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House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

VeteransOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

VeteransOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario

Conservative

Eve Adams ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the health and well-being of all our veterans is a priority for our government.

As soon as this case was brought to the minister's attention, officials were asked to follow up immediately to ensure that this gentleman is receiving all of the benefits to which he is entitled.

I want to be very clear. Our government is maintaining all veterans' benefits.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' preoccupation with Arctic defence is proving to be more rhetoric than reality. If they did care about defending our northern sovereignty, they would not be buying a plane that cannot communicate in the Arctic, cannot land in the Arctic, and cannot refuel anywhere. The F-35 simply does not meet Canada's needs.

Therefore, when will the Conservative government hold an open competition to determine the aircraft best suited to all of our needs, including the Arctic?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think the rhetoric around this issue has gone on for an awfully long time. However, the reality is that back in 1997, the Liberal government of the day started this project.

It is the best aircraft for the men and women of our military today and into the future, and as well to ensure that we have control over our sovereignty in years to come.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, why do we not go back to Laurier?

The minister considers it a successful procurement if a plane cannot refuel anywhere, cannot land in the Arctic, cannot communicate in the Arctic, and has only one engine to boot. Instead of holding an open competition to get best value for money, the Conservatives lecture the world on fiscal responsibility.

With structural deficits as far as the eye can see, why can the Conservatives not control the skyrocketing costs of the F-35?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, reasonable people agree that we need aircraft to defend Canadian sovereignty. We will ensure that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment to do their jobs safely and effectively. We expect communications of our aircraft and all other aspects to be in place and that they will exceed current and future capabilities.

The F-35 will ensure that Canada's interests at home and abroad will be well served.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the total cost of the F-35s is now more than $30 billion, even though the government is denying it. With such a large financial commitment, we must have guaranteed economic spinoffs for Canadian companies, but the Conservatives are dropping the ball. Thirty billion dollars in expenditures and no guaranteed economic spinoffs. That is a fine present for Lockheed Martin in Texas.

When will the Prime Minister admit that an open and public tendering process is needed to guarantee jobs and the economic future of Canada's aerospace industry?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to infuse a dose of reality into this whole argument.

Recently I saw first-hand the direct benefits of economic growth and job creation at Magellan Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, as well as that which has taken place in over 60 other companies across the land.

It is not only about the F-35; it is about jobs, it is about economic growth, and it is about providing our men and women with the best tools they need to do their job.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, I had the honour to table in the House a motion to prohibit the use and mining of asbestos. The evidence is clear: asbestos is an industrial killer. Yet the government continues to blindly support this industry. Canada is the only member country of the United Nations to oppose the inclusion of asbestos on a list of hazardous materials.

Who is this government defending: the workers and families who are the victims of asbestos or large corporations?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has promoted the safe and controlled use of chrysotile asbestos domestically and internationally for more than 30 years. Recent scientific reviews confirm that chrysotile fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions. The government respects provincial jurisdiction over the development of natural resources. The NDP would put entire communities out of work and put those workers permanently on welfare. These are the people we are protecting.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, reasonable voices across the country are standing up to the government's support of deadly asbestos.

Here is just one: “I have made the decision that the production and export of asbestos is contrary to the best interests of Canadians”.

Do members know who said that? It was Dona Cadman, the former Conservative member for Surrey--North.

Will the government finally act in the best interests of Canadians and support the New Democratic motion to ban asbestos?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, scientific reviews confirm that chrysotile fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions.

Our government respects provincial jurisdiction over the development of natural resources.

The hon. member should appreciate the efforts that are being put in place to avoid a ban of nickel, and it is the same thing for chrysotile asbestos.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is tying itself up in knots in trying to justify its position on asbestos.

Here is an interesting quote:

I'm definitely not supporting the mining or exporting of asbestos.... [The natural resources minister] is certainly bringing the issue forward to the cabinet level for more discussion.

Who said that? It was the member for Sarnia—Lambton.

Can the Minister of Labour explain to the House what cabinet decided to do about the Conservative hypocrisy on asbestos and give us something other than a tape recorder?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has promoted the safe use of chrysotile domestically and internationally for more than 30 years. Scientific reviews confirm that chrysotile fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions.

