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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

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 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, the government has always been incredibly clear that our combat mission would end in Afghanistan in 2011. That will be the case. At that time we will begin the transition into a training mission to support the people of Afghanistan, to provide aid and to focus on development in Afghanistan.

This is an important priority. We are going to work closely with our NATO allies in this UN-sanctioned effort.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government will not give Canadians the straight goods on what is going on with this extension. In fact the costs have risen three times between last Tuesday and last Friday.

Now NATO is making it very clear that 2014 is not necessarily a fixed date for the withdrawal.

When we consider all the broken promises around this issue, it is clear that our troops will be staying beyond 2011 and they could be staying a heck of a lot longer, because the government has no exit strategy post-2014.

Why will the government not come clean? Why will it not allow a vote after a full debate in the House?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 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, our government has been very clear that if we are going to put troops into combat, into a war situation, for the sake of legitimacy we are going to bring it before Parliament. That has been our practice as a government.

What we are talking about here is a technical and a training mission. Our recent deployment of military personnel to Haiti following the recent earthquake is a perfect example of troop deployment in a non-combat role.

What we want to do is increase the capacity of the Afghan national army to be able to deal with the security of Afghanistan on its own. That is a great practice for Canada where we can actually train and provide the tools that Afghanistan needs in order to do its own job.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Afghanistan is a war situation. That is why there should be a vote.

There certainly are no logical reasons to explain why the government will not allow a vote on this key issue. Its arguments do not make sense.

We have now learned that the Conservatives actually offered the Liberals a vote on this matter having to do with the extension. Can the government confirm this?

We are also told that this offer was rejected by the Liberal member for Toronto Centre.

Is this why Parliament cannot vote? Is it all part of some kind of secret deal?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 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 say to the leader of the NDP that I am all for blaming the member for Toronto Centre for just about everything, but this is not one of them.

What we want to do is continue to transition out of the combat mission into a training mission to be able to increase the capacity of the Afghan national army to defend the Afghan people on its own.

We are going to continue with a huge focus on capacity building and providing aid and development to the people of Afghanistan, working with our NATO allies.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, at the G8 and G20 summits, in only 72 hours the Conservatives wasted money, including $20,000 for flowers and centrepieces; over $60,000 for lapel pins and zipper pulls, which is more than the average Canadian household earns in a year; and $57,000 for pens. That does not include the details of the millions spent by Commissioner Fantino of the OPP.

Is this what the finance minister means when he says the government is going to be “responsible” and show “restraint”?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the agreement was signed in March 2010 by Ontario minister Rick Bartolucci, whom I am sure the member opposite recognizes as a Liberal colleague.

I think many Canadians would agree with me that it is rather hypocritical of the federal Liberals to stand in this place and spout party rhetoric while their friends at Downsview Park refuse to release the expense reports of the Liberal candidate in Vaughan for when he was the CEO of Downsview Park.

The real question is why is Tony Genco hiding from Canadians, and why are his friends at Downsview Park refusing to release the information?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

November 22nd, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that was reckless spending and a reckless response.

The out-of-control Conservative government borrowed and spent a record $130 million on advertising, the highest spent in Canadian history. The government spent more last year than all the beer companies combined spent. Add to this the reckless spending by the Prime Minister's own office, which has more than tripled its spending on high-priced consultants. Do we want to talk about restraint? Canadians can barely restrain their outrage over the government's waste.

When is the government going to get its spending under control?

Government AdvertisingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, because of transparent accounting it is very clear that $130 million was spent on advertising.

If the Liberals were to do some very simple math, back in 2002-03 they spent $110 million on the same file. Included in our file was $33 million spent to advise Canadians about the H1N1 epidemic. If that is taken out, it shows that we actually spent less than the Liberals did in 2002-03.

What are the Liberals angry about? Are they angry that we warned Canadians about the epidemic or that we spent less than they did?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, after inheriting a $13 billion surplus from the Liberals, the Conservatives jacked up spending by 18% in their first two years in office. They put Canada into deficit even before the downturn.

