This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #100 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

November 19th, 2010 / noon

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday government officials explained that the Industry minister's G8 slush fund was created to provide gifts to the voters in his riding who were “inconvenienced” by the summit. The minister of course used his slush fund to build public bathrooms, miniature lighthouses, sidewalks to nowhere, gazebos in towns up to hundreds of kilometres away from the inconvenience of the summit.

Meanwhile, Toronto business owners received nothing for enduring the inconvenience and the riots that surrounded the G20.

Why the double standard?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as we have said any number of times, there is a compensation policy in place. It is exactly the same policy that has been used by previous governments for past summits.

All claims were to be submitted by November 18 of this year in order to be eligible; that is, they were due this week. The assessment of claims will be made in close co-operation with Audit Services Canada, and payments will be administered in accordance with Treasury Board policy.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association said that restaurant owners in Toronto still have not received the federal compensation they were promised for the business losses they incurred during the G20.

I guess, to the Conservatives, losing more than half one's business at the height of the tourist season is not an inconvenience if one lives in Toronto, nor does it merit compensation.

It has been five months. When will the Conservatives cut the cheques they promised?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, the deadline was yesterday. It is not unreasonable that the cheques might take longer than 24 hours to be delivered.

I would encourage all Canadians, including the member opposite, who have questions about the mechanism to consult the g20.gc.ca website for the appropriate answers.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, five months after the G8 and G20 billion dollar debacle, the government is still ignoring the parliamentary order to release details of $100 million of contracts, which were due by October 12.

Those expenses were signed off by Julian Fantino, the Conservative candidate in the November 29 Vaughan byelection.

Coincidently, the government will not release the information until December 1.

Why are the Conservatives so desperately trying to hide Julian Fantino and his expenses?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, these silly questions will end after November 29.

However, I would remind my colleague across the aisle that the agreement was signed by Ontario minister Rick Bartolucci, who the member would probably recognize as a Liberal colleague. That was signed in March.

However, as the host of unprecedented back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, we are proud of their success.

As we have said all along, the majority of the costs for the summits were security-related. Approximately 20,000 security personnel were tasked with safeguarding both summits.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the parliamentary secretary told us that the $100 million is under budget in fact. That means that the Conservatives have the full details now.

So, here is where we are. The minister is in contempt of Parliament, Julian Fantino is in hiding and the details of the $100 million are still missing.

Since Mr. Fantino has the information now, why does the government not find him, bring him to committee, swear him in and order him to tell the truth and explain how he spent the money?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

Noon

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I expect my colleague will be able to ask that member after November 29.

They were public statements made by the OPP that its costs were expected to come in well under budget. That summit was unprecedented in its success. We have been disclosing the full details to date of the costs of the summit. That is further proof of our government's commitment to transparency and accountability.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government does not like getting chastised, especially on the international stage. By refusing to allow the Bloc Québécois to be part of the Canadian delegation at the NATO summit, the Conservatives are keeping Quebec's voice from being heard in discussions about extending Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

Can the government guarantee that it will not pull the same stunt at the Cancun climate change summit and that the Bloc Québécois will be able to share its vision there?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 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 will be very clear: any Bloc member who wants to come to the next United Nations conference is welcome to join me.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec feels that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. The oil economy is enriching Canada but impoverishing Quebec. On the other end of the spectrum, Quebec is poised to profit from a green economy. Quebec's economic future is linked to the environment. It is important that Quebec be heard in Cancun.

Consequently, can the Minister of the Environment confirm that Quebec's voice will be heard in Cancun?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

12:05 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, of course the Bloc's environment critic or another member can come to Cancun as part of the Canadian delegation, if the Bloc so wishes. I am sure that Quebec's environment minister will also be going to Cancun. It is very important. They are all welcome to come. If the member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges wants to come too, she is welcome.

CopyrightOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion calling for an overhaul of Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, thereby showing their solidarity with the creators and artists who condemn the fact that the bill will create a new group of workers who will be dispossessed of the fruits of their labour to benefit the big distribution companies.

Will the government finally listen to Quebec and amend its bill to protect Quebec artists and culture?

CopyrightOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the special legislative committee will be considering Bill C-32 beginning next week. It is important that the member be aware of how many people actually support the bill: over 400 film, television and interactive media companies; 150 chief executives across Canada, representing companies with $4.5 trillion in assets; 38 multinational software companies, including Corel, Dell, HP, Apple, IBM and Intel; 300 of Canada's board of trade associations; 25 university student associations. It is a big page. I hope he has another question.

CopyrightOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a nice big page. More than 50,000 creators, artists and artisans in Quebec strongly condemn parts of Bill C-32, which contains no fewer than 17 exceptions to the requirement to pay a copyright fee. ADISQ, the UDA, SARTEC, DAMIC and SODEC, in short, Quebec's entire cultural community is demanding amendments.

Will the government amend its bill to protect Quebec artists' copyrights?

CopyrightOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I will continue a little further down the page with all the groups that have come forward in support of Bill C-32, including entertainment software companies such as EA, Microsoft, Nintendo and Ubisoft. I think some of those are in Quebec. They are supporting this.

Ultimately, here is what this is about. The Bloc, the NDP and the Liberal Party all voted earlier in the House to extend something that we referred to as the iTax, a tax on digital devices and memory devices. Canadians do not want to pay fees and taxes on upgrading and updating media. This kind of tax on technology is regressive thinking. That is the Bloc—

CopyrightOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Beauséjour.

National DefenceOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, day after day, the government shows it is incapable of managing Canadian taxpayers' money. A recent example is its refusal to hold an open Canadian competition for the F-35, which would save taxpayers at least $3 billion. Meanwhile, it is closing embassies and refusing to fund family care, even though Canadian families are suffering.

The Liberal Party's priority is clear: it is Canadian families. When will this become the Conservative government's priority?

National DefenceOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are addressing all those things. The other thing we are addressing is what we need to give to our men and women in the Canadian Forces to do the jobs we give them to do.

The hon. member pulls this figure of $3 billion out of the air. As someone who has not been involved with the program for many years and who is not current with what has actually gone on, he has picked that figure out of the air and has decided that is the number that has some relevance. It has no basis in fact. There is absolutely nothing to that. It is a completely fantasy number.

We are getting the best airplane at the best price with the best participation by Canadian industry, and that is a win-win for Canada all around.

National DefenceOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative procurement process for the F-35 is failing and we can now see why. Yesterday that same parliamentary secretary said “nothing much has changed” since the 1964 defence white paper. It seems the Conservatives have not noticed that the Cold War has ended. No wonder they are afraid of 1950s propellor planes.

Will the government not do the right thing and hold an open Canadian competition to save at least $3 billion for taxpayers? That is something Lester Pearson would have done in 1964.

National DefenceOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, a lot has changed since 1964, but apparently not the Liberals' thinking.

What has not changed since 1964 is Canada's overall priorities of defending Canadian sovereignty, Canadian airspace and doing the right thing on the international stage under NORAD, NATO and other international commitments. That is exactly what we will be able to do with the F-35.

Again, my colleague has picked the number of $3 billion out of the air. It is not substantiated by anything other than the opinion of a man who has not been involved in the program for over five years. I would prefer to rely on the Canadian experts who have been following this program at a very high level for many years.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the government claims to care about veterans, it ignored their concerns for five years. It took Canadian heroes, a passionate outspoken ombudsman and even a national day of protest to force the government to finally announce changes. Veterans remain disappointed and are already discussing another day of protest.

Is it going to take another national day of protest, unprecedented in over 100 years, to reel the Prime Minister out of his corner?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite would know as a member of the veterans affairs committee, we have discussed at some length, including with our witness yesterday, Senator Dallaire, the many changes that come with the charter and the improvements being made.

Certainly there are still challenges ahead, but I think she would have to agree that the initiatives taken by the government are moving us in the right direction, responding directly to the needs of veterans and showing that the government does care very much about the great job and sacrifices our veterans have made for Canadians.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, veterans feel betrayed. The government failed to address their chief concern of the lump sum payment. Insufficient support is insufficient support whether it is a one-time payment or divided up over years.

Why does the government refuse to follow normal procedures to buy stealth fighter jets, which would free up $3 billion that could then be invested in our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, she is now off on a fantasy flight of some sort. I am not sure where that lack of logic comes from. I know the member does purport to care for veterans. However, one time in a response, she should recognize what many have, and that is the terrific methods and changes that have taken place. At least once she should recognize that we are responding to the needs of veterans and share in that commitment to our veterans, which is so very important.