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House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our economic action plan is 97% complete, which means that projects are underway or approaching completion. That is good news.

The economic recovery is still fragile, and that is why the Minister of Finance made it clear that our government will adopt a reasonable approach to this file.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, administrative delays in evaluating infrastructure projects have led to increased demand for certain materials and higher labour costs. The deadline further complicates matters: everything must be done by March 31, 2011, or there will be no money.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to extend the deadline? The funds are already earmarked, so extending the deadline would cost nothing extra and would create jobs.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that our approach would be focused and timely so as not to create a deficit spiral, and that is how we will continue to operate. From the outset, the plan was to allocate funds, but the Bloc voted against that measure.

The challenge now is to make sure that the projects are completed, and the Minister of Finance made it very clear that he would be reasonable in dealing with this file.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, deadlines are threatening a number of infrastructure projects in Quebec. On Friday, the mayor of Huntingdon told us that it took 95 days to review his application to the federal Preco program. Yes, it took over three months to review his request. These delays risk causing major delays in the work.

By maintaining the December 31 deadline for the Preco program, does the government realize that a number of projects are at risk and that Quebec could lose out on thousands of jobs and major projects?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we continue to work with our partners, the provinces and municipalities, on projects right across the country. The good news today is that the finance minister was able to table the sixth report. We saw that 22,000 projects are being started and completed across the country.

In Halifax today the provincial government announced that all of its projects are going to get done. It just wants to know how to reinvest the surplus money, and we are going to work with it on that. That is more good news.

We will continue to be reasonable and fair. I talked to my provincial counterpart. He is going to give me some more data on the status of those projects in Quebec. We are working closely together for the benefit of Canada and Quebec.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the minister did not understand the question in French.

While there is a desperate need for infrastructure, the government insists on maintaining arbitrary deadlines. The RCM of Roussillon and the Town of Châteauguay recently passed resolutions calling on the government to extend the deadline for Preco, the pipeline renewal program.

Will the government listen to this call from the municipalities who say they are unable to meet these deadlines?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has said, I have said, we have said repeatedly in the House that we have been fair and reasonable all along and will continue to be fair and reasonable.

I look forward to the report from the Quebec minister, who is going to give me an update within the next few days on the status of that.

There is no confusion over here about the question. The confusion is on the vote that took place on these measures themselves. Why is the Bloc so concerned about the completion of the project when it voted against starting any project at all?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economic recovery is stalling. Everyone except the Minister of Finance realizes that. There are 250,000 fewer jobs today than at the beginning of the crisis, and we have one of the weakest balance of payments in the OECD. At the start of the crisis, the minister denied that we were entering a recession. Now he claims that it is over, but how are we supposed to believe him? He is always wrong.

Will he make the same mistakes or will he extend the deadline for investments in infrastructure programs beyond March 31, 2011?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance brought forward Canada's economic action plan. We have seen over the past 15 months the creation of some 430,000 net new jobs.

There is a fragile recovery taking hold, but we are by no means out of the woods yet. We are very concerned by the situation in other industrialized countries, those countries whose economies have not performed as well as Canada's.

We are going to continue to work hard with the provinces and territories. We are proud of the 12,000 intergovernmental projects that have been completed.

We are going to work hard and stay focused and get the job done for Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the truth is there are 250,000 fewer full-time jobs today than at the beginning of the crisis. We need a full-time government looking after the creation of jobs in this country.

We know that the Conservatives make these wild claims when the war room is writing their speeches. They say that stimulus cannot go on forever, but as was said today authoritatively that it is irresponsible to turn off stimulus when our shaky economy still needs help. Do you know who said that, Mr. Speaker? That left-wing hotbed, the Bank of Montreal.

The Conservatives' only lasting economic legacy will be action plan billboards. Instead of some arbitrary deadline, will they keep the stimulus going?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I never thought I would see in this House the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party quoting the big banks.

Let me say this. While our infrastructure stimulus investments were a two-year initiative, we will be fair and reasonable as the deadline approaches. There are still six months.

The good news is there are other measures. We doubled the investment for the gas tax to municipalities. That will go on each and every year after March 31. We have brought in the building Canada program. Projects in every corner of this country are under way. They will create jobs long into the future. That is good news for Canadian families.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, if they put up enough signs, they can convince themselves that everything is going well and they have created jobs, but that is all that they have done. It is not hard to see that by investing in infrastructure, we create full-time jobs, not the part-time jobs on their signs. And these are the jobs that truly keep the economy going. But when the government cuts corporate taxes, that does not help create jobs.

