House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rescue.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are totally and absolutely committed to supporting our soldiers not only in theatre but also those coming back from service.

In this matter, the issue is being dealt with through the commission. I understand as well that there are legal considerations with respect to lawyer-client privilege. We are in fact working to resolve these issues as we speak.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us continue to speak about the lack of transparency.

The Conservatives still do not have a plan B with regard to the F-35s, or else they are simply refusing to share it. Meanwhile, the problems are continuing to pile up. The program is in its third reconfiguration. The employees who are building the F-35s are on strike and an American Senate committee is talking about serious problems with production.

When will the government realize that coming up with a plan B is a higher priority than a $47,000 photo shoot?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the member opposite, I do believe that she is in fact misinformed. We are working diligently to find ways to replace our aging CF-18s. We are guided by the work of the secretariat. We are committed to doing that. We are following diligently the recommendation made by the Auditor General.

It is really unfortunate that the member opposite and her party will not have faith in the recommendation made by the Auditor General.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may want to ignore the problems with the F-35, but the U.S. Senate armed services committee has serious concerns, concerns with affordability, with production quality and with warfare capability. Therefore, it seems the model F-35 was pretty close to the real thing after all.

What will the Conservatives say to the members of our air force when they find out they have to patrol the Arctic on the back of a flatbed truck?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is one of the most outrageous accusations I have heard. It is totally misplaced, misinformed and misunderstood no doubt by the member.

The member opposite is strictly misleading Canadians. We are working to procure the right aircraft for our men and women to replace the CF-18s. That member and his party should get into line and support our military.

Justice
Oral Questions

June 6th, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, human trafficking is a despicable crime that preys on the most vulnerable members of our society. Experts estimate that up to 15,000 men, women and children in Canada are victims of human trafficking and such victimization has happened in the very riding I represent.

It is our Conservative government, led by the member for Kildonan—St. Paul, who took action to ensure that those who engage in this sort of criminal activity face serious jail time. However, there is much more work that needs to be done.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please comment on what our government is doing to combat human trafficking?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, together with the Minister for Status of Women, I was pleased to announce today the national action plan to combat human trafficking.

We are focusing on four pillars of this strategy: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership. These measures will strengthen the coordination between our front line police officers to put a stop to human trafficking.

Our government is committed to ensuring we stamp out this despicable crime once and for all.

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, parading around Davos to meet with the elite of international finance is priceless. Renting a vehicle from Lately Embassy Services is costly. The Minister of Finance, the President of Treasury Board and the government House leader literally put the pedal to the metal when it comes to wasting public money. A luxury sport utility vehicle, even if it is a hybrid model, costs more than a regular hybrid.

I have a simple question. If the Minister of International Cooperation's limousine expenses were inappropriate, why are his appropriate?

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the World Economic Forum is an opportunity for Canadian ministers in attendance to talk about Canada's economic success story, which is exactly what they were doing in 2011. That is an easy thing to do because of Canada's strong economic performance compared with other developed countries during this economic downturn.

What I can tell members in terms of the facts of the particular situation is that the vehicles that were obtained were rented not by ministers' offices but rather by the department. They did so following an open and competitive process to obtain the lowest cost vehicles. Those vehicles were utilized to transport not just ministers, but staff and also departmental officials at this important conference.

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we form the government, we will go to Davos, but it will be to talk about sustainable development and not to steal seniors' money.

The Conservatives have been caught in the act and we can sense the panic. However, their problem is that they change the rules depending on which way the wind is blowing and they make up their own rules. There are rules for the unemployed and there are rules for the Conservatives. There are rules for seniors and there are other rules for the Conservatives.

In some cases, people are allowed to rent luxury cars and in others they are not, but we do not know why.

Can the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons enlighten us and spell out the exact rules for the appropriate use of a limousine?

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the leasing that was done by the departmental officials was done in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines and it was done to achieve the lowest possible costs while still satisfying the criteria set by the World Economic Forum.

The reason it was important for Canada to be there, and the reason the NDP did not want us there, was that we were talking about Canada's economic success. We were talking about the fact that we have the lowest debt and deficit of the major economies and the fact that we have the lowest overall tax rate by far for new business investment among industrialized developed countries. Why were we talking about that? It was because we are trying to create jobs here in Canada by telling those who are looking to invest where the best place in the world is to invest and create jobs. And that is Canada.

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about what they were talking about in Davos among the millionaires in Europe. They were saying that Canada was so poor that they were going to squeeze back the pensions of Canadian seniors. That is where they made that announcement. They did not tell Canadian seniors. They told the European millionaires.

Yesterday, the member told the House that they had to spend $23,000 on limos because it was about looking good. Is this standard established by the Durham minister now that they need to look good when they travel in Europe?

Why are they so interested in looking good in front of European millionaires instead of being accountable to Canadian taxpayers and to Canadian seniors?

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I did not say any such thing. What I said was that we had to comply with the rules that the World Economic Forum has for vehicles that will be within the World Economic Forum conference area.

The reason we were there was to talk about Canada's economic success, the fact that Canada has been performing well on the world stage and the fact that Canada is the best place to invest and create jobs. That is what we were talking about because there were people there who were trying to decide. They have a choice, the whole world, where they can go and invest and create jobs. We want them to come to Canada because we want to see jobs created here. We have done it for 750,000 Canadians so far. We will keep on working on that track record.

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Come on, Mr. Speaker. This is a question of fairness. It is not like we are asking them to take public transit.

Let us look at what they spent at Davos. The Muskoka minister racked up $8,000 on a limo that sat idle. We are not asking him to hitchhike. We are not asking him to turn back the gazebo. I will give him the receipts if he did not look at them.

My question is simple. Why are they not showing the same care for taxpayers dollars, the hard-working Canadians who sent them to Davos so they could hang around in limos looking good?

Ministerial Expenditures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I have every confidence that the officials at Foreign Affairs did their best when they sought to have a public competition to obtain the best possible costs. They did so but they also had to do so in a fashion that complied with the rules of the World Economic Forum for that conference.

However, the reason we were there is the important issue because the NDP members do not care about that and would not want us there. We were there to create jobs. We were there to tell Canada's economic success story. We were there to talk about the fact that Canada has the most skilled workforce in the world, with the highest proportion of post-secondary graduates in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. That is why we have an economic action plan now to make that skilled workforce even better and more effective so we can create more jobs and prosperity.