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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prices.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we have no intention of talking about members' private lives in the House.

Since the member is still asking these questions, we would like to make the following comments. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has done a lot of good work with the Minister of International Cooperation. For example, I would like to quote Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program.

She said:

Time is of the essence to reach those in need in Myanmar. We are most grateful to [the] Minister for his rapid life-saving action on behalf of the Canadian people.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, that does not answer my question, so I will try to ask another.

We know that the Minister of Foreign Affairs' former girlfriend's business venture was not selected for a sensitive transportation security contract.

Can the government tell us if that business' bid was rejected following security screenings, and can it explain why the government failed to conduct a detailed security screening of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his then-girlfriend?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, that is a matter that took place under the Liberal government, but the real point we are getting at here has nothing to do with the issue and substance. This is just again a transparent effort to ask prurient questions about people's personal and private lives which members of the opposition find quite interesting.

However, while they have been doing that they have been ignoring the good news that has been happening in Canada's economy. We had thousands of new jobs last month and the latest is:

“Sales by Canadian wholesalers edged up more than expected in March, lifted by building supplies, and machinery and electronic equipment”, Stats Canada said Tuesday...“0.6 per cent to $42.7 billion”.

While members opposite are worrying about people's personal lives, we are making sure the economy is strong.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, following a meeting last Thursday with the Minister of Public Safety, the president of the Mont Tremblant International Airport Authority, Serge Larivière, was told that a short-term solution would not be put in place to deal with the unfair customs fees the airport has been charged. This situation is becoming urgent. The airport is key to the economic development of the Laurentian region.

Will the minister take this a little more seriously and tell us what he intends to do?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, my assistants had a positive meeting with representatives of the Mont Tremblant airport. Furthermore, they are trying to identify different options. We understand that about 200 airports like this one, all across Canada, have signed agreements and continue to honour their contracts.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a concern for 60,000 people in the region, who are sick and tired of the Conservative government's inaction. Today, an entire delegation is here demanding action from this government. The minister will not be able to shirk his responsibility forever.

Will they be given an answer right now? Will the government finally pay the cost of customs services and give this airport the same status as all other airports of the same type?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are fully aware of the importance of small airports throughout the country.

As I said, my officials acted immediately when they learned that representatives of the Mont Tremblant airport were not paying their fees. They are continuing to look for a solution.

The status of this particular airport is the same as others throughout Canada. These airports must honour their contracts. However, we will try to find different options.

JusticeOral Questions

May 26th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, repeated reports indicate that the President of the Treasury Board is being vetted for a federal judicial appointment.

When a name is put forward, the perspective nominee is contacted by the commissioner to determine interest. The nominee is asked to complete a personal history form which is then filed with the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.

Will the President of the Treasury Board confirm that he has completed a personal history form and that his name now stands on the list of applicants?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the appointments we discuss in public are the ones that have been made. We have appointed 165 individuals based on merit and legal excellence and we are proud of every appointment. I can assure the House that the next 165 appointments will be on that basis as well.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Manitobans deserve a better answer than that. The President of the Treasury Board and former justice minister appointed the members of the advisory committee that would be asked to recommend his own appointment.

How can the minister in good faith let his name stand for consideration when the conflict of interest is so blatantly obvious?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we will be guided by the principles that have guided this government and its appointments up to this point in time.

The hon. member says that she is from Manitoba. Why has she not figured out that there is a problem with auto theft in that province and why does she not give us some support on that for a change?

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Emanuel Montenegrino has worked for the Conservatives on a host of legal matters, including legal representation for the Prime Minister. He is also registered to lobby for 10 clients, which includes lobbying the Prime Minister's Office and MPs directly.

Now we have learned that he was asked to secretly vet some prospective judicial appointees outside the normal established process.

In an unrelated matter, that individual was recently suspended for two months and fined by the Law Society of Upper Canada for professional misconduct.

Is he still working for the PMO and lobbying its offices at the same time?

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the appointments we have made to the bench have been applauded right across the country, including by members of the hon. member's own party who have publicly supported us in the appointments we have made.

These are outstanding individuals who are prepared to serve their sovereign and their country and they should be applauded by all members of the House.

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is about the government's judgment and willingness to turn a blind eye to conflicts of interest whenever it involves its friends.

