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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was haitian.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the purchase of fighter jets without a competitive bidding process would be a huge mistake. Not only would a competitive bidding process give us more jobs and more industrial benefits, it would also save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Why is the government letting the Americans choose our aircraft at the expense of our industries and our taxpayers?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. There was a competition. In fact, the competition took place under the tutelage of the party of the Leader of the Opposition.

In fact, what we are seeing here is a win-win situation. It is certainly a win for the Canadian Forces for the new state-of-the-art aircraft, the fifth generation aircraft, the only one available to our country. For the Canadian aerospace industry there is the potential for contracts of up to $12 billion and 150,000 jobs. This is great for the Canadian economy. I do not know why the Liberal leader opposes it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister's credibility on this issue is in tatters. On May 27, he promised Parliament an open and competitive bid. On July 16, he reversed himself. He made one estimate for the maintenance costs of this airplane. It has now more than doubled. He has overplayed the industrial benefits, downplayed the cost. None of his numbers about this plane add up. When will he put a stop to this boondoggle in the making?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why it is every time push comes to shove, every time the issue is about getting the Canadian Forces new equipment to protect them, to promote their interests and Canada's interests abroad, the Liberal Party is against it. We saw it with the EH-101 cancellation. Now we are seeing the same thing again, a page ripped out of the 1993 red book. When they cancelled that contract, it cost the country $1 billion.

Here we have a chance to improve upon that record. We could have the Liberal Party be consistent for a change and support the Canadian Forces and the equipment needs that they have.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is about value for taxpayers' money. I defy the Minister of National Defence to tell the Canadian people what this plane will actually cost. In the United States the estimates go from $50 million, to $95 million, to $125 million. The maintenance contract estimate goes from $5 billion to $12 billion. This is an issue of credibility. No number the government presents on this issue is credible.

How can the Conservatives ask the taxpayers to foot the bill without a competitive bid?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the actual contract. What the Canadian government has committed to is a $9 billion contract for the acquisition of 65 fifth generation aircraft. This includes not just the aircraft, but also includes the onboard systems, supporting infrastructure, initial spares, training simulators, contingency funds. This is a terrific investment for the Canadian Forces.

The members opposite have changed their position. When the Liberals were in office they began this process. With $12 billion in potential contracts and 150,000 jobs, how can the Liberal Party oppose that type of progress?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to be the Minister of National Defence, a person must be both competent and honest. We talk a lot about the taxpayers' money. The facts contradict the minister on the issue of the F-35s. There was no competitive bidding process in Canada to choose a new aircraft, and the cost per aircraft is not guaranteed. In addition, the industrial benefits are not guaranteed, and the total cost is uncertain.

Is the minister incompetent or is he deliberately deceiving Canadians?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see the member bring such a class act to the House prior to Christmas.

Let us listen to what Claude Lajeunesse of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada had to say about the production of 3,000 to 5,000 aircraft. He said, “This amount represents more than $12 billion in opportunities on the partner's fleet...”. The association went on to say, “We urge members of Parliament to support the future of our aerospace industry and the 150,000 direct, indirect...jobs it generates”.

I do not know why the member from Montreal is opposed to his local aerospace industry and the Canadian Forces' interests.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, from one class act to another, the minister of defence does not understand his job. He has also deliberately misled Canadians from the beginning. He says that there is no Canadian competition: not true. He says that the price is guaranteed: also not true. He says that we will get $12 billion in industrial benefits: prove it. He says that the whole project will cost $16 billion: again, prove it.

Does the minister need some help on how to do procurement properly? I will give him a hand. So far there has been nothing but monumental incompetence.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, if the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie, who is a former astronaut and a former member of the Canadian Forces, continues to ignore the interests of the local aerospace industry, if he continues to belittle the former colleagues he had in the Canadian Forces and the pressing equipment needs they have, calling them generals' toys, if he continues to do all of this, his constituents in Montreal and the local aerospace industry just might say, “Montreal, there is a problem”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago at the Cancun summit, the international community came to an agreement in principle that is consistent with the Kyoto protocol. Despite extensive efforts, Canada did not manage to bring down the talks. In order to avoid being isolated from the rest of the international community, Canada was forced to sign the agreement.

Can the Prime Minister explain what Canada's signature on this agreement means in terms of concrete action to fight climate change? Does the government have a plan or is this nothing but lip service?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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 of Canada went to Cancun to get results on five issues. I am proud to announce that we made progress on each of Canada's five priorities.

