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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP and the city of Toronto police force have submitted their costs for review to the committee. To date, we have not received any similar costing from the government for the $100 million allocated to the OPP. Until such time as the government is willing to submit these documents, the committee will be unable to complete its study on behalf of Canadians.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, why will the Conservative government not release these documents to the committee?

Would the government have us believe it signed a $100 million blank cheque and almost six months later it still does not have the details on how it was spent?

We have already seen the government's lavish spending on frosted glasses and posh centrepieces. Are there more embarrassing items it wishes to hide?

Are the Conservatives trying to protect themselves or their candidate in Vaughan, Julian Fantino, or both?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the arrangement with the OPP is that it has until December 1 of this year to submit all of their G8 and G20 expenses. This is significantly shorter than the deadline for other security events, indeed years shorter.

The member opposite knows that the deadline has been in place from the beginning of our agreement with the OPP. That said, we understand from public statements by the OPP that its costs are expected to come in well under budget.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made a clear commitment in his 2005 election platform and in the 2007 Speech from the Throne to hold a vote in the House on any foreign military operation. In January 2010, the Prime Minister went even further when he said that there would be no military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2011 other than that required for the security of the Canadian embassy.

By extending the military mission in Afghanistan beyond 2011, does the Prime Minister realize that he is absolutely reneging on his promise?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we have never voted on a non-combat military mission. With regard to the extension of the mission in Afghanistan, the government is clear: it will be a non-combat mission.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not the opinion of the former Chief of the Defence Staff, Rick Hillier, who said that it is impossible to train soldiers without monitoring them on the ground, that is, in the combat zone.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the “new” Afghan mission will not be a humanitarian or training mission, as he claims and as he would like us to believe, but rather a military mission because Canadian soldiers will have to go into the combat zone to do their job?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is very clear. The training will take place on military bases and in classrooms. The government is very clear on the scope of this mission.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, without a debate and without a vote in Parliament, the government wants to extend our military mission in Afghanistan at a cost of $500 million a year. It is also planning to cut our development assistance to the country in half. For every dollar in assistance, $5 will go to the military. That makes no sense.

Does the government realize that such an imbalance in the allocation of funding to the military and to development assistance just proves that the mission in Afghanistan truly is a combat mission?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government has made a significant difference to the lives of the people in Afghanistan.

We will be building on our successes by focusing on children and youth in the future, primarily by focusing on education. In fact, our signature projects have improved the lives of children. We now have more than two million girls in school. We have educated and trained over 3,000 female teachers. We have seven million children with polio vaccinations.

We will be building on that kind of difference.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to extend our military mission in Afghanistan: 950 soldiers will remain in the country and the military component will gobble up five times as many resources as development assistance. We need a real debate to ensure that the Afghan mission is truly a civilian mission. Talks between the Conservatives and Liberals behind closed doors are not enough.

Why is the government refusing to have a real debate and a vote in the House on this issue?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our plan going forward is to ensure that the Afghan people and the world are more secure by not enabling Afghanistan to be a home for terrorists.

Also, at the same time as we are supporting their increased security efforts, we will be building on the successes we have achieved. In fact, these are accomplishments that do make a difference.

Sixty-six per cent of the population now have access to primary health care. Canada's efforts with mothers and children will—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that the Prime Minister is not allowing a vote on the extension of our military mission in Afghanistan.

Their election platform stated the following:

A Conservative government will: ...

Make Parliament responsible for exercising oversight over the conduct of Canadian foreign policy and the commitment of Canadian Forces to foreign operations.

Why is the Prime Minister breaking this promise?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has never voted on a non-combat mission such as this. As I said, the future mission in Afghanistan will be a non-combat mission.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did what he promised he would never do, which is to appoint and then use unelected senators to block the will of the House of Commons. He said he would never do that.

Canadians are asking for action on climate change and we adopted a climate change accountability act right here last spring.

“The Prime Minister has the moral responsibility to respect the will of the House”. That is what he said. So why did he order his senators in the other place to kill the climate change bill that was adopted by the majority of MPs in this House?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have been very consistent and very clear in their opposition to Bill C-311, a completely irresponsible bill. It sets irresponsible targets, does not lay out any measure of achieving them, other than by shutting down sections of the Canadian economy and throwing hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people out of work.

Of course, we will never support such legislation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, he has no right to use his unelected senator friends to kill the will of this House. He has lost his moral centre. He is fundamentally undemocratic. Let us be clear about it. That is the truth.

He broke his promise to bring our troops home, which the House asked for. He broke his promise to have votes on the use of our troops in foreign wars. He broke his promise never to appoint unelected senators and now he is using them to subvert the will of the House. It has never happened before. It should not be permitted.

Where is his democratic impulse? Has it gone? Has he lost any sense of his responsibilities?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, as I have been very clear, we have a responsibility to the Canadian public and to Canadian workers to protect their jobs.

At the same time, when we talk about democracy and the leader of the NDP, this is a man who after the election set out to form a coalition to overturn the results of that election so he could appoint members to the Senate.

If the leader of the NDP is serious about Senate reform, he can support the government's Senate reform bills that are before the House.

Government SpendingOral Questions

November 17th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance found another way to waste taxpayers' money. The Conservatives spent no less than $130 million on government advertising in just one year. The entire beer industry spent only $97 million. The Conservatives are just full of hot air.

Does the Prime Minister believe that devoting $130 million to completely useless advertising makes his record less mediocre?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government has always believed that it is important to inform Canadians of its accomplishments. It is always important to let people know about the tools available to them. That is what we did with our excellent economic action plan, which created over 430,000 jobs.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about taxpayers' money. One hundred and thirty million dollars squandered on Conservative Party advertising.

Let us talk about programs. The Conservatives are spending an additional 25% on self-congratulatory advertisements for victim support programs rather than putting that money toward the programs themselves. If that does not constitute self-promotion, then I do not know what does.

How is it that the Prime Minister is spending so much money on self-promotion when he has not put a cent toward an inquiry on the 600 missing aboriginal women?

These women and their families are victims.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that there has been unprecedented pressure and incidents over the last year or two years, whether we are talking about the H1N1 crisis or whether we are talking about communicating on vast amounts of infrastructure projects, on and on it goes. There have been increased pressures.

What the opposition members fail to point out every single time when they raise this issue and we give the very clear accounting that is provided for by the Auditor General, is that this year there is not only a freeze, there is an $11 million reduction on advertising pertaining to these ministers' offices.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in a time of economic restraint when Canadians are losing their jobs and are hard hit by a recession, this Conservative government spent the highest amount in Canadian history on advertising. To put it in perspective, the amount was more than all the beer companies combined spent last year.

That is an outrageous amount of spending on advertisements which many Canadians, when surveyed, associated with Conservative Party propaganda.

When will the Conservatives stop wasting taxpayers' money and start doing something about the $56 billion deficit?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians think it is a valid expenditure when we have something like a pandemic of H1N1, to inform Canadians about that. When we have a variety of tax measures that involve not only tax reductions, but also credits to families for a variety of programs, we think we should be informing Canadians about it.

We can understand the Liberals are sensitive, especially when we are talking about reducing the tax load on people and providing credits for families. We understand that is so far from their policy that they are sensitive about it, but we think we should be informing Canadians about these initiatives.