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House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hunting.

Topics

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, a fake lake, fiddlers and a landlocked boat were just the beginning. A drive around the industry minister's riding reveals a tour de pork: $50 million dumped on distant gazebos and goodies under the guise of a day of G8 meetings to re-elect the minister. Even if the delegates wanted to drive 80 kilometres away to see it, they cannot because most of it is not finished. Some of it has not even been started. This is not a G8 legacy fund. It is a slush fund for a minister gone wild.

Did the Conservatives refuse to move both summits to Toronto and save half a billion dollars so they could give cover to this pork?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do note that the Leader of the Opposition promised to hold the G8 summit in Huntsville because he appreciated the good choice that this government made.

All of the G8 projects have already been completed or are expected to be completed in the coming weeks. We are proud of them. They are creating jobs as part of Canada's economic action plan, and that is good for this country.

What I can say is that the Liberals' repeated attempts to mislead, to say untrue things and to spread falsehoods will not work.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, he should take a drive around because he would see that they are not done.

The nearby riding of Nickel Belt received $2.8 million for infrastructure. All together, the industry minister's riding will receive almost $100 million. What is he building with it? More gazebos per capita than probably anywhere else on earth, from nearly a $1 million bridge to nowhere 42 kilometres away that has not even been started, to $2 million for park improvements 135 kilometres away that is currently mud. It was approved in the name of the summits but has a better chance of being visited by aliens than Barack Obama.

How do the Conservatives justify this pork?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will speak very directly to the project mentioned by the member opposite. He speaks about a bridge in Kearney. This is not a G8 summit project and has nothing to do with the G8 summit project. Just because the member opposite wants to spread mistruths does not make them true.

I do have a list of literally dozens of projects amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in the riding of Ajax--Pickering. These dozens of projects in the member's own riding all have one thing in common: the member of Parliament for that riding had nothing to do with getting them.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

June 16th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel to the House of Commons was very clear: ministerial responsibility does not limit the power of parliamentary committees. They therefore have the right to call political staff members, if needed to advance their work.

Why does the Prime Minister continue to support his press secretary, Dimitri Soudas, who is refusing to testify before a parliamentary committee? Is he above the law?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is clear. We support the tradition of ministerial responsibility to Parliament. That is the government's position and our employees answer to us.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is clear, but it clearly contravenes the authority of Parliament. With his stubborn refusal to appear before a committee, Dimitri Soudas could be charged with contempt of Parliament.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by supporting his press secretary, he is complicit in the contempt for Parliament and democracy? Such action is unbecoming of a prime minister.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, prime ministers and ministers are responsible to Parliament. The government's position is clear on another matter: the people of Canada believe that the pardon system needs to be overhauled. The people believe, as I do, that this subject is far more important than holidays. I hope that the Bloc Québécois will work with us to reform this system.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, like you, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the House of Commons has said that the parliamentary committees have the power to call whomever they want in order to accomplish their work. Today is the deadline for Dimitri Soudas to appear before the ethics committee.

Will the Prime Minister maintain his irresponsible position and continue to order his director of communications not to appear before the committee?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the tradition is clear: ministers answer to Parliament and their assistants answer to the ministers.

The reason the coalition parties do not want to ask questions of the ministers is that they do not want the real facts of this great country to come out. They do not want Canadians to know that, through the universal child care benefit, 56,000 children have been lifted out of poverty and that 5 million Canadians have registered tax-free savings accounts with up to $16 billion in new investment from that. The coalition parties also do not want Canadians to know about the 300,000 jobs. That is the real Canadian story and we are telling it.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister truly believes he is above the law.

Does he realize that by digging in his heels and preventing his director of communications from testifying, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics will have no choice but to draft a report and initiate the process to find him and Dimitri Soudas in contempt of Parliament?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc and all the coalition parties have the right to ask ministers any question and we, as a government, are prepared to answer.

They do not want Canadians to know that this government is succeeding. Through our economic plan, we have created 300,000 new jobs. Five million Canadians invested in the tax-free savings accounts, which is $16 billion in accumulated savings for the future. The universal child care benefit has lifted 56,000 children out of poverty. We are getting the job done and they do not want Canadians to know it.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal Party leader flip-flopped yet again, this time on the Afghanistan issue. The Liberal Party leader wants to prolong Canada's military presence in Afghanistan, but that is contrary to the will of the House.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that Canada will withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan as of July 2011?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the NDP leader would criticize another party leader. One of his members, his House Leader in fact, basically denied Israel's right to exist by making extremist statements with impunity.

