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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was consultants.

Topics

Government PrioritiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, during a recent Kensington Market pedestrian Sunday, hundreds of Toronto residents signed two giant posters, which I took to Parliament Hill today. The good people of Trinity—Spadina are calling on the government to reconsider its plan to spend $16 billion on fighter jets. Instead of jets, they want new electric trains, street cars, and buses. Parents want to see their tax dollars invested in high-quality, affordable child care. Students want and need lower tuition fees so that they will not graduate with a debt bigger than their annual salaries. Seniors are tired of worrying about finding enough money to pay hydro and water bills and are calling for an increase to their old age security. We would all benefit from more nurses and doctors and affordable prescription drugs.

Instead of squandering billions of dollars on fighter jets, let us work together and tackle issues that will benefit all Canadians and ensure that no one is left behind.

United NationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations, highlighting Canada's role on the world stage, including our support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

At the G8 Summit, Canada brought countries together to encourage support for maternal, newborn, and child health. Canada's participation in the United Nation's mandated mission in Afghanistan, reconstruction efforts in Haiti, and contributions to peace and security in Africa are significantly contributing to a better world.

The dream of the United Nations is to prevent war and conflict while upholding what is right: protecting and helping the weak and the poor. Canada is deeply committed to these peacekeeping and humanitarian aspirations and is enduringly determined to continue its work with the United Nations to achieve these goals.

Member for GatineauStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 4, the hon. member for Gatineau received the 2010 plaque of appreciation from the El-Hidaya Association. This organization represents the Arab and Muslim community in Quebec.

On the Lebanese day of remembrance, the member for Gatineau received this honour in Montreal after a decision by the association's selection committee. Every year, this committee honours a public figure for supporting the peace process in the Middle East and the Arab and Muslim community in Quebec.

Speaking for myself and for all the members of the Bloc Québécois, I congratulate the hon. member for Gatineau for his deep commitment to the Middle East peace process and to the establishment of real peace in that corner of the world.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I just came back from a rally and a march where first nations people are calling for equality in education in this country. I know what that means. I come from a small Métis community. Where I grew up there was a one-room school. I had to move away after grade nine to attend university. I know what it means to not have equal opportunity in education and to have to fight for it.

As an aboriginal leader for 11 years in my community, I know the value of education. I say that education has to be a priority for this government. Elders and youth outside are saying that the people in this chamber must listen to them once and for all and not just say words but act on those words.

If Canada is going to be a fair and more prosperous place, then first nations, Inuit, and Métis people need every opportunity. Education and training opens those doors. If resource projects are going to go ahead, they must be done with the full participation of aboriginal people. That includes educating young people and new entrants into the workforce and skilled jobs.

My party is committed to ending the 2% cap on post-secondary education. We are committed to making sure that we close the educational gap. I call upon the government to do the same thing for first nations in this country.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

September 23rd, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal, NDP and Bloc coalition voted to keep the long gun registry. Twenty coalition MPs originally supported the simple and straightforward bill to scrap the long gun registry, but under pressure from their Ottawa bosses, they turned their backs on their constituents and voted to keep the registry.

One of those flip-floppers, the member for Malpeque, campaigned on his clear opposition to the long gun registry. Just last year he stated, “I favour a gun control system, but I do not favour a gun control system that makes criminals out of farmers and hunters”. Instead of standing with his constituents, he listened to his Toronto leader and voted to keep the wasteful long gun registry. The voters of Malpeque will remember.

On this side of the House, we do not believe in treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters as criminals and we will continue to work to scrap the $2 billion wasteful registry.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are in debt. They are trying to save by cutting their spending, and they expect the government to do the same. But what do they see? A billion dollars spent on the G8 and G20 summits, advertising expenses that have tripled, untendered contracts for fighter aircraft. And now, a $6 billion borrow in order to give a gift to corporations.

How can this government explain all of this waste to ordinary Canadian families?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on one big thing. It is jobs and the economy. It is what we can do to ensure that Canadian families have jobs, well-paying jobs, and that remains our top priority.

However, let me be very clear. We do believe we also have an important responsibility to our men and women in uniform. The planes that are being purchased will replace planes that will be more than 30 years old. These planes will last to 2040. That is why we are taking a different approach. We actually strongly support our men and women in uniform and want to equip them with the very best.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives care about providing adequate equipment for Canadian soldiers and airmen, why not a competitive bid? That is the issue here.

Ordinary Canadians are struggling to balance their domestic finances. They want the government to do the same. What they see is an airplane purchase without a competitive bid. They see $1 billion lavished on a 72-hour photo op. They see a tripling of the publicity budget of the government. They see a $6 billion borrow in order to help tax rates for large corporations.

The question Canadians are asking is this. Where is the fiscal—

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. government House leader.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has made jobs and the economy our number one priority. That is why we have seen the creation of some 430,000 net new jobs. That is tremendous good news, but the job is not done. We remain focused. That is why this fall, the Minister of Finance, this entire government and entire Parliament is focused on jobs and the economy, doing more to get even more results.

