House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Holocaust Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

April 4th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate National Holocaust Remembrance Day, a remembrance of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened, of the Holocaust as a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews but all Jews were targeted victims, being defamed, demonized and dehumanized as prologue and justification for their destruction.

This day is reminder of the dangers of state-sanctioned incitement to hatred and genocide; of the danger of the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, anti-Semitism; of indifference and inaction in the face of incitement and mass atrocity; of the targeting of the vulnerable, whom the Nazis spoke of as having “lives not worth living”; of the culture of impunity; of the dangers of forgetting, ignoring, trivializing or denying the Holocaust; and a reminder, on this centenary of Raoul Wallenberg, this hero of the Holocaust, that one person can resist, that one person can confront evil, that one person can prevail, that one person can transform history.

Let us pledge never again to be silent or indifferent in the face of evil. Plus jamais.

The Holocaust
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, we take a moment to remember and reflect on an inhuman genocide carried out by human beings.

The systematic planning and carrying out of the destruction of six million human lives is an unequalled tragedy in a century that saw far too many.

On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust remembrance day, we are all called to contemplate the truth of the genocide: the brutal murder of six million Jews simply because they were Jewish, of six million women, men and children, in addition to the millions who were displaced and hunted just because they were Jewish.

Today, we remember, but we also must remember to act against intolerance, racism and hatred of any kind.

Holocaust Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the evening of April 18, Jewish communities around the world will come together and mark Yom Hashoah, a special day of remembrance for the suffering and murder of millions of innocent men, women and children during the Holocaust.

As parliamentarians, it is our duty to ensure that “never again” is more than just about words but about action.

While there are numerous examples of our government's work in the fight against anti-Semitism, I am most proud that in the 2010 Speech from the Throne our government committed to supporting a national Holocaust memorial, which will be located in the national capital region.

On April 18, this Yom Hashoah, I ask everyone to join me in rejecting anti-Semitism in all its virulent forms and in remembering the victims of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I now invite the House to rise and observe a moment of silence in commemoration of the Holocaust.

[A moment of silence observed]

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report on the F-35s is damaging to the government. One fundamental question remains unanswered. Can the Prime Minister tell us who in his cabinet, in his government, was responsible for the F-35s?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report was very clear about responsibilities. The government has accepted the Auditor General's recommendations and, clearly, we will act on them to ensure better oversight.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our parliamentary system is based on the principle of ministerial accountability. The minister is accountable for what happens in his department. Ultimately, the Prime Minister is accountable for the ministers he has chosen. The F-35 file is the Department of National Defence's responsibility.

It was therefore the Minister of National Defence's responsibility to know what was happening and to ensure that parliamentarians had all the information and that the information was accurate.

Does the Prime Minister believe that his Minister of National Defence did his job properly?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker, the government and the ministers accept their responsibilities and the Auditor General's recommendations. We will act on these recommendations. The government has not yet purchased any such planes. Clearly, we will re-examine the process and make changes.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, even if we were to believe that the Chief of Defence Staff and the generals were plotting behind the minister's back to lie to Parliament, to lie to Canadians, which is highly unlikely, it would only prove that the Minister of National Defence was not in control of his own department.

However, the Minister of National Defence knew the F-35 was a fiasco. The NDP, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and media report after media report all highlighted the numerous problems with the plane and its budgeting.

When will the Minister of National Defence finally stand up and take responsibility for the F-35 debacle? Where is the accountability?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course the leader of the NDP is putting words into the Auditor General's mouth that he certainly never said.

The reality is that the government has not yet purchased any such planes. The Auditor General has given a recommendation on re-examining the cost estimates. The government will do that.

The government will also improve the process for cost estimates before moving forward. We have been clear on that.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence looked very much in charge when he climbed aboard the F-35 for photo ops. He looked very much in charge when for months he was denying any problems with the F-35.

Here is the bottom line: The Minister of National Defence had the responsibility to know, he had the duty to find out and he had the obligation to tell the truth in Parliament.

Now that his Minister of National Defence has failed so miserably, why is the Prime Minister refusing to act?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the government is acting on the recommendations of the Auditor General. The government has not acquired the aircraft. The government has not signed a contract. The government has frozen the funds for acquisition. The government will examine the process.

The government has said it will set up a separate and distinct secretariat, and we will make sure there are independent verification processes. That is how the government will proceed.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the generals will not follow the chain of command, who is the problem exactly: the Chief of Defence Staff or the Minister of National Defence? Under our system, it is the minister.

We have seen no action, no accountability. Worse, instead of opening up the process with a public tender, as he has just admitted, they are to create an F-35 secretariat. The Conservatives are still fully on board with the F-35, believe it or not. They are not even considering other options.

Why will the minister not stand up and take responsibility? Why will the Prime Minister not put an end to this nonsense?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is accepting the recommendations of the Auditor General. The course of action suggested by the leader of the NDP is not the course of action suggested by the Auditor General.

The Government of Canada, along with its allied partners, has been involved in the development of this aircraft for some 15 years. There are close to half a billion dollars in contracts that have been given to Canadian firms, which are continuing their work.

This government remains committed to making sure, when the CF-18 reaches the eventual end of its life, beginning at the end of this decade, that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is accepting the recommendations but it is not accepting responsibility. The Prime Minister is directly avoiding his responsibilities.

A $10 billion piece of misinformation does not happen by immaculate conception. Somebody misinformed somebody else. It happened.

When will the Prime Minister of Canada take clear responsibility for what took place? When will that happen?