House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the food mail program was in effect since the 1960s. The Liberal government never made any changes. It became very inefficient.

This is not a cost-cutting exercise. We are spending more than was ever spent under the Liberals. This program is designed to deliver healthy food to isolated communities. it will do a good job when it comes into effect.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is fighting his own defence minister to have one of only five Canadian Forces transport planes repainted white and red for exclusive VIP use.

One officer wrote:

...to have an Airbus permanently configured for VIP use in a colour other than the standard grey would have an impact both financially and on operations as essentially it would leave you with one less air resource.

Despite this warning, why is the Prime Minister insisting on having this plane repainted instead of deferring to the informed opinion of people at National Defence and his own defence minister?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member has it wrong. There has been no decision taken with respect to the repainting of transport aircraft. In fact, the repainting of military assets occurs on a regularly scheduled, established maintenance cycle. It is done when the operational tempo will not be affected.

I can assure the hon. member and members present that we would never do anything that would interfere with the operations of the Canadian Forces, or that would negatively impact the forces in any way.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear from access to information that the defence minister is wrong.

The defence minister has rejected the Prime Minister's attempt to repaint the aircraft at least three times and senior members of the Canadian Forces, including the Chief of the Defence Staff, also have rejected the idea. The Prime Minister's personal meddling is robbing the forces of a valuable air resource for his own personal vanity.

The Prime Minister ignored his defence minister before and it cost Canadians $300 million to move Camp Mirage.

When will the Prime Minister put the needs of our forces before his own ego?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is passing strange that a member of the Liberal Party would somehow hold himself out as a defender of the Canadian Forces; this from the party that gutted the Canadian Forces. It took assets away from the Canadian Forces when it needed them dearly going into Afghanistan. It cancelled the Sea King helicopter program at an expense of $1 billion.

Guess what? The Liberals are doing it again. They are promising to cancel the F-35, an aircraft critical for the protection of Canada's sovereignty. There are no lessons to be learned from the Liberals when it comes to the military.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government is focusing on the economy, the real priority of Quebeckers, and continuing to support our families and businesses, the leader of the Bloc Québécois wants to trigger an election before even reading the budget.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State for Agriculture tell this House what the Conservative government has been doing recently for the economy in the regions of Quebec?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, what government took action that helped to stimulate the economy and has fared the best among all G7 countries? The Conservative government.

What government took action that successfully created 450,000 jobs? Once again, the Conservative government.

And what government is closest to the regions of Quebec? Once again, the Conservative government.

And who has the nerve to vote against our budget measures? The Bloc Québécois, Mr. Speaker.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants to commandeer a military transport jet for his personal use, complete with a stateroom and sleeping quarters. Yes, Mulroney's notorious flying Taj Mahal flies again.

Conservatives want an expensive makeover while needs suffer, like improved search and rescue, which goes begging while Conservatives tell fishermen to save themselves when lost at sea.

Our military says the Conservative plan is too expensive and would hurt operations.

Will the Prime Minister drop his airplane makeover vanity project, which is designed solely to enhance his image?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member should press rewind and watch the tape. The answer is the same. It is not happening.

There is a regularly scheduled maintenance program that occurs when an aircraft is in need of repainting. There has been no decision taken with respect to that.

I can assure the hon. member and members present again, nothing this government will ever do is going to impact negatively on the forces and their operations, their families, the work they do that brings so much pride and purpose to our country. The forces have a great friend in the Conservative Party when it comes to giving them assets.

Shipbuilding Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Britain's Under-Secretary of State for Defence is quoted as saying in the British House of Commons that they are having “close discussions with the Canadians” on a new global combat ship. These discussions have shipbuilders in this country very nervous.

Is the government having discussions with the British government regarding the new global combat ship? Will the government tell this House of Commons and all Canadians that all vessels for the Canadian military, now and in the future, can and will be built in Canada?

Shipbuilding Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government made a historic announcement last year by committing to procure all of our ships here in Canada.

This is a massive undertaking that will provide 75 million man-hours of work to the shipbuilding industry in Canada, but the member voted against it anyway. I know the member's riding is very excited in Halifax, as are shipbuilders from coast to coast to coast.

Quebec City Arena
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is refusing to do its share for the Quebec City multi-purpose arena. According to a survey taken last weekend, 79% of those polled are in favour of federal funding for the arena.

Can the minister responsible for the Quebec region explain why her government has decided to disregard the will of Quebeckers? Will she make a decision only after the arena is built?

Quebec City Arena
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has not changed. We are still waiting for a business plan indicating a substantial contribution by the private sector.

Allow me to read the following quote: “From the beginning, we have indicated our support for the arena, but always with the same expectation—and we are not the only ones—a contribution from the private sector. I believe that is imperative.”

That is a quote from Pauline Marois in the January 30 edition of Le Soleil.

Quebec City Arena
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a quotation, too.

The current Minister of Finance, when he was a minister in the Ontario legislature, announced in a press release, “...four projects for priority action in support of Toronto's bid for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games”, to which the federal government contributed $500 million.” Ten years later, Quebeckers are still contributing to this $500 million through their taxes.

Why are the reasons given to justify funding the Toronto bid not applicable to funding for the Quebec City arena. Is that fair?

Quebec City Arena
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to set the record straight.

I have been told by my fellow ministers that most of the investments made at that time were for the purpose of redeveloping the lakeshore.

Having said that, at this time, there is no possibility of making a bid for the 2022 Games. Nevertheless, our position remains the same, and we are waiting for a complete file from the mayor of Quebec City.