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House of Commons Hansard #89 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

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the members opposite continue to put false information on the record. For example, yesterday a member opposite raised the Seoul summit and indicated that it would cost 2% of what it cost the Conservatives. In fact, when the South Korean ambassador was asked if the total security bill would climb above $1 billion, he said, “probably yes. With this kind of indirect contribution by Americans, yes”.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities once again demonstrated the federal government's arrogance when he said that Quebec was not providing enough information about progress on infrastructure projects. He said that he would grant the necessary extensions on a case-by-case basis if Quebec can provide justification.

Given that the economy needs stimulating, does the government realize that it makes no sense to put an end to infrastructure projects for bureaucratic reasons?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was before committee this morning and I was very clear. We have a good and respectful relationship with the Government of Quebec. The minister said as much in the national assembly this week.

I have communicated to the Government of Quebec that we are being very respectful of working through the provincial government, not directly with municipalities on these projects. That means that the Government of Quebec needs to give us the details of the Preco projects in particular, so that we can work together to find a fair and reasonable accommodation.

We are working well with the Government of Quebec and respecting both provincial and federal laws as we are doing so.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the minister's assurances that the deadline is still five months away, I should point out that some kinds of work are difficult to do in Quebec in the winter.

The federal government's obsession with red tape is putting one-third of Quebec's projects at risk. Quebec's municipalities could be on the hook for an extra $200 million because of the Conservatives' inflexibility.

When will the government extend the deadline for all of the projects?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct. The deadline is still five months away, which means that we have time to sit down together with the Government of Quebec to talk about ways to deal with the projects. We have already been working closely with the Government of Quebec.

About a week ago, in working with the Government of Quebec, I helped to re-profile some money for projects that it said just could not be done because there was not enough time. It said that it would rather do other projects. We said that if the Government of Quebec wanted to do that, then we could work together to make that happen. We have been working on that.

We will be fair and reasonable but we need that data. Just throwing out 30% numbers without any data is anecdotal.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, very disturbing things are happening at Public Works and the former minister refuses to take responsibility. For three weeks now we have been hearing about questionable practices in the awarding of contracts to Conservative cronies, as well as dubious ties to the biker gangs and mobsters involved in the construction industry. The minister denies everything.

Will the former minister of public works, the current Minister of Natural Resources, appear before the committee and tell us what he was doing at a cocktail fundraiser organized by a construction contractor who won a contract from his department, an event at a restaurant frequented by mobsters?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all.

I have a question. Yesterday I said the Bloc member had participated in an event organized by the Réseau de Résistance du Québécois. I have the invitation here with his name on it. I also have a photo from another RRQ event he attended. The RRQ's manifesto states, “The RRQ will also rehabilitate those who fought for the Front de libération du Québec...”.

I have a very simple question for the hon. member for Sherbrooke. Does he plan to rehabilitate the people who murdered minister Pierre Laporte?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny that Paul Sauvé enjoyed a great deal of preferential treatment to obtain the West Block contract.

Does the minister not believe that we have serious cause for concern, given that the criteria for awarding contracts was modified to accommodate a contractor who had hired a Conservative lobbyist, and given that his business managed to pass security screenings even though it was controlled by the Hells Angels?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear that that was not the case.

Yesterday, I reported that the Bloc Québécois MP for Sherbrooke spoke at an event organized by Réseau de Résistance du Québécois. I have the invitation and promotion of this event here. I also have a photo and a YouTube clip of an event that he spoke at for the RRQ.

The RRQ's manifesto is that it aims to rehabilitate the combatants of the FLQ.

I have a simple question for members of the Bloc Québécois. Do they want to resurrect the ideology and the tactics of the murderer of Pierre Laporte?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently tried to raise doubts about PotashCorporation by saying that it would make no difference to him if this company were no longer the Canadian champion it currently is. And the Minister of Industry is starting to stall.

Who decides? Is it the Prime Minister who controls the process?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if the member had actually read the Investment Canada Act, she would realize that the Minister of Industry has statutory responsibilities under the Investment Canada Act.

I intend to discharge those responsibilities to determine, under the net benefit to Canada test, whether this particular bid passes muster or not. I will exercise my responsibilities with due regard to the bidder's opinions and to the opinions of other Canadians, including those involved with the Government of Saskatchewan. I will make my decision shortly.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need to ask where the 11 Conservative members of Parliament and 2 Conservative cabinet ministers from Saskatchewan are. Are they afraid? Are they muzzled? There is only one member of Parliament for Saskatchewan who is speaking out for the interests of the people of Saskatchewan.

When will those 13 Saskatchewan Conservative MPs stop being afraid of speaking out in support of Saskatchewan?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thought I had heard it all in this place, but the member for Willowdale thinking she knows what is in the best interests of the MPs from Saskatchewan is certainly a new high or a new low, I am not sure which.