We worked well with the Obama administration and with the Europeans. We made progress. It is critical that major polluters help us in our efforts to achieve an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We have real progress in mind for next year.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, all scientists agree that global warming should not surpass 2oC. To ensure that, industrialized countries must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 25% to 40% compared to 1990 levels. The Conservatives' so-called target of 17% compared to 2005 levels would actually be an increase of 3% compared to 1990 levels.

Does the minister realize that the target set by his government contradicts the Cancun agreement?

The EnvironmentOral 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, if we want to reduce greenhouse gases, we must stabilize them over the next five to ten years. It is also essential that all of the major polluters actively participate. We are making significant progress and we are working very well with the Obama administration and the United Nations. If other countries joined us, we could achieve real results for our planet.

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week's devastating high tides are indicative of an increasingly frequent challenge facing coastal communities, including those on the east coast of Quebec.

In light of the increase in such natural phenomena linked to climate change, can the government assure us that it will do everything possible to combat increased shoreline erosion and that it will provide funding for regions along the river to adapt to climate change?

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:25 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, this is obviously a difficult situation for those who have recently experienced flooding as a result of the fall high tides. Our government always stands beside the people. I am sure that the Bloc Québécois above all does not want us to take the place of the provinces and be the first to intervene. The province must do its job. There are federal programs. The province will be able to apply to the federal government for assistance in the proper way, through Public Safety Canada.

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the City of Rimouski is a marine technology hub that already has important research structures such as the UQAR coastal geoscience research chair, and its director, Pascal Bernatchez.

Would the federal government agree that this is a fine opportunity to develop a research centre on climate change that has serious consequences on maritime regions?

High Tides in Eastern QuebecOral Questions

2:25 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, as the member opposite knows, our government recently made a number of announcements in Rimouski to intertwine the marine technology hub and strategy with the development of Rimouski and the Université du Québec à Rimouski.

That said, we must congratulate the first responders on the scene who helped the people affected by this crisis. Of course our government, through the Department of Public Safety, will be there, as usual, to support the people.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada is saying that Canadians are overstretched in terms of debt, that they now owe $1.48 for every $1 they earn and that the personal debt risks are destabilizing the whole economy.

The Prime Minister is lecturing Canadians not to go into debt, but his own policies make it worse. He slaps on the HST and refuses to take action against gouging credit card companies.

When will the government pass binding new laws to protect Canadians as we head into this season when they are supposed to be buying a few things for their families? When is he going to protect them from the gouging credit card companies?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we clearly do not want Canadians to be overextended on credit. Ensuring Canadians can make financial decisions is a priority for our government. That is why in the budget in 2009 we created the financial literacy task force. It has been hard at work the past almost two years and will report early in the new year.

We also introduced credit card reform to ensure Canadians would have the information they needed. Canadians can see that now on their credit card forms they get every month. They can see exactly what it costs to carry balances and so on. Information is power.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can now see that they are being gouged even more with a larger font size, thanks to the government.

The latest welfare report describes a dramatic reality.

Those receiving welfare today are living in worse conditions than 10 years ago. They are living below the poverty line. The economic crisis is going on and on. An increasing number of Canadians no longer have access to employment insurance benefits.

Why are we abandoning those in need and letting the provinces bear the burden of social protection—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The EconomyOral 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, I have seen some great economic progress in the last 16 or 17 months, the creation of some 441,000 net new jobs. However, the job is not finished. There are still far too many Canadians looking for work. The very best social program, everyone would acknowledge, is a job.

That is why we have Canada's economic action plan, a plan designed to reach out and to ensure that economic growth continues in Canada. More work has to be done. We are pleased to work with the provinces. We also acknowledge that social policy is a provincial responsibility and the federal government can play an important role.

However, I would remind the member opposite that we must respect provincial jurisdiction. He should ask his—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto--Danforth.

Foreign TakeoversOral Questions

December 13th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when Vale took over Canadian icon Inco, it was a takeover with conditions. Those conditions were designed to protect Canadians, workers and their communities. However, according to reports today, Vale broke its deal with the government and broke its word to our communities and to all Canadians. The minister's response: silence.

The government cannot be counted on to protect Canadians from predatory foreign investment. Why did the minister allow Vale to break its conditions, to break its word, to violate its own signature and to break the rule—