House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, I can tell him how they feel about the increases in payroll taxes.

Not only is the government slashing and burning funding for Atlantic Canada, now we also find out about more abuse of power. The Conservatives are under investigation by the Public Service Commission for stacking the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency with political appointments.

Is there no end to what the Conservative regime will do to reward its own? Has it no shame?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I have a bit of news for the hon. member. We are the first government to commit stable funding to important ACOA programs such as the Atlantic innovation fund and the innovative communities fund. We are the first government to invest where her government failed.

When it came to Marine Atlantic, we delivered on this side of the House for Newfoundland and Labrador.

We are going to continue to deliver. We are going to support her constituents, even if she will not.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government will never learn. What they do not like, they hide or deny.

Why is the minister refusing to table the reports on the diagnostic testing of the Champlain Bridge? We would at least be in a position to know exactly what is happening.

Will we choose to spend billions on fighter planes and megaprisons rather than investing in this bridge?

Will workers in the greater Montreal area have to swim to work?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge is very important to entrepreneurs and the people of Montreal and Canada. We have invested a great deal of money in this corridor because the bridge is very important. Furthermore, I spoke with the Quebec minister this morning, and we discussed the bridge's condition and its safety. The future is clear: we must have discussions with the Government of Quebec about the future of—

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am asking for the test results because he says the bridge is safe. I doubt that. The minister does not seem to have understood: this is the most important road infrastructure in the country. Unfortunately, he does not give a damn.

They will readily spend billions of dollars on fighter planes and megaprisons. But those who have to go home every night, and go back to work every morning, have to make do with their old bridge.

Enough of this nonsense. They must stop playing with people's safety. When will there be a new bridge?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

March 23rd, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course we are not playing with people's safety. That is why when I spoke with the CEO of the federal bridge authority, when I talked to the engineers a month ago in Quebec, they said that the investments we have made in the bridge will keep it absolutely safe for the next 10 years.

At the end of the month or thereabouts, there will be a report given to us on options for the bridge. Everyone knows the bridge will need to be replaced in the long term, but what we cannot know without that option paper presented to us yet is if contains light rail, if it contains a rapid transit option, if it contains a bus option. Those options will be presented to us and, of course, we will make a decision working hand in hand with the Quebec government.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the makeshift coalition led by the Liberal leader has finally found a pretext to reunite and try to take down the government. This time it is the budget. Any reason will do.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs tell us what this budget contains to help every region of Quebec?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the great job he does and for his question.

Our budget clearly takes into account the everyday needs of Canadians. For example, a couple that has a child involved in arts activities will receive a tax credit. Volunteer firefighters will, too. As well, seniors who are not finding the guaranteed income supplement to be sufficient will receive an additional $600 per year. A number of measures have been added, without any tax increases. Our government is a responsible one.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is one of the richest countries in the world. Yet, we have hundreds of thousands of seniors living below the poverty line. When the NDP met with the minister and the Prime Minister, we reiterated the fact that this is a priority for our party. We find it unacceptable that we live in such a rich country, yet the seniors who built this country are left to live in poverty.

Why would the government rather trigger an election than help all of the seniors who are living below the poverty line?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Minister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting low income seniors.

We are proud of the fact that our actions have played a part in cutting the low income rate among Canada's seniors from 21% in 1980 to 5.8% in 2008, one of the lowest rates in the world. We have increased guaranteed income supplement benefits, cut taxes for seniors, introduced pension income splitting and invested in seniors' housing.

We will keep working hard to deliver for seniors as demonstrated in our budget yesterday.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to ask the Conservatives what kind of priority guides their thinking? Is this a tough on seniors policy? Is it more important for them to give even more money to the chartered banks than they received last year? They made $22 billion in profits and used half, $11 billion, for executive bonuses. Next year the Conservatives want to give a further $3 billion in corporate tax cuts. For every $1 they came up with for impoverished seniors, they found $10 for Canada's richest corporations.

Their proposal would leave hundreds of thousands of seniors below the poverty line, and in a country as rich as ours, that is just not acceptable.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Minister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, that is coming from a party that has consistently voted against any seniors' help. It is shameful.

In our budget yesterday we elevated the poverty line for seniors. Across the country, 680,000 seniors will benefit from yesterday's budget submission.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a letter published in La Presse, the Minister of Transport continues to deny the facts. Although engineers have said that some sections of the Champlain Bridge could collapse, the minister continues to claim that the bridge is safe and that construction of a new bridge can wait.

Does the Minister of Transport realize that it is his indifference to the needs of Quebec that could trigger an election?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Champlain Bridge is an extremely important bridge. That is why we are investing almost $400 million in it over the next 10 years to make sure it stays safe.

I am not an engineer. A good question to ask is: whom do we ask about this? We ask the engineers who inspect the bridge. We ask the CEO who oversees the bridge. We work with the provincial government, which works with us to make sure the bridge is safe.

Of course the bridge will have to be replaced in the longer term. However, Montrealers should know that the bridge is safe and will be safe. We will be working closely with the Quebec government to make a long-term plan for its replacement in the years to come.