House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was literacy.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely listen to our allies, who know far more than the member opposite about what is going on. I met with our allies and received an update on the program's progress and challenges. As no contract has been signed, the perspective gained from the discussions with our allies and industry partners was extremely valuable.

As Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable lives and must be replaced, I am proud of our actions to provide our Canadian Forces with the best equipment they need while protecting Canada's sovereignty.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, that response reminds me of the tale of the emperor with no clothes.

We have the briefing note for the minister that reveals the government's concerns about price, production and, ironically, transparency, dating back to at least September of last year. Yet Conservatives continue to mislead Canadians saying over and over again that the F-35 is on track. Again, last week we heard the same line coming out of the minister's emergency dinner and schmooze with Lockheed Martin in Washington.

When will the government give Canadians the truth about the F-35?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only emergency here is the NDP's desire not to help and support our military men and women.

The member has his facts wrong. This is a complex file. The member has shown a complete lack of understanding of the complexities and facts. He is misleading Canadians.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

March 5th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the F-35 fiasco, the Conservatives will not come clean and they are just not getting the job done on behalf of Canadians.

However, on another topic, under the government, CSIS has faced a slew of problems and controversies. Now we are hearing concerns about CSIS turning up unannounced in Canadians' workplaces. What guidelines are in place to ensure that surprise workplace visits by CSIS officers are not used to harass and intimidate Canadians?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the House that our security officials conduct investigations in accordance with Canadian law, but if the member has constituents with specific complaints about any action by CSIS agents, I would encourage them to file a specific complaint with the independent review agency. There is an independent review agency that oversees the actions of the security officials and that is where they can go.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the security of Canadians is obviously a priority for everyone. However, surprise workplace visits from CSIS officers can have very serious repercussions for the people involved, even if the intent is only to gather information.

According to an access to information request, this policy has not been reviewed in over six years. Honest Canadians are rightly concerned about the unfair repercussions of such visits.

Will the government review and update this policy to properly respond to Canadians' concerns?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if I can repeat it, let me assure the House that our security officials conduct investigations in accordance with Canadian laws. If the member has any specific complaints that laws are being broken or that otherwise unethical behaviour is being engaged in, he is free to contact the independent review agency that reviews all complaints.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority remains jobs and economic growth. Booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our natural resources. In fact, there is $500 billion in potential investments in our resources sector that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Our regulatory system can be duplicative, inefficient and excessively lengthy.

Could the parliamentary secretary update the House about what our government is doing to reform the system in order to grasp Canada's full potential?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we know that reviews of major projects can be done in a quicker, more streamlined way while still enforcing strong environmental and safety standards. An inefficient regulatory system does not lead to better environmental outcomes. Projects that are safe and generate thousands of new jobs across the country and open up new export markets must not die due to unnecessary delays in the approval process. Our government will take the actions necessary to responsibly develop Canada's natural resources.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, our veterans are asking for just one thing: access to faster services that better meet their needs.

Today, the NDP has moved a motion proposing that the government honour veterans by not making any cuts to the department's budget. The motion is simple and will not cost the government a penny. We are asking the government to maintain the Department of Veterans Affairs' budget as it now stands.

Can the minister give us one good reason for not supporting our motion?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a very good reason for wanting to maintain benefits for veterans while also wanting to get rid of the rampant bureaucracy that is suffocating veterans and their families.

That is why I am inviting the opposition to support our amendment, which is designed to maintain our veterans' benefits. I am inviting them to take concrete action, to rise in the House to support our veterans and eliminate bureaucracy.

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, before 87-year-old Art Humphreys, a World War II veteran from Musquodoboit Harbour, died, he asked for a lift to get in and out of his basin and it was denied. Sarah Atwood, a 90-year-old World War II veteran, was denied access to Camp Hill Hospital. Ted Shiner, a 90 year old from Bedford was denied VIP services. Now, Louis Dionne, a 97-year-old veteran from North Vancouver, was told that in order to get an answer on VIP, it would take a minimum of 16 weeks before the department would get back to him.

Why is the government trying to balance its books on the heroes of our country?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse
Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member will understand I cannot comment on specifics. I can say that as of today 107,688 veterans are benefiting from the veterans independence program. Why? Because it is a good program that is aimed at helping veterans.

Our government expanded the VIP to provide benefits to certain eligible, low-income and disabled survivors. Why are the New Democrats voting against the extension of the VIP?

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, hold the presses, there is a Conservative awake during a question about veterans.

On the minister's desk is a file for David Kurts. He served in the merchant marines in the 1940s and served two tours in Korea. In June 2010 he was denied geriatric services. On January 11, he was denied VIP. In January of this year, he was denied a reassessment. Again at the end of the month, he was denied veterans' benefits one more time.

He is 86 years old. Why are you denying David Kurts the rightful benefits he earned after serving his country so valiantly? Why are you—

Veterans
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Once again, I will remind the hon. member to address his comments through the Chair.