House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, the Auditor General made one recommendation, and that is for the Department of National Defence to refine its cost estimates.

However, our response goes much further than that to address this issue. We have frozen funding for the F-35 for this project. We have also established a secretariat to manage the process of replacing the CF-18s outside of the Department of National Defence. To ensure oversight, we will have a deputy ministers committee managing this process. All cost estimates will be tabled in Parliament and made public.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at what the Conservatives waste taxpayer money on instead of helping seniors, especially low-income seniors when they retire: inefficient private pension plans; billions for failed fighter jets; and let us not forget glow sticks and gazebos in Muskoka.

Now we will not know the effects of the hardships caused by denying OAS for two extra years because the government cut the National Council of Welfare.

Did the Conservatives eliminate the council because they want to hide the truth about seniors poverty from Canadians?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Our budget is focused on making sure individuals have jobs. That is the best way to eliminate poverty: making sure individuals have jobs.

With respect to the National Council of Welfare, we are putting our policy resources to best use and in the most efficient manner. There are many non-governmental organizations that provide comparable independent advice and research on poverty and other related issues.

We will continue to take poverty very seriously, but we are also going to be focused on making sure Canadians have the skills they need so that they can participate in the economy.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will not listen to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, so what makes us think they will listen to anyone else?

They want to hide the fact that pushing the retirement age back to 67 is going to hurt low-income seniors, so they have eliminated the National Council of Welfare. The government thinks if poverty is not measured, it simply does not exist. Low-income seniors will slip between the cracks and the Conservatives will continue to choose their big business friends over those who truly need help.

Why will the Conservatives not come clean and admit they do not care about seniors living in poverty?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. This country has one of the lowest poverty rates for seniors in the world because of this Conservative government. In fact, under the Liberals, in 1999 it was 7.9%. Under this government, it was 5.2% in 2009.

This government increased the GIS, a record increase, in the last quarter of the century, and the NDP voted against it.

Let us be very clear. These changes will begin in 2023. They will be fully implemented in 2029. We are looking out for low-income seniors. We are making sure that they are provided for.

Highway Infrastructure
Oral Questions

April 3rd, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the idea of setting up a toll on the Champlain Bridge was bad enough, but now the Conservatives are talking about setting up tolls on the Jacques Cartier and Mercier bridges as well.

This decision could have an adverse economic effect on families on the south shore and the merchants of Montreal. People are going to take detours in order to avoid the tolls.

Why do the Conservatives want to make families pay for a new bridge when access to the island is currently free?

Highway Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud of the way we are dealing with the matter of the new bridge over the St. Lawrence. A lot of progress has been made. In the coming weeks, we will announce which company or companies won the contract for the environmental aspect as we continue moving forward.

For now, there will not be any tolls. However, during the consultation process that we conducted, a number of mayors in the region spoke to me about a regional toll. Why would we do all the work and spend the money without looking at tolls? We are going to consider every possible avenue. We will stay on course and deliver a new bridge over the St. Lawrence instead of complaining about it.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to talk about bridges, but I would refer to the bridge that has been burned between Quebec and the Conservative government.

This morning the Government of Quebec confirmed that it plans to go to court to prevent the Conservatives from destroying the data from the firearms registry.

This ideological government and its lackeys in the Senate refuse to listen to the calls of Quebeckers, police chiefs and, most importantly, victims. It is not too late. The data can still be saved.

Will the government save the data in order to protect public safety or would it rather become embroiled in a long and costly court battle with Quebec?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, our legislation provides for the elimination of the data related to the long gun registry— inaccurate, outdated and erroneous data. I am not the one saying so. As early as 2006, the Auditor General confirmed that that data was inaccurate.

We are acting within the federal government's jurisdiction in the area of criminal law and we will defend our jurisdiction.

Human Trafficking
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the leader of what is called the largest proven human trafficking ring in Canadian history will be sentenced.

This is a deplorable crime that leads to vulnerable people being taken advantage of, often for the profit of criminal and terrorist organizations.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety tell the House what the government is doing on this file?

Human Trafficking
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her terrific work on this file.

Human trafficking is a despicable crime. Our government has taken strong action, such as helping to implement mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of child trafficking, and supporting the RCMP in its Blue Blindfold campaign to raise public awareness.

We are also committed to implementing a national action plan to combat human trafficking.

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the precise moment when Canada should be helping emerging democracies, this government decides to eliminate the organization that is in the best position to do that job: Rights & Democracy.

The Conservatives made partisan appointments to Rights & Democracy. Then they attacked its respected director, who unfortunately then died. In a nutshell, they literally poisoned the organization, and today they have decided to finish it off.

Does the minister think this is what showing leadership on the international scene means?

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, promoting freedom, human rights and democracy is a central element of our foreign policy. Our ambassadors and our foreign service officers do that work every day, all around the world.

For some time, the numerous problems at Rights & Democracy have been the subject of much comment in the media. It is high time that we put these problems behind us and move forward.

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Conservatives created those problems.

The government dumped the idea of a democracy promotion institute that they had announced in the Speech from the Throne in 2008. Now they are killing Rights and Democracy, and they want to cut DFAIT programming under the international assistance envelope, which is often used to promote democracy.

The government speaks a lot about democracy, but it does not seem to want to walk the talk. What does it have against democracy?

Rights & Democracy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, here is what we are doing. There have been many problems at this agency for some time. These problems are very well known. What we are simply doing is taking this important project of rights, democracy and freedom and bringing that within our department.

I have a lot of confidence in the hard-working public servants at the Department of Foreign Affairs that we will be able to continue to tackle this issue. We have played a big role in helping the people seek freedom in Libya. We are working with the international community on Syria and we will never let that go. Freedom is an important responsibility and we will continue to promote it around the world.