He is in no position to criticize the Liberal Party leader or any other leader in the House.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

So, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is not prepared to confirm that Canadian troops will no longer be in Afghanistan after 2011. The cost of Canada's involvement in the war is $20 billion so far. The NATO costs on training are $1 billion a month. That is exactly the approach that the Liberal leader wants Canada to continue with.

Would the Prime Minister tell us if he agrees that the Canadian money would be better spent on humanitarian aid, development assistance work, justice, human rights and peace negotiations in Afghanistan? Could he at least confirm that?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, successive governments, both Conservative and Liberal, have worked with our international partners and with the Afghan people to bring peace, security and development to that country. We are extremely proud of the work that our men and women in uniform, our diplomats and our development workers have done with our international partners.

Quite frankly, I do not think a leader who shelters an MP who makes anti-Israeli extremist statements without repercussion should be making any criticism of policy.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the faulty deal that the Prime Minister signed with the coalition of the unwilling shows why only a judicial inquiry will ever get to the bottom of the Afghan torture scandal. The government tried to silence diplomat, Richard Colvin, who was trying to blow the whistle on torture. DND officials were sending memos begging to silence him.

Why did the government reassign people who were trying to raise the issue of torture? Why did it want to stop Richard Colvin from exposing the truth and reporting on what he saw?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, three political parties worked to get a responsible resolution to this question but, unfortunately, the NDP did not. However, why would we be surprised? The deputy leader of the NDP knew full well what she was saying when she made statements that could have been made by Hamas, Hezbollah or anybody else, with no repercussions from that party whatsoever. I hope the leader of the NDP will come clean and actually face up to his responsibilities on that question.

While I am on my feet, I also hope that he will help us pass a reform of the pardon system, something for which Canadians have been waiting weeks.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked the government how much of its out of control G8 and G20 spending was being splurged on untendered contracts. However, we only received an answer from the Minister of Public Works and Government Services who would only talk about her department.

The vast majority of the G spending spree is being done by the Departments of Public Safety, Health, Industry and Foreign Affairs.

Will the government tell us how many summit contracts for those specific departments were untendered?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, does the member opposite have a specific example that she is concerned about?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

The truth is out there, Mr. Speaker. It seems that everything from G8 catering to building projects have been sole sourced to firms friendly to the Conservatives and their Harris buddies in Toronto all in the name of security. It is little wonder why they are wasting more than $1 billion.

Will the government release details on how many contracts were sole sourced due to special security circumstances? Will it agree to allow the Auditor General to immediately review all contracts?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is from Newfoundland and Labrador and I think she is going fishing.

I just challenged the Liberals to name one contract that has caused them concern. They are saying that 85% of contracts are untendered. That is false. It is not true. More than 90% of Public Works contracts have been tendered. The Liberals cannot name a single contract that was not tendered because they are making it up.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities just said a few minutes ago that the project for the bridge was not part of the G8 funds. I have in front of me the press release of June 25, 2009 saying the contrary.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities said that it was not part of the G8 fund. The June 25, 2009, press release says the opposite. Will the minister apologize and withdraw his statement, or do I have to table the press release?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what we are seeing are Liberal falsehoods, untruths and mistruths. That is not the case.

We are very pleased to be spending money on some 12,000 projects on infrastructure in every corner of the country, some even in the constituency of the member for Hull—Aylmer.

We have been fair, open and transparent in ensuring that every region in the country gets their fair share. We have done a good job and we have seen more than 300,000 net new jobs created. That is good news for Canada.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the press release says the opposite. He should apologize.

The Minister of Industry showered his riding with gazebos, public washrooms and sculptures that have nothing to do with the G8. The minister indulged in some serious pork barrelling.

Why is the Prime Minister twisting and sullying Canada's international reputation?

How much of that $1 billion did the Conservatives waste on useless partisan spending, thereby blatantly disrespecting taxpayers?