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

Wolseley Barracks
Statements By Members

March 22nd, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is privileged to have the best trained and most professional soldiers in the world.

My city of London, Ontario is home to Wolseley Barracks, where the Royal Canadian Regiment has produced an incredibly strong reserve unit. These soldiers undergo the same rigorous training as full-time soldiers, which is critical when they are asked to contribute to Canada's sovereignty and Canadian interests throughout the world.

We are proud of London and Canada's reservists for their commitment and we honour their service. A soldier is a soldier, whether full time or balancing both a commitment to their country and another career.

Someone once told me, “A soldier is someone who, at one point in his or her life, writes a cheque, leaves the date open, makes it payable to Canada” and under the dollar amount writes “up to and including my life”. Today we stand to honour them.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is facing a cascade of scandals, accusations of election fraud, influence peddling and contempt of Parliament, but the issue here is the Prime Minister's own responsibility. He appointed Mr. Carson to a position of trust. He appointed two senators now accused of election fraud. He put his trust in these individuals. Will he now take some personal responsibility for their miserable conduct?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, as has been pointed out many times, to our knowledge this has nothing to do with any government contracts, any government money. The fact is this government has instituted strong rules. This government ensures those rules are respected and enforced.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they are not taking any responsibility. The government refuses to tell Parliament the real price of the fighter jets, the American-style megaprisons and the corporate gifts. But that is exactly why it is being brought before Parliament for contempt.

How can the Prime Minister think that we will support a budget when he is hiding the truth about his wasteful spending from Canadians?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this information is absolutely available. It is the duty of this Parliament to focus on the real priorities of Canadians. This country's economy is our government's priority.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no government in the history of Canada has come this close to being found in contempt of Parliament. Why? Because over four months it refused to tell Parliament the true costs of its choices on prisons, jets and corporate tax breaks.

Now the question becomes this. With a budget a couple of hours away, how can we trust its numbers and how we can trust a budget when we cannot trust the government?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all the additional information given to the committee last week indicated that all the core information had been available all along. The numbers have been absolutely true and correct.

The Leader of the Opposition is simply trying to seek reasons to manufacture a coalition among himself, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois. The fact is our focus is the economy. That is what Canadians want us to focus on and that is what he should focus on.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know the budget priorities of the Conservatives: fighter jets for the forces and megaprisons. They have billions of dollars available for those purposes. Money is no object. Meanwhile, since the Conservatives took office, the number of troubling reports on the deterioration of the Champlain Bridge has been increasing.

Did it not occur to members opposite that, if there had been a tendering process for the F-35, we could have saved a few billions of dollars and done more than just patching up the bridge and in fact build a new one?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government made a clear commitment with respect to the Champlain Bridge. That is why we invested a lot of money in that corridor.

I want to tell the House that no compromise will be made regarding the safety of the Champlain Bridge and the thousands of people who cross it daily. I am also pleased to inform the hon. member that, yesterday, we tabled a letter from the Federal Bridge Corporation in the House, confirming that the Champlain Bridge is safe. It is still safe.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not put a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food about crumbs to fix potholes, but rather about people's safety, about getting the straight goods. We do not want a letter, we want tests. That is the problem. I did not hear anyone challenge the experts who said there are problems and related risks, to the point where the Champlain Bridge should be replaced with a new structure. They said that some part or a span of the bridge could collapse. Every day, 7,000 vehicles cross that bridge.

The clock is ticking. What is the government waiting for to build a new bridge? Does it not prefer that option, rather than being taken to court for criminal negligence?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food does not agree with the hon. member.

It is inappropriate to talk about a new bridge until the final feasibility study on the future of the Champlain Bridge has been received. Once we have received that study, we will look at the findings and we will consider all the options, including replacing the Champlain Bridge.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's attitude towards the issues of his former deputy chief of staff, Bruce Carson, is worrying at best. Not only did Carson act as a lobbyist when it was illegal for him to do so, but he did so in order to obtain a contract for his girlfriend, an escort. The most surprising part was learning that Mr. Carson had been disbarred for embezzlement and sentenced to prison.

Will this Prime Minister, who loves to be in control, admit that he made a terrible error in judgment by appointing Bruce Carson to an important position within his office?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, he is talking about the goings-on in a person's private life. There is nothing to indicate that a government contract or government money is implicated in this affair. We have instituted very strong rules and it is clear that they will be enforced.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the height of hypocrisy. He says they have instituted strong rules. But after the Prime Minister appointed someone to his office who made important decisions, someone who had been disbarred, someone who was sentenced to a prison term, how can he stand here today and say that there are strong rules? If those are strong rules, I would like to see lax ones.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the rules are clearly strong ones. That is why no government contract or money is involved in this affair. That is the reality. We established rules. And we were the ones who reported this incident. We are determined to ensure that the rules are followed.