House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was the interim Auditor General himself who explained that the Conservative government kept Parliament completely in the dark and that the Conservatives misled Parliament not once but twice. The government approved millions of dollars in funding for border infrastructure but this funding was diverted to boondoggle projects hundreds of kilometres from the nearest border.

We want a clear answer to just one example. What does the restoration of a steamboat in the minister's riding have to do with the G8 summit or border infrastructure?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that program was announced publicly. The projects were published. In fact, we held debates on this issue several times here in the House of Commons. That being said, the Auditor General recommended changes to the estimates process to improve transparency, and the government will accept those recommendations.

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General revealed today that Treasury Board allowed the former minister of industry to set up a $47 million slush fund for pork barrel projects in his riding. Here is how it went down: there was the minister, there was a mayor and there was a hotel manager who dished out the loot. There was no oversight, no documentation and no questions asked. This is just one step up from cash in a brown paper bag.

Is this how the minister will plan to run the Treasury Board?

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, so much for the civility that the Leader of the Opposition promised Canadians.

At the outset, I want to thank the outgoing Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, not just for this audit but for her outstanding years of public service to Canadians.

I completely reject the premise of the question by the member opposite. The decisions for the funding of these 32 public infrastructure projects were made by me in my time as minister of infrastructure, not by the current president of the Treasury Board.

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing civil about the abuse of taxpayers' trust. The Conservatives misled Parliament. They told us that they were requesting money for border infrastructure and they fuddled it off for pork-barrel projects, such as gazebos, steamboats and everything else the minister could think of. This is the kind of rum bottle, pork barrel politics that Canadians are fed up with.

Will the minister apologize to the taxpayers for this abuse of our public trust?

Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Timmins—James Bay is making it up as he goes along. In fact, not one of the 32 projects was a steamship.

Border Infrastructure Fund
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. He cannot get around the fact that, in November 2009, the supplementary estimates tabled in Parliament included a request for approval to spend $83 million for an item entitled, “border Infrastructure fund related to investments in infrastructure to reduce border congestion”.

The simple fact is that the government used that money for a completely different purpose. Huntsville is 300 miles away from the closest border in Niagara Falls. How does he explain this bait and switch?

Border Infrastructure Fund
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the Liberal Party had looked at the border fund he would have realized that it is frequently used for projects that are not in border communities.

In any case, this program was announced publicly by the government. It was well-known by Parliament. In fact, it was debated several times here in the House of Commons.

The Auditor General, like the leader of the Liberal Party, has made observations on the transparency of the estimates process. There are some improvements that could be made there and we will accept those recommendations.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General also commented on an issue of importance to Canadians, namely the condition of aboriginal communities on reserves. I have a simple question for the Prime Minister.

Is he prepared to show some humility on this issue by acknowledging that his government completely and unilaterally cancelled the Kelowna accord, which would have had a positive impact on the conditions noted by the Auditor General today? Will he—

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party should show some humility on this because it did nothing during 13 years in government. Our government has worked with the aboriginal communities. We have made significant investments to improve conditions on the reserves. A lot of work still needs to be done and I hope during this Parliament we will have the support of the Liberal Party to make these significant investments in these communities.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

June 9th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the lack of transparency continues. My colleague from Markham—Unionville has just received a message from the immigration department in Toronto, which reads:

As we are not currently processing any parental sponsorships at this time...this case will be finalized once we get the go-ahead from Management to start working on parental sponsorships again.

If the government is not processing sponsorships for parents coming in from other countries, why does it not have the human decency to tell Canadians and applicants that is what it is doing, instead of this subterfuge it is putting forward?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the leader of the Liberal Party that he is wrong. Through our government plans, we have actually increased the number of newcomers through family reunification this year. We have increased it over the last number of years.

He and his party have their facts incorrect. When it comes to family reunification, it is this government, this party, that is on the right track.

G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the G20 was announced for downtown Toronto with just four months warning. Toronto businesses were given little notice and almost no information. Toronto shop owners lost millions from the G20 but the government dragged its heels on compensation and then wrapped the process in red tape. A year later, they are still waiting.

When will Toronto businesses be fully and properly compensated for damages and lost revenue from the G20 calamity?

G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me take this occasion to congratulate my friend, the member for Parkdale—High Park, on a very impressive win. We are very pleased to see her back in Parliament. No one in this place is happier than I am.

The government has a standard plan to provide assistance to those people who suffered damages through no fault of their own. With respect to the city of Toronto and the G20, that applies. I would be very pleased to work with her to expedite the consideration and finalization of any of these initiatives.