House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the proposed budget changes, the Inspector General of CSIS will be gone. Rights & Democracy will be gone. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy will be gone. The First Nations Statistical Institute will be gone. The National Centre for First Nations Governance will be gone. The National Aboriginal Health Organization will be gone. The National Council of Welfare will be gone. Environmental assessment will be gutted. Parks Canada will be gutted. Old age security will be gutted.

These are basic protections for Canadians. These are basic ways in which Canadians have rights and governments do not have all the rights. When will the Conservatives learn that they are taking the wrong path?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the third party knows that there is another path. We could let spending get out of control. We could see Canada become the welfare capital of the world. We could see unemployment skyrocket. That is his record as premier of Ontario.

The member opposite talks about the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. It has tabled more than 10 reports encouraging a carbon tax. Now we know why the Liberal Party holds that organization so dear, because the Liberals truly want to bring in a carbon tax on every family in this country. Well, those of us on this side of the House will not let them do it.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear from the minister's response that the government is closing down and silencing institutions with which it does not agree. The Conservatives are telling all these national boards and organizations that they do not like independence, information and criticism and that that is why they are closing them. This is why people think that this government looks more and more like a dictatorship. That is the problem.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is making government more accountable, living within our means and focusing on the priorities which is what Canadians elected us to do.

We are keeping taxes low. We are increasing funds to hospitals, health care and education. These are the priorities that Canadians have identified.

Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting a carbon tax, something which the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected? That is a message the Liberal Party just will not accept. It should agree with Canadians. It should agree with the government to no discussion of a carbon tax that would kill and hurt Canadian families.

National Defence
Oral Questions

May 14th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about the government's need and desire to control spending.

Let us look at the Department of National Defence: F-35, a $10 billion difference of opinion; Libya mission, several hundred millions off; joint support ship, restated for budget issue; the Chinook helicopter, delayed and a budget issue; the closed combat vehicle, the whole thing had to be restarted because it was so badly handled; military truck, delayed; fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, delayed; Arctic patrol ships, delayed and a budget issue.

How can the government defend the decade of doofus?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what the government is doing is seeking to ensure that the men and women of the Canadian Forces, those who this Parliament sends abroad to defend Canadian values, to defend Canadian interests, have the tools to get the job done.

The Liberal Party appointed General Rick Hillier to be the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the man that they appointed to lead the Canadian Forces called the Liberal tenure in office “a decade of darkness”.

Canadians know who is on the side of our Canadian Forces. It is the Conservative government, the Prime Minister, and especially the Minister of National Defence who has done more to support the Canadian Forces than certainly any Liberal has done in the last 150 years.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence lashed out at the media because they reported on his mismanagement and confusing figures on Libya. However, on October 13, 2011, the minister claimed that the “all-up costs” for the Libya mission would be $50 million. On Friday, General Vance was clear. The minister was given the real all-up costs at that time and could not explain why the minister used the lower figure.

When will the minister stop blaming the media, stop blaming the opposition, and take responsibility for his department and his own mistakes?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Well, Mr. Speaker, he is still at it because on October 13, what I clearly communicated was the cost of the mission to date. I went on to say in the same interview there would be more costs. Then in May we reported the full costs in Parliament. All of that, of course, was conveniently absent from the member's question and conveniently absent from much of the reporting in the last few days.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the minister was sitting on an estimated cost of $106 million. Neither the media nor the opposition forced him to give the misleading figure. The minister did that all on his own. General Vance was sent out to try to clean up his latest mess, but the general was forced to admit that the minister “knew the estimates for sure. In fact, he presents the estimates to cabinet, so yes, he would have known...”.

Why did the Minister of National Defence use the $50 million figure when he knew it was not accurate? Will he finally stand in this House and admit he made an error?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I just said a moment ago, the figure of under $50 million that was given in October was the actual cost that we had received from the department. Of course, estimates are one thing and what Canadians want to hear is what the actual costs are. I provided that qualification at the time. I said there were more costs to be reported. Of course, bringing all of those ships back and bringing the personnel back does cost money.

What is important here is that this was a tremendous investment to help the people of Libya who were being exploited and murdered by their own government. That is why Canadians were there. That is why we are in Afghanistan. That is why we will continue to make these investments.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, in October, the Minister of National Defence said that the cost of the mission in Libya would be $50 million. The minister stated that this was the all-up amount. On Friday, General Vance stated that the minister knew what the total estimated cost of the mission was. True to form, the minister keeps changing his story.

I would like to know why the minister did not provide estimates for the full duration of the mission last October when he knew full well what the eventual cost would be.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the answer is still the same. The amount that I gave at the time was the cost of the mission at that particular moment.

Let me read from the transcript. I went on to say, “I'm giving you that number with the proviso that there could be more costs that come in after the fact. The fact that we are now ramping down the mission, bringing back significant equipment and personnel, some 650 were there, we have a ship in the area, we have aircraft, fighter aircraft, patrol aircraft, refuellers.”

All of this is on the record. All of this is missing from the accusations coming from the members opposite and conveniently from one of the networks that reported this.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has not told the truth about the cost of the mission in Libya, period.

The Department of National Defence’s latest report indicates that the government intends to purchase 65 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft.

Yet the Conservatives keep saying that no decision has been made regarding the F-35s. It looks like they are again going to have to retroactively change their report.

Does the minister not know what his department is doing?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has taken action to ensure that due diligence, oversight and transparency are firmly embedded in the process to replace Canada's aging fighter aircraft. We are following a seven-step action plan to fulfill and/or exceed the Auditor General's recommendation. This includes freezing the funding and establishing a separate secretariat outside National Defence to lead this project moving forward.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of National Defence repeatedly claimed that no decision had been made about the F-35, but even while he was saying this, he tabled spending plans indicating that National Defence will deliver 65 F-35A aircraft.

We know that the government has taken this file away from the minister and given it to the damage control secretariat.

Will the minister tell us whether this is confusion, another typographical error, incompetence, or yet another attempt to mislead Canadians on the F-35 file?