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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Prime Minister's spinners were saying that their new defence strategy, all 755 words of it, would cost $30 billion, but yesterday the Prime Minister also said there would be another $50 billion for new equipment.

Whether it is $50 billion or $30 billion or $30 billion plus $50 billion, there is still one glaring fact: none of those numbers are mentioned in the Conservative budget that was published just two and a half months ago. Where is the provision in the budget for $30 billion in new defence operations plus $50 billion in new equipment?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said yesterday very clearly, this is a long term plan, and the long term plan calls for 20 years and to spend $30 billion by 2028, which is the operating budget. It will be annually by that time.

The other $45 billion to $50 billion is for capital expenditures. That is the plan, as the Prime Minister said, and that is the long term plan for the armed forces over that period of time.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary just totally contradicted himself from yesterday. One shows respect for Canada's armed forces first and foremost by telling the truth. According to the government's own projections, there is absolutely no fiscal room to pay for this new defence plan.

Even calling it a plan is a stretch. According to the defence department, this $30 billion or $50 billion or $80 billion or $90 billion plan exists only in two speeches. At 755 words, the Prime Minister's speech was totally vacuous and, strangely, the defence minister's speech, the one that was supposed to have the details, has disappeared. How does the government explain such a farce?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister and I made it very clear what these expenditures are and what was said about this plan.

What Canadians would like to know is what the Liberals' plan is on the carbon tax that they are going to be charging Canadians. Their leader has been saying that they are going to be charging Canadians a carbon tax. We want to know what is in their plan.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government presented a defence plan that no one is allowed to read. It announced costs that no one can agree upon. It has cut the department off from any kind of communication.

When will the minister give this House specifics on his so-called Canada first defence strategy? When will he tell us how much it will cost Canadians?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the 20 year plan that the government has announced includes replacing six core fleets, including the destroyers, land combat vehicles and fixed-wing research and rescue aircraft. For the forces, it includes ensuring the continuity of defence infrastructure and ensuring that the Canadian Forces are ready to deploy where and when they are needed. The time for the decade of darkness is over. We ordered that, and that is in the plan.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the Minister of National Defence and the parliamentary secretary are not able to answer the simplest of questions. How can we trust them with something as serious as a 20-year plan for our army?

The minister said that his plan would cost $30 billion, DND is talking about $50 billion, and industry stakeholders estimate nearly $100 billion.

My question is simple. Who is telling the truth?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, there is an operating budget and there is a capital budget. We have indicated what will be the operating budget and what will the capital budget. It is as simple as that. Now if the members do not understand the plan, that is fine.

However, Canadians would like to know about the carbon tax that the Liberals will charge them. That is an issue in which Canadians are interested.

As far as we are concerned, the Canada first strategy is where the armed forces are going in the future.

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question about the Mont-Tremblant International Airport, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety told us that he could not reveal anything about the nature of the discussions taking place. But the airport president, Serge Larivière, is saying that he would like to meet with the ministers concerned as quickly as possible. That is proof enough that there are no discussions taking place and that the parliamentary secretary is making things up.

Instead of saying whatever comes to mind, will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities finally take his files seriously?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I hope the member will listen closely. I said that the CBSA provided service at Rivière-Rouge/Mont-Tremblant Airport based on an agreement with the airport. The CBSA is willing to work closely with the airport on this important issue and hopes to find a resolution upon which they both can agree.

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is staying seated, just like a Liberal. We are being told that this is a private matter between the Canada Border Services Agency and the airport. It is not a private matter, it is a matter that concerns the 60,000 people from the region who are tired of the inaction of the Conservative government, a government that wants to deprive them of their economic engine. The entire tourism industry is affected.

The question is simple: will the government pay the cost of customs services and accord this airport the same status as all of the other similar airports?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, although we cannot disclose the information about private discussions taking place between the CBSA and the airport, discussions are ongoing pursuant to conditions in the agreement signed by CBSA and the airport. CBSA hopes to find a resolution upon which they both can agree.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I asked the Minister of the Environment about the precarious financial position of the upper St. Lawrence and southern estuary priority intervention zone committees. Their previous contribution agreements with Environment Canada expired on March 31, and they are still waiting for the department to sign new ones.