After the Conservatives have wasted billions on fake lakes, consultants and advertising, U.S.-style mega-prisons, and untendered fighter jets, how can they turn around and tell Canadian families, “Sorry, the cupboard is bare; we have nothing left to invest in your needs and your priorities”?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the priorities of Canadians were laid out in budget 2009 with an economic action plan that was a two-year plan for getting Canadians back to work. That is what Canadians asked for. That is what Canadians wanted. That is what we delivered, despite who voted against it on the other side.

We have a proven record of 430,000 net new jobs as a result of Canada's economic action plan. That is the answer the hon. member deserves.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, they have a proven record of waste over there. The justice minister falsely promised that his prison bill would cost only $90 million. However, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has put the true cost at $10 billion to $13 billion.

How can the finance minister lecture Canadians that this is “not the time for risky new spending schemes” when he refuses to tell his own justice minister to stop his risky new spending schemes? Why is the finance minister's message of restraint just intended for ordinary Canadian families and not for his own wasteful Conservative government?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals opposite obviously have no sense about justice issues. That is why the member opposite talked about that.

We have no apologies for being strong on justice. Canadians expect prisoners to go to jail and serve their time. That is why the justice minister has brought forward a lot of legislation that Canadians have been looking for over a long period of time.

I would invite my colleagues opposite to get along with us and pass that legislation.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, after three years of hesitation, the federal government finally decided to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which recognizes aboriginal peoples' rights related to culture, identity, language and education. It is time to take concrete action. The aboriginal community is a young and there is a desperate need for education.

Will the government lift the cap on investments in education in order to provide funding commensurate with need?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we indeed endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We indeed are moving forward on an agenda that includes education as a priority. I would invite the member to stay tuned, because we will be announcing some measures on the education front.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, by signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Government of Canada recognizes that housing is a fundamental right. Many social problems result from overcrowded housing conditions. In Nunavik alone, there is a need for 1,000 housing units.

Will the signature of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples result in concrete action, namely, the construction of housing?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is not a blank cheque to open up for every issue.

However, this government has also invested very seriously in housing for first nations and aboriginal peoples. We have spent almost $1 billion on reserves since coming to government in 2006. We have created an annual average of 2,300 new units and 3,300 renovations. We have also supported social housing and aboriginal capacity development.

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have asked the federal government for $375 million to fund an underwater cable in order to bypass Quebec and deliver electricity to the American market. By agreeing to fund such a project, the government would use part of Quebeckers' taxes to create unfair competition for Quebec.

Does the government intend to be clear and refuse to directly or indirectly fund an undersea cable to bypass Quebec?

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have put in place a public-private partnership called PPP Canada Inc. That is an independent crown corporation that operates in an objective arm's-length manner. In fact, it has received a request to review this project for partnership funding. PPP Canada will review that, and any decisions will be based on merit.

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, helping fund the construction of an underwater cable would be the first step towards creating a trans-Canada electricity distribution network without Quebec's consent.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources assure us that they will not directly or indirectly fund a trans-Canada electricity distribution network without Quebec's consent?

HydroelectricityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one thing this government does is ensure it is fair to all provinces. All provinces have the opportunity to apply for funding under the P3 Canada fund. We would encourage any projects out there that might fit the criteria to do that. They will be reviewed on the basis of merit. We will see where it goes from there.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a question of the government House leader, given his answers on Friday with respect to the closure of Camp Mirage.

There has been a lot of discussion about extravagant and wasteful schemes. I would like to ask the minister, very directly, this. If spending $500 million on the unnecessary closure of a base, which costs will be even greater because of the extension of our troops being in Afghanistan post-2011, could he explain if that is not an extravagant waste of money, just what is?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I will answer that question for my hon. colleague. As we have said any number of times in the House in recent weeks, the Government of Canada chooses arrangements that are in the best interests of Canada and the best value for Canadians. What the UAE was offering was simply not in the best interests of Canada and would have cost Canadian jobs.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his response on Friday, the minister spoke of 10,000 jobs, or even more. We are seeing the real cost of what happened at Camp Mirage. It will cost the government more than $500 million. That is the number we know.

If the Government of Canada does not feel this is a colossal waste of money, what is its definition of a colossal waste of money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I will answer my hon. colleague again. The rhetorical question that has been asked and not answered by the other side is this. Why does the Liberal Party take the side of the United Arab Emirates in this dispute? There would have been costs if that deal had been accepted.

The Government of Canada would not accept—