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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as we have said, the final costs will not be known until all of the claims are submitted and audited. The deadline for submitting final security claims will be December 1. We have said from the beginning that we welcome having the Auditor General look at those reports.

I want to say how proud we are of our Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities for the wonderful way in which he conducted the infrastructure spending in our economic action plan. We stand behind our programs. We are proud of them.

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, during his testimony before the Standing Committee on Finance, the Governor of the Bank of Canada said that Timothy Hodgson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who was appointed special adviser to the governor for a fixed period of time, will be able to return to the banking sector without a cooling-off period.

How can the Minister of Finance allow a private banker to go back to his Bay Street buddies after 18 months of unrestricted access to Bank of Canada secrets? How can he accept that?

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada makes its own hiring decisions and is obliged to follow the conflict of interest guidelines.

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, like the situation with the Prime Minister's new chief of staff on loan from Onex, Mr. Hodgson's situation is untenable. Both will return to the private sector with state secrets and lots of high-level contacts.

Mr. Hodgson is not stupid. He is negotiating the bank's position on derivatives, he is responsible for the central bank's relationship with the Toronto financial community and he is a member of the bank’s monetary policy review and financial system review committees

Are we supposed to believe that he will go back to the private sector overnight, forgetting everything he has seen, read and heard? Not likely.

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada makes its own hiring decisions and is obliged to follow the conflict of interest guidelines.

I can add that the person in question has severed his ties with the private sector.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, only sentences of less than two years can be served at home. So we are not talking about violent, dangerous offenders. Furthermore, judges who grant this measure must be convinced that it presents no risk to public safety. If a judge were to grant this measure to a violent, dangerous offender, that would clearly be grounds for an appeal.

Can the minister confirm this to be true under existing legislation and that, therefore, violent, dangerous offenders are not allowed to serve their sentences in the community?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have been very consistent. We believe those who commit serious violent crimes should be kept behind bars and not in the comfort of their homes.

I appreciate all these things are always opposed by the Bloc members. At least they are consistent on this. Any attempt by this government to get tough on crime is consistently opposed or delayed by the Bloc. When are those members going to get it? Crime is a problem and the Bloc should be supporting the efforts of this government on all occasions.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, when will the minister answer the question?

This kind of sentence is common in Europe. Our experiences here in Canada have been conclusive regarding their effectiveness in rehabilitating many offenders. The minister has every right to think that such sentences should be abolished or seriously limited, but to say that it is to stop violent, dangerous offenders from serving their sentences at home is simply not true.

Will the minister confirm that his bill applies only to less serious crimes, which carry sentences of less than two years?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are making it very clear that individuals, for instance, who set fire to somebody's house are not qualified or have it available to them be able to go to their home.

The Bloc members are very consistent on all these things, whether it is human trafficking, or just the other day, when we were getting rid of the faint hope clause, when they had an opportunity to stand up for victims. The Bloc members never do that. That is the difference between them and us. We will get the job done on behalf of law-abiding Canadians and victims in this country.

Government SpendingOral Questions

October 27th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, this is the biggest borrowing, biggest spending government in Canadian history. It put the country in a deficit even before the recession. In its first three years, the government increased spending by over $32 billion, an 18% increase.

Here are its priorities: an additional $2.2 billion on outside consultants since coming to office; and in the last year alone, an additional $13 million for PMO communications.

When will this borrow-and-spend government get its reckless spending under control?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the IMF and the OECD praise this government and the fiscal situation that Canada is in: the best fiscal situation in the G7. This hypocritical point that the member opposite raises, after voting for the economic action plan in the best interests of the country, and to stand here now and say that the stimulus plan has not saved hundreds of thousands of jobs is outrageous.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this borrow-and-spend government is addicted to overpriced consultants. Last fall, the Conservatives hired Greg Gormick to write two press releases. He was paid $1,200 for one and $2,200 for the other. That is $3,400 for 1,300 words.

It is also worth noting that the consultant was later given a job with the Conservative member for Peterborough.

Public servants could have prepared these press releases at a fraction of the cost.

How can the government justify this waste?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Yellowhead Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, upon hearing of this, I wrote a letter to this Crown corporation. It is not exempt.

