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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member has asked a question and he is entitled to hear the response.

The hon. minister of state.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the deal offered by the United Arab Emirates is simply not in the best interests of Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today leaked documents confirm the government's sad climate change con job. Its objective is to undermine action on climate change at home and abroad. Its strategy is for three government departments to partner with the oil sands industry. Its action is to lobby for accepting excessive oil sands emissions, while doing nothing to reduce them.

Could the minister explain why the government is taking its lead from the oil industry and has no plan to actually reduce emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 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 are following the Copenhagen accord and are working very closely with Barack Obama's administration. However, let me commend the member opposite the following quote:

The stupidest thing you can do (is) to run against an industry that is providing employment for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and not just in Alberta, but right across the country...

The member should at least listen to the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of Canadians want a real plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not a con job. Canada can and should be a leader on this issue. We should be about renewable energy, about eliminating subsidies that reward pollution, about pushing for energy efficiency, about being leaders in green technology.

The government's plan does just the opposite, and no one believes Conservatives take climate change seriously. As the world heads to the Cancun climate conference, will the government be a laughing stock, once again?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the environmental challenges of developing the oil sands. We are working with all levels of government and with the industry to ensure those are dealt with.

However, what I cannot understand is there are over 120,000 direct and indirect jobs associated with the oil sands across the country and I do not know why the member would be opposing that important part of our economy.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently at the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce, Tony Genco, the Liberal candidate, said in regard to taxes, “We can't afford to increase them”. Now the Liberal candidate is trying to hide from his Liberal leader's job-killing tax hike agenda. The Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes” and “I'm not going to take a GST hike off the table”.

Could the government tell us what would happen under the Liberal plan to raise taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has indeed promised to hike taxes, hurting our job creators when we need them most. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has warned that the Liberal plan to raise taxes is a “disastrous idea”. It would “put the brakes on job growth” and it is the wrong thing to do if we want to create jobs and growth in the economy.

Our government on the other hand has taken a different approach, cutting taxes, saving the average family $3,000.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians learned that the government has secretly acquired a new fleet of helicopters for the military mission in Afghanistan. We still do not know how much they cost or what they are for.

Did the government need to make this secret arrangement because the Chinook helicopters are five years late? Should we just add the cost of these helicopters onto the Chinooks, which are already 70% over budget? What is going on? Why do the Conservatives want to keep Canadians in the dark when it comes to Afghanistan?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, helicopters save lives. The request came directly from the Canadian commanders in Kandahar as an urgent operational requirement for an increased troop movement capability to augment Griffon and Chinooks ops.

The contract process, which followed all Government of Canada contract rules and guidelines and all Treasury Board guidelines, was very competitive, although it was not posted on MERX for security reasons. Several companies submitted bids and a decision was taken on the best value bid.

This contract will end when the combat mission ends in 2011. The government remains committed to giving our men and women in uniform the tools to do their jobs in a timely manner.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, with regard to Afghanistan, it seems the government wants to keep as much information as possible away from Parliament. We will not get Chinook helicopters until 2013. There is the Leopard tank mess and now these secretly leased Russian helicopters. We have seen a string of four military procurement decisions by the government.

If the government wants to assure us that all proper procedures were followed, why not make the process transparent and accountable to Parliament and to Canadians?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, our primary job in Afghanistan is to get the job done and save Canadian lives. This contract is temporary. Several companies bid on it. It followed all Treasury Board guidelines and all Government of Canada contracting guidelines. The contract will end in 2011, when the combat mission ends. It has nothing to do with future Chinook contracts at all. The member should just be happy the government is looking after our men and women in uniform.

Supply ManagementOral Questions

November 22nd, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government wants to join the trans-Pacific partnership. As it did for the agreement with the European Union, Canada is saying that everything is negotiable, including supply management.

Considering the fact that New Zealand, one of supply management's greatest opponents, is part of that group, can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food guarantee us that tariff quotas and over-quota tariffs will remain unchanged, as stipulated by the Bloc Québécois motion unanimously passed in 2005?

