House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence has awarded over half a million dollars in contracts to the mercenary group Xe Services, formally known as Blackwater, whose reputation was so tainted that its management had to change its name. That is not all. Xe Services also received $1.8 million in contracts from the public works department. Blackwater often made the headlines for its many violations of international law and human rights.

Can the minister confirm and justify the awarding of those contracts?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces take all necessary steps to ensure that the men and women of the Canadian forces have access to the best training forces available and the best training facilities, and that includes, typically, providing our own trainers. However, sometimes it does involve contracting outside trainers when it is the most cost-effective option.

The type of training provided by Xe is highly specialized. It is operationally essential. In fact, it allows Canadian personnel deploying on international missions, including military police, special forces and army operational support, to have that best training possible.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about $2.4 million in taxpayers' money that was given to a private enterprise with a dubious reputation. The government should be ashamed of itself for using the services of a mercenary group that seems to think it is above the law. Our armed forces are among the best in the world and we are recognized around the globe for how well our soldiers are trained.

Why is the government employing a group with a reputation as cowboys to train our troops, when we should be training our soldiers to promote Canadian values like obeying international law?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that kind of histrionics is absolutely inaccurate.

As I mentioned a moment ago, we give our Canadian Forces the best possible training to prepare them for mission success, to prepare them for very complex, dangerous overseas missions in some cases. When it is our special forces and our military police, we want to ensure they are best prepared to take on those challenges.

I will never apologize for providing the necessary resources to give them that best opportunity to succeed and come home safe to their families with the pride and the support of this government and the Canadian people behind them every time.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, 200 Tamil refugees who are stranded in Togo are facing deportation to Sri Lanka where they fear they will be killed if they are made to return. They had high hopes of starting a new life of freedom. They were victimized by the human smugglers who left them stranded in Togo.

What is the government doing to ensure that people will not be victimized by the government of Sri Lanka? Will Canada work with other countries and the Canadian relatives of these victims to allow them to resettle?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that this government takes human smuggling very seriously. Every year, thousands of people die in human smuggling operations around the world, which is why it is important that this Parliament act to deter smugglers from targeting Canada and from exploiting people. That is why we brought forward Bill C-4. It is disappointing that the Liberal Party has opposed every effort to combat human smuggling.

In terms of co-operation with the UNHCR, I do know that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration are assisting Tamil migrants around the world to relocate back to Sri Lanka in the post-conflict environment.

Airline Security
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the election, this government's lack of tolerance for our minorities has grown. A new rule prohibits airlines from allowing a person to board a plane if their appearance does not match the gender on their identification, unless they have a medical certificate. This is a direct affront to the transsexual and transgendered community, which is outraged by this minister who has introduced discrimination under the guise of security.

Why is this government obsessed with the gender of an individual, when it is their identity that matters?

Airline Security
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, the security of Canada's airports is extremely important to our government. We believe that it is standard procedure for every individual who wishes to board a plane to be identified by the people at security screening. Since September 11, many screening measures have been improved, and I believe that it is normal for people checking the identification of those boarding the plane to be able to recognize them. We do not believe in half measures when it comes to air security. That is very important.

Labour
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, shares of U.S. Steel are on their way up but workers' jobs in Hamilton are on their way out. Now the company has just slammed its doors on operations yet again.

The government has betrayed Hamilton steelworkers at least three times: first, when it allowed the U.S. Steel takeover; second, when it stood by and did nothing when steelworkers were then locked out of their jobs; and, third, when it recently dropped the federal lawsuit against U.S. Steel with still no job guarantees.

What possible justification could the government have for continuing to turn its back on these Hamilton workers and their jobs?

Labour
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, when commitments are taken under the Investment Canada Act, we ensure that they are respected.

Under the agreement last December, U.S. Steel must continue to produce steel in Canada, operate at Lake Erie and Hamilton until 2015, increase its capital expenditure into Canadian facilities up to $250 million by December 2015, and make $3 million in contributions toward community programs in Hamilton and at Inco.

This means jobs and this means continued economic activity. This is good news.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues to demonstrate that it does not care about the interests of Quebec industries. The Conservatives are rewarding the large oil companies with billions of dollars but have abandoned Quebec forestry workers. The situation is urgent. In my riding of Pontiac, 300 families are affected by the closure of Resolute Forest Products in Maniwaki.

What is this government waiting for to invest in an emergency fund for the Quebec forestry industry in order to revitalize it and help it survive?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the members of the House that the Minister of International Trade recently extended the softwood lumber agreement with the United States. I would like to commend him for that. This agreement allows us to keep our borders open in order to export our country's lumber. Unfortunately, the forestry industry is the victim of a tough market. Under the softwood lumber agreement, we can provide direct support to companies—the hon. member should know that—and we will continue to do everything we can to support the forestry industry.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to keep a safe, effective border and to protect the integrity of our immigration system.

That is why we developed the “Wanted by the CBSA” program. With the assistance of the public, we have been able to apprehend numerous individuals who are in Canada illegally. We have sent a clear message that if someone commits criminal acts here or is accused of being a war criminal, that individual is not welcome in Canada.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please give the House an update on this program?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his support of this important program.

We are pleased with the success of the wanted by the CBSA program. Canadians from coast to coast to coast have co-operated with their local law enforcement officials to remove those who have no business being in Canada.

I am pleased to announce that Ian Getfield, an individual who is inadmissible for serious criminal convictions, was apprehended last night in Toronto. Additionally, CBSA has removed Delson Jules today, who has also been convicted of serious offences.

Canada will not be a safe haven for foreign criminals.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

February 1st, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker the Amundsen has been removed from service. This vessel provides critical scientific research on many issues, not the least of which is environmental changes in the Arctic.

With the Conservative government slashing tens of millions of dollars from DFO and the Coast Guard, can we trust that this very important vessel will be operating in the near future? Could the minister assure the House that this important vessel will be back in the water soon?