When will they start to see that we need a government that is dedicated full time to creating jobs, not signs?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in the last 15 months, we have seen the creation of 400,000 new jobs in Canada. That is a good result. The government's work is not done. We will continue to work hard with the provinces, territories and municipalities. We have given $2 billion to municipalities every year. That is something our government did that the NDP voted against.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

September 27th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, with rising interest rates, Canadians are struggling to pay their mortgages, yet for the G20 boondoggle the Conservatives wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxury, high-end furniture and glow sticks, glow sticks that now shine a light on Conservative wasteful spending.

Who in the Conservative government authorized this waste? How can the Conservatives be so wasteful with hard-earned tax dollars when ordinary Canadians are barely making ends meet?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I just want to continue the theme about why the Liberal Party is putting down Toronto.

Just today a new study was released stating that of 90 cities around the world, Toronto is the most attractive place for employers, so we do not make apologies for highlighting Toronto.

When will the opposition stop trying to score political points on the back of Canada's international reputation? The Liberals did it regarding the UN Security Council and they are doing it again with the G20 in Toronto.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the party in the House that has attacked Toronto is the Conservative Party. The party that has diminished Canada's role in the world is the Conservative Party.

As part of their G20 billion dollar boondoggle, the Conservatives spent over $300,000 on bug spray. I guess their million dollar fake lake must have attracted a lot of bugs. Perhaps the Conservatives would tell the House who in their government authorized this waste.

How can the Conservatives justify this outrageous waste of tax dollars when so many Canadians are having trouble just making ends meet?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our accomplishments at the G8 and the G20 summits. Canada is leading in the global economic recovery as well as in international efforts to aid developing countries.

As we have said from the beginning, these were legitimate expenses, the majority of which were for security.

It was good that we were able to highlight the city of Toronto. Of 90 cities around the world, Toronto is now recognized as the most attractive place for employers. That is what our government wants:more jobs in Toronto and more jobs in Canada.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week Canadians learned how the Conservatives spent some of the $1.3 billion it cost to hold the G20: $5 million for car rentals; almost $100,000 for snacks; 22,000 bottles of sunscreen. The Conservatives went on a spending spree at a summit the Prime Minister promised would be about controlling spending.

At a time when families are struggling with the high cost of living, how can the government justify spending almost 40 times more on security than the United States did?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as host nation of unprecedented back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, we are proud of their success.

As we have said all along, the majority of these costs for the summit were security related. Approximately 20,000 security personnel were tasked with safeguarding both summits.

In the course of this, we were able to highlight Toronto, to ensure that Toronto received the recognition that it does not get from members opposite. We believe Toronto is an important place for job growth and development.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

What is unprecedented, Mr. Speaker, is the amount of spending.

So far the Conservatives have only revealed about 15% of the total G8 and G20 spending. They are not telling us how they spent the remainder of the $1.3 billion. Canadians have a right to see the rest of the receipts. Last week's documents showed the Minister of Foreign Affairs was refusing to disclose how his department spent its money.

Will the Conservatives demonstrate true accountability and release the full details of what they bought with borrowed taxpayer money?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have made it very clear that our government is prepared to release the costs of the summits, and we will do so. We have invited the Auditor General to examine all of our expenditures to ensure that those expenditures were appropriate.

Canada was responsible for the safety and security of world leaders, delegates, visitors and Canadians living and working near where the summits took place. We took this responsibility seriously. We are proud of the men and women who ensured their protection.

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is justifying its decision to eliminate the long form census by saying that there is no question of imprisoning those who refuse to respond. However, no one has ever been put in jail and the opposition has already said that it agrees with eliminating the jail sentence.

Does the government's ideological stubbornness not prove that these explanations are nothing but excuses that are simply meant to camouflage its contempt for science?

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have a fair and reasonable approach that aims to strike the right balance between collecting necessary information and respecting Canadians' privacy.

We do not think it is appropriate to force Canadians to provide private, personal information under threat of sanctions.

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the addition of two new questions to the survey, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada is still not satisfied and is asking the courts to intervene because eliminating the long form census will deprive the government of information needed to ensure that the Official Languages Act is respected and federal services are provided in French.

Why is the government not reversing its decision and reinstating the long form census?

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have added two language-related questions to the short form in order to protect both official languages. The leader of the Bloc made another suggestion, which I will read from La Presse: “If citizens do not agree to participate in the census, Ottawa could refuse to grant them a passport or employment insurance benefits.”

That is the Bloc's solution.