The government respects provincial jurisdiction over the development of natural resources. The NDP would put entire communities out of work and put those workers on permanent welfare.

AsbestosOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the inaction of this government that is putting workers in a mess.

The asbestos mine workers are worried. Asbestos is a hazardous product. The industry is dying and is no longer even supported by the entire Conservative caucus. Despite all that, it is not getting any help from this government. This government prefers to put short-term profits ahead of the long-term well-being of the asbestos workers and victims. This is unacceptable.

Will this government do the right thing and facilitate the transition of the workers and their families to other sources of income as soon as possible?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has promoted the safe use of chrysotile at home and abroad for more than 30 years. This is a policy that has been supported by the chrysotile asbestos industry workers, as a matter of fact. I do not know what planet the hon. member has been living on to have such concerns, but I can say that they are unfounded because it is the workers who came up with this safe use policy. Let us be clear: chrysotile fibre can be safely used in a controlled environment, under the regulations in effect.

Our government respects the jurisdiction of the provinces over natural resources development.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend members of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Association of Edmonton learned that their imam, Mr. Al-Atar, was detained without charges in Saudi Arabia.

The member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont went with his son to meet with this community and its leader to hear their concerns and relayed these to the minister's office directly.

Today we are happy to learn that Mr. Al-Atar has been released by Saudi authorities.

At the risk of repeating good news, could the Minister of State please tell the House how the government quickly reacted to learning of Mr. Al-Atar's detention and ultimately assisted in obtaining his release?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, after being informed of Mr. Al-Atar's arrest, the government made representations to local authorities and senior Saudi officials. We were also in contact with his wife in Canada yesterday and today.

I thank the member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont for his excellent work over the weekend liaising with my office. The government is pleased that our concerns about Mr. Al-Atar's situation were addressed in a timely manner and that he has been released.

Treasury BoardOral Questions

October 31st, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are concerned about the flawed accounting practices that seem to be the norm at the Treasury Board. In 2007-08, Parliament approved $50 million over five years for the Perimeter Institute, which is an excellent institute, by the way, but according to information from the Receiver General of Canada, the institute received $127 million, which is 1,200 times the annual maximum approved by Parliament.

Could the President of the Treasury Board rise and explain what happened? Where is the money?

Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is flat wrong again. It is quite unfortunate that whoever is helping the member did not do his or her math before the NDP members decided to go on with these tactics.

The fact is that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 funds were drawn from government resources, just as we said in the budget, and then subsequent public accounts.

I would recommend that the member consult the public accounts. He can do that. For all the other members who are leading to this misinformation for Canadians, the member continues to be--

Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleague to visit his optometrist.

After overspending the 2009 budget, did they learn their lesson? Obviously not. Once again this year, although the institute should have received $10 million, it was granted $44 million, but the institute never received this money. Strangely enough, this reminds me of another story involving the President of the Treasury Board that has to do with a fund and millions of dollars that were diverted, or something like that. One of our primary responsibilities as parliamentarians is to monitor and approve government spending.

How can we do our job if they are always playing with the numbers?

Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I would highly recommend the member give up his day job.

The Public Accounts of Canada are certified by the Comptroller General and the Auditor General. The facts are very clear: the funds for the Perimeter Institute are consistent with the government's commitments.

The question here remains: why has the NDP chosen to attack this world-class institution to score cheap political points, and then be flat wrong? That member should apologize to the Comptroller General of Canada for an insulting attack.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, new documents show that the Muskoka minister used the G8 as a cover to promote a white elephant vanity project called the Summit Centre. It was sold as a dorm for the media that never came.

One email is particularly disturbing. In it the minister says:

I'm going through Treasury Board to flow funds.... I should have the money to you within three weeks. I know your credit card is maxxed!

Where is the paper trail for this vanity project? If the minister does not have the paper trail, then he is going to need to explain why he used Treasury Board as a partisan cash machine.

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 the member opposite that I do not agree with the premise of his question.

The government funded 32 public infrastructure projects. All 32 projects had contribution agreements. All 32 projects came in on or under budget. All the documentation was presented to the Auditor General. She has given some good advice on what we can do to be even more transparent and more accountable to Parliament. We completely agree with her wise counsel.