House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Workplace Safety
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Westray mine disaster in Plymouth, Nova Scotia, where 26 coal miners lost their lives in one of Canada's worst mining disasters. Our hearts go out to all the families and friends of the miners who lost their lives.

We also honour the entire community that mobilized to assist in a search and rescue following the explosion, especially the search and rescue teams and those brave draegermen. Justice Peter Richard of the Westray inquiry described Westray as “a story of incompetence, of mismanagement, of bureaucratic bungling, of deceit, of ruthlessness, of cover-up, of apathy, of expediency, and of cynical indifference”.

Former NDP leader Alexa McDonough kept her promise to the Westray families by pushing for changes to the Criminal Code. She laid the groundwork for the 2004 Westray bill that holds corporate managers and employers criminally responsible for endangering the lives of workers.

As our brothers and sisters of the United Steelworkers remind us, we must enforce the law to ensure that another Westray never happens again.

May God bless the memory of those 26 miners.

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week the newly minted, NDP, chief soft-on-crime spokesman and member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca stood in this House and, shockingly, delivered a statement praising the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies for standing up for the rights of both offenders and victims. No doubt the first part of that statement is probably correct.

Unbelievably, this is the same organization that claimed to the public safety committee that front-line prison guards strip-searching convicted criminals to prevent the trafficking of contraband and drugs was “state-sponsored sexual assault”.

Standing up for this special interest group shows just how opposed the NDP is to the values that are important to Canadians and Canadian families.

Unlike the NDP, our government will always put the rights of law-abiding Canadians ahead of the rights of criminals.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one-third of the Conservative budget bill is dedicated to dismantling environmental protection. Canadians will no longer have the right to participate in public hearings. Key independent agencies will be cut out of the process. Ministers will be given the power to ignore the facts, ignore the science and reverse any decision they do not agree with.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to sneak through these changes in a 421 page budget bill?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the statement by the leader of the NDP is completely false. The fact of the matter is that as part of the government's economic action plan to encourage jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, we are streamlining the environment assessment process. It will be extremely thorough. It will be for major projects up to two years. We know that the NDP opposes these kinds of projects completely. However, we have to have a process that is environmentally thorough but that ultimately does allow projects to be approved under some circumstances.

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Project dismantle, Mr. Speaker.

It is not only environmental assessments that the government wants to scrap. During the 2006 election campaign, the Prime Minister promised to establish a new Public Appointments Commission. He said that such a commission would “establish merit-based criteria” and “ensure that competitions are widely publicized and equitably administered”. The Prime Minister has not kept his word and is now dismantling this commission.

Why is the Prime Minister hiding the fact that he is breaking a promise on accountability in a budget bill?

Public Appointments Commission
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is ironic, because the NDP voted against establishing that Public Appointments Commission. Furthermore, they are the ones who asked us to stop spending money on it. During that time, we established very clear qualifications for appointments, and we abide by them when appointing people based on merit.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is giving us another history lesson. Actually, we voted for the accountability act.

Back in the days of the sponsorship scandal, the Prime Minister had great respect for the Auditor General. The Prime Minister campaigned on expanding the Auditor General's powers and increasing the Auditor General's budget,. However, buried in the 421 pages of his budget bill, the Prime Minister is taking away the power of the Auditor General to monitor 12 separate agencies.

What kind of budget act slashes oversight of the budget? Is that why he does not want anybody paying too close attention to his budget bill?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these changes have been done in concert with the Auditor General.

Let me go back and remind the NDP of the record when this government tried to name a nominations commissioner. The NDP voted against the establishment of that. That is the fact. The fact of the matter is, of course, the NDP has long demanded that we cease spending money on this. What the government has done is established very clear qualifications for any appointed position in this government. We have named only people who meet those qualifications. That is why the NDP has not found a single instance of somebody not being nominated on merit.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the government that has two sets of books on the F-35 and now is telling Canadians “just trust us” on the budget, on appointments, et cetera. I do not think so.

This is also the government that claimed for ages that each plane would cost $75 million and then attacked anybody who contradicted it. Last week, the Department of National Defence sent officials to Washington to get updated numbers on the escalating costs of the F-35.

Can the procurement minister share with Canadians the new cost numbers?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as has been said many times, we are following diligently the recommendations of the Auditor General and going beyond. There is a seven step action plan in place. We are following that process. Those answers will be forthcoming in the fullness of time.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister is having trouble figuring out which set of books to enter those numbers into.

Yesterday the report on plans and priorities for DND revealed the familiar procurement pattern of delays and cost escalation. This time it is the Arctic icebreaker, pushed back to 2018. The Conservatives promised it in 2013 and then by 2015. In the meantime, costs have escalated by $40 million and counting.

Why has every Conservative procurement project been late, over budget and poorly managed?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is a very strange question from a party that does not support any acquisition whatsoever for our military men and women. However, our government is committed to providing our Canadian Forces with modern, capable equipment, including the Arctic offshore patrol ships. These ships will be built in Canada and will allow our proud Royal Canadian Navy to enforce our northern sovereignty in a way that he would not appreciate.

We will continue to do the best we can in this regard.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the Minister of the Environment referred to the “money laundering” activities of several registered charities in the country.

Given the fact that the Canada Revenue Agency is supposed to be politically neutral, is not supposed to be a political arm of the Conservative Party of Canada or of the Government of Canada and is supposed to be objective and confidential, does the Prime Minister not realize that the kinds of comments made by his minister in fact point to a political campaign against a number of registered charities which the government simply does not like? Does he not understand the dangers—

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency is independent of the government and is tasked with enforcing the law. The laws with respect to registered charities are clear. In fact, we are taking steps to ensure they are crystal clear. However, they are clear that there are limits to political activities for donations that people give on a tax receivable basis for charitable causes.