House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General confirmed what everyone has suspected all along. The cabinet was aware of the rising costs of the F-35. In fact, the Conservatives approved it, but they went out of their way to hide the truth.

We are talking about significant costs, billions of dollars, hidden from Parliament and Canadians. Where is the accountability?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, before I answer that question, I know many members of the House will want me to congratulate the Ottawa Senators on a great season this past year.

The government has clearly communicated the budget we have set to replace Canada's aging CF-18s, and we will stay within that budget. Our budget covered the acquisition costs for the F-35. However, other numbers cited include operating costs.

The government has come forward, under the capable leadership of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, with a seven-point plan, which we will fully follow.

National Defence
Oral Questions

April 27th, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of giving Canadians the facts about the real cost of the F-35s, the Conservatives chose to send the Associate Minister of National Defence to Texas to placate Lockheed Martin. No doubt that is why two-thirds of Canadians no longer trust the Conservatives on the F-35 issue and believe that the Conservatives misled them.

When will this government admit that it has lost control over this file and no longer has an ounce of credibility when it comes to this issue?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with all of the statements in the member's question. The government has clearly communicated the budget that it set to replace Canada's aging CF-18s, and it will stay within that budget.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services has announced a seven-point plan, and we will follow that aircraft procurement plan.

Government Policies
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in fact what this government is doing is trying to find every excuse in the book to defend the failed F-35 process. From cutting environmental protection to putting more seniors into poverty, the Conservatives are turning their backs on Canadians.

Good public administration is about making good choices. Why do the Conservatives insist on choosing the wrong path?

Government Policies
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the path that this government has chosen is the path of economic growth and long-term prosperity. Under the economic leadership of this government, we have seen the creation of some 700,000 net new jobs created from coast to coast to coast. We are focusing like a laser on job creation.

The very best social program for every Canadian is a job so that people can provide for themselves and their families. That is why the Canadian economy is performing so well that other countries around the world are looking at the strong leadership and strong public administration of this team.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' regressive priorities do not end with their budgetary choices. While 1.4 million Canadians are unemployed, yesterday, because of the Conservatives, the House was forced to debate women's right to choose. Canadian women will not sit back and allow their hard-earned rights to be attacked like that.

When will the Prime Minister tell his cabinet and his caucus that women's rights are not up for debate?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has always been very clear, before every election and since: we will not reopen this debate.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will not be fooled because the Conservatives did the exact opposite and reopened the debate last night in fact.

The Conservative manoeuvre to reopen the debate is not unfortunate, as the Prime Minister called it; it is hypocritical. During an election the Conservatives say one thing and in government they do exactly as they intended to do.

In our Canada, women's rights are human rights. They are not optional and they are not negotiable.

When will the Conservatives stop eroding women's equality in Canada?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was clear before the 2006 election, before the 2008 election, and before the 2011 election, and he is clear today, that the government and the Prime Minister have no intention of reopening the debate on this issue.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the cost of the F-35 continues to rise, the appropriateness of this aircraft for our defence needs and Arctic sovereignty is being called into question.

Colonel Paul Maillet, an aerospace engineer and expert in fighter jets, is wondering how to ensure that a single-engine, low-range, low-payload, low-manoeuvrability aircraft can operate effectively in the north.

Will the government launch a competitive bidding process in order to choose the plane that we truly need and get the best price?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that member sat around the cabinet table when the previous Liberal government spent hundreds of millions of dollars designing this aircraft. If he felt so strongly about it, why did he not speak up then?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that we never signed off on a competitive bidding process and that the government did not make any commitment.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that he was not aware that a letter had been sent by the government rejecting the Auditor General's conclusions. The Prime Minister said that he accepted those conclusions. So, we have ministers accepting the conclusions and departments rejecting them.

Why this abdication of ministerial responsibility? How can the minister not be aware that his department rejected the Auditor General's conclusions of its most expensive acquisition?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General, as an independent officer of this House, comes into departments to provide an audit. There is a good deal of back and forth while he and his office conduct that audit. At the end of the day, the Auditor General tabled his report before Parliament and this government has completely accepted the recommendations that he has come forward with.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation seems to think that accountability can be done by forced installments.

First, the minister takes the gamble that the media will not find out about her inappropriate spending. Each time she is caught, she is forced to make an apology and pay back that particular line item. Canadians deserve to know the full extent of her extravagant ways. The minister clearly has no moral compass. Does she really believe that what is right is what she gets away with and what is wrong is what she gets caught doing?