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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. There seem to be a host of questions, but there is only one that is going to be answered. That was asked by the member for Markham—Unionville and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance has been recognized by the Chair as the member who will reply to the question. He has the floor. We will have some order, please.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to respond to a useless question, if that is his accusation.

Let me repeat that we have been very clear and consistent on this matter. Good value for money was provided. There was a recognition that administrative functions were not followed. We have taken action to ensure this does not happen again.

International AidOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, when it came to international aid, the Liberals talked the talk but they did not walk the walk. They hung out with rock stars and lectured the world, but they just did not get it done.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of International Cooperation have set realistic and achievable goals to meet our commitment of doubling aid to Africa. The Prime Minister's announcement of $105 million for the Canadian-led initiative to save a million lives is just the first step.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell us the latest steps this government is taking to meet her commitment?

International AidOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague. The government is getting things done. We will in fact meet our commitment of doubling aid to Africa this year.

International AidOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International AidOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Minister of International Cooperation has the floor. We will have some order. I remind hon. members today is Thursday. It is no longer Wednesday. The Minister of International Cooperation will have some order so I can hear her answer.

International AidOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the government will meet its commitment to doubling aid to Africa this year. In fact, we have announced the initiative to save a million lives and $125 million to the World Food program to feed African school children.

Earlier today, I announced almost $400 million to strengthen the economic growth, fight hunger and ensure basic service to Africans.

I am proud to be part of a government that is delivering to Africa and getting things done.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a clear rule at Treasury Board requiring multiple bids above $25,000. The Minister of Finance breached that rule. He gave a contract to one of his buddies for $122,000.

It is a fundamental issue of public trust. In the last election the Conservatives, in the wake of Liberal scandal, promised even higher ethical standards. What we have is a Prime Minister who refuses to apply the rules. Does he realize that by putting themselves above the rule, the Conservatives are signalling to the public that the rules do not count when it comes to the government and they are breaching the trust?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I will remind all hon. members that in this contract we did receive good value for money. The contract was administratively not functioning. Administrative functions were not followed, but they will in the future.

Let me talk a little about the legitimate work that was done in this contract. It is part of what brought us budget 2007, a document that resolved the fiscal imbalance that the Liberals left for 13 long years.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are rules in place. They are clear. They were flouted by a minister.

Instead of sending one of his backbenchers to protect him, why does the Prime Minister not have the courage to rise in this House and discipline his minister, who gave $122,000 to one of his buddies for a 20-page speech, a flagrant breach of the rules? Why are there no sanctions for these ministers, although they insist that the public obey the law?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, I will remind the hon. member of what I have answered many times before. Good value for money was provided. This good value went into budget 2007, a budget that resolved the fiscal imbalance in massive infrastructure funding like the country has never seen before. It is something the Liberals, by the way, voted against, as did the NDP.

It is very surprising that they would go home to their constituents and admit that they did not vote for $33 billion in infrastructure spending.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, behind the repackaged and rebranded Conservative Party, we see that it is nothing more than the old Reform-Alliance, trying to turn back the clock 50 years by voting unanimously in support of the death penalty yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that the death penalty and the issue of abortion were “not issues for the first Conservative government”. Does yesterday's vote not prove beyond a doubt the Conservatives want to bring back the death penalty?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member has it absolutely wrong. The government has no plans to change its policy and introduce any legislation in this area.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, by voting yesterday on the death penalty, the Conservative government voted against Canadian legislation and policies, against the case law of the Supreme Court, against our international obligations and against victims of wrongful convictions.

Why undermine the rule of law? Why scorn the rights of innocent people? Why support such a cruel and unusual punishment?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member has it absolutely wrong. We respect the decisions and the directions of the Supreme Court. Again, we have no intention of bringing in legislation in this area.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that CPP saw its assets shrink by $2 billion in the third quarter, including hundreds of millions of dollars in income trusts devastated by the Conservative government. Similar losses are being faced by millions of Canadians as they look at their RRSP statements for February.

Canadians are deeply worried about the economy, but yesterday the finance minister said that the government had done “enough” to help Canadians.

Does the Minister of Finance have anything to offer Canadians other than, “Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride?”

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to respond to the question and talk about all of the amazing tax cuts that were put in place in budget 2007 and our economic statement.

It is a little in contrast to what the member for Markham—Unionville is asking. He is suggesting that he does not want to see us go into a deficit budget. He then comes with a shopping list as long as it would take to drive us into a deficit position.

I do not understand the Liberals' costing mechanism over there.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a rather unsatisfactory answer for those who have seen their CPP or RRSPs devastated. It is not surprising that the Conservatives see no role for government. They do not believe in government. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs in industry, manufacturing and forestry. Truly tough times are Tory times.

Does the Minister of Finance agree with his caucus member who said,

In terms of the unemployed...[we] don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance.

Who said that? The Prime Minister.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this gives me another opportunity to talk about how strong our economic fundamentals are in the country. That is because of the finance minister and the decisions taken by the Prime Minister.

We are experiencing the second longest period of economic expansion in Canadian history, much to the contrast of the previous 13 years. Business investment is expanding for the 12th consecutive year.

I am glad they are cheering me on. I could continue with all the wonderful things we have done on this side of the House.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the $19 million disbursed to the municipality of Shannon in 2004 by the federal government is not enough to complete the construction of a new water system capable of providing citizens with potable water. An additional $11 million is required.

Given that it is his responsibility, will the Minister of National Defence promise to provide additional financial assistance to Shannon in order to complete construction of the water system?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces have been working with the people of Shannon for years. The people of the community have been using the Valcartier water system for years. We are working with them every day to try to make the situation as good as we can. We will continue to do that.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, furthermore, the Conservatives had promised to complete the repairs to the Quebec bridge, a promise it did not keep although they took CN to court to force it to complete the work. Since CN is refusing to honour its commitments, the federal government must regain ownership.

Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertake to rescind this transfer enabling the federal government to regain ownership of the bridge and complete the repairs, as the Conservatives promised in the last election?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with respect to accomplishments in the greater Quebec City area over the past two years, we can mention the Chauveau stadium, our participation in the study on high-speed trains, an investment of $15 million in the airport, CED investments in the 400th anniversary celebrations and, of course, the Quebec bridge.

As my hon. colleague is aware, this matter is presently before the courts.

Election ExpensesOral Questions

February 7th, 2008 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in looking for more proof that accountability was nothing more than a Conservative slogan during the campaign, we can just look at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

The government has done everything possible to block an investigation by Elections Canada that found the Conservative Party, and no other party, overspending the legal limit for national advertising by a million dollars.

Will the member for Cambridge, the chair of that committee, assure this House that at the very next meeting there will be a democratic vote on hearings on the Conservatives' in and out scheme, or will he continue to merely be a pawn of the PMO?