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 representation.

Topics

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday why the President of the Treasury Board is never the one to answer in this House.

Let us review the facts. The President of the Treasury Board signed contribution agreements; he even created a nice homemade form. He met with local officials and helped select the projects. His constituency office even intervened to make sure those projects got money.

Does anyone still really believe that the President of the Treasury Board was not involved in this scandal?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what the President of the Treasury Board did, what I did and what three deputy ministers did yesterday was respond to every question the members of Parliament on the public accounts committee had. The member opposite had the opportunity to ask those questions.

This has been thoroughly looked at. The Auditor General looked at it and came forward with some helpful observations. We fully accept that advice.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that yesterday the Muskoka minister presented a defence based on the claim that 242 pet projects magically became 32 pork projects, without any paper trail and without any involvement by him whatsoever.

However, on April 20, 2009, the town of Gravenhurst stated that it was told by the Muskoka minister to "remove the centennial project from the G8 fund and he would find the money elsewhere".

The committee asked him a direct question. Why did he not disclose his direct involvement in the selection of that project?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General spent considerable time looking at the issue. She came forward with a report. She made some very good recommendations to government on how we could be more open and more transparent to Parliament. We have completely accepted that advice.

Yesterday there were two hours' worth of hearings on the issue where every question was answered.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General said the rules were broken and the rules were broken by him. Therefore, if the government accepted the Auditor General's advice, he would be bounced out of his seat. That is a simple fact because the documents show he directly intervened and he told the committee otherwise. Either he has misled committee or he has a really bad memory.

Either way, what is that man doing in charge of $250 billion of taxpayer money?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has looked into the issue. The public accounts committee has spent a good amount of time examining the issue.

Yesterday two ministers and three deputy ministers responded to every question that the committee had, and all the questions have been answered.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs admitted that he always knew that the $50 million he asked Parliament to approve for the border infrastructure fund would actually go to projects in Muskoka instead. The minister admitted that he topped up the fund by 166% in order to hide his Muskoka gravy train from both Parliament and the Auditor General.

The minister makes jokes about this, but breaking the rules and wasting tax dollars is no laughing matter. Will the minister take this opportunity to apologize to Canadian taxpayers for this abuse of power?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I spoke to this issue when the Auditor General released her report. I spoke to this issue at great length at committee. I certainly would commend Hansard from that committee to the member opposite.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that $50 million that had been earmarked to improve border infrastructure was used to finance projects proposed by friends of the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka. Furthermore, he told us it was simply a matter of a small adjustment, when in fact, he increased the funding by 166%. This scheme was meant to distract parliamentarians and the Auditor General.

Why does the Prime Minister not reprimand his ministers for this flagrant abuse of their fiscal authority?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my colleague opposite that I reject much of the premise of the question he just asked. Yesterday we fully laid out, as we have in the past, the facts involving the Auditor General's report and answered every question members at committee had.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

November 3rd, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, when the member for Peterborough is not busy pretending to be the Pope, he tries to instead impersonate a federal court judge.

He and other Conservative members of the access committee are trying to seize documents concerning the CBC's business dealings, even though these very documents are before the courts as we speak.

Will the Minister of Justice explain our Constitution to the member and how it mandates a strict separation between the courts and Parliament, or is he a part of this abuse of power as well?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join with my Conservative colleagues, but disappointingly not opposition colleagues, in commending the member for Peterborough for demanding accountability at the CBC. This is something that our government said that we would do.

The truth is the CBC receives a lot of money, and our government has been clear. If it is to receive that money, then it needs to be accountable for it. That is what the committee is investigating and that is what the member for Peterborough is standing up for.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that Industry Canada delayed the F-35 project for over a year because it was not happy with Lockheed Martin's work. This government is arguing with its own experts. Another day, another problem with the F-35 project. The costs of this program are astronomical and our pilots' safety is at risk.

Will the Minister of National Defence finally recognize that the F-35 program is simply a disaster?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our participation in the joint strike fighter program continues to be a success.

The end result of this complex process is successfully ensuring that Canadian industry benefits from the enormous opportunities provided by this program. It is ensuring our Canadian Forces have the best aircraft they need to protect our sovereignty by land, sea and air now and well into the future.

Though we are still in the early stages, Canadian companies have already secured $370 million in contracts, supporting industries that employ 80,000 Canadians.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government truly believed in economic spinoffs, it would require equivalent economic investments throughout the country, which it has not done. The government's F-35s are not safe and are not adapted to the realities of Canada's north. The costs are soaring without any guarantee of economic spinoffs.

When will the government do its homework, face the facts and opt for an open and transparent bidding process that works for Canada?