House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was affordable.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, with thousands of jobs about to disappear because of the Conservatives' deep cuts, thousands of Canadians will need the social safety net to which they are entitled, employment insurance.

These workers have contributed all their working lives, with the help of their employer and without the help of the government, in order to have some security in difficult times. However, this government is looking for every conceivable way to reduce access to employment insurance, which is already at a record low.

Fewer than four in ten unemployed persons currently have access to employment insurance, even though all workers contribute to the fund. Unwarranted changes to boards of referees, reduced wages for temporary foreign workers, and the outrageous appropriation of the authority to define the notion of suitable employment point to one thing: the Conservatives' professed contempt for the workers of this country and their rights.

The Conservatives must amend Bill C-38 to give Canadians the support they need when they most need it.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, Canadians need to know more about the NDP shadow cabinet.

The member for Burnaby—New Westminster, the caucus chair and critic for energy and natural resources, has some strong views against free trade. He has opposed nearly every trade treaty that has come before the House of Commons during his time as an MP. He has argued that Canada should renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA. He has opposed open trade with the European Free Trade Association, the EU and even the idea of a deal with South Korea.

His commitment to opposing free trade goes as far as actually supporting the Americans, who are proposing the buy America policy, which unfairly discriminates against Canadians exporters. He called that a perfectly logical policy.

Canada's future prosperity is dependent on open markets. That is why our Conservative government has been working to open doors for Canadian exporters around the world. The NDP wants to shut those doors. The NDP team's trade policy is just something Canadians cannot afford.

TD Scholarship for Community Leadership
Statements By Members

May 4th, 2012 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, it is with immense pride that I congratulate Vancouver Quadra student Leah Bae, from my alma mater of Lord Byng Secondary School, for receiving the prestigious TD Scholarship for Community Leadership.

Worth up to $70,000 each, the scholarships recognize Canada's 20 most promising students who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to their communities.

I am deeply impressed by Leah's fierce devotion to youth engagement and social activism. As president of the Vancouver District Students' Council, she represents 58,000 students. She organized a youth forum to respond to the Stanley Cup riot and to offer the city a critical youth perspective in its report.

That is not all. Through the YWCA, Leah has mentored girls to guide them through their transition to high school. She is also principal violinist in Lord Byng's orchestra and an advocate for the rights of minority groups.

If anyone bemoans the lack of youth and women leadership, they should pay attention to Leah Bae. She is going to make us proud.

Liberation of the Netherlands
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Madam Speaker, the liberation of the Netherlands was a milestone in the battle for Europe during the Second World War.

Canadians played a crucial role in liberating the people of the Netherlands from enemy forces and brought peace and freedom after five years of Nazi occupation.

Canadian Forces displayed courage, valour and honour as they fought an enemy that had no understanding of these values. From the Battle of the Scheldt to Nijmegen to Arnhem, Canada was represented. In the final phases of the war, the First Canadian Army in northwestern Europe was the largest army that had ever been under the control of a Canadian general.

The liberation of the Netherlands forged a strong bond between Canada and the Netherlands, and over the course of 67 years, this friendship has only grown stronger.

Today we remember the brave men and women who fought to liberate the Netherlands, including my Uncle Joe Calkins from Rocky Mountain House. We also remember the thousands of Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice during the nine-month campaign.

We will remember them.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre Alfred-Pellan, QC

Madam Speaker, this government likes to strut about claiming to be tough on crime, but in reality, it is all just a sham. The Conservatives have been found guilty of an in and out scandal, and when we talk to them about the biggest electoral fraud in the history of the country, they shrug their shoulders as if to say, “Why worry about it when we are the ones benefiting?”

Now, a British offender who has just been released from an American prison is being allowed entry into Canada as though nothing ever happened. And the government is washing its hands of the situation. Clearly, it is much easier to keep peaceful protestors, separated families and real refugees out of the country than a lord who spent years using his newspapers to help the Conservative cause.

This government can claim to be tough on crime all it likes, but the fact is that criminals have a pretty nice life if they are Conservatives.

