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

Employment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it does not make any sense. According to Statistics Canada, there are 700,000 more unemployed workers in Canada than before the recession. This government wants to eliminate close to 20,000 public sector jobs and cut $5.2 billion in services.

A study published this morning shows that these cuts will result in the loss of 40,000 more jobs in the private sector.

Where is the real job creation strategy? What is this government waiting for to face reality and to put a real job creation strategy on the table?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are some spending reductions of course in the budget that was tabled on Thursday. The actual number of federal public servants who will be leaving the public service is about 12,000.

The so-called study to which the member refers is by the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, which is using a wild number of 40,825 Canadians. However, that is not as wild as the number they used in February, which was not fewer than 116,000 Canadians. That is a long way from the truth: 12,000, as documented in the budget.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, they were actually using numbers from Statistics Canada.

The government seems to fear the facts, because the reality is that the job cuts unleashed in this budget will have a major impact on core services for Canadians. From health care, food inspection, and transportation safety to critical science and research on the environment, these services are vital for Canadian families.

Why did the Conservatives table a budget that fails to deal with the priorities of Canadian families? Why are they turning the lives of Canadian families backwards when they should be turning their lives forward? Why are they not doing that in the budget?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, here is what we are doing in the budget. We are looking at long-term growth, jobs and prosperity in Canada. We have the track record on this side of the House with 610,000 net new jobs in Canada since the end of the recession.

What is the prescription from the other side of the House? It is a $10 billion tax hike. That is what the New Democratic opposition recommends for Canada, a huge job-killing tax. That is not what we are doing, which is jobs, growth and prosperity.

Aviation Safety
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reported that one out of three airline safety inspections was not done. Why were they not done? There was not enough staff. Even when air traffic is increasing by 4% this year, the Conservatives are cutting $17 million from aviation safety and $60 million from Transport Canada. Inspectors will be cut. The safety of air travellers will be at risk.

How can the minister justify these dangerous cuts to inspectors who keep our planes safe?

Aviation Safety
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member does not use the right numbers, but I am sure she will have more questions. For the moment, I will thank the Auditor General for his work and we accept his recommendations.

The Auditor General confirms that Canada has one of the safest aviation systems in the world. That is what he said today.

My department has already identified these shortcomings, and I can confirm that some of the recommendations are already in place.

Aviation Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives just do not understand their reckless cuts will have real safety consequences. The Auditor General found there was no plan to meet inspection needs, no up-to-date information to assess risk, and no management oversight, no approval process. It took the minister sometimes 10 years to deal with emerging safety issues, 10 years.

Will the minister clean up his department and stop these dangerous cuts?

Aviation Safety
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are always working to make air travel safer and as safe as possible. Our actions deliver results. Since 2000, the number of aviation accidents fell by 25%. The Auditor General has confirmed that we are making real progress by being the first country in the world to implement a safety management systems approach, and we are confident it will be better.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the closure of Aveos has endangered Canada's reputation as a leader in the aerospace industry. Some investors have expressed interest but they need assurances that they will get contracts from Air Canada. The municipalities affected want to find a solution, as do the provincial governments.

Will this government work with the municipalities, the provinces, Air Canada and investors in order to find a solution?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course we are very sorry that these workers have lost their jobs.

As we said before, Air Canada is a private company, as is Aveos.

This member would have us, rather than the companies' representatives, manage the companies. We have a legal opinion confirming that Air Canada is complying with the legislation, and we are going to let the people at Air Canada make their business decisions because that is what we have to do. Our job is to promote a healthy and safe airline industry and that is what we are going to do.

National Defence
Oral Questions

April 3rd, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General made it abundantly clear that the F-35 program started to crash when the Conservatives took office in 2006. The Department of Public Works did not even realize that the Minister of National Defence had initiated a sole-source procurement program four years earlier. However, nothing has changed. They still call the process the F-35 secretariat, with all the same impugned players, plus the minister of gazebos from Muskoka.

What is needed is an open process to get the right plane at the right price, not an F-35 secretariat.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 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 indicated, the Auditor General was very clear in his recommendation. His one recommendation is that the Department of National Defence needs to refine its cost estimates. We also believe that it needs to be more transparent.

Our government's response is also clear. We will not purchase new aircraft until that recommendation is met, and we are going further. We have a multi-point plan to address this, including freezing all of the funding allocated for the F-35 until conditions are met. To ensure further transparency, the secretariat will also have to table in Parliament the cost estimates.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the only people asking questions are the opposition members. Clearly, it is not the ministers themselves.

When the PBO tabled the F-35 cost estimates in 2011, he was ridiculed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defence and the Conservative caucus. In 2010, though, the U.S. government had already told the government that the F-35s would “cost more and take longer to finish than planned”. The PBO was right and the Prime Minister was wrong.

Did the minister know that he was misleading Parliament, or is he merely incompetent?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, to address the Auditor General's recommendation, we have immediately frozen the funding allocated to the F-35. We have also said we will not purchase new aircraft until this recommendation is met.

Furthermore, to ensure proper oversight and prior to any project approval moving forward, Treasury Board will first commission an independent review of the Department of National Defence's acquisition and sustainment project assumptions and the potential costs for the F-35. All of this will be made public and shared with Parliament.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has just confirmed how incompetent and dishonest the Conservatives have been with regard to the F-35 procurement.

Billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, but the Conservatives chose to ignore our warnings and never bothered to check whether there were any problems. Now our air force risks paying the price for the Conservatives' incompetence.

Why were the Conservatives dishonest with Canadians and why did they fail to ensure the integrity of the process?