Will the minister make a promise today to put an end to this unacceptable suspense and sign the contribution agreement immediately?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the government is committed to a cleaner environment. After a decade of denial, a decade of neglect from the Liberals, it is this government that is protecting species at risk. This government is cleaning up the environmental mess left by the Liberals. It is this government that is actually doing something on the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the parliamentary secretary does not know what a priority intervention zone committee is. They are also known as ZIPs. The upper St. Lawrence ZIP will exhaust its line of credit on May 30. After that, the employees will be dismissed.

Will the minister take this situation seriously and make sure that these employees, who are dedicated to protecting the St. Lawrence River, are not fired?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member also knows the commitment of the government to clean up waterways.

We are the first government that is stopping the dumping of raw sewage, another legacy of the Liberal government. It was Liberal policy that it was an acceptable practice to dump raw sewage. It is not with this government. We are cleaning up the environment.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

May 16th, 2008 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the government announced that it is shutting down the MAPLE reactor project at AECL. This technology was being developed to replace the aging NRU reactor at Chalk River, which produces medical isotopes.

Considering the isotope shortage crisis that the government created earlier this year, how can it tell us that this decision will not have a negative impact on the secure and long term supply of the medical isotopes?

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government has accepted the decision of AECL to terminate the MAPLE project to allow it to focus on its core business responsibilities.

I am surprised the Liberals are getting on their feet and asking this question. The project began 12 years ago under their leadership. They were warned that it was a high-risk project. It has been plagued since its inception with problems. It has cost hundreds of millions of dollars and has technological challenges. The MAPLE project has never produced one isotope.

This will not impact isotope production in Canada, period.

One thing we do know is this government is taking leadership and acting, something the Liberal government could not do the entire time it was in office.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will tell members what I am surprised about. I am surprised that the minister is here answering questions. I hope he does not disappear like he did last time.

The minister told us at the natural resources committee that the National Bank review of AECL was completed. We know the government is secretly considering the privatization of AECL. This decision appears to be nothing but the government using taxpayer money for this writeoff.

Will the minister simply admit that this decision will make the privatization of AECL easier?

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is a good business decision. This is the right decision for the Canadian taxpayer. It is the right decision for AECL. It is the right decision for the medical community.

We all know, under the leadership of the former Liberal government, the Liberals spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this project. It is eight years behind schedule. It has been plagued with problems from its inception.

The Auditor General said, “I would certainly hope that somebody is going to take a good look at this particular project, assess very closely what is the likelihood of success”. That is exactly what we have done. We are providing the leadership. It is high time that somebody did.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, twice now the foreign affairs minister has ducked my question about whether his government supports an international ban on all cluster bombs. Both times he has simply read identical evasive lines; that is, they want to “reduce the harmful effects of certain types of cluster bombs”.

Will the minister put away his script today and admit that his government actually opposes an international ban on all cluster bombs?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada shares the goal of reducing the negative humanitarian impact of certain types of cluster munitions. Canada has never used cluster munitions. We are destroying whatever cluster munitions we have.

We have agreed to participate in the Oslo process. We are actively participating in meetings in Oslo, Lima and Vienna.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister's actions reveal his true intentions.

Next week, in Dublin, the international community meets to seek a ban on all cluster bombs, a ban that follows in the proud footsteps of Canada's efforts a decade ago to ban landmines. However, the minister is not even attending. He is sending a junior note-taker in his place.

Why is the government so indifferent to the horrendous effects of all cluster bombs, particularly, on innocent civilians?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada has never used cluster munitions. We are actively participating in meetings in Oslo, Lima and Vienna. Also, I am proud to say that we have signed on to the Wellington declaration. Again, we will be active participants in all the meetings

Perhaps the Liberals should talk more about their carbon tax, which Canadians are more interested in because it will destroy the economy.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is providing responsible leadership over our economy and the building of a stronger Canada.

On nuclear energy, the Minister of Natural Resources has been restoring the prudent management this important file deserves, after years of neglect by the previous government. The minister has been acting to address the issues our government inherited by funding legacy liabilities, launching a review of AECL, managing spent fuel and modernizing legislation.

As has been previously raised, the government has accepted the termination of the MAPLE project. Could the minister clarify again for the members the reasons behind this decision?