House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Why does the Minister of Finance want to heckle?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:55 p.m.

Jim Flaherty

Because she is making up numbers. That is why your party is a joke.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order, order. Order. I can be patient with hon. members as well. We only have about a minute and a half left. The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina has the floor. Again I would ask members who wish to carry on conversations to take it outside.

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the lives of more than 100,000 workers. This budget actually plans for unemployment to rise. It does nothing to train Canadians. It does little to create jobs. It is a job-cutting budget. It is a job-reduction budget. It is a job-loss budget. Who said more than 100,000 workers? Again, it was the Parliamentary Budget Officer on April 26.

If the Minister of Finance chooses not to listen, it is the same kind of behaviour as saying, “The F-35 is only $15 billion. Actually, it is $25 billion.” It is that same kind of math. This budget would lose 100,000 jobs. That is the problem with this budget.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

June 13th, Midnight

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina will have six minutes remaining for her speech and five minutes for questions and comments when the House next resumes debate on the question.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Search and Rescue
Adjournment Proceedings

June 13th, Midnight

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it being 12 o'clock at night, this is the very late show. This is a question I raised on March 12 this year regarding the adequacy of search and rescue services in Canada. The question at the end was this. When will the Conservatives finally make search and rescue a real priority in this country?

It is after 12 o'clock at night, but there are ships at sea on the west coast of Canada, on the Great Lakes, in the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There are ships at sea off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. There are fishermen fishing as we speak off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. There are approximately 600 workers working on oil platforms and drilling rigs off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador as we speak. Not only at this hour of the night but 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, there is a need for search and rescue services in Canada.

What we have seen from the government in recent times, including in this budget, are changes to Coast Guard search and rescue services, for example, in my home city of St. John's, Newfoundland, in Quebec City and in Vancouver harbour. We have seen the cancellation of a search and rescue coordinating centre in St. John's and one in Quebec City, and we have seen direct front-line search and rescue services in the port of Vancouver cancelled by the government. What kind of priority is search and rescue receiving?

We had a motion before the House. It has not been voted on yet, but the motion for the House to vote on tomorrow, at least in theory, is to bring Canada's search and rescue response time standard up to international standards. The method chosen was a 30-minute response standard from tasking to getting airborne. It is known as “wheels up”. Every indication is that the Conservatives will vote against that. In their speeches they said they would vote against it, but nowhere in their speeches was there any rationale as to why we could not have the same standard of 30 minutes wheels up for helicopters and fixed-wing search and rescue as the United States or Australia do, not even the 15-minute one that Norway, Ireland and England have for the majority of the day.

The only response we received from members opposite was that Canada is different, is unique, and we should have our own standard, our standard being 30 minutes from 8:00 to 4:00 on weekdays and two hours thereafter, and that is at the time when 83% of the taskings occur, outside this window of 30 minutes. However, there was no explanation given as to why they could not support that.

We have an inadequacy of helicopters for the Trenton area. They were supposedly temporarily put there in 2005. They are still there. We have an inability to work in the Arctic and gain access to the Arctic fast. We have a fixed-wing SAR program, which is based on developing airplanes to meet the status quo with no improvement in service expected, and that has been criticized by the government.

Therefore, we do have an inadequacy of priority. The question is this. When will that be changed? Is the government serious at all about search and rescue in Canada?

Search and Rescue
Adjournment Proceedings

June 13th, 2012 / midnight

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for this important question and for giving me the opportunity to set the record straight on search and rescue response times.

The Minister of National Defence has already been very clear on this issue. Canadians are fortunate to have one of the most effective search and rescue systems in the world. A vast network operates across the country to ensure that appropriate resources are available to respond to incidents that may arise anywhere within our 18 million square kilometre area of responsibility, an areas of land and sea greater than the size of continental Europe.

Search and rescue crews react as quickly as possible. Each search and rescue operation is complex and the victim's survival depends on many factors. The Canadian Forces continually assess their search and rescue capabilities.

Search and rescue crews respond immediately after being tasked, becoming airborne much sooner than the mandated times required. For example, in 2010, 103 Squadron based in Gander averaged a 19.5 minute reaction time during the 30-minute posture in the daytime and 50.7 minutes during the 2-hour posture in the evening.

Although many incidents are reported to the joint rescue coordination centres, the reporting of an incident does not necessarily mean that search and rescue resources, including Canadian Forces assistance, will be required.

In 2008, the Canadian Forces conducted a study to determine the level of effort required to achieve a continuous 30-minute search and rescue readiness posture and determined the response posture was an optimal one.

The Department of national Defence and the Canadian Forces continue to work with our search and rescue partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to improve collective search and rescue efforts and promote education and training to prevent search and rescue incidents from occurring.

Importantly, the Canadian Forces sponsors the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, which makes available more than 300 private aircraft with volunteer crews to assist in aerial search and homing of emergency radio beacons.

As well, virtually all Canadian Forces aircraft and crews may be called upon as appropriate to respond to search and rescue tasks.

The Canadian Forces will continue to evaluate its processes and capacity following search and rescue responses and incidents to ensure that our resources and posture are best suited to meet the needs of Canadians across this great country.

Search and Rescue
Adjournment Proceedings

June 13th, 12:05 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the government has cut in half the number of rescue coordinators available in the area of responsibility for the joint rescue coordinating centre in Halifax from six to three, plus it has eliminated the three person on duty search and rescue crew in Kitsilano Beach. In fact, the department's policy has been criticized for a lack of policy, being no standard of service by which performance is getting measured. As quickly as possible is not a standard of service.

The problem is that the actual performance is based on the availability of assets, not on a standard that is determined to be met. To say blandly that we have a most effective service is to ignore the fact that we lag far behind international standards and we have not given it the priority that it requires.

Search and Rescue
Adjournment Proceedings

June 13th, 12:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Actually, Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the NDP has voted against each and every one of our budgets to increase the capacity of our Canadian Forces and the search and rescue crews.

The primary mandate of the Canadian Forces is to conduct aeronautical and maritime search and rescue. Provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for ground search and rescue.

The Canadian Forces support the provinces and territories in the ground search and rescue efforts where and when able, when balancing assets to ensure that the Canadian Forces primary search and rescue mandate, maritime and aeronautical search and rescue is not compromised.

The current search and rescue fleet of Buffalo and legacy Hercules aircraft are approaching the end of their service life and our government recognizes that quick and efficient search and rescue service is critical to many Canadians.

We are moving forward with responsible management of the procurement of a new fleet of fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft through close consultation with industry. This process will result in the best outcomes for search and rescue and maximize benefits for Canadians. I hope this time around the NDP might support that.

Search and Rescue
Adjournment Proceedings

June 13th, 12:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for St. Paul's is not present to raise the matter for which adjournment notice had been given. Accordingly the notice is deemed withdrawn.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly the House stands adjourned until later this day at 2 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Monday, June 11 and Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 12:10 a.m.)