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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

Topics

CensusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as we have said all along, we do not believe Canadians should be threatened with jail time, fines, or both should they choose not to answer private and personal and intrusive questions.

That is why we have made the long form census voluntary and why we have committed to introduce legislation to eliminate the threat of jail time for all mandatory surveys.

CensusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the long form questionnaire was eliminated for purely ideological reasons. The proof: the member for Beauce, the libertarian guru, is gloating. He is even suggesting that all Statistics Canada surveys no longer be mandatory.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to this folly and reinstate the mandatory long form census questionnaire so that we have access to reliable data?

CensusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the inconsistencies and the hypocrisy of the opposition is absolutely alarming. On the one hand, when it comes to locking up offenders who have committed arson, auto theft or assault, the opposition does not want to jail them, but when it comes to people who do not want to tell the government how much time they spend doing yard work, how many rooms they have in their house, how many hours they spend with their children each week, the opposition wants to throw them in jail. It is ridiculous.

We will continue to defend the legitimate rights of all Canadians.

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, two days ago, the Minister of Natural Resources said about the famous cocktail fundraiser, “At no time was there any discussion about government business.”

Yet the contractor who organized the cocktail party and from whom Conservative organizer Gilles Varin extracted $140,000 confirms that they did talk about the $10 million contract.

How much longer will this charade go on? When will the Conservatives release the findings of the government inquiry into this contract, as the minister promised 10 months ago?

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is so much in that question to which I have to respond. Let me be crystal clear. The minister did not discuss the awarding of the contract with the individual in question. When the individual in question told the minister that he had won a federal government contract, as the minister would on any number of cases, he congratulated him. That does not constitute a discussion on a contract.

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is very hard to believe.

Paul Sauvé was told to organize this cocktail party because it was the thing to do when you won a construction contract from the Conservatives. At the party, the minister himself congratulated Mr. Sauvé on his big $10 million contract. That was not a very subtle nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

The kickback is obvious, and we do not even know who benefited from the $140,000 pocketed by organizer Gilles Varin.

Will the minister tell us who in the Conservative government had their palms greased?

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. The member calls this Varin fellow a Conservative organizer. She is wrong. That is not true and the member opposite knows it is not true. The individual has never been a member of the Conservative Party. He has never been an organizer in the Conservative Party.

I do know that the member for Bourassa received campaign contributions from the individual when he was sitting in a very powerful position around the cabinet table.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

October 8th, 2010 / 11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, given its sheer size, the possible sale of the PotashCorp of Saskatchewan is effectively the sale of the entire Canadian potash industry, especially if the Canpotex marketing system is demolished and other players like Agrium and Mosaic are pushed aside.

Billions of dollars in provincial revenues are hanging in the balance. The implications for more than a million Saskatchewanians are huge.

Again, what does the government consider to be a net benefit from any such transaction? Saskatchewan certainly has a right to know.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, we consistently have said in the House that as a government we will be looking at the net benefit to Canada for any prospective sales. We take that responsibility very seriously.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, BHP Billiton is the public bidder going after PotashCorp, but there may be others, including some from China.

Will the government confirm that it has before it right now certain inquiries from Chinese representatives? Do they represent the Sinochem Group or some other agency like the China Investment Corporation? Are they proposing an active or a passive investment? Would the government of Saskatchewan receive a golden share in any such transaction to protect the public interest? Saskatchewan people deserve answers.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has raised six or seven hypotheticals. Our government will review any case that falls under the purview of the Investment Canada Act. As I said before, I can assure members that in all cases the net benefit to Canada is of paramount importance.

IsraelOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal leader accused Israel of war crimes, Canada's Jewish community knew it had no friend in the Liberal Party.

Yesterday, Liberal candidate Andrew Lang said that Canada needed to stop placating Israel. He says that Canada should criticize Israel for being insufficiently non-violent.

Israel faces relentless attacks by terrorists who want to drive the Jewish people into the sea. Does the government House leader agree with the Liberals that Canada should lecture Israel on the need to be less violent?

IsraelOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, no, I do not. We completely reject the Liberal candidate's view. It is the latest attempt by the Liberal Party to try to hector the State of Israel and make political points on it.

Let me very clear. Israel is Canada's friend and ally. Our Conservative government supports Israel in its daily struggle against the anti-Semitic death cults that the Jewish people face each and every day, terrorism wanting to drive them into the sea.

