House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP always supported the creation of a Public Appointments Commission, in spite of the tall tales told by certain Conservatives saying the opposite.

What we refused to support was the nomination of a controversial commissioner, Gwyn Morgan, who is no more nor less than the chairman of the board of SNC-Lavalin and who is also famous for his insulting comments about certain ethnic communities.

Why do the Conservatives want to rewrite history when the only controversy here is the one they created with that nomination?

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have instituted a very rigorous process for our appointments. Unfortunately, the Public Appointments Commission and the establishment of the chair was opposed by the opposition parties. Then they rose in this House frequently to decry the spending of any money on that commission. We responded to that by stopping the spending of the money on that commission to help us move toward balancing the budget.

At the same time we are pleased to report that our appointments process is rigorous. It is working and ensuring that all appointments are made based on merit. That is why we have had such outstanding people stepping forward to take part in public life.

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to think that the only people who are qualified happen to be buddies of the Conservative Party.

Let us go through some of the more notorious ones. We have Leo Housakos' good buddy, Tom Pentefountas, who has zero qualifications, and the Conservatives gave him the vice-chair of the CRTC. We have Margaret F. Delisle, appointed to the National Battlefields Commission. Her qualification? Oh right, she is the sister of Michael Fortier.

The Conservatives promised they were going to clean up Ottawa, but instead it is the same old pork barrel, rum bottle politics. Why are they trying to undermine the accountability act?

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have been very pleased with the appointments process that has ensured that first-rate people step forward and offer to provide public service.

We have seen it made more rigorous in a number of ways. As a result, the appointments made by the government are second to none. We are very pleased with the calibre of the individuals put forward. It is a surprise that they are prepared to do that in the face of criticism from members of the opposition who stand up and attack the people who dare to put in their time and their effort to serve their country.

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, what was that? That sounds like a political party that is circling the drain because people are getting tired of the pork barrel patronage that it is engaged in.

Let us go through a few more other stellar examples of those who come forward to help us and help themselves. There is Bruce Carson, a good buddy of the Prime Minister, appointed to the Canada School of Energy and Environment. How about Gary Valcour, riding president of the Minister of Finance, and now on the Oshawa Harbour Commission?

All of them are Conservative buddies. All of them are feeding at the trough. Why are they engaged in the same old tired politics that Canadians got fed up with when they kicked out the Liberals?

Political Appointments
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day when people who step forward to serve their country are attacked by the opposition.

Let us take the example of Mr. Valcour. He is a highly qualified individual, a graduate of Dalhousie Law School, a distinguished criminal and civil lawyer for several decades, served as chairperson of the Oshawa Harbour Commission, was a member of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority and was reappointed on the basis that his outstanding performance merited reappointment.

That is the kind of people who are attacked by the opposition. Every Canadian should be afraid of a party like that, that wishes to engage in personal attacks on individuals who want to serve the Canadian public.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, one has to wonder who is at the controls now.

Donations to the Conservative Party from the directors of SNC-Lavalin flooded in between November and December 2009. During the same period, Pierre Duhaime, the ousted CEO of SNC, was lobbying the Conservatives about federal nuclear development policy.

By pure coincidence, surely, the federal government announced on December 18, 2009, that same year, that Atomic Energy Canada was going on the market. And guess who hit the jackpot? Yes indeed: SNC.

Is there a connection between the Conservative funding and the awarding of that contract?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government followed a fair, open and transparent process. An independent firm reviewed the process followed to reach an agreement and conclude the sale of AECL. In addition, we appointed two independent advisors to ensure the fairness and integrity of the process, from start to finish. We acted in accordance with their advice at all times.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party received $25,000 from SNC-Lavalin and then Atomic Energy of Canada was sold for peanuts. We are entitled to have questions about that.

On another subject, we learned this morning that well-known entrepreneur Tony Accurso has discovered a new trick for cheating the government.

According to La Presse, by buying a company on the edge of bankruptcy that had nothing to do with his construction business, he is going to be able to save $45 million in taxes.

While the Canada Revenue Agency is going after charitable organizations, Tony Accurso pulls a fast one on them.

When is the Conservative government actually going to do something about the problem of tax evasion?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government has acted ethically on all of these points.

The question is this: knowing that the Leader of the Opposition received $7,000 from a vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, why are New Democrat members attacking us now, when we accepted donations that were legal and ethical?

I also have another question. This member, who has just asked me a question, made donations directly to Québec solidaire, one of the most ultra-radical parties in Canada. Why did he make that kind of donation?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we found out that MDA was having to lay off some highly qualified people because there was no contract to build the strategically important RADARSAT constellation.

In response to my question, the minister stated, and I quote, “...we are committed to the RADARSAT project and we are working on delivering in a cost-effective way”.

The Prime Minister has had a very big photo op, and he has made all sorts of promises about ensuring better sovereignty for this country and saving lives. Now the question is: What is the government waiting for to start this project? Is this going to be another example of a project that gets delayed and mismanaged?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the member was right in quoting me, because we are committed to this project and we will deliver it in a most cost-effective way.

We are taking action for the space sector. For the first time, we launched a review for the aerospace sector to make sure that we remain a leader in the world. This is real action.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what does this kind of answer mean? They are working on delivering this project but, in the meantime, there is no contract for the company and it is likely to lose some highly qualified employees.

The RADARSAT satellites are making Canada proud and we are waiting to build the three-satellite RADARSAT constellation. We cannot wait much longer. It is extremely important for security and sovereignty as well as for monitoring the changing environment in our far north.

Is this another example of a poorly managed project that will be slowed down by this government?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

May 10th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we are committed to the RADARSAT project. We are taking it seriously and we are going to deliver this project in the most cost-effective way. It is a matter of sound cost management.

As I was saying, we are taking concrete measures. Instead of cutting in science and technology, as they did in the past, we have invested more. In fact, we are investing $1.1 billion over five years. I wonder how they are going to vote. It is time, in fact, to hold a meaningful vote on the budget implementation.

A review of the space and aerospace sector has also begun. This is a first in Canadian history.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I want to return to the issue of search and rescue, based on what we have just heard in the House. This is a serious issue, especially for the Rideout family.

Mr. Speaker, picture yourself in the north Atlantic, 130 km out, with no presence of the Government of Canada to help you out.

Here is an email that was discovered by the media. I would like to ask the minister to respond to this, specifically. “Effective May 7, MCTS centres in Newfoundland and Labrador region shall use CIRM Roma for all radio medicals.” That is from the regional director of maritime services, Canadian Coast Guard.

What does the minister have to say to that? First of all, apologize to the Rideout family. Second of all, reopen these centres in St. John's and Quebec City.