House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the hon. member, which provides yet another opportunity to highlight the fact that the F-35 provides the Canadian Forces with the best replacement for the aging CF-18 aircraft and provides an excellent advantage in defending Canadian sovereignty.

The F-35 program is progressing well and on track.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the son of an RCAF veteran of the Second World War, I can assure the House and all Canadians that neither that minister, nor that minister and nor the government have a monopoly on support for our troops.

We will keep challenging reckless behaviour of the government on the F-35 file precisely because it fails to support our troops, because of years of delay, because it cannot handle the Arctic and it has a poor safety record and because that out-of-touch minister would rather blow billions on planes that do not fly than admit he is wrong—

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Associate Minister of National Defence.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the reality is much of the work that has gone into developing what is state-of-the-art fifth generation aircraft that will look after our needs well into the future has come directly from the airmen, the people who fly the aircraft and the technicians with whom I have spoken who know first-hand. They say that this is the best aircraft at this time and well into the future for Canadian needs, Canadian workers and Canadian industry.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a remarkably surprising answer. Yesterday we learned that the government attacked its own officials over its botched F-35 deal. Government experts were so concerned over the contract with Lockheed Martin that they blocked the deal for a year, but Conservatives refused to listen.

Enough is enough. This dispute hurt the Canadian aerospace industry. Just how far is the minister planning to go to save face? When will he finally admit he is wrong and put the contract out to tender?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unlike the opposition's renewed interest in the Canadian military, Canada's first defence strategy represents a tangible commitment to provide our military men and women the resources they need, including the F-35, resources that will ensure mission success, personal safety and jobs for Canadians.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, just yesterday there were reports calling for the government to compromise on Canadian rights by backing down from our legitimate WTO challenge that seeks trade fairness for fishermen.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway advise the House whether the Conservative Party really is the only party in the House willing to stand up for our international trade rights and the rights of fishermen to choose their own livelihood?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it really is disappointing that the only Liberal spokesperson we have heard from recently is a Toronto senator who opposes the seal hunt.

We are a little worried about the NDP members as well, because their self-appointed Newfoundland fisheries critic claimed that the seal hunt is doomed and has said that we would be better off if commercial hunters retreated.

In the face of this affront to our fishermen and sealers, we stand emboldened in our resolve to defend Canada's international trade rights.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to the annual Corrections report, under the government's watch, things are getting worse in Canadian prisons. Our prisons are more crowded than ever. Offenders with mental health problems are simply put in solitary confinement with no access to treatment programs.

Conservative mismanagement is putting Corrections staff at risk and leading to more violence in our prisons.

When will the government stop with these photo ops and actually address these serious public safety concerns?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. Part of that means assuring that offenders are rehabilitated when in prison. That is why we have made historic investments, improving mental health in the correctional system.

In fact, I am proud to note that the International Corrections and Prison Association recognize this work with its leadership award for Canadian Corrections.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, all we hear from this government is rhetoric, with no regard for the facts. Here are the facts: access to rehabilitation programs is key to helping ex-convicts reintegrate into society. Yet these programs represent only 1.8% of the total budget of Correctional Service Canada.

Why does this government refuse to make public safety a priority by ensuring that prisoners have access to rehabilitation programs?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would invite the member to receive a briefing from Correctional Service Canada to indicate the steps that we have been taking, concrete steps on the issue of mental health in prisons. Both access to treatment services for inmates and access to training for staff have been vastly improved under this government.

I must point out that these increased resources are a result of the strong leadership of our Minister of Finance and our Conservative government.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in less than 48 hours, Pascal Lacoste will begin his hunger strike in the hope of receiving treatment. Despite the government's refusal to recognize that he was poisoned, Canadian Veterans Advocacy has said that it is plausible that a number of Canadian soldiers were poisoned after being exposed to depleted uranium. Time is running out. Instead of passing the buck to his officials, the minister needs to act now.

Will the minister finally tell us what the government intends to do to help this soldier?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I told the member for Québec, our veterans and military personnel go through very difficult experiences when they are deployed.

As Minister of Veterans Affairs, it is my duty to do everything in my power to ensure that our veterans have access to all the services and programs they deserve. And this must be based on the latest scientific data.

I urge veterans to avoid putting their health in danger and to accept help from our professionals so that we can continue to provide the services and programs our veterans deserve.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in February 2000 the current member for Edmonton East said in a motion that he presented to the House that the government should take a leading role in banning depleted uranium from the world's militaries because of its harmful effect on veterans and our environment.

If the current member for Edmonton East, a Conservative member of Parliament, knows that, then why does the government not know it? As the Minister of Veterans Affairs knows all too well, he alone can apply the benefit of the doubt to help people like Pascal Lacoste and many other veterans who are suffering the effects of depleted uranium.

Will the minister do that now, before November 11?