However, with respect to the decision about an open and transparent process, this is what one individual said, “The decision announced by the government is the culmination of the selection process undertaken between 1997 and 2001 by the Liberal government. That is when Canada decided to join the F-35 program and invested $165 million”.

Jacques Saada, former—

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot duck the issue of the record. When the finance minister took over in 2006, he inherited a $13 billion surplus. He then spent at three times the rate of inflation and took us into deficit before the recession began. We now have the largest deficit in Canadian history.

Is it any wonder, with that record, that instead of defending it in his speech at the Chateau Laurier, he decided to launch a slash and burn attack on the opposition instead?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Canada's economy, among all the OECD countries, the industrialized world, is the bright spot. It is the one that is creating jobs. It is the one where there is more hope. It is the one where there is more opportunity.

The Government of Canada is running the most fiscally responsible government in the western industrialized world. On every initiative that this government has taken to ensure that we live within our means, the Liberal Party has said, “spend more, tax more”, and that is not what Canadian families want.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister would like Canadians to believe that an MOU compelled Canada to buy the F-35 stealth fighters, but in 2008 the then industry minister said, “this participation does not commit us to purchase the aircraft”.

Former senior defence official, Alan Williams, said, “Never did we promise to purchase the aircraft”.

Why is the Prime Minister misleading Canadians?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let us be perfectly clear. In fact, it was a former Liberal government that participated in an extensive and rigorous U.S.-led competitive process between 1997 and 2001, where two bidders developed and competed a prototype aircraft. Then, after that competition, it was the Liberal government that signed on with the joint strike fighter program in 2002, after an extensive competition to choose the F-35 Lightning.

Why was it okay for the Liberals? Why, once again, are we seeing a Liberal Party backing away from previous decisions and trying to shortchange the Canadian Forces?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I hope he is not accusing his colleague beside him of lying.

This summer, the Prime Minister boasted about making the rules himself.

Now he is making up stories about the F-35 fighter jets. This $16 billion contract was untendered. There is no guarantee of regional spinoffs and jobs in Canada. And other countries got a better deal.

Why are they making Canadians pay for their incompetence?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker. As always, what the member is saying is incorrect. He is not sticking to the facts.

It was in fact his government that started down this road.

Our government has now exercised the option to purchase the F-35 aircraft, which will create a win-win situation: great for the Canadian Forces, a stealth aircraft with service that will take us into the next decade and well beyond and a tremendous benefit for the Canadian aerospace industry, with the opportunity to bid on 5,000 aircraft, opening up opportunities for $12 billion in contracts for Canadian companies.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was in opposition, he repeatedly accused the Liberal government of the day of not respecting the will of the House. The Prime Minister's statement following yesterday's vote suggests that his feelings have changed. He has no intention of respecting the will of the majority of the members.

If the Prime Minister thinks it is so important to respect the will of the House, then why is he not respecting the outcome of the vote, which confirmed that a majority wants to maintain the gun registry?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. Our party made this election promise in 2006 and in 2008. We object. We want to scrap the long gun registry. We object to making criminals of honest hunters and farmers who do not register their long guns, period. We do not object to regulating firearms in general. We said that we would scrap the long gun registry, and we will keep working to make that happen, and that is all there is to it.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons promised to work with the opposition and listen to what it had to say. If the government House leader really meant what he said, why does he not start by ending the gun registration amnesty, which is compromising the registry?

The role of government is to enforce the law, not to find ways around it. Its job is to enforce the law. Why is it doing the opposite?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. We made an election promise to scrap the long gun registry. We do not think it should be a crime for honest hunters and farmers to have unregistered weapons, period. As for the majority, it appears that some members flip-flopped and decided to vote against what their constituents want.

Just yesterday, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord was reminded once again that he was not acting in accordance with his constituents' wishes. As for the so-called consensus, we will see about that.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, 188 of the 200 elected members from Quebec, both in the Quebec National Assembly and here in the House of Commons, reiterated their support for the firearms registry this week. The government must pay heed to the will of Quebec and the vote in the House of Commons. We are calling on the government to put an end to the amnesty and make the registry permanently free.

Will the government adopt these two measures in order to restore the registry's reliability and help police officers do their job?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as we can see, the real agenda of the Bloc Québécois and its coalition partners is in fact to recriminalize the issue and to ensure that hunters and farmers are penalized on a criminal basis.

Twenty coalition MPs originally supported the simple and straightforward bill to scrap the long gun registry. When under pressure from their party leaders, they turned their backs on their constituents and they voted to keep the registry.

The Conservative Party does not believe in treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sportsmen as criminals.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would like to make a proposal concerning the fight against crime. The firearms marking regulations, which were supposed to take effect in April 2006, still have not been implemented. This measure would help police forces fight gun smuggling more effectively.

When will this government stop making things easier for smugglers?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this government is not prepared to criminalize the actions of law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters and treat them as criminals, as members of the coalition would have us do.

This is the closest we have come to dismantling the $2 billion wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. We will continue to work to scrap it. We continue to favour abolition of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.