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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, like so much of the hyperbole coming from the member opposite, this story is speculative. It is quoting an unnamed official in another country, and we currently estimate the cost per aircraft to be in the low to mid $70 million U.S.

In fact, we are purchasing the most cost-effective variant of the aircraft at the peak of production, and I am sure that the price quoted to Canada will not be expected to change, if in fact cost overruns occur, because in the development phase, the United States has covered those costs.

Let us listen to what the former defence minister, a Liberal, had to say. “JSF's a great program for Canada and for all the partner nations in terms of military capabilities as well as the industrial participation”.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada must keep faith with our veterans and their families and the ideals of service and sacrifice.

Leaked documents suggest bureaucrats knew in 2006 that new veterans benefits would mean less cash for thousands of injured and disabled soldiers and projected savings of up to $40 million per year.

Why did it take the government four years to fix its mistake?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government helps veterans. Over the past few months we have invested an additional $2 billion in helping our veterans. We have implemented a number of new measures particularly to help those returning from Afghanistan with serious injuries. We want to make sure their future is financially secure.

I want to remind the hon. member that it was her government that adopted the new veterans charter in 2005. I do not know what the Liberals' intentions were at the time, but ours are different. We do not intend to save money at the expense of the veterans.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, for many veterans this upcoming week is about memories and trying to live as best they can. For our forces overseas it is another week in harm's way. For our wounded warriors it is another week of slow recovery.

Will the minister promise to review the new veterans charter and Veterans Affairs processes and make meaningful changes to compensation which has sparked a national day of protest?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly make that promise because that is what we are in the process of doing. We have already taken a number of measures to correct the mistakes in the new charter and to ensure that our modern-day veterans are protected when they return from Afghanistan with serious injuries. The minimum a veteran returning from Afghanistan with serious injuries will receive will be $58,000 a year in addition to a lump sum payment, a disability allowance, of up to $276,000. It is $58,000 a year plus $276,000.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Conservative lobbyist Gilles Varin has stated, “I know a lot of people who are in Ottawa, in offices...”. That helped him open many doors.

Will the government acknowledge that Gilles Varin was successful, since his client, Paul Sauvé, was awarded a $9 million contract?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all, but I have news for my Bloc colleagues. The member for Brome—Missisquoi openly promotes the Réseau de résistance du Québécois in his blog. Members of this House know very well that the RRQ manifesto says that the RRQ will also rehabilitate the combatants of the Front de libération du Québec. I have a simple question for my Bloc colleagues: do they plan on rehabilitating FLQ murderers?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Gilles Varin acknowledged that he knew a lot of people in Ottawa. He named Paul Terrien, chief of staff of the former Quebec lieutenant, and Bernard Côté, assistant to the former Minister of Public Works, Michael Fortier. It was under Michael Fortier that the contract was awarded.

Will the government admit that Gilles Varin was successful, since his client obtained a $9 million contract, and that the Minister of Natural Resources eagerly passed the hat at a cocktail party organized by Paul Sauvé?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will do no such thing.

Let us look at the facts. The Bloc Québécois member of Parliament for Brome—Missisquoi is openly promoting Réseau de Résistance du Québecois on his blog. Members of the House will know what the manifesto of the RRQ says. The RRQ aims to support the combatants of the Front de libération du Québec.

I really want to know how the Liberal Party of Canada could possibly join in a coalition government with people who want to promote the record of the FLQ.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, internal documents show that officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs told the government from the outset that the new benefit system would mean less money for wounded soldiers.

Why did the Minister of Veterans Affairs try to save $40 million at the expense of veterans?

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, I want to remind the House again that the new charter was adopted under the previous Liberal government, not under our government. I do not know what the Liberals’ intentions were at the time and whether they wanted to save money at the expense of our veterans, but that decision was not made by this government. To the contrary, we have just added another $2 billion to assist our veterans by giving them additional money to ensure that, if they come back wounded, they will not have any financial worries. That is a whole new chapter this government is adding to the new veterans charter.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, Liberals or Conservatives, it is the same thing.

