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House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vehicles.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, by the way, let us not forget that we are talking about the Conservative party.

Did he discuss contracts with Mr. Sauvé and Mr. Varin, since Mr. Sauvé himself just told us that he organized the event to please the minister because that was the thing to do?

If that is the case, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to send this minister packing?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, on January 19, 2009, I attended a fundraiser in the riding of Bourassa. I understand that the member opposite is not happy about such activity in his riding. Fundraising events are indeed held in Quebec ridings. At no time was there any discussion about government business. It was strictly a fundraising event.

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Minister of Education, Line Beauchamp, wrote to her federal counterpart to denounce the elimination of the mandatory long form questionnaire. She pointed out that she will lose an important tool enabling her to “make funding decisions and monitor the results of [her] investments”.

Does the Prime Minister realize that eliminating the mandatory long form census questionnaire is inconsistent with his claims of sound management of public money?

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said in the House, it is important to find a reasonable and fair solution to better protect the privacy of citizens. At the same time, we must be able to collect the necessary data to obtain information about our society.

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no rational basis for the government's decision to eliminate the mandatory long form census questionnaire. The member for Beauce, the former industry minister, even went so far as to invent complaints from the public to justify the unjustifiable.

Does this manipulation of the facts not prove that the government does not have a logical argument to justify a purely ideological decision?

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the Bloc leader, the core of the coalition, who proposed the following solution: “Well, if you refuse [to fill out the form], certain government services won't be provided to you for as long as you refuse. A passport, for instance, employment insurance, for instance.”

That may be the solution of the heart of the coalition, but it is not our solution.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has signed agreements with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to pursue oil exploitation on the continental shelf, which will allow Newfoundland to begin exploration activities on the Old Harry site. Quebec has been trying to reach a similar agreement for the past 12 years, but Ottawa is dragging its feet and no progress has been made.

How can the federal government justify its refusal to sign a similar agreement with Quebec, after doing just that with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the world seems to have been turned upside down. Now the Bloc Québécois is speaking the language of its head office. Suddenly it is pro-oil. It is somewhat strange to see. As the government, we committed to developing our natural resources in a responsible manner. Yes, there is a Canada-Newfoundland offshore petroleum agreement and one with Nova Scotia. As for Quebec, which has shown some interest, discussions are currently underway. We will certainly not take any lessons from a party that has absolutely no credibility on energy issues.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, an independent Quebec would have the tools to resolve its differences with other nations, such as the International Joint Commission, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. But since Quebec is inside Canada, unfortunately, it is at the mercy of the whims of the federal government and cannot access these tools.

How can the government refuse Quebec what it has granted Newfoundland and Nova Scotia? How can it justify such a double standard?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is rather ironic. The Bloc Québécois wants to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada. Its leader will talk about it anywhere around the world, even though the people with the most at stake are sick of hearing about Quebec separation.

I would like to make one thing clear: we are entering into talks with Quebec and there is some interest. Quebeckers can count on our government to begin negotiations in good faith and in due form.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

October 6th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in just 18 months the Prime Minister's temporary chief of staff is required to return to his role at Onex. The conflicts of interest are obvious and endless, but in addition, the situation opens the potential for insider information, which could very well be passed along to this corporate giant.

The Ethics Commissioner has confirmed that only Mr. Wright and the Prime Minister can release details of his employment contract, adding that she “would love to have them do it”. When will they release it?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright has not even started his job here in Ottawa and already the Liberal opposition is planning his departure. There is not an 18-month part of that.

I do think it is fantastic that someone with Mr. Wright's abilities is prepared to come to Ottawa to engage in public service and serve his government. He and his staff have sought and will continue to seek and follow the direction of the independent Ethics Commissioner. That is the responsible thing to do.

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, industry, health, finance, treasury board, defence and international trade. What do these have in common? They are all departments that Nigel Wright can have nothing to do with because they are industries in which Onex has holdings. Even Brian Mulroney's former chief of staff, Norman Spector, has called Mr. Wright's arrangement a joke.

Are Canadians really supposed to believe that Mr. Wright, the Prime Minister's temporary chief of staff, will not have any dealings with any files related to Onex?

Office of the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the first measure that this government took when it was elected was to bring in the toughest ethics package in Canadian history and one of the best ethics packages around the world.