Member for Papineau
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Madam Speaker, the member for Papineau, who is the former chair of Katimivik, has some kingly tastes.

QMI reports that the member opposite billed double the rate of other Katimivik officials while staying at the “posh 4 Diamond Loews Concorde hotel”. He billed more for two nights than the group's president billed for his three-night stay. He expensed a $127 lunch for two that included “fine brandies”, as well as a $93 sushi lunch for two. Other receipts included expensing Grey Goose vodka.

In 2005, he charged taxpayers $350 for a steak dinner on another occasion.

This group was a taxpayer-funded organization. It is clear that he enjoyed a few nice lunches on the public dime.

This behaviour is completely inappropriate for someone who aspires to be more than just a dauphin.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, yesterday at the public accounts committee, Industry Canada testified that benefits from the F-35 deal would be less than $10 billion. The government has been claiming benefits of over $12 billion and the defence department has been claiming benefits of over $15 billion.

Here we go again. What is the real number? Why can the government not get its stories straight?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, we are in the process of working to find replacements for Canada's current fighter jets for the future. As part of that, we are implementing a seven-point plan following on the Auditor General's report to do exactly that. One of those seven points involves continuing to identify opportunities for Canadian industry to participate in the joint strike fighter global supply chain.

Already, as part of the development stage of this plane, together with many other international partners, a lot of Canadian companies do have substantial contracts, and that has been able to help our industry. We will continue to look for more opportunities for that in the future to create jobs.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, that is all well and fine, but the government is forgetting that there are no guarantees of any industrial regional benefits, none whatsoever.

The government's plan is to spend tens of billions of dollars in the hope that Canadian industry will benefit. Past major procurement deals have had clear guarantees, usually $1 in industrial benefits for every $1 spent by Canada.

My question for the government is straightforward. Why is the government not negotiating a deal that would guarantee benefits and jobs in our communities?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, jobs and economic growth for Canadians are an important priority for this government, which is why we are moving on economic action plan 2012, which I know the opposition opposes. That is why we are also exploring replacements for our existing fighter jets while at the same time looking for opportunities for Canadian industry to participate, many of which already exist.

The one thing that is clear, though, is that if the NDP were in government, there would be no replacement fighter jets, there would be no jobs and we probably would no longer have any aeronautics industry in Canada and no aeronautics jobs. We are ensuring that will continue. The NDP would wipe it out.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, the minister left out that there would not be any food, there would not be any water, no land, no moon and no sun.

The deputy minister of National Defence testified that he gave the government all the numbers, “$5.7 billion for sustainment, $9 billion for acquisition, $10 billion for operating”. That is $24.7 billion.

In February, the Minister of National Defence claimed there was only one figure, $14.7 billion, saying, “I have no idea where these other figures are coming from. They are simply made up or they are guessing”.

Who is right, the deputy or the minister?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, members should listen carefully to the deputy's words, because the hon. member opposite has put a very different characterization on them.

The deputy said:

The government decided to communicate exactly the same way they have communicated since 2004 on the acquisition of major airframe assets—acquisition costs and sustainment costs.

That is since 2004. That is before even this government. That is the way it was done under previous governments. That is the way I understand it has always been done, and we continue to do that. That is according to the deputy minister. That is what he said, not what that hon. member is suggesting he said.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives are promising more transparency, but when we ask them a straightforward question about the total cost of the F-35s, they are unable to give us a single figure.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer was clear: the Conservatives deliberately lowered the price of the F-35s to make it easier for Canadians to swallow. We have been saying that for a long time, the Auditor General has said so and yesterday the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed it.

When will the government be more transparent and accept its responsibilities?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering
Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, it is clear that my hon. colleague's statements are absolutely not true.

Let us be transparent right here and now: funding for the program to replace our CF-18 fighter jets has been frozen. That is part of a seven step plan we have been talking about at length in this House, but I can repeat once again that the estimated replacement cost and lifespan of the CF-18s will be presented to this House under a new secretariat. The costs will be independently verified by the Treasury Board, and we will—

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order. The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.