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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Pat BurnsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I invite my colleagues to honour a great Canadian, Pat Burns, for his lifetime of achievements.

When his passing was announced prematurely, Pat Burns set the record straight with characteristic feistiness by stating, loud and clear, “They're trying to kill me before I'm dead!”

People in the Outaouais first came to know Pat Burns as a police officer enforcing law and order. Then, from 1984 to 1987, he was behind the bench for the Hull Olympiques, where his strict methods taught his players the meaning of the word “discipline”.

In 1988, Pat Burns began his National Hockey League career and went on to coach four teams: the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils, the team with whom he won the Stanley Cup.

A passionate coach, Pat Burns scored a hat trick when he became the only coach to win the Jack Adams trophy three times for successfully coaching three different teams. Unfortunately, in 2005, illness forced him into retirement.

Pat, we salute you and we thank you.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, the economy remains the number one priority of Canadians and of our Conservative government. At a time when our economic recovery is still uncertain, our government is focused on maintaining jobs, security, and prosperity for Canadian families and communities.

This Conservative government knows that Canada's long-term prosperity is driven by the creativity, ingenuity and the common sense of entrepreneurs, small-business owners and hard-working families across the country.

As we move forward, our government's actions will be guided by three principles: supporting job creation and economic growth; keeping our communities, streets and families safe from terrorism and crime; and mapping the path to economic recovery, re-growth, and jobs for Canadians.

The stakes remain high, however. Now more than ever we must take the right steps in order to map out the long-term direction of the Canadian economy.

Stories of the Night SkyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share news of the National Association of Friendship Centres' project “Stories of the Night Sky”.

On the website www.storiesofthenightsky.ca, videos produced by aboriginal youth capture the essence of storytelling through the words of community elders. The stories, told in English, French and indigenous languages, also include a profile of the communities and the people involved.

I wish to thank the National Association of Friendship Centres and Maritime Television and Production Services for initiating this project, and to the youth and elders involved in sharing these stories.

Projects like these provide rich detail to educate all of us on the diverse history of our land and will make the next Aboriginal History Month in June 2011 all the more interesting.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government knows that criminals do not register their long guns. Despite this important fact, the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois voted to maintain the firearms registry.

We know that the long gun registry is wasteful and ineffective. The opposition members who changed their votes sent a clear message to their constituents, a message that clearly demonstrates that their boss's orders are more important than the voices of their constituents. Our party does not treat law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters like criminals.

We do not support this wasteful and ineffective registry, which does absolutely nothing to prevent crime.

We will continue our efforts to eliminate this wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. We on this side of the House voted freely.

AbitibiBowater Mill in GatineauStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past four months, a revitalization committee composed of a number of partners has been working on keeping the AbitibiBowater mill in Gatineau open. The president and CEO of AbitibiBowater told the parliamentary committee that the Gatineau plant would not reopen, which is not a very credible statement because he does not know the contents of the recovery plan, which he is funding in part.

Gaston Carrière, president of local 142 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, and the plant workers believe the plant can be reopened. The Bloc Québécois supports their efforts and encourages them to continue with the feasibility study in order to reopen the Gatineau mill.

Clearly, had the Conservative government given the same support to the forestry industry as it did to the automotive and oil industries, it would not have come to this.

The Bloc Québécois supports the workers in Gatineau.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the Minister of Finance made an out of touch, hyper-partisan speech that barely mentioned the economy at all. Could it be because the government's economic record really is not worth bragging about?

Consider that household debt is at record levels. Since January 2008, Canada has lost 150,000 high-paying full-time jobs. Canada's unemployment rate is 1.9% higher today than it was during the last federal election.

The Conservatives' imminent $13-billion employment insurance tax hike will cost Canadians 220,000 jobs. The government put Canada into a deficit even before the recession by increasing government spending by 18% in its first three budgets. Canada's deficit currently sits at $54 billion. That is higher than it has ever been in the history of our country.

Canadians are tired of the Conservatives' borrow and spend, out of touch priorities. They deserve better.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader forced his members to vote against their conscience and against their constituents to support the wasteful long gun registry. The Liberal leader refuses to listen to his members, rural Canadians, or anyone who calls for the end of his party's $2 billion boondoggle.

Our Conservative government thinks that Canadians deserve better and that is why we are listening. We will continue to listen to law-abiding hunters, outdoorsmen and sports enthusiasts who are being criminalized by the long gun registry. We are also listening to the front-line police officers who continue to tell us that criminals do not register their guns; officers like Chief Hanson from Calgary who said that the registry creates a false sense of security and does nothing to stop gun violence between Calgary gangs.

Our Conservative government will remember these voices and we will continue to work to scrap this wasteful and ineffective registry.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

September 24th, 2010 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have saddled Canadians with a $54 billion deficit, a deficit which began before, not because of, but before there was any recession.

So many Canadians were appalled to learn how the government has squandered $85,000 on snacks at just one hotel for G20 high rollers, $300,000 on bug spray, $14,000 on glow sticks, $2 million to rent 37,000 cars, and all of that just for two days.

What is the justification for this orgy of excess?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me first congratulate the member for Wascana on his appointment as deputy leader of the opposition.

Let me also say this about Canada hosting the G8 and the G20. We are very proud of our accomplishment of these two summits that were put together, back-to-back, in an unprecedented fashion. We have said from the beginning that a majority of these costs were for security.

We had some 20,000 security personnel there to keep all those attending the summit safe and to ensure that the people in that region and the city of Toronto were safe. We think they did an outstanding job. The violence and destruction we saw there was the example of why we needed such stringent security.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is anything but transparent. It did not divulge the embarrassing $200 million in expenses voluntarily. It was forced to do so by the Liberal MP for Pickering—Scarborough East and there is still more than $1 billion in additional spending yet to be revealed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, for example, failed to answer anything.