Let me also say this. Mr. Wright has spoken with the Ethics Commissioner. He has sought her counsel. He has sought her advice. He will follow all of her recommendations and maintain the very highest ethical standards, just as this government does each and every day.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, in light of soaring costs, the Pentagon has just decertified Lockheed Martin's system for tracking the costs of the F-35 program. In the meantime, the Conservatives think that Canada should hand over a blank cheque to that same company. The United States are saying that the company is unable to control costs, and other countries are re-evaluating their needs, but the Conservatives want to hand over a blank cheque for the biggest military purchase in Canadian history.

Have they no respect for Canadian taxpayers?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this is good news.

In fact, the decertification of Lockheed Martin's system for tracking this particular project is a technical issue between the Pentagon and this company, Lockheed Martin.

We welcome the diligence that is being exercised on the project. All the allies, including Canada, will benefit from this type of strong oversight. It is not expected to have any impact on the cost for Canada nor the delivery schedule of the 65 F-35 aircraft that we are committed to acquiring beginning in 2016.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, it seems the government is outsourcing diligence.

The Conservatives like projects where spending is out of control because it reminds them of their own deficit. The Pentagon has realized that the cost of the F-35 has skyrocketed. It revoked Lockheed Martin's failing cost control system. What do the Conservatives do? They want to hand over a blank cheque for the biggest purchase in Canadian military history.

When will the Conservatives do the right thing, have an open and transparent competition in Canada and respect taxpayers' money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is actually good news.

I think my friend opposite has hit a blank spot in the tape in his memory system, because there was a time when he had this to say, “The Liberal Party is very supportive of replacing the CF-18 fighter jets with the most appropriate next-generation aircraft”.

I agree with him, as does Lieutenant General Deschamps, the chief of the air staff, when he said, “The Lightning II is the only fifth-generation aircraft available to Canada. Not only that, but the F-35 offers the best cost value of any fighter available to us”.

I agree with both of them. Why has the hon. member changed his mind? So often we see this with the Liberal Party.

Leader of the Bloc QuébécoisOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Québécois is praising himself as the “driving force” in the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition. This is a coalition that has policies that would be devastating for our economy. It has a partner that aims to break up our country.

Would the minister comment on the recent revelations regarding the role of the Bloc Québécois in the coalition?

Leader of the Bloc QuébécoisOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the leader of the Bloc Québécois admitting that he was the driving force behind the coalition, he also told all Canadians that this plan was in the works long before Parliament even convened in November 2008. The Bloc Québécois leader discredits those who insist his party was not truly part of the coalition but, rather, was a peripheral player. Not only is the BQ a full coalition partner with the Liberal leader and the NDP but it continues to be at the heart of the coalition. The Bloc Québécois leader also reminds Canadians that coalition denials cannot be believed, because if they cannot be believed in 2008 they cannot be believed today.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is the government that rode into Ottawa on the horse of accountability. It said it would clean up Ottawa, but all it has done is replace dirty Liberal lobbyists with its own dirty Conservative lobbyists. So, now it is Conservative cronies who are using their connections to sell privileged access to juicy government contracts. The public works gravy train is alive and well. It just changed engineers.

We stopped Rahim Jaffer and we stopped this Gilles Varin, but how many more well-connected Conservatives are skulking around the hallways, the corridors of power, peddling influence and getting these juicy contracts that they do not deserve?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, no members of this government are part of this inquiry. However, if the RCMP does find any wrongdoings with any individual contractors, we expect it will prosecute to the full extent of the law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not as though the Conservatives did not know who Gilles Varin was. He had been operating illegally for decades. In 1977, he was convicted on five counts of corruption and breach of trust. In 1993, he was caught illegally lobbying the Conservative government. They knew about his sordid and corrupt past, so when Mr. Varin returned to knock on the Conservatives' door, why did they open it right up, instead of slamming it in his face? Is it because he is still a Conservative organizer?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, no member of this government is under investigation. If the RCMP believes that it has proof that a crime took place, the individuals will be subject to the Federal Accountability Act and the taxpayers' money will be recovered.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for three weeks now, the Bloc Québécois has used numerous concrete examples to prove that the March 31 deadline makes no sense whatsoever. Municipalities will be unable to meet this deadline because of federal administrative red tape and a shortage of workers and materials, as well as colder temperatures.

Will the government stop being so stubborn and extend the March 31 deadline so that municipalities will receive all the money that was promised to them?