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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister can explain to Canadian taxpayers how spending $12,000 on tablecloths added to security. Did the $19,000 24-place setting make summit leaders safer? No wonder the member for Saskatoon—Humboldt recently boasted, “we are spending like it was Christmas”; over $1 billion for 72 hours.

Will the Conservatives now admit that much of this spending spree was to puff up the Prime Minister's image and not for security?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada was responsible for the safety and security of world leaders, delegates, visitors, and Canadians living and working near where the summits took place. We took this responsibility very seriously, and we are proud of the men and women who ensured their protection.

Disclosing the full to date details of the cost of these summits is further proof of our government's commitment to transparency and accountability.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, for three days of meetings the Conservatives spent nearly $20,000 on flowers and centrepieces. They spent nearly $300,000 on gifts and promotional items; $57,000 on pins.

The Conservatives managed to spend more money on zipper pulls and lapel pins than the average Canadian family earns in an entire year. No wonder the Conservative member for Saskatoon—Humboldt said that they were “spending like it is Christmas”.

When will the Prime Minister apologize for wasting so much taxpayers' money?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hosts of large international meetings, such as the G8 and the G20 summits, traditionally have stationery, lapel pins, and other souvenir items made to give to members of the media, delegates, and others who wish to take home memories of their participation in these events. In Muskoka and Toronto these items were a popular component of our community outreach activities.

Many of the promotional items were used in the youth program associated with the summit. That is why there are T-shirts, zippers, and bottles of water.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, they were expensive memories on taxpayers' borrowed money.

Canadians now know about the $20,000 ice sculpture, but they are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg. For instance, it was discovered that the Conservatives spent nearly $100,000 buying a table for the two-day G20 meeting. The Conservatives “inadvertently” forgot to include the $100,000 table in the list of costs for the summit.

Just how many other items have been left off the list, and how much did these forgotten expenses cost taxpayers?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, unlike any other nation, Canada has been complete in detailing the costs of these summits. It is further proof of our government's commitment to transparency and accountability.

As the host nation of unprecedented, back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, we are proud of the success of these two summits.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, veterans used Remembrance Week as an opportunity to show their opposition to the government's changes to allowance payments. Veterans do not want a single lump sum payment; they want the government to restore the lifetime monthly pension.

Will the government listen to veterans' arguments, respond to their needs and restore the lifetime monthly pension as a means of compensation?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago, we announced that numerous changes were being made. We will add a second chapter to the new veterans charter. A lump sum payment will obviously be one of the options that will be offered to our veterans. Those who prefer not to receive a cash payment, but would rather have it spread out, can do so. We will be introducing that very soon.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister can talk all he likes about a new chapter and more announcements, but veterans are still not satisfied. In September, the minister promised additional measures over the coming weeks, even days. But we are still waiting.

Can the government confirm that it intends to amend the legislation and restore the lifetime monthly pension, as veterans are calling for?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we have announced changes to the earnings loss benefit so that a modern vet coming back from Afghanistan, for example, who participates in a rehabilitation program or who is seriously injured, will receive at least $40,000 per year.

We have also announced a permanent monthly allowance that is similar to the former pension but that complements all of our measures. They can receive between $509 and $536 per month, plus $1,000 for those who cannot return to work. All of this will be happening very soon.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the next conference on climate change less than three weeks away, we still do not know what Canada's targets are. What we do know is that one of the big banks that invests in the oil sands has rolled out the red carpet for the former environment minister. This illustrates the close ties this government has with the industry.

Will the Prime Minister stop hiding behind the Americans to justify his inaction, be more transparent and immediately reveal the position Canada will defend in Cancun?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to be asked by the Prime Minister to be the environment minister, particularly because of the opportunity to work with my friend from the Bloc Québécois once again. That was a great privilege of mine.

We are going to go to Cancun as a government and we are going to strongly support the Copenhagen accord. What else can we do with respect to showing leadership, particularly on getting rid of and phasing out coal-fired electricity-generating stations? We are going to talk about the $400 million in financing that Canada has put forward to fight global warming. We are going to talk about adaptation. We are going to talk about mitigation and we are going to continue to push to move the ball forward.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives is urging the Prime Minister to lay the foundation for a real policy to fight climate change. The leaders of 150 of Canada's largest corporations are growing impatient.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to listen to the Bloc Québécois, environmental groups and now business people, too? What is he waiting for to announce a plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have always been proud to talk about what our government has done for the environment. Our government took part in negotiations for the Copenhagen accord. We have harmonized our targets with those of the United States. We are going ahead with a continental standard for greenhouse gas emissions from new cars. We have proposed regulations regarding the renewable content in gasoline. We have proposed regulations regarding waste water treatment. We are working hard to protect the environment and we will continue to do so.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate, says the F-35 cost overruns have been “absolutely outrageous”.