When will the government come clean with full disclosure on all the expenses? How much of the non-security spending was sole-sourced, without tender, without competition, against every rule in the book?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we had an important responsibility to host the world. I often look for guidance to a former member of this place. He said, “Well listen, it's part of our responsibilities. We're members of the G8. Now it's turned into the G20. We cannot refuse. It's part of our responsibilities. We have obligations as a country. We have obligations to fulfill them. Obviously this money is flowing into our economy and this will increase Canada's prestige”.

Who said that? It was the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, he was talking about money flowing in, not money flowing out.

Typical Canadian families are struggling to meet their living costs. Household debt is the highest in the western world. Families are worried they cannot afford child care, elder care, education or decent pensions.

They see their government blowing $16 billion on untendered stealth fighters, $10 billion on bigger jails, $6 billion on corporate tax giveaways, and $1.3 billion on a G20 photo op with $400,000 for high-end porta-potties.

How can the Conservatives be so out of touch?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader of the opposition is himself a former minister of finance. He knows that job creation and economic growth must be a priority for government.

I have here a press release that was issued by the Department of Finance. It says:

The Minister of Finance, today rejected...a call to roll back corporate tax reductions...saying that the Government's tax reduction plan has produced significant economic and social benefits for all Canadians....the true benefits of tax cuts-namely jobs and economic growth.

Who was the minister of finance that said this? It was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, the member for Wascana.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending taxpayers' money heedlessly. That is how they grew the biggest deficit in Canadian history, a Conservative deficit.

Why did the summit they organized cost several times more than previous summits? Why were there so many untendered contracts? Who is responsible for this government's wastefulness?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is quite a transformation we have seen from the Liberal Party. It was just in January that the leader of the Liberal Party said that the deficit was not his problem.

We are working hard to restore economic growth to Canada. We have seen the creation of some 430,000 net new jobs over the past 15 months. That is important, but the job is not yet done. We remain fully focused on the economy.

Canada did host the world. We are proud of the summit that produced significant results for both the economy and for those living in the third world. We are also very proud that the security worked so well, given the huge destruction that we saw by riotous protesters.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the extent of Conservative incompetence is now abundantly clear. The Conservatives are wasting taxpayers' money heedlessly. The summits cost—hold on, now— a shocking $1.3 billion. That is a staggering sum. To Canadians, this spending orgy is insulting. It seemed that everyone was spending, but nobody was keeping track.

Who is responsible for this wasteful spending? Who over there was overseeing this spending?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in terms of controlling spending, it is this government that brought forward a good budget this past year, a plan to return Canada to a balanced budget, and the Liberal Party stood and voted against it. It also said that we were not spending enough on every single area and opposed every single attempt to rein in government spending.

We are proud of the work that went on at the G8 and the G20. It was a good success for Canada. We did spend a significant amount of money on security to keep people safe, to keep those leaders who were visiting Canada safe and to keep the people of Toronto safe. It was important that police officers on hand got the support that they needed.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the G8 and the G20 cost well over $1 billion. The breakdown of the first batch of those expenses confirms the fears we had last spring. The whole show was an open bar for pointless, hare-brained and eye-popping expenses.

With the Prime Minister asking people to tighten their belts, has the Conservative motto become “Do as I say, not as I do”?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, Canada was the first country to host the G8 and G20 summits simultaneously, and we are proud of their success. We announced at the outset that most of the costs would be in connection with keeping those in attendance safe. We put on two great summits, and the whole world admires Canada's work.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a list of examples, and I would like the minister to explain how these items helped keep visiting dignitaries safe. The government spent $333,831 on sunscreen, bug spray and hand sanitizer; $14,306 on mosquito jackets—not bullet-proof vests; and $26,000 on mosquito traps.

I can see how an artificial lake would cost $2 million, but I do not understand how these expenses ensured security at the G8 and the G20.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.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 usual, the Bloc member is misinforming people. We justified all of those things. Canada performed well on the international stage in 2010. We hosted the best winter Olympic Games in history and a memorable G8 and G20. I can see how the Bloc might be troubled by Canada's success.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, although we have only seen 20% of the expenditures for the G8 and G20, we can only imagine that the worst is yet to come. It is already clear that the Conservative government completely lost control of its spending. We have every reason to be concerned when we see that the government agreed to pay $13,000 for umbrellas and $31,000 for flagpoles, all in the name of security.

How can the government and the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean justify the fact that the unemployed, seniors and forestry workers are struggling, while the government indulges in an orgy of spending like this?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, Canada was responsible for the safety and security of heads of state, delegates, investors, visitors, as well as the Canadians who live and work in the vicinity of the summits. Twenty thousand people provided security during the summits. This spending, these investments, helped us make the events so successful.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, another example of the Conservative government's waste is the purchase of bottled water. Although Canada has the largest reserve of clean water in the world and 40% of civil servants have access to clean water, the government spent over $2 million to buy bottled water, which was probably just tap water anyhow.

Does the government realize that it has no credibility when it asks the public to cut back?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in terms of this report, to which the hon. member speaks, in terms of Environment Canada, I can assure the member that every precaution is being taken to ensure that our staff is drinking safe drinking water.

The steps that have been taken with respect to drinking water relate to circumstances on field trips, circumstances where our employees do not have access to safe drinking water. Every attempt is being made at this point to ensure those costs are reasonable and that employees of the Government of Canada are safe.