House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was child.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians believe we do not have to sacrifice democracy. The abuse continues.

In another parliamentary hearing next week, the Conservatives will stand accused by you, Mr. Speaker, of wrongfully hiding the truth about their extra corporate tax cuts, $6 billion; about their mega-jails, $13 billion; about their new war planes, where the cost has now doubled to $30 billion. It is no wonder the Prime Minister runs from a debate about his numbers and that leaves his budget a vacuous fraud.

When will the Conservatives stop thumbing their noses at Canadians and finally tell the truth?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party is once again trying to distract Canadians from the real issues.

I find it regrettable that the Liberal Party is now in a position where it wants our men and women in uniform to be flying 40-, 50- and 60-year-old airplanes in the future. They are not war planes. It is equipment that our men and women in uniform need to do the job that we have asked them to do.

These men and women in uniform are prepared to pay the ultimate price to keep Canadians safe, to keep Canada sovereign, and the least they can expect is that the government provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs.

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are in such a hurry to buy fighter jets that they only did half the calculations to determine the cost.

I would love to see them show as much urgency when it comes to helping our veterans who, because of their participation in the Afghan mission, will forever be scarred, both physically and mentally.

How many of them could count on better support upon their return if the Conservatives made the effort to save billions of dollars on the purchase of the F-35s by using a tendering process?

Veterans
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member has raised two points in his question. He is talking about veterans as well as the F-35s.

As for veterans, I would like to tell the member that today in this House we will be voting on Bill C-55, which will ensure that our modern-day veterans receive more financial help if, unfortunately, they come back wounded from Afghanistan or any other mission. There are three different benefits that will be amended in order to help our modern-day veterans.

National Defence
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the parliamentary budget officer, these 65 fighter jets would cost at least $30 billion. Even our Bloc colleagues have joined the Liberals in opposing this hasty and unreasonable purchase. Furthermore, the Conservatives have rushed through this contract so quickly that they obtained only crumbs for Quebec's aerospace industry.

Now that the majority of this House is opposed to the purchase, what are the Conservatives waiting for to launch a bidding process?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I spent more than 30 years of my life exercising sovereignty on behalf of Canadians.

Sovereignty is not something that is given to us; it is something we earn and something we keep. Somebody is going to exercise sovereignty over Canada and I would suggest that it should be us.

DND procurement experts stand by their cost projections. We have committed $9 billion for the purchase of 65 aircraft, and $250 million to $300 million a year over 20 years for in-service support.

The F-35 is the only jet that meets our demands, as Mr. Page himself acknowledged. The Minister of National Defence spoke yesterday with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the U.K. Minister of Defence, and they both acknowledged they are committed to the program. The Secretary of Defense said the program is going very well.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the statements by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons clearly show that, for the Conservatives, democracy is just an obstacle, and a distraction from implementing their ideological platform. Your decisions, Mr. Speaker, are a serious wake-up call for this government, which refuses to be accountable to Parliament.

Instead of playing down their moral deficit, will the Conservatives stop their undemocratic behaviour, and respect Parliament and the people?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I must be very clear. We have a great deal of respect for the Speaker of the House and his decisions. We are working hard and doing our best to provide the information that the Speaker has asked of the government. However, our absolute priority is economic growth and job creation. We are very proud of the Canadian economy, which created 15,000 new jobs last month. That is good new for Canadians and Quebeckers.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only is the government acting undemocratically, but its ethics are very dubious. We need only think of the violation of the Canada Elections Act, the use of House resources for partisan purposes, the falsification of documents, and the refusal to provide the information that parliamentarians need to do their job. Respect for the people and the institutions is not an option; it is fundamental to democracy.

When will the Conservatives understand this?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have a great deal of respect for the Speaker, for the House of Commons, and for democracy. That is why we created the Federal Accountability Act. It is also why we are focusing on the priorities of Canadians. We are working very hard on the economy, economic growth and job creation. These are our highest priorities and we will continue working on them.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has determined that the Conservative government misled us on the cost of the F-35s. The government told us the cost would be $16 billion, but Kevin Page is talking about a bill of at least $29 billion. What is more, the Conservative government is unable to guarantee a modicum of economic spinoffs for Quebec.

Will the government cancel this deal, impose a moratorium on major military purchases and present a real foreign policy and defence policy to guide its military procurement?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is having a change of heart; it is abandoning the regions and forgetting the entire aerospace sector of the economy. Take for example the military base in Bagotville, where there are 1,357 soldiers. Is the hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord also doing an about-face and abandoning our soldiers? He does not want to give them the same equipment that other nations have chosen. Everyone thinks this is the direction we should be taking. Are the Bloc MPs turning their backs on our soldiers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the government is determined to go ahead with the F-35s even at double the cost, it should at least proceed with a real call for tenders and conclude a contract with solid economic spinoffs for Quebec consistent with its share of jobs in the aerospace sector. That is what workers in the industry are calling for.

Will the government require a call for tenders and minimum spinoffs for Quebec?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have invested $185 million with other nations to develop the best plane. Together we decided that the F-35 is the best and that is what the government has decided on for protecting our soldiers, securing our future for 40 years in certain military bases and ensuring that we have the best equipment.

He says there is no support for this, but John Saabas, president of Pratt & Whitney, said that all the other countries have chosen this plane and if we want to be a part of this, then the Government of Canada must decide right now to enter into the supply chain.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this has been a tough week for the Conservatives and an even tougher week for Canadians. There are insiders facing criminal charges and potential jail time. There were two more rebukes from the Speaker. It seems that they have given up on accountability in favour of schoolyard behaviour as they cry that others did it too or resort to name-calling.

The courts have ruled, Parliament has ruled and now you, Mr. Speaker, have ruled as well.

When will the Conservatives stop their schoolyard antics and take responsibility for their wrongdoing and their actions?