House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a government that claims it has nothing to hide on the election fraud scandal, Conservative members at committee last week spent a lot of time attacking the competence of Elections Canada. The member for Peterborough even baselessly accused Elections Canada of leaking details of its investigation.

Why is the government cutting $7.5 million from the budget of Elections Canada right when it is conducting its biggest investigation ever?

Elections Canada
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the chairman of Elections Canada has indicated clearly that he has the resources he needs to do his job. What we are very impressed with, though, is that Elections Canada has stepped forward as part of a government-wide effort to work to ensure that we have a balanced budget so that Canada's fiscal position remains strong. He indicated he was prepared to make savings on behalf of his organization, and we commend him for making that effort.

It is a good model for all arms of government that everyone is doing their part in this effort to help balance the budget to ensure Canada remains in a strong fiscal position for years to come.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Auditor General will deliver a scathing report on the Conservatives' handling of the F-35 procurement. A former assistant deputy minister of defence has called it the most disastrous hijacking of a procurement process one could ever make. Evidently the Auditor General agrees. Meanwhile, the Conservative government continues to fantasize that it will be able to buy these jets cheaply.

Will the minister tell Canadians that the Conservative government has seriously botched this procurement before the Auditor General does it for him tomorrow?

National Defence
Oral Questions

April 2nd, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been a partner in the joint strike fighter program for the past 15 years, started by the Liberal government of the day. We have not signed a contract for a purchase and have the flexibility we need to purchase the aircraft in the years when it will be most affordable. Ultimately, we will replace Canada's aging CF-18 aircraft and will do so within our allocated budget.

It would be totally inappropriate for me to comment on the Auditor General's report, which we welcome tomorrow.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, a new report from the Pentagon shows how much the Conservatives underestimated the cost of procuring F-35s. Canada could easily pay more than $100 million per plane, and full production has been pushed back by two years.

On Thursday, I asked the minister a clear question and got the usual prattle. I would like to try again. The minister only has to come up with a number. He does not have to complicate things. How many F-35s is Canada currently able to purchase with its $9 billion budget?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we will ensure that the replacements for the CF-18s will in fact meet our needs. To this end, Canada has been a partner in the joint strike fighter program for the past 15 years. We have not as yet signed a contract to purchase any aircraft and we will ensure we will have the right aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, from that response I cannot tell whether the minister is unable or simply unwilling to do the math, but let me put it this way. In last week's budget, the government said Canada will “acquire an affordable replacement for Canada's aging CF-18”. Recent reports coming out of the U.S. show the price of each F-35 to be well in excess of $100 million each and rising. New Democrats know that the only way to get an affordable replacement for our CF-18 is through an open tender. The government has to date refused to hold such a competition.

Does the minister actually consider over $100 million per plane to be affordable for Canadians?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, Canada remains in the joint strike fighter program and has been so for some 15 years.

We will, in essence, make the decisions at the appropriate time in the best interest of our Royal Canadian Air Force, and of course Canadians generally.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it has now been two months since 14-year-old Burton Winters went missing, and the contradictions from the government keep on multiplying.

A report from Major-General Vance states:

It should be noted that the 444 Sqn Griffons in Goose Bay do not have a mandate to maintain a SAR readiness posture...nor do they have a mandate to maintain a “Ready 12” response time.

However, the Canadian Forces website states that their secondary role is to maintain a 12-hour search and rescue standby.

Which is it? When will Canadians get clear answers about the state of our search and rescue system?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, certainly there is no denying that it is a real tragedy that young Burton Winters lost his life.

However, let us be clear: the Canadian Forces respond each and every time as quickly as possible. We have the largest geographic area in the world in terms of our search and rescue responsibility. We saw just last week, off the coast of Nova Scotia, heroic efforts made by members of our SAR tech teams. We have seen this repeatedly throughout the country and throughout our SAR history.

Each and every time, they do their very best to save lives and they are very successful at it.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government's spin is not going to bring back Burton Winters or prevent future tragedies.

There are serious problems with Canada's search and rescue, and this minister has presented nothing but empty excuses. First bad weather, then imaginary protocols, and finally broken equipment were to blame, when all along it seems to be a question of misplaced priorities.

When will the government commit to a full and independent inquiry to find out what happened to Burton Winters and to investigate the state of Canadian search and rescue?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces constantly look at protocols, look at updates, look at placement of equipment around the country, and all of the aspersions that the hon. member has cast on the word of the Canadian Forces really do not do him or his party justice.

These are brave men and women who do their level best each and every time. The primary responsibility for ground search and rescue, as the member knows full well, rests with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in this case. We were there to assist.

There were weather issues; there were issues of maintenance. We continue to work with the provinces and territories to respond each and every time, as quickly as possible.

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after months of consulting entrepreneurs across the country, the Minister of Finance tabled an economic action plan that meets the needs of Canadian entrepreneurs such as those in my riding, London West.

Can the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism tell the House about the measures that the government is taking to support entrepreneurs, who create wealth and jobs in all parts of Canada?

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his French and also for the work he is doing with business entrepreneurs in his riding. I congratulate him.

I would like to say that we have brought down a budget that is good for consumers, good for entrepreneurs and good for Canadians. The $1,000 hiring credit for small businesses will enable them to keep creating jobs and wealth in Canada. The Cutting Red Tape report will enable businesses to focus on what they do best: creating jobs.

This is a good budget, and we are proud of it.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will stop at nothing to give their big oil lobbyist friends what they want.

The northern gateway pipeline hearings are already under way, and thousands of Canadians are engaging with the democratic process by registering. They want to testify about how this project is going to impact their communities. However, the Conservatives are pulling the old bait and switch. They are cutting the review short. The minister is turning the northern gateway review into a sham.

Why does he not just come clean and tell us the exact date he plans to rubber-stamp this approval?