House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

March 22nd, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, anyone who is independent of the government and who looks at the procurement process for the F-35s will see the many problems: cost overruns and delay after delay.

The minister initially told us that the aircraft would cost only $9 billion, then it was $16 billion. Now the Parliamentary Budget Officer is saying they will cost $30 billion.

When will the minister admit this is costing Canadians too much money? When will he stand up and defend the men, women and children who will pay for this irresponsible process?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the non-partisan, professional DND procurement experts stand by their cost projections. In fact, those costs are based on actual detailed estimates that were calculated from a multinational joint strike fighter program. They were not based on extrapolations that were made from drawing upon historical data of other aircraft from 50 years ago. They were not based on a flawed calculation that included the weight of the aircraft. They did not project out 30 years. They went with the 20 year standard.

I wish the hon. member would get his facts straight.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the problem is last week the United States Pentagon joined Mr. Page in saying that the costs of the F-35 are “simply unacceptable in this fiscal environment”. Delays keep getting longer. Costs keep going up. Yet the minister gets up over and over again with the same story. Canadians are not buying it.

When will the Conservatives finally scrap this reckless procurement process and save taxpayers billions of dollars by having a real competition in Canada to get the air force the plane it needs at the best value for taxpayers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing.

The reality is there was a competition, there was a process. Do members know how we know this? We know this because the party of the member opposite started the process.

There was a time not that long ago, in September 2010, when the member opposite said that the Liberal Party wanted to replace the CF-18 with the next generation fighter aircraft. There is only one next generation fighter aircraft. That was confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. That member used to be the biggest cheerleader for that plane.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government House leader could please tell the House if any member of the ministry is selling access to Canadians in return for a secret briefing on the budget that will be tabled in the House later this day?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government would never do that.

The Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and members of this government caucus have fanned out right across the country to listen to Canadians' views on the budget.

But look at what the Liberal Party is doing. It is now charging people to “ensure your opinion is represented in the Liberal caucus room. All you have to do is make a donation to the Liberal Party of Canada”. I have here an email and it is very simple: “Taking part is simple. Just make a donation of as little as $10 and they can ensure your views are heard in the Liberal caucus”.

Canadians reject this pay to play attitude from the Liberal Party and call on them to cancel this call this afternoon.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, at the climate change conference in Cancun, Canada committed to develop a national low carbon, clean energy strategy for Canada.

Bruce Carson has been the lead on a national strategy for energy and for oil sands expansion. He met with the previous and current environment ministers responsible for climate change and regulating the oil sands. The Prime Minister has forbidden further communications with Mr. Carson.

Will the government also be cutting the generous federal grants to the organizations led by Mr. Carson?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when information was brought to our attention in this regard we did the responsible thing and forwarded it to the relevant authorities. We will let them conduct an investigation. We sent it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ethics Commissioner and the Commissioner of Lobbying. These are the independent officers who can look into this matter.

Anyone who breaks this very important law should face the full force of the law.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that Carson never left the Prime Minister's inner circle and the money is still flowing.

This is a man who was given $15 million of taxpayers' money to orchestrate the green washing of the oil sands with government and big oil. At the table were senior members of the government along with industry executives.

Everyone knew that this man was still connected to the Prime Minister, that he had the blessing of the Prime Minister, and that he had the confidence of the Prime Minister.

How can the government be trusted when it puts so much faith in someone with such an obviously broken moral compass?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is this government which brought in the Federal Accountability Act that established this five-year ban because we believe it is important that Canadians who want to serve in government come with the best interests of Canadians and not to enrich themselves.

When information was brought to our attention, we immediately referred them to the relevant authorities. We are going to let them conduct an investigation and if anyone has broken the law, he or she should face the full force of the consequence of that same law.

Shipbuilding Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services told us that the Davie shipyard had until July to prove its solvency. That is not true. The request for proposals was changed along the way. Davie has to be solvent in May. The Conservatives are taking away precious weeks for Davie to restructure itself.

How can the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse be complicit with a government that changes the rules midstream in order to disqualify the shipyard in Lévis?

Shipbuilding Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the solvency requirement has never been changed in any part of the process. The requirement to be solvent was well known by all shipyards across the country from the very beginning of the RFP process and it is standard that all government contracting requires that a company must be solvent in order to be awarded a contract.

I can also assure the hon. member that KPMG was brought in as an independent party to validate the financial requirements. As well, we asked an independent fairness monitor to endorse this process and it has said that this is a fair, open and transparent process.

Shipbuilding Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it came time to rescue GM from bankruptcy, the Conservative government did not hesitate to free up billions of dollars to acquire shares in the company in order to save jobs in Ontario. In contrast, when it comes to rescuing the shipyard in Lévis, the Conservative government is doing everything it can to sabotage that shipyard by imposing solvency conditions and by changing the request for proposals in order to exclude the Davie shipyard from the contract.

Why does the Conservative government not value jobs in Quebec as much as jobs in Ontario?