I would also remind the hon. member that if she wants to talk about people looking out for their own interests, the hon. member's party had 13 AWOL MPs for the Bill C-300 vote yesterday. That shows that the Liberals are trying to suck and blow at the same time, which is a typical Liberal tactic.

In our case, we will do the best thing for Canadians because that is what we do.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have now learned from CIDA documents obtained through access to information and reviewed by the minister one year ago, that KAIROS' objectives are in fact “strategically aligned with our country program objectives”.

On September 20 of this year, the minister for CIDA, in absolute contradiction of her own department's findings said, “KAIROS was recently refused funding as it did not meet the government's priorities”.

Now that we know the minister's pretext for the KAIROS cuts is false, will the minister now finally restore funding to this organization?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear. We have an international aid effectiveness strategy and we are acting on it. We are getting results for people in the developing countries and all projects by CIDA are assessed against our effectiveness standards.

After due diligence, it was determined that KAIROS' proposal did not meet government standards.

Canadians want to make a difference in developing countries and that means more food, more education, more help, more security and more opportunities for women and girls.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot hide from the truth. KAIROS was described by CIDA as being strategically aligned with our country's program objectives, and its programming would have benefited 5.4 million marginalized people. Canadian embassies and senior public servants said that KAIROS should be funded. The minister for CIDA, however, without any explanation, ended 35 years of support by suddenly penning in the word “not” before the recommended word “approved” on the report.

What really prompted the minister to add the word “not” to an otherwise glowing recommendation for funding for KAIROS?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, we want to ensure that we are making a difference in developing countries and we are reducing poverty. We do receive many worthwhile proposals.

I want to assure the House and all Canadians that this government will ensure that we are making a difference for those we intend to help. We are accepting and considering proposals from various people and organizations, including members of KAIROS.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

October 28th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked by the Liberal sponsorship scandal and decided that it was time for a change. They decided to put their trust in the Conservative government to bring accountability back to Ottawa.

In 2005, Canada ranked a shameful 14th on an international corruption scale. Thanks to our government's Federal Accountability Act, this week Transparency International ranked Canada the sixth least corrupt country in the world.

Could the President of the Treasury Board please tell this House why Canadians can feel good about their government?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, this is a very important improvement in credibility. Canadians, quite rightly, felt embarrassed and somewhat ashamed when they saw Canada as a nation being rated so poorly on an index of corruption. With the Federal Accountability Act and the areas of transparency that we have brought forward have improved our rating incredibly, and we can now stand proud about that.

I should also add that today, as the public accounts show, it is clear that there is still money missing from the sponsorship fraud. We have been able to get back about one-quarter of a million dollars. I wonder if our Liberal friends would help us to get that money.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, finally the government listened to New Democrats and veterans and removed the HST from Remembrance Day poppies. The people of British Columbia are hoping the Conservatives will listen to them too.

The people of B.C. do not want the HST. This government ignored the people in small business and rammed through this tax. Last night, Premier Campbell said that it was the Prime Minister who drove the agenda to ram through the HST.

Will the Conservatives stop ducking the truth and finally accept responsibility for their role in this fiasco?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, decisions with respect to the HST are for the provinces to make. What the federal government can do is what we have done, which is to reduce the GST from 7%, to 6%, to 5%. What the NDP has done in this place every time we have reduced the GST is voted against it.

This is the party that reduces taxes. The NDP is the party that likes to raise taxes, along with its coalition partner, the Liberal Party.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, like it or not, last night the Prime Minister was outed. Premier Campbell said it was the Conservatives who forced B.C. to ram through the HST without any consultations. The Conservatives will not admit the HST was their agenda. They have been misleading their constituents. Now they are refusing to call a byelection in Prince George--Peace River because they are too scared to face the people of B.C.

When will they finally admit responsibility for the HST and when will they let the people of Prince George—Peace River have their say?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when all else fails, the NDP can just make it up, which is what it did with that question.

The decision on these issues relating to the GST are for the provinces to make. The Province of British Columbia made a decision. It is up to that government about what it wants to do with respect to the HST.

The decision of this government was to reduce the federal sales tax, the GST, by two full percentage points.

KAIROSOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to an internal memo, the Conservative government ignored advice from CIDA officials who recommended that funding for KAIROS be maintained. The decision to cut funding for this organization, which promotes human rights, was therefore a political one made for purely ideological and partisan reasons.

How can the minister explain that the organization was good enough for CIDA for 35 years, yet all of a sudden, under a Conservative government, the organization apparently no longer did meaningful work?

KAIROSOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I have clearly said before, our government instituted an effectiveness agenda, which means getting more value for the money that we are putting forward to support a number of worthy organizations that are making a difference for those living in poverty. That means there will be fewer children who are dying under the age of five. That means there will be more mothers who will survive childbirth. That means there will be more farmers who will be able to feed their own families. That means more children in school. That means more teachers who are properly trained.

Canadian dollars are making a difference where they are intended to go.