Mr. Montenegrino was hired by the PMO to hold the hands of Conservative MPs during months of committee hearings on the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. He was hired by MPs and cabinet ministers to do legal work, while, at the same time, was registered to lobby the same people on behalf of different clients.

What went on in those closed door meetings between the Prime Minister's confidant and the judicial appointees he was asked to vet?

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this government brought in the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history in the Federal Accountability Act, with great resistance from the Liberal side.

We have an empowered registrar of lobbyists who is in charge of overseeing and regulating the lobbyist sector. If that member or any other member has evidence of wrongdoing by a lobbyist then they should report it to the lobbyist registrar so that it can be investigated and examined.

This government, however, has followed all the rules and we are proud to advance the agenda of accountability.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Ajax—Pickering has made a number of unsubstantiated allegations against the Minister of the Environment in the House over the last number of weeks and months.

It is now reported that the body to which the member made his complaints has completely dismissed the matter. It was apparently off the mark.

Since the member for Ajax—Pickering has made these false accusations against the Minister of the Environment in the House, could the government House leader please clarify the situation?

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services has rejected the complaints from the Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering.

In fact, this morning, on CFRA radio, the OPP commissioner, Julian Fantino, said that the only political interference in this case was coming from the member for Ajax—Pickering. He called the member's claims preposterous, ludicrous, “frivolous, vexatious and...an attempt to interfere with due process”.

The only thing left for him to do is to stand in his place, apologize for his smear campaign against the Minister of the Environment and apologize to the good men and women of the OPP who he smeared as well.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, defence department documents show that the situation for the aging fleet of Buffalo search and rescue planes is worse than we thought. It is very precarious, they say, and yet the government decided that it would wait until 2015 before replacing these 40-year-old aircraft.

Will the Conservatives commit to having new search and rescue planes before 2015 or will they admit that, even with a $70 billion military capital plan, domestic search and rescue is just not a priority for the Conservatives?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, I spoke with our officials with respect to the extension of the Buffalo aircraft and they have advised me that they are structurally sound. We augment the search and rescue on the west coast, as the member would know, with other aircraft.

We will continue to work as quickly as possible to see that we are able to procure new aircraft. This particular aircraft is very specialized in its use. It has the ability to go into mountainous areas in terms of search and rescue.

We will not put pilots in unsafe aircraft. We will continue to work with industry and with our department to see that we do it properly, transparently and that we get it done on time, unlike the previous government.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, words from the minister will not give B.C. search and rescue aircraft enough propellers to fly or engines that will not quit.

People want to know if the planes will fly, not Conservative spin.

Why is it that the government has no trouble finding a half million dollars to buy advocacy from the Conference of Defence Associations but cannot find enough money to replace planes that save lives on our Pacific coast?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I just said that we will be replacing those aircraft and that we are working diligently to ensure that search and rescue continues safely.

However, it is interesting to note, coming from the member, when it comes to resources for National Defence, back on December 6, 2007, the NDP voted against funding for occupational stress injuries and clinics. The NDP members voted against budget 2008 with respect to veterans' hospitals. They voted against the extension to the VIP project and against educational benefits for the children of deceased soldiers.

When it comes to members of the NDP, from the schoolyard to the graveyard, they vote against our military, their families and the continuation of military procurement.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the tourism industry is already suffering considerably from the strong Canadian dollar. We do not need to add to its suffering. Yet that is exactly what the government is doing by refusing to come to its senses and see that tourism in Mont Tremblant is taking a beating without its airport.

My question is for the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. Has he told the public safety minister just how much could be lost in economic spinoffs if the Mont Tremblant airport continues to be treated so unfairly?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government fully understands the importance of small airports across Canada. My staff continues to explore possible solutions for this issue. It is also important to understand that contracts exist with approximately 200 airports across the country and those contracts must be respected.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is completely out to lunch on this. It is not the same thing. The calculation is quite simple. I will explain it so he will understand.

We add up all the revenue generated by visitors who pass through the Mont Tremblant airport. We calculate the number of jobs created, the income tax generated and all the sales tax revenues, and then we compare this amount with the bill from the Canada Border Services Agency. This is very straightforward. In tallying this up, even the minister must see that the airport is a good business proposition.

Will they reverse their decision?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, my officials are continuing to work with representatives from the airport referred to by my colleague. A solution must be found and the contract must be respected. Representatives from the Mont Tremblant airport signed a contract and they approved of it when they signed it. We will continue to seek a solution.