.

The benefits to Canadians are clear: a trade agreement with the European Union is expected to boost Canada's economy by $12 billion and increase two-way trade by 20%.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Agriculture was joined by the agriculture ministers of Saskatchewan and Alberta on behalf of the minister from British Columbia to explain the importance of the marketing freedom for grain farmers act to western Canada. For far too long, western Canadian grain farmers have been treated like second-class citizens. That is why we introduced Bill C-18 to give western Canadian grain farmers the right to sell their grain to whomever they choose, including to a voluntary Canadian wheat board.

Could the minister please outline the importance of passing Bill C-18 as quickly as possible?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Brandon—Souris, for the great job he has done in getting us to this historic day. This is a great day. We celebrate it with my colleagues from Alberta and Saskatchewan, joined by my colleague from British Columbia and by dozens of actual producers from western Canada.

This is a tremendous day. This is a movement forward. This is what we have been waiting for for decades. We will get the job done tonight.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, looming civilian staff cuts at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier are causing concern in my riding because 1,400 civilians who work on the base might lose their jobs. These are civilians who play an important role and allow the Canadian Forces to do their work effectively and safely.

Can the minister tell us here and now whether he intends to cut jobs at Valcartier?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, like all departments, the Department of National Defence is looking across the board at our budgets. We are looking at individual efforts to find efficiencies. With respect to managing the workforce, we want to ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right cost to taxpayers. This includes always examining a range of options to find processes designed to increase those efficiencies to ensure we are making smart decisions on behalf of the government and, most importantly, on behalf of taxpayers.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Valcartier who are worried about losing their jobs because of cuts by this government cannot wait and see what happens and wait while the government wastes its time with such studies.

Last month, we learned that the Department of National Defence was considering selling some of its properties and closing some facilities as a cost-cutting measure.

The minister refused to answer Canadians' questions then, so I am asking him again: will the minister promise to keep all the bases open?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as with issues related to families and businesses, the Government of Canada is continuing to review its resources in an effort to find effective solutions.

We are in a position, obviously, with the slowing of the global economy, to make important smart decisions on behalf of taxpayers. What does not help is when members of the opposition, as the member just did, get up and cast fear and doubt across communities and across bases in this country.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister will tell us how many bases will have to close when the government is forced to pay the true costs of the F-35s.

Norway has acknowledged that the true cost of their 52 F-35s will be $40 billion or more. Are the Conservatives so blindly committed to the F-35 boondoggle because someone in Washington told them so, or are they prepared to act independently in our national interest and put this out for tender?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times we need to repeat the same end story.

The F-35 did go out to competition. It won out. Our government's preference is to put our trust in our pilots and materiel experts who know the importance of the F-35 program, which is producing the 21st century fighter our military needs while at the same time sustaining quality aerospace jobs across Canada.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear the government admit to such blind adherence to Liberal government policy, but it was, after all, the associate minister who turned a Liberal procurement initiative into his own, and I quote, “crusade”.

National Defence is facing a fiscal crunch. Instead of cutting back on bases and instead of cuts to navy operations, why will the government not agree to have a competition to replace the F-18s? When will it put this deal out to tender?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all reasonable people agree that we need aircraft to defend Canada's sovereignty. Our plan is on track. An extensive and rigorous competition has taken place. It happened, as was stated, under the previous Liberal government. If the opposition members had their way, they would cancel the equipment our air force agrees is the best our men and women need to do their job effectively, efficiently and safely.

The Environment
Oral Questions

November 28th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment sure likes to stick to his talking points on the future of climate change negotiations, but the reality is that the plan is to ensure that there will be no future international agreement.

Why are the Conservatives misleading Canadians and the international community by trying to hide the fact that they are actually negotiating in bad faith?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that question from the Liberals is pretty rich, given that Kyoto represents one of the biggest blunders of the previous Liberal government. They made it even worse by cynically embracing Kyoto while knowing they would never work to fulfill their obligations.

In Durban, Canada will continue to work to encourage the international community to embrace a new international climate change agreement that includes all major emitters.