House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

December 2nd, 2011 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the last year and a half, first nation chiefs have been asking to meet with the Prime Minister and discuss the housing crisis on first nation reserves. After years of government inaction, it tragically took this crisis in Attawapiskat for him to finally take up the invitation. More than just talk is needed.

Is the government finally prepared to work with first nations and take real action to solve this crisis?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Kenora
Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the government works with first nations to deliver real results for their priorities. We have invested heavily in first nation schools, including in Attawapiskat, and in water and waste water infrastructure, health and housing, and we have done this all in full partnership with first nations.

We have a plan. We will continue to invest in practical solutions and real results.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, all of a sudden, the Conservatives are waking up and blaming everyone but themselves.

Federal public servants went to Attawapiskat not once, not twice, not three times, but 10 times in the past year. They must have submitted reports on the situation. Has there been any follow-up to these visits or is the department in the habit of leaving reports on shelves to gather dust rather than taking action as required?

Is the conclusion here that the government is completely indifferent to the living conditions of aboriginal people?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Kenora
Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our first priority is to get residents into warm, dry and safe shelter. Each time we received a request from the community, we took immediate action. Our officials have been working with the community to address substantial renovation for immediate housing needs, and we continue to support implementing their emergency management plan.

At the same time, we will be working with the third party manager to ensure that federal funding directly benefits community members and that the community's long-term needs will be met.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, documentary evidence confirms that the Minister of National Defence is having some trouble with the truth. Military officers say the story about showcasing search and rescue helicopters is “a guise” to hide a minister wrongfully commandeering defence equipment for his own personal use. The definition of “guise” is “pretence, make-believe”, and this one cost tens of thousands of dollars.

When first nations children are living in desperate conditions at Attawapiskat, why does the government defend such waste and dishonesty?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has already answered these questions. There are really no new facts here. The fundamental facts remain the same. The Minister of National Defence paid for air travel to and from his personal vacation; government aircraft were used only when he was called away on government business.

Our government has reduced average annual spending on ministers' Challenger flights by some 80% compared with the previous Liberal government. It was not that difficult, because that hon. member used to use the Challenger every weekend as his personal taxi to get home.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, David Orchard would recognize what is going on here, as do the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces, and they have blown the whistle.

Search and rescue equipment was misused. It took not one trip, but a reconnaissance mission too. It cost $32,000 per hour. The chopper could not land. The minister had to be hoisted aboard in a basket, and all the while quick, inexpensive alternatives were available by land and boat.

Before this guise gets any worse, why will the government not simply accept the honesty of Colonel Ploughman and apologize?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I said, none of the facts here have changed. The Minister of National Defence paid for the travel to and from his own personal vacation. Government aircraft were only used when he was called away on government business.

Without any facts and without any changes, I know the hon. member can make a great deal of noise. I know he knows a lot about the use of government aircraft from his own personal experience. Our practices are very different from those of his government.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the emails say.

Under the pretext of participating in a search and rescue mission, the Minister of National Defence hailed a flying taxi at a cost of $32,000 an hour.

A rescue helicopter is like a fire truck or an ambulance. The Department of National Defence is not a Toys "R" Us. The minister does not seem to understand that this is serious.

Why does he have such contempt for the Canadian Forces?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has already answered all these questions.There are no new facts here. The Minister of National Defence paid for the travel to and from his personal vacation. Government aircraft were used only when he was called away on government business.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, another 19,000 jobs were lost last month because of the government's inaction. For the second month in a row, job losses continue to mount for Canadian families. Our jobless rate is at its highest point in five months.

Canadians do not want excuses, they want action. Will the government sleepwalk into another crisis as it did in 2008, or will it act right now to create jobs?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we said previously, we do sympathize with all the jobs that have been lost. While November's full-time job gains and Canada's recent third-quarter growth indicate that we are encouraged, we need to do more to ensure we will not face the same challenges that Europe and the United States face. That is why we must stick with the plan we have, which is the economic action plan that is a pro-job creation plan.

What we cannot afford is to raise taxes and kill more jobs, which will damage families. I am sorry but the plan by the NDP is leaving me speechless—

Employment
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, approximately 19,000 jobs were lost in Canada last month. This is the third drop in four months. Clearly, this government wants to take all the credit when jobs are created, but it refuses to take responsibility when jobs are lost. The unemployment rate, which was less than 6% in 2007, has now climbed to 7.4%, the highest it has been in five months. These figures are still more sad evidence that the labour market is in crisis.

What is this government waiting for to help Canadian families who lose their livelihoods find other employment more quickly and easily? What is this government's plan to create jobs?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I think I had better take over from my speechless colleague.

November's full-time job gains and Canada's recent third-quarter results were very encouraging. We do sympathize with those Canadians who have lost their jobs recently. It is important to note that while almost 600,000 net new jobs have been created since July 2009 and the OECD has confirmed that we will have the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the next few years, Canada is not immune to global economic turbulence from outside our borders. As we have said all along, the global recovery is fragile and we continue to have our economic action plan in place.