House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has a new shadow cabinet. His team believes Canadians need higher taxes, bigger deficits and fewer jobs. His new team consistently puts the rights of criminals ahead of victims and actually travelled to the United States to lobby against Canada developing and selling its own resources.

The new NDP House leader, the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, has repeatedly called on the government to restrict natural resource development. He strongly opposes an efficient streamlining of the review process for major economic projects. These changes will ensure timely and fair hearings in the best interest of Canadians without unnecessary delays driven by foreign funded special interest groups.

It is time for the NDP to stop trying to hurt Canada and to stick up for Canadian jobs, workers and families. Will the NDP please join us today and in the future as our Conservative government works hard for Canadians, for economic growth and for prosperity for today and for the future?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question.

Does he think it is acceptable for one of his ministers to knowingly mislead Parliament in the performance of his duties?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what this question is about but, obviously, I expect the ministers to always tell the truth.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on April 5 in this House the Minister of National Defence said about the F-35, and I quote, “No money has been spent on this file”.

That is completely, utterly false. The government has disbursed over $335 million on the F-35 program. More is committed. The Prime Minister knows it; the Minister of National Defence knows it. Does the Prime Minister believe it was acceptable for his minister to mislead Parliament?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition knows full well that the Minister of National Defence was referring to acquisition costs for the airplane. The government, in fact, has not bought any aircraft. It has not yet signed a contract. It has not yet acquired any aircraft.

The government has spent money as part of an international consortium on the development of the aircraft, and there are more than 60 Canadian companies with contracts developing the F-35, as I have said repeatedly in the House.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, pilot training is a key life-cycle cost, one that seems to be left out of the Conservative's creative accounting on the F-35. The air force is categorical: under the Conservative's plan it cannot even afford to train the pilots.

LIfe-cycle costs have to be considered in every military equipment purchase; Treasury Board guidelines require it. The Minister of National Defence ignored the guidelines and misled Parliament on this as well. Is the defence minister's repeat contempt for Parliament acceptable to the Prime Minister, yes or no?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, the minister has done no such thing. I think we have been very clear on this. We said specifically that the minister was referring, of course, and the record is very clear on this, to acquisition costs. There are other costs obviously involved in our budgets that are also accounted for. The government has been expending money on development costs with the strong support not only of the Royal Canadian Air Force but also of the aviation industry based in this country.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, scandals are unacceptable to the NDP, just as they should be to the Conservatives. Changes to old age security are also unacceptable. Even though the Conservatives never talked about pension reform during the election campaign, they are now proposing to raise the eligibility age to 67. The Minister of Finance says that this will save money, but he does not specify how much.

The question is simple: how much money will they save?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we promised Canadians that we would ensure the sustainability of the old age security system, and that is exactly what we will do. This is not about the how much money will be saved, but about long-term sustainability in order to ensure that the system will be there when future generations need it.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again we have excuses and evasions, but they still refuse to give us the figures. The minister can dance around the facts all she likes, but Canadians deserve a real answer, Canadians who rely on OAS.

While the government claims this cut is necessary, most experts and economists disagree. Why is the government refusing to back up its claim with real evidence, and why will it not just tell us exactly how much it expects to save by raising the OAS age? It is a pretty simple question.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are joining leading countries around the world like England, Australia, the United States and others in recognizing that the population is aging, that we are going to have fewer working Canadians supporting a dramatic increase in the number of seniors who will be relying on OAS. The changes that we are proposing are going to ensure that the OAS system is there for seniors of future generations when they need it and when they expect it.

National Defence
Oral Questions

April 24th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Auditor General, the government did not clearly state what the cost would be to replace the jets, nor did it indicate the upgrading costs, the weapons costs, the maintenance costs or the training costs.

Just yesterday, the government had to admit that the training costs would exceed the government's original estimate by more than $2.3 billion.

How can the government continue to claim that it did not mislead Parliament when all of these facts were flatly denied by this government, by the Minister of National Defence and by the Prime Minister himself?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General asked the government to re-examine the numbers concerning the F-35 and the government is committed to doing just that. We will go through all the necessary steps before we acquire this aircraft. Our commitment in that regard is very clear.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General concluded that the government gave Parliament information that was inaccurate and insufficient.

The Auditor General found that the government did not take into account the cost of getting new planes in case of attrition, did not take into account the fact that there is a maintenance cost that is higher for an F-35 than it is for an F-18. All of these things are clearly laid out in the Auditor General's report.

The government has said it accepts the conclusions of the Auditor General's report. It accepts his findings, all of them.

Why will the government not admit that in fact it has been misleading Parliament by giving us information that is neither accurate nor complete? Why will it not finally admit that?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Auditor General said, the Auditor General questioned the reliability and the completeness of information that the department had provided on these costs.

That is why the government has committed explicitly to re-examining those numbers, as suggested by the Auditor General, before we move forward. That was the Auditor General's suggestion. The government, of course, is acting on that and doing much more, putting in a process of increased supervision before we in fact spend any money to acquire new aircraft.