Why irrevocably commit Canada to a project whose costs are out of control, when other companies could also build the jets we need, on schedule and at fixed costs, and leave more money for things such as much-needed beds for our veterans?

Will the Prime Minister show respect for the Canadian taxpayer and launch an open competition that will maximize value for money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member is light on his facts as usual. In fact, when I spoke to John McCain last week, he was extolling the virtues of the F-35 and saying what a great investment this was going to be.

Why is it that the Liberal Party continually reverses itself, swallows itself whole, acts so cynically when it comes to the funding of the important equipment for the Canadian Forces? We will not take any lessons from the member opposite, the member whose party cancelled the Sea King replacements.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, even the Republicans in the United States and the Tories in Britain are reassessing their F-35 purchases. Canadian taxpayers are the only ones who cannot count on their government to protect them from billions of dollars in cost overruns. Worse still, Canada is going to lose out on precious economic spinoffs because the Prime Minister refuses to launch a competitive bidding process.

Our military personnel and all Canadians have the right to know that our defence budget is being spent properly. Out of respect for our taxpayers, will the government launch a competitive bidding process?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, after we continued the program on the F-35, which was started and invested in by the members of the Liberal Party when they were in government, we have now ensured that we will see upwards of $12 billion in contracts that can come to the Canadian aerospace industry, which is certainly good for some of the companies that exist in the riding of the member opposite.

Why does the Liberal Party continually cave in and cancel military contracts to the detriment of the Canadian Forces and the detriment of the Canadian aerospace industry?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The minister will know that the heads of state of NATO are going to be meeting on Afghanistan starting on Friday. Is the minister seriously asking this House and Canadians to believe that the government is going to go into that meeting without having a clear plan, without knowing what specifically it intends to do between 2011 and 2014? Why will the minister not share the plan with the people of Canada before he goes to Lisbon and not afterward?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to my hon. colleague a few moments ago, and as we indicated in the Speech from the Throne, we are committed to continuing our diplomatic relations as well as our development with Afghanistan.

As well, I indicated that we are reviewing our position in terms of training. We will get this information to members of the House at the earliest opportunity.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the Canadian public is seeing is that the Prime Minister has already made an announcement, that his assistant, Dimitri Soudas, has already made an announcement and that the Minister of National Defence has made an announcement without providing any details about the future. The minister responsible for development has not made any announcement concerning plans for development.

There is a meeting scheduled to take place in Lisbon four days from now. It is imperative that the government clearly tell the Canadian public what its plans are, and that it do so before sharing them with NATO leaders in Portugal.

Why does it not do so now?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I understand my hon. colleague's legendary impatience. However, I will remind him that, as I indicated, we are currently reviewing various aspects and options. When we are in a position to get this information to our colleagues in the House, we will do so.

International Co-operationOral Questions

November 15th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Pakistan floods have been the worst in recent history. The scale of the disaster has overwhelmed the population. The United Nations estimates that over 20 million people have been affected and almost two million homes have been destroyed.

We know the Canadian government has already provided $52 million in flood relief so far. Could the Minister of International Cooperation tell the House how much was raised through our Pakistan matching fund program?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadians have demonstrated their amazing generosity and compassion. Their contributions to the victims of the floods will provide much-needed food aid, emergency medical care, as well as support for the devastated agricultural sector.

Today I am pleased to tell the House that individual Canadians contributed $46.8 million to help the Pakistani people.

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the foreign takeover of Stelco, U.S. Steel has played the government for a fool. It has flouted its agreement with the industry minister from day one.

When the blast furnace was shut down, we were told that it was because of a lack of orders. That must be interpreted as a shortage of work. So, regardless of the subsequent lockout, the workers of Local 1005 must be entitled to EI.

Will the government act now and extend EI benefits to these innocent victims of the government's failed foreign takeover laws?