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House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was business.

Topics

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Charlottetown.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Why did Veterans Affairs spend almost $3 million on photo ops while gutting the department by $200 million? Why are there millions for PR stunts but nothing but cutbacks for the people who really matter, our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the member, this government and this side of the House are investing in veterans. In the last six years we have invested $3 billion more than the current budget. This is $500 million more for our veterans and their families. We will stay the course because the veterans are a priority for this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, RCEN is a network of 640 environmental organizations in Canada. For the past 30 years, the network has been facilitating and supporting the work of Environment Canada. Last May, Environment Canada confirmed that funding for the network's operations would be maintained. Confirmation of the funds was to follow. After months of waiting, the network learned on Friday that its funding would be cut.

Why did the minister withdraw RCEN's funding?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government has decided not to enter into a contribution agreement with the Canadian Environmental Network this year. Responsible spending and sound management of tax dollars are important at all times. The department is moving toward a more direct use of web-based consultation, and we already have a number of web pages dedicated to public participation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

What the Conservatives are doing, Mr. Speaker, is stifling dissent. They are muzzling or firing scientists and now they are eviscerating the communications network of environmental groups across Canada.

The minister claims that it is a rigorous process to manage spending, but while he was cutting half a million dollars from Canadian environmental groups, the government announced $28 million to celebrate the War of 1812.

Well, this just in, the real war is the war the government is waging on the environment. When will the minister do the right thing and restore this funding?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our government has announced several important climate change and environmental protection initiatives. In the past year, we have announced several transportation regulations that are involved with our U.S. counterparts. I am happy to compare our record any day against the previous government, which did nothing but announce intentions.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister is lost at sea. He has yet to say where the $57 million in cuts will come from. Now we learn that the government is cutting the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council on both coasts. These groups work closely with fishing communities, providing much needed advice to the minister.

Why is the government gutting this department? Why is it turning its back on Canadian fishing families and our coastal communities?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we must ensure that the government spends money efficiently and effectively in achieving the expected results for all Canadians.

While the FRCC has historically served an important role, activities have been replaced by other approaches, such as the industry's participation in stock assessments and the development of integrated fisheries management plans, and through various advisory committees.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the resource conservation councils are not the only things being cut by DFO. News has broken in recent days that further cuts to the science branch of Fisheries and Oceans are coming. The branch has already been gutted.

Do the Conservatives really expect to manage our future fishery without any science based planning and with no input from the fishermen who work our seas?

John Crosbie once asked, “Who hears the fishes when they cry?”. Well, who hears our fishermen when they speak?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, our government has made tremendous investments in science since 2006, including $30 million to upgrade 16 laboratories and sites across the country, and $36 million to construct 3 new science vessels.

The government has focused on marine science. We have invested $14 million to complete mapping and data collecting in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans for Canada's submission to the United Nations convention.

We have done a lot for science—

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Brant.

Small BusinessOral Questions

October 17th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is small business week, a great opportunity and time to highlight the fact that our small business owners are the economic motors and backbone of our economy. Small businesses create jobs and economic growth right across this country.

Would the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism tell the House what our government is doing to help them continue to invest, innovate and grow?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the best country in the world in which to do business. Do members know why? It is because we lowered taxes for all businesses. We will continue to do that because we know that when they have money in their pockets they can create jobs and wealth in this country.

As the chair of the red tape reduction commission, I am pleased to say that we will work on ensuring that we have less red tape for Canadian entrepreneurs.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is now 130 days since the Muskoka minister took a dive on accountability of the G8 slush fund.

We now know that Huntsville was green-lighted to blow $30 million in federal money without tenders. We now know that the Muskoka minister got a job for his buddy. We now know that his campaign manager-turned-lobbyist hit up the federal government for millions in grants.

The Auditor General said that the rules were broken and that it was Parliament's job to investigate.

Will the government commit to a full parliamentary investigation to find out how $50 million was diverted into a personal slush fund for the rogue Muskoka minister?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to that member or to the House that I categorically reject the premise of the member's question.

What we do know is that I approved 32 public infrastructure projects to support municipal, provincial and airport authority infrastructure in that region.

As the Auditor General has reported, every dollar was accounted for in terms of the municipalities that incurred these infrastructure expenses. The Auditor General has come forward and made reports on how we can be even more accountable and more transparent to Parliament. We have completely accepted her good recommendations.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board used a $50 million slush fund to award untendered contracts, give jobs to his friends and build an Olympic-sized arena, gazebos, a media centre that was never used and a campus that students do not go to. Last week, he described himself as the government's chief operating officer. First, that is very telling. Second, now we know why the President of the Treasury Board is not rising: his title has changed.

Now, can the government's chief operating officer stand up and explain himself?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, all 32 of these projects had an individual contribution agreement with the municipalities or independent orders of government for which this government has always shown considerable respect. Each contribution agreement requires and sets out expectations and these expectations are expected to be followed.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we suspect that the government's chief operating officer likely followed the lead of the Associate Minister of National Defence. His department just spent—or wasted—$375,000 setting up new offices for assistant deputy ministers. That is the price of a new house for a Canadian family.

While so many people are having trouble making ends meet, how can the minister explain excesses such as planned helicopter rides, the use of the Challenger and renovations that are costing taxpayers an arm and a leg?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that any spending not be monitored, well coordinated and justified. In this particular case, the work that has been done was to relocate a number of new employees within the ministry. That coordination needed to be done to facilitate new members to the Department of National Defence, a new work area and new facilities.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the government's recent track record on defence procurement.

Costs for Chinook helicopters have gone up by 70%, wasting billions. Untendered contracts for the F-35, costing Canadians untold billions, carry no guarantee of Canadian jobs. Instead of dealing with these issues, the defence department decided to blow $375,000 on office renovations.

Does the Associate Minister of National Defence really think that these problems will be solved by sprucing up the department's offices?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about all spending of tax dollars, the expenditure of this particular office renovation no less. We treat every dollar entrusted to us by taxpayers with the utmost care and respect.

The Department of National Defence recently refitted the offices of the deputy minister and associate deputy minister and their staff to include them in a single office work area.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is railroading wheat and barley farmers who support maintaining their own single desk marketing and sales arm under the Canadian Wheat Board.

The government is tying farmers to the track by removing their clout and ability to stand up to grain companies and unfair rail prices and transportation costs. It is removing their ability to be price setters and leaving them forced to accept the lowest price possible.

Why will the so-called law and order government, intent on breaking the law, not follow the law set out in the Canadian Wheat Board Act and hold its own plebiscite before it introduces legislation to kill the single desk system?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what an exciting day for western Canadian farmers to finally hear that legislation will be presented that will give them freedom. I will read what one of the farmers had to say about that. He said, “I have never been more optimistic than I am now to be a grain farmer in western Canada. These are exciting times. I am looking forward to the future and this legislation is well timed. We have been waiting a long time for it, so thank you”.

That is from a western Canadian farmer.