House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentences.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

September 22nd, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, once again, the defence minister has blatantly abused his position by using a search and rescue helicopter as a taxi service. While the minister supports slamming the door on the search and rescue sub-centre in St. John's, he did not mind calling upon a search and rescue helicopter to bring home his fresh catch from his personal fishing trip.

Now we learn the minister took a two-hour, $20,000 jaunt aboard a Challenger jet, just one day before the last federal election campaign, to make a political announcement.

One MP used to say, “Burning jet fuel in the Challenger making phony announcements [is wrong]”. Who said that? The current defence minister .

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what a member from Newfoundland has against fishing.

With respect to the question of the trip to Gander, I have already explained I was there on a personal trip that I paid for myself. I cut the trip short to take part in a search and rescue demonstration. I went on to make a government announcement later that day.

With respect to Canadian Forces assets, members of Parliament from all parties have taken part in the Canadian Forces parliamentary program, which is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the incredible work that is done by our men and women in uniform.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has been caught, yet again, unable to justify sole sourcing its contract for new jet fighters.

Despite repeated assertions that Canada needs a fifth generation fighter and that the F-35 is the only jet to meet those specifications, the government did not bother waiting to review complete F-18 Super Hornet specs.

Fifth generation is merely a U.S. trademark of Lockheed Martin, not a guarantee of suitability.

Why will the Conservative government not serve both our forces and taxpayers by holding an open competition for the best fighter jet?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in 2001 Canada participated in the extensive and rigorous U.S.-led competition process where the two bidders developed and completed prototype aircraft. Partner nations were engaged during the competitive process. This led to the selection of Lockheed Martin as its partner at the joint strike fighter manufacturing of our F-35

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, for months now the government has been saying that the price per plane for the F-35 is $75 million.

In light of statements made yesterday, the cost must have gone up to at least $125 million per plane. This leaves less than $1 billion for engines, spare parts, training, maintenance, initial suite of weapons, and everything else. The numbers just do not add up.

In light of these new figures, would the Minister of National Defence now agree that the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Congressional budget officer were right all along?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canada needs military aircraft in order to protect our sovereignty. The current CF-18s must be replaced. We have budgeted $9 billion to purchase F-35s.

Let me be clear. In the last election, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to ensure that the brave men and women of the Canadian armed forces have the tools they need to do their job, and come home safe and sound at the end of their --

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. There continues to be far too much noise from that end of the chamber, so I am going to ask members down there to pay respect to their colleagues that is due when they are answering a question.

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister claimed that many of the allegations of fraud at the Canadian Revenue Agency date back “more than a decade”.

If allegations date back so long, why are we only hearing about them now? The CRA needs to be a credible and trusted agency by all Canadians, not a safe haven for fraudsters.

Could the minister tell this House why the government was sitting on its hands, without conducting a proper investigation?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government has been conducting proper investigations and the government is co-operating fully with the RCMP into these matters.

We do appreciate this is a very serious issue. We will not tolerate the types of activities that have been alleged.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick of seeing this government blame its predecessors. The Conservatives can certainly ask Canadians to tighten their belts, but the least they can do in return is ensure that public funds are managed responsibly and transparently.

In light of what is happening at the Canada Revenue Agency, why is the minister waiting for the RCMP to investigate before taking real steps to reassure the public?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this matter is in the hands of the RCMP.

As I did say, many of these allegations date back more than a decade. Some of them are now going through the court process and that is why we are reading about them in the media.

I can assure the House that the RCMP and officials at CRA are co-operating fully, and this matter is being investigated.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a tightening of the tax fraud sanctions by the United States will have an impact on one million Canadians. Only a small fraction of people with dual citizenship are aware of these requirements. Law-abiding citizens who are unaware of the new rules should not be treated as fraudsters.

What is the government planning on doing to ensure that Canadians are well informed?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned with this implication on Canadians. The finance minister has raised that concern directly with his counterpart in the United States and strongly expressed our frustration with Canadians being put in this place. We know it is a long-standing act but most Canadians were not aware of their obligations.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the new U.S. rules also require all Canadian financial institutions to disclose the personal financial information of Canadian and U.S. citizens directly to the IRS. This will be a costly process that will compromise privacy obviously. The bank account of a pensioner in Canada should not be treated the same way as a bank account of a tax evader in the Cayman Islands.

Will the minister engage with the U.S. government to ensure the privacy of everyday Canadians is protected?