Like all countries facing armed terrorist attacks, Israel has the right of self-defence, and our government will always support Israel in the exercise of that right.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, everybody in Canada knows how tightly controlled the Prime Minister's and the Privy Council offices are of their ministers and deputy ministers. Four years ago, Daniel Shaw, a policy adviser in the Prime Minister's Office, received correspondence regarding the Sean Bruyea case and his information being scattered through the department like confetti.

My question is quite clear. Four years ago, the Prime Minister's Office and the government knew what was happening. Why did they take four years to act on something on which the Privacy Commissioner said the department broke the law?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, the fact is this matter came to a head yesterday and made clear to all of us that it had to be dealt with, and it is being dealt with. We are working absolutely and completely with the Privacy Commissioner. Whatever suggested changes, audits and actions are necessary will be done to ensure we protect the privacy of our important veterans.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister himself signed the so-called bill of rights that says veterans have a right to be treated with respect, dignity, fairness and courtesy and that their privacy will be protected under the Privacy Act. Sean Bruyea did not get this. Hundreds of veterans across the country are now filing freedom of information requests because they suspect their information was scattered throughout the department like confetti.

That signature means absolutely nothing. What the government needs to do is apologize to Sean and the veterans of Canada and call a public inquiry.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the volume from the member for inconsistency across the way is not going to change the outcome.

The reality is, yes, the Prime Minister has said that this issue must be dealt with fully and that the veterans must be protected. That is our commitment. I can only hope the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore has the courage and audacity to support the government when we clear this issue up.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister maintains that those who dare question his government's strategy for procuring the F-35s are putting jobs on the line. However, it is the Prime Minister himself who is jeopardizing jobs in Quebec's aerospace sector by refusing to demand spinoffs for the industry.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the best way to keep jobs in the aerospace sector is to require economic spinoffs from Lockheed Martin?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague said earlier, a competitive process took place between 1997 and 2001 under the previous government. Since then, the project has moved forward with nine partner countries. I will read a quote from Claude Lajeunesse, a Quebecker and president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada: “We are calling on political leaders from all parties to support the government's decision. We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past, because they will surely be more costly than ever before for our industry, for our military, and ultimately, for the nation” and for Quebec's aerospace sector.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister had been firm during the procurement of the F-35s by demanding our fair share of the economic spinoffs, we would have obtained $9 billion in contracts.

The government can make promises of possible spinoffs to the tune of $12 billion, but the reality is that it has obtained no guarantees, and we may end up losing out on major spinoffs.

Why is the government refusing to defend Quebec's aerospace industry?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's entire aerospace industry supports our government on this. Let us stop playing politics on this issue, even though it may be hard to resist.

I will read the quote from Pratt & Whitney president John Saabas that my colleague was referring to earlier: “The Canadian industry is ready to step up, but a decision needs to be made now. If we miss the boat, two years from now we will have a hard time making up lost ground...and recovering lost jobs.” Some people may not understand this, but people in the aerospace industry do.

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Thanksgiving is just days away and it is important to remember that many Canadian families will not enjoy even a basic Thanksgiving meal. Food bank use is up 21%. Many more Canadians are falling below the poverty line and current programs only maintain the status quo.

The best way to help our economy is to lift people out of poverty. Why is it so difficult for the Conservative government to put the needs of millions of Canadians who need help first?

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we are indeed very interested in helping those who are in need. We have taken a number of initiatives in that regard. We have passed a number of tax measures to ensure there is more money in people's pockets to help them through difficult times. In fact, by reducing taxes, the average Canadian family will have an additional $3,000 in its pocket that it would not have had under the tax and spend policies of the Liberal Party.

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, why is the government willing to spend millions of dollars on American-style megaprisons and give huge tax breaks to corporations instead of addressing the issue of poverty? Why has the government not listened to the 74 recommendations made by the Senate subcommittee on ending poverty and homelessness?

Poverty is an issue that will not simply go away for millions of Canadians unless something is done to help ease the burden. Why does the government insist on ignoring this problem?

PovertyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we obviously sympathize with anyone who does not have a job, but the best way to get people out of poverty is to provide jobs for them. We have provided a number of initiatives under our economic action plan. We have created 430,000 jobs. Additionally, by work sharing, we have preserved over 255,000 jobs.

The leader of the member's party, the Liberal Party, would rather impose taxes, increase the GST and put taxes on business, which would cause a loss of over 300,000 jobs. That is the difference between us and them.