It is a letter of reprimand explaining that I want a full review of expenditures and that we need value for money. I will hold it accountable and I will ensure that it complies.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this reckless finance minister pretends that his spending is on track. However, his track led straight to a $56 billion deficit, the largest in Canadian history. He blew $1.3 billion on a G20 photo op and another $9.4 billion on pricey consultants. Add to this $10 billion for Republican-style mega-prisons, and more than $16 billion for untendered stealth jets.

When will the minister stop his borrowing and spending binge and show some respect for the taxpayer?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member, who is the finance critic for the Liberal-led coalition, when asked whether he would repeal the GST reductions in Halifax said, “Absolutely yes”. That is the party that would raise the GST by two percentage points and whose leader describes himself as a tax-and-spend Liberal.

We do not need any lessons from the Liberals about spending in Canada.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this borrow-and-spend minister increased spending by 18% in his first three years of office. In fact, he put Canada into deficit even before the downturn. Now he is wasting billions of dollars on high-priced consultants, advertising, photo ops, and contracts for Conservative cronies.

Canadian taxpayers want these borrow-and-spend Conservatives to stop wasting their money.

When will the finance minister stop his Conservative gravy train?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is how much respect the Liberal finance critic has for taxpayers' money. He said neither the Liberal caucus nor the Liberal Party “has ever encountered a problem that they did not believe to be best solved by throwing copious quantities of taxpayers' money at it. They are tax and spend-aholics”.

That is what the Liberals are. They are tax-and-spend Liberals who will drive this country into deficit in a structural way.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, last summer our government committed to purchase the F-35 joint strike fighter to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s. This decision was taken a full 13 years after the program was first launched. During those 13 years, a competition was held and Lockheed Martin won the contract to make the world's only fifth generation fighter available to Canada.

Would the Minister of National Defence please highlight the benefits that this decision has created for the Canadian aerospace industry and the Canadian Forces?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member for Westlock—St. Paul is absolutely right that the only aircraft that will meet the operational needs of the Canadian Forces for the next 30 to 40 years is the F-35. I know the Liberals opposite agree because they started the process.

Our aerospace industry has the potential to benefit from $12 billion in contracts and thousands and thousands of jobs. Seventeen years ago we know the Liberals cancelled a contract and we are seeing this happen again. We have seen the Liberal rerun of cancelling important military procurements, punishing the military and the aerospace industry.

The Canadian aerospace industry condemns the Liberal position.

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, any apparent conflict of interest in our democratic institutions undermines public confidence. That is one of the reasons why the Conservatives promised to do things differently from the Liberals and to replace their lax approach with strict rules. Unfortunately, as Sheila Fraser reminded us yesterday, they have not always done that.

Yesterday evening, we learned that the Governor of the Bank of Canada, himself a former executive at Goldman Sachs, has hired Timothy Hodgson, the chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Canada, for a period of 18 months. Mr. Hodgson will then be free to return to the private sector, as his contract does not include a cooling-off period.

Does the minister think this is acceptable?

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada makes its own hiring decisions. The bank is obliged to follow the conflict of interest guidelines. The person in question has severed his ties with the private sector.

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of whether he severed his ties, it is a question of the revolving door back to the private sector.

As Sheila Fraser reminded us yesterday, they still have not brought in the conflict rules. They do not exist.

Goldman Sachs made billions in derivatives. Mr. Hodgson will be designing the entire architecture for the Bank of Canada in this sector and leaving with the pass codes for the alarm system.

Mark Carney finally admitted last night that he did not include any cooling-off period in Mr. Hodgson's contract.

We have tough anti-conflict rules for ministers and their staff. Is the minister willing to work rapidly with Parliament to put in place the long-promised rules to avoid the revolving door between firms such as Goldman Sachs and the Bank of Canada?

Bank of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada must follow the conflict of interest guidelines for its employees and I am assured that it has done so in this case.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General noted that a number of infrastructure projects will not meet the deadlines set by the federal government because of departmental delays in approving projects.

Will the government acknowledge that it is partly responsible for delays on job sites and extend the deadline for all infrastructure projects as called for by Quebec municipalities?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Auditor General for her analysis of the infrastructure program.

She said, “I would say I would give the government high marks for how they managed” this program.

She said, “I think officials deserve congratulations for rolling out such a major program quickly, without resorting to throwing [any] regulations or safeguards out”.

This program went out the door. It created hundreds of thousands of jobs in every part of this country. We are being fair and reasonable with the municipalities, but we can thank the finance minister , the former infrastructure minister and the government for making sure that this recovery has stayed in place.