Supply ManagementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the government's position in the context of our trade negotiations is clear. We defend our system of supply management. We believe it is a legitimate system that provides great benefits to Canadian consumers and Canadian agricultural producers. That is the position we take in our negotiations with the European Union.

Supply ManagementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade said himself that everything was negotiable, including supply management. Canada is scrambling to become part of the trans-Pacific partnership, which includes some well-known opponents of supply management.

Will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food remind his colleagues that they voted in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion and confirm to us that his government will not agree to any compromises that would jeopardize the livelihood of Quebec's dairy, poultry and egg producers?

Supply ManagementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government has negotiated trade agreements with eight countries since we formed government in just the first four years. In all these cases we were able to successfully defend our system of supply management. We are doing the same thing in our talks with the European Union right now.

The government has made no decision yet whether to participate in the trans-Pacific partnership negotiations. If we do, we will once again defend our system of supply management as we always do, and successfully I might add, while at the same time get market access for other agricultural producers and, in short, deliver benefits in terms of jobs and prosperity for all Canadians through freer trade. This party is firmly committed to do that.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to force-feed Canadians an untendered contract for a fighter jet that even the manufacturer admits is costing more and more every day. The Auditor General has called this a “risky purchase” that could cost Canadian taxpayers twice as much as the government says.

“This is not a time for risky new spending schemes that will increase the deficit”, claimed the Minister of Finance. Really? It is time for the minister to walk the talk. Does the government not realize how risky it is to commit $16 billion, and counting, on untendered jets that keep getting more and more expensive?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is simply nonsense. We looked at this project with experts for many years, as has happened in 10, and counting, other allied countries. We have all come to the same conclusion.

This is the best aircraft, at the best price, for the best industrial opportunities for Canadian industry. This is a program that is going to take us through the next 40 years of Canadian industry, the next level of technology and beyond. It is a win-win for the Canadian Forces, the Canadian taxpayer and Canadian industry.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not nonsense to Canadians who have to put food on the table and a roof over their head.

The government continues to spend billions of dollars on wasteful purchases for fake lakes, untendered stealth fighter jets and Republican-style prisons that Canadians are convinced we do not really need.

How is putting $16 billion, and counting, at risk for the purchase of untendered stealth fighter jets? Using the minister's own words, “practical, pragmatic and moderate”, is he serious?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what we are very serious about is giving the Canadian men and women who carry out the very difficult missions on behalf of the people of Canada and others the very best equipment to do the job tomorrow and for the next 20, 30 and 40 years. We do not know what is coming in the next 20, 30 or 40 years and neither does the member opposite. We are doing this at the lowest cost. It is the lowest cost airplane of the ones we looked at. It also has the best industrial opportunities for other people of Canada.

A good social program is a job and that is what we are giving to Canadians.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been two years since the listeriosis outbreak that killed 23 Canadians and almost a year and a half since the Weatherill report was released. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency still has no idea how many inspectors are needed to safeguard Canada's food supply. We have heard conflicting numbers from the government, the minister and top executives of CFIA.

When will the government live up to its promise to implement all of the report's recommendations? Will it finally do the external audit it promised over a year ago?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, a year ago we embraced all 57 recommendations from Sheila Weatherill. She did a fantastic job putting that package together. We are moving forward with all those recommendations. Some come at different speeds than others. Some involve working with industry and some with our provincial counterparts.

As to the case of the inspectors, we have added 538 net new inspectors since we have taken office. We have increased the budget by 13% for CFIA. However, that party voted against every one of those initiatives.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, Conservative talking points are wearing thin. Canadians are demanding clear answers, not this kind of misleading rhetoric.

The minister and CFIA admitted the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers was a review, not a resources audit. The Weatherill report clearly said a third party resource audit was necessary.

Will the minister respect the recommendations of his government's Weatherill report and enact recommendation 7, yes or no?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the best way to move forward is, of course, to embrace the audits, reviews and so on that are coming forward.

A number of internal audits and a number of internal reviews have been done. A number of external sources have also had a look at CFIA and are putting the best road map forward. We are embracing all of those. We will table those just as soon as they are done and the assessments are made on them.

We want to build a stronger food safety system, which, of course, is recognized as number one in the world.