Veterans’ Week will begin this weekend with a parade where veterans demonstrate against the despicable way they are being treated by the Conservative government. In particular, they will protest its cavalier disregard for privacy and the lump sum payment.

Will the government finally restore the monthly pension for life for all our wounded veterans, as they are asking?

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, it is important to state very clearly that if our veterans return wounded, they receive an allocation for lost income as well as a permanent monthly allocation for life. Taken together, these two sums amount to a minimum of $58,000 that they get if they are severely wounded. To this is added a new amount called the lump sum payment or disability award, which can be as much as $276,000. And yes, we are going to make some changes to it as well to give our veterans some options.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

November 2nd, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative cabinet is reported to have been fighting each other over the Omar Khadr plea deal while at the same time denying Canadian government involvement in it. It seems the Prime Minister was not even aware of what was going on and was not in the country to act as cabinet referee.

A senior official called the government's denials of plea bargaining “bewildering”. Others would call it what it is: truth stretching.

Could the Prime Minister inform Canadians if he supports the Khadr deal, and when exactly did he become aware of it?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that the Government of Canada was not part of the plea negotiation. It was our position throughout Mr. Khadr's trial that we allow the U.S. process to conclude. I point out that was the same position of the former Liberal government.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, is that minister denying what the dip note actually said? Is he saying that the court was wrong?

It seems to me the hon. minister should take the time to talk to his Prime Minister to let him know what his position is because it is confusing to say the least.

The Conservative ministers are apparently torn over the agreement regarding Omar Khadr, or perhaps they tore each other apart.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister was out of the country. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

The minister of contradictory affairs is entangling himself in all kinds of versions.

What role did the Prime Minister play in this file? Did he personally approve the agreement in the diplomatic note—

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs has floor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government did not participate in the plea bargain. In fact as I indicated yesterday, the court's chief prosecutor, Captain John Murphy, stated in response to this question that the Government of Canada did not participate in either the discussions or the agreement. As I said earlier, our position on this file is similar to that taken by the previous government.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the CIDA minister must come clean with Canadians about the de-funding of KAIROS.

The minister first claimed that the KAIROS proposal did not fit CIDA's priorities. Now she is implying that KAIROS' programming was ineffective. This completely contradicts the strong recommendations of senior CIDA officials.

What is the real story? Why the changing motives? Why the culture of deceit?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear. We have an effective aid strategy and we are acting on it. We are delivering real results for people. We only need to look at the results of the aid programs that we have in effect.

We are focusing so that everything we do is action instead of advocacy.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are playing fast and loose with the facts. CIDA documents confirm that a positive recommendation was approved by CIDA's president and sent to the minister, but the memo was then modified by hand to read as a denial, without attribution or explanation from the editor.

Who made the anonymous changes? Who made the decision to cut funding to churches that do good work? Was it the CIDA minister, or did the orders come directly from the Prime Minister?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government's action is to create action. Under our watch Canada was the first G8 country to double its aid to Africa. The Liberals are ignoring the fact that less than 10 years ago the Liberals were giving half of what we are giving today.

When it comes to moving forward and doing what is right for those in need, our government is there.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the case of David Chen has touched people across Canada. Canadians are concerned that a man such as David Chen, who was merely stopping a thief who committed a criminal act, somehow wound up an accused criminal himself. This is wrong and of course Canadians know it.

What is the view of the Prime Minister about this unfortunate miscarriage of justice?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague that the case of David Chen has raised concerns right across this country.

Now that the case has been ruled on and common sense has prevailed, this government, the Minister of Justice and I have instructed Department of Justice officials to look at possible changes to the Criminal Code to prevent incidents like Mr. Chen's from occurring again.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I continue to be inundated with concerns voiced by Alberta businesses about the HST. The Alberta minister of finance has written three times to the federal minister seeking changes to the way the HST is applied in Alberta. Minister Morton is right that this is an issue of fairness and accountability. In other words, there should be no taxation without representation.

Does the minister consider it fair to impose a tax system where one government can collect taxes from people in another province which can do nothing about it? Who in the government is standing up for Alberta?