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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, not at all. Communicating with the Canadian people is one of the government's most important jobs. That is why the Prime Minister and other ministers have spent the past 18 months travelling from coast to coast telling Canadians the good news about our economic action plan. It is also why we have gone the extra mile to communicate with the local and regional media. Canadians can count on us. We are going to keep on communicating with Canadians.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that all the parliamentary bureau chiefs across Canada, including Hélène Buzzetti here in Ottawa, have said the exact opposite.

These same journalists are witnessing the erosion of democracy under the Conservatives: redacted documents, muzzled officials, intimidated witnesses, broken parliamentary rules when the Conservatives ban their political staff from testifying in committee, broken laws as in the case of the Minister of Public Works and the Access to Information Act.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all these tactics have one goal: not to be accountable to the public—

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is quite normal for a government to communicate with taxpayers. That is what we are doing and what we will keep on doing so that we can tell people about the good things our government has done, especially stimulating Canada's economy and creating jobs. Those are things that count, not just for Quebeckers, but for Canadians. Unfortunately, I cannot say as much for the Bloc Québécois, which has accomplished nothing in Quebec in the past 20 years.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc has been rising in this House for 20 years to stand up for Quebeckers.

Clearly, the Conservative government has used the G8 and G20 summits to reward its friends. For instance, a $20 million arena was built in the industry minister's riding. To justify this expense, the government is telling us that it is to accommodate the members of the press at the summit. However, with the events about to start in just a few days, organizers are now saying that the arena will be used for neither the G8 nor the G20 summit.

These summits have essentially become open bars for the friends of the Conservatives, have they not?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, a good part of the costs involve security. Yes, a part will be used for the promotion, the marketing of Canada and the province of Ontario, as well as the area where these events will be held. That is perfectly normal, and that is the standard practice in other countries when they host summits. Many officials are applauding us for it.

I will say one last thing. For the past 20 years, they have been big on claims, small on delivery. They have not delivered a thing for Quebec.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not the impression we have been getting from Quebeckers in one election after the other.

On top of buying his industry minister's re-election with an arena, the government has lost control of its spending on the G8 and G20 summits. The list of ridiculous expenses keeps growing: $2 million for a fake lake and its scenery; $400,000 for a steamboat; $300,000 for a washroom located 20 kilometres away from the summit site; $1 million for a backdrop and bear-proof garbage cans.

How can the government display so much arrogance when taxpayers are fuming over its patronage and wasteful spending?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, infrastructure spending has been and continues to be part of programs that necessarily had to be approved by the House, by government. That is our economic action plan. The benefits of this plan introduced by the government can be seen across the country. We certainly are extremely proud of delivering. I can say that, over the course of 20 months, we have delivered—

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Outremont.

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, after hearing dozens of witnesses and experts, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is currently preparing its report on pensions. Yesterday evening, the Minister of Finance announced his agenda for this issue without waiting for Parliament's report.

The Standing Committee on Finance is chaired by a Conservative and his contribution has been collaborative, non-partisan and excellent.

By pre-empting his Conservative colleagues and the other members of the Standing Committee on Finance, is the Minister of Finance respecting our parliamentary institutions?

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I share the view of the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party which is that securing Canadians' pensions is important and that we should work in a non-partisan way to advance that cause. I also strongly agree with him on the great work done by the finance committee and its chair, the member for Edmonton—Leduc.

The government has launched consultations with the ministers of finance from around the country to look at what we can do to secure the future retirement pensions of Canadians. It is something that I think is a priority for all of us.

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, the House unanimously adopted an NDP motion calling for the government to allow Canadians to increase their CPP contributions. The government finally appears to have gotten the message, but what is missing from its plans is any effort to lift seniors out of poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement. The finance minister does not need the provinces to do that.

If the government is willing to throw more than $1 billion at the fake lake summit, then why will it not invest a mere $700 million to lift seniors out of poverty?

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this government has been focused on retirement income for seniors overall. Through the tax reductions that this government has put in place, we have taken almost a million people off the tax rolls. They are no longer paying taxes. That is action.

We have put in place a process, a consultation with our partners throughout the country actually consulting with Canadians on what they think we should do. We are coming together with our partners at the provincial and territorial finance ministers' meeting this coming weekend to talk about where we go--

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, tax cuts do not help seniors in poverty. Those seniors are not paying taxes. Canadian workers and failing or bankrupt companies like Nortel and many others need action to protect their pensions. Just last year the underfunded pension plan for CHTV employees in Hamilton wound up with an $8 million shortfall, this, while the executives at CanWest were given $41 million to top up their underfunded pension plan before entering CCAA protection.

New Democrats have legislation before the House to protect employee pensions of companies in trouble. Will the government join us in passing our bill and protect Canadian workers by putting them--

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

PensionsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we attempted to do in our budget bill but, unfortunately, the changes that we put in there, the NDP members voted against. If they had read the budget they would have seen that we have put in place regulations to ensure those funds are completely paid up, that the employers fully fund those pension plans so that if anything were to happen the pensioners would get their money.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country are frustrated by how the Conservatives are managing taxpayers' money and, above all, by the foolish spending for the G8 and G20.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have cut funding to the Atlantic innovation fund. Funding to that program has been cut by nearly $32 million this year, which is equal to about 120 minutes of spending for the G8 and G20.

Why must the Atlantic provinces pay the price for a fake lake, washrooms and stuffed moose? This is really happening in this country; this is not fiction. But the Conservatives seem to be living in fantasyland.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would remind my hon. colleague that a large part of this spending is related to security. Of course some is also being spent on our marketing strategy. I would also add that certain aspects of the G8 and G20 summits allow us to celebrate Canada's achievements, particularly in terms of the Canadian economy as well as job creation and other indicators that show that we are the strongest country in terms—

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the Conservatives to not realize that Canadians do not agree with their decisions. The Atlantic innovation fund is essential to the development of knowledge in the Atlantic provinces. So why did they cut that program by nearly 46% this year compared to last year? Canadians understand that 120 minutes of the G8 and G20 summits cost the same as the $32 million cut from that program.

Will the Conservatives treat the people of Atlantic Canada with respect and return those 120 minutes of expenses to them?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

West Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Greg Kerr ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I know the member would also want to go on and explain the millions and millions of dollars that have been invested in Atlantic Canada, particularly through Canada's action plan. ACOA has provided a terrific amount.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

A lot of doorknobs.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

One does not want to be set aside by the doorknob across.

I just want to point out that I am sure the member meant to preface his question by saying he is very pleased with the money spent by this government in Atlantic Canada.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

June 11th, 2010 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, cross-country festivals that had their funding stripped by the government can thank the industry minister personally.

Yesterday, the department's top civil servant testified that while the minister found money for a fake lake, a fake lighthouse, and a sunken steamboat, he could not spare a dime for festivals like Les FrancoFolies de Montréal or Toronto's Gay Pride.

The minister said he had limited funding for cultural programs, so how can he defend shovelling millions into his pet political projects?