House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we are not satisfied if one Canadian who wants to work is still looking for a job. That is why our last budget focused on jobs and growth.

We continue to put forward tax reductions for businesses that actually hire young and middle-age Canadians. The most important contribution we can make is to provide an avenue for businesses to create more jobs for Canadians. That is witnessed by the fact that there are 600,000 more Canadians now working than there were at the end of the recession.

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The NDP agrees that the cost of private members' bills should be calculated, but the government is tying the Parliamentary Budget Officer's hands. It has slashed his budget and is refusing to provide his office with the resources he needs to do his job. It makes us wonder whether the Conservatives really want the cost of private members' bills to be calculated or whether this is one of their political manoeuvres to overload him and prevent him from examining public finances.

Will the government give the Parliamentary Budget Officer the means to do his job?

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we believe the people of Canada, as well as the members of Parliament who are making decisions on legislation, deserve to know the cost is of that legislation.

Committees are the masters of their own business. That is where that motion originated. However, there is merit in what the suggestion that Canadians should be able to know what the cost proposals are. It is a very good value.

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have already said that the NDP supports the costing of private members' bills. However, it is obvious that the Conservatives are attacking the Parliamentary Budget Officer for telling the truth about the Conservatives' poor fiscal management. Suddenly, they are saying they support his mandate. Will they use the same logic with their crime bill? All week, the ministers refused, over and over again, to give this bill a price tag, despite our repeated requests.

Will the government allow the Parliamentary Budget Officer to cost its bills before they are passed in the House?

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reports to Parliament and offers opinions all the time on all kinds of things. Recently, I have noticed that some of the media have commented on how accurate those comments are. People can make their own judgments on that.

However, the government's perspective is clear. We set out clear budget plans. We follow them. The costs of what we are doing are clear. We issue supplementary estimates and estimates all the time that set out those costs.

The one thing that is different regarding the costs set out by the government and what they would be under the NDP is that we are actually respecting tax dollars. We are trying to keep spending down. We are not looking at ramping up the costs of government the way the NDP would.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians are struggling just to get by, Conservative ministers are abusing private jet privileges and are using helicopters to pick them up from fishing trips.

Now we learn that the Minister of Foreign Affairs insists on having golden business cards, this despite the fact that using gold on business cards breaks Treasury Board rules because it is too expensive.

Why is the minister breaking government rules? Why is he giving taxpayers the gold finger?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, when I arrived at Parliament this morning I was deeply disturbed when I realized that the President of the Treasury Board was not here to take this question.

I remember a time when the Liberal Party of Canada used to think big on foreign affairs. Its members would think about big issues around the world. When it came to Canada and domestic issues, they would think about big issues. Now they are returning to a time when they are dealing with $400 worth of business cards. That is exactly why Canadians have them sitting in the far corner.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, it seems to be quite the quid pro quo going on over there. The Minister of Foreign Affairs gives the President of the Treasury Board a $50 million slush fund for his riding. Then the President of the Treasury Board lets the Minister of Foreign Affairs break the rules to get his golden business cards. It is a very expensive game of “you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours”.

When Canadians are struggling just to get by, why are Conservative ministers showering each other with gold? Why the golden showers?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yes, I sat down with the President of the Treasury Board and I said, “Have I got a deal for you. I'll give you $50 million worth of infrastructure funds if you will give me $400 worth of business cards”.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, whether it is millions of dollars in a local slush fund, useless advertising or fancy business cards that are against the rules, this government will stop at nothing to promote itself.

In 2009, the former industry minister spent $20,000 on photography services in the national capital region alone. How is such outrageous spending on shameful self-promotion justified?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if we compare the records of the current Minister of National Defence to those of his Liberal predecessor, we would find that the former Liberal minister of national defence used the Challenger significantly more than the frugal current Minister of National Defence has, but of course the Liberal minister was only the minister for 18 short months.

We are ensuring that taxpayers' dollars are spent wisely and well. We are focused on returning Canada to a balanced budget. We are focusing on jobs and economic growth. The good news is that plan is working. We have seen the creation of literally hundreds of thousands of net new jobs over the past two years.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

September 30th, 2011 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, for several years now 6,800 veterans who are disabled have been fighting the government over what is called SISIP benefit reduction. Two DND ombudsmen have said that this is unfair. The veterans committee, the Senate committee and the House all voted to change this practice.

Why is the government spending over half a million dollars of hard-earned money fighting these disabled veterans in court? Why does the government not stop the court proceedings, deal with these veterans and reach a comparable settlement?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering
Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, injured personnel in the Canadian Forces are covered by a long-term disability insurance plan similar to the RCMP and other public servants. As the member well knows, they are also eligible for a Veterans Affairs Canada disability award of up to $270,000 under the new veterans charter, as well as an accidental dismemberment benefit of up to $250,000 under the Canadian Forces accidental dismemberment insurance plan.

If the member opposite is referring to a matter that is now before the courts, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on that at this time.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in fairness to the hon. member, as he is new to the House it is quite possible that he does not understand what the SISIP benefit reduction is. It is a sinful, disgraceful act wherein disabled veterans get one aspect of an insurance policy clawed back from their regular benefits. That is why they have gone to court.

This court action can stop right now. All it takes is for the Prime Minister to nod his head and stop the court proceedings. He should stop taking these disabled veterans to court and stop Dingwalling this Parliament, as the Treasury Board president and the defence minister are doing, and deal with the disabled heroes of this country in a fair and proper manner.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering
Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite cares to review the real statistic, he will find that this government has done more for veterans and more for members of the Canadian Forces than any government in history.

The member's party voted against our missions in Afghanistan and Libya, voted against new equipment purchases under Canada's economic action plan, and questioned the minister's effort to do his duty by honouring the families of fallen soldiers during repatriation ceremonies. I would ask the member if he and his party have an ounce of support left for the Canadian Forces.