House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elected.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

December 8th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to correct the misstatements that were made. There is, of course, no plan to collect biometrics of Canadian citizens.

Once again, this is the NDP's ideological opposition to trade with the United States, to the point of actually going down to argue against Canadian jobs in Washington. When I went down to Washington, it was to argue for Canadian jobs.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, all these answers are not reassuring to Canadian families. We are talking about an agreement that may cost billions of dollars, in addition to having enormous repercussions on Canadian travellers and an impact on individuals' right to privacy. However, we do not know what the repercussions will be because the government decided, once again, to bypass Parliament.

Why will the Prime Minister not allow Parliament and members to do their job and examine this agreement?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in short order we will be tabling this fantastic news for the Canadian economy and job creation right here in this House. We are debating it right now.

We are not planning on changing any privacy laws. The privacy of Canadians is particularly important. As for the suggestion from the member opposite that this is going to cost billions of dollars, I would be surprised if it cost a small fraction of that per year.

Our priority is protecting Canadian jobs, whether it is the auto worker in southern Ontario or the person working in a port in Montreal or Vancouver. We are fighting for jobs. We are fighting for the economy. This is fantastic news and great leadership from the Prime Minister.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Associate Minister of National Defence is simple.

I will be brief in the hope that, for once, he will listen to the question. Using a search and rescue helicopter for one hour costs $32,000. Therefore, how much did the transportation of the Minister of National Defence cost on July 9, 2010?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one more time, as has been said many times in previous discussions, the minister was called back from a personal vacation to go to work. That is the bottom line.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, why is it so difficult to get an answer to a simple question?

My colleague asked the associate minister a simple question, and he either knows the answer to that question or he does not. If he does not know the cost of the trip, then at least he owes this House that admission.

Again, how much did the transportation of the Minister of National Defence cost on July 9, 2010? Can the associate minister please answer that question, and can he tell us how many times the minister has used this aircraft?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to once again reinforce the fact that the minister did in fact use the helicopter, as was stated, for purposes of work. That is in fact what happened.

I cannot give the member the exact cost. Nonetheless, it was for work purposes and it was a very routine endeavour indeed.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I will have better luck with another topic.

In a speech on the U.S. Senate floor this week, Senator John McCain called the F-35 program “a scandal and a tragedy”. He said:

In fact, flight testing sufficient to demonstrate the full mission systems and weapons delivery capability of the F-35 aircraft has not even started.

Canada is the last country still clinging to cost estimates made 10 years ago, and clinging to talking points that no one believes.

As another simple question, does the minister agree or disagree with Senator McCain's comments?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to quote the U.S. defense secretary, Mr. Panetta, who indicated and reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the F-35 program, along with the other eight partners. All of us, the nine partners in the program, are continuing to stay on track. The program is working fine, and as we stand, the U.S. is totally committed to this project.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, Senator McCain asked for accountability and transparency on the part of Lockheed Martin. We know that the government will never make such a request. Moreover, the Associate Minister of National Defence got his lines mixed up again. Senators McCain and Levin asked that test flights be postponed, because there are too many safety issues. I assume the government's only source of information is the senior management at Lockheed Martin. All the facts contradict the Conservatives' position.

Why do the Conservatives keep saying that everything is fine?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is a program that is in development. There will be issues ongoing until the final product is delivered to Canada, which is years hence, at which point all these issues will be rectified. That is what Lockheed Martin is working on. That is what we are all working on.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, since the start of the Durban summit, Canada has been the laughingstock of the world. The Minister of the Environment must have had enough because he is changing his tune. He is saying that Canada wants a binding agreement on climate change by 2015. To do that, the Conservatives will have to do a major about-face.

Are they finally going to commit to doing their part for the environment or are they going to continue improvising a strategy to avoid being accountable to Canadians?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a nation of 33 million people that emits less than 2% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions. In spite of this, Canada is not a laughingstock. It is a world leader in saying we need domestic action at home. We have done that. We have also committed to coming to the table and saying all major emitters need to be part of this agreement.

This is not a laughingstock matter. This is something our nation should be proud of. I would ask my colleague opposite to respect our country.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that the parliamentary secretary may not have speaking notes to the minister's announcement because he is making up policy on the fly.

Yesterday he changed his tune. He is now lecturing countries, saying that they have to join a binding climate deal for 2015. The government has no credibility after doing its best to sabotage the Durban talks. Now I think it is just trying to save face.

Instead of its job killing approach or its members lecturing by themselves, alone in the corner, why will the government not try co-operating with the world community to work toward an energy economy future for Canada and the world instead of making up climate change policy on the fly?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when we are talking about lecturing, my colleague opposite travelled to the United States and lectured the United States, lobbying against our jobs here in Canada.

What we are doing with regard to climate change is asking all major emitters to come to the table.

Some 2.5 billion people are not represented under the Kyoto agreement. We need a new agreement. This is what we are asking for. We are committed to it. We are very happy with this process.