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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. defense secretary now says that because of ballooning costs, it may be time for the U.S. to hit the eject button on the F-35 deal. Israel, Australia, Turkey and Norway are still reconsidering their purchases. So much for the minister's repeated claim that our allies are united and with us on the F-35s.

The government is out of touch. The minister is out of the loop. Canadians are out of patience. Will the government finally put this contract out to public tender?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is wrong.

F-35s are coming off the production line. Pilots are flying the jets. Sixty-five Canadian industries are benefiting from the program. Jobs are being created. Our men and women will eventually get the equipment they need to do the job that we require them to do.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear to everyone that the Conservatives have blown this file totally.

The F-35 price tag balloons every time another country drops its order. With the Americans now talking about also pulling the plug, the death knell is ringing louder and louder for the F-35s.

When will the minister finally admit the F-35s are an untendered procurement boondoggle in the making? I ask the minister again, when will the government put this contract out to tender?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there was a tendering process. It may not be something the hon. member across would accept.

I am pleased to remind the member opposite that the acquisition of the F-35 represents our government's commitment to ensuring Canadian sovereignty while producing the kind of equipment that our men and women need to do their jobs effectively and to achieve mission success.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, police chiefs across the country want to keep the gun registry data for reasons of public safety. Victims of crime want to keep the gun registry to protect public safety.

Now we hear the Conservatives have buried their own report that says abolishing the registry will weaken border controls and facilitate gun trafficking throughout Canada.

Why is the government endangering public safety by opening the floodgates for arms smuggling and proliferation of weapons across Canada?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, that is rich coming from a member who voted against increasing penalties for those who imported firearms into this country illegally.

In respect of the analysis presented by the officials, it is misleading. It is flawed. Contrary to the suggestion made in the analysis, neither Bill C-19 nor the previous Bill C-391 remove any controls on the import of firearms.

Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we actually voted for that bill.

Just yesterday the Minister of Public Safety invited New Democrats to “work together and actually help police officers”. We New Democrats think that is a great idea. Police chiefs have said they want to keep the gun registry data, and they want to keep firearms from flowing across the country.

Will the minister stop dividing Canadians and work alongside New Democrats to actually help police officers fix the gun registry and keep this valuable data?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government has introduced legislation to scrap the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all.

Our legislation will destroy the records which are inaccurate and unreliable, and becoming increasingly so over time. If given the chance, the opposition would once again use the data in order to target law-abiding citizens, when in fact what it should be doing is helping us target criminals.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we do not understand is why a senior official in the public safety department is saying that abolishing the firearms registry could lead to increased smuggling of illegal weapons across the Canadian border. This specialist is also saying that eliminating the registry will dangerously hinder the work of police officers when it comes to tracing firearms.

The government says it wants to fight serious crime, but considering the action it is taking, anyone can quickly see that it is not walking the talk. The Conservatives' approach is completely illogical.

Will this government listen to the provinces, police chiefs, victims and, now, its own advisors for once?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated at committee earlier this morning, the analysis presented by this official is misleading. It is flawed. Contrary to the suggestion made in the analysis, neither Bill C-19 nor the prior bill removed any controls on the import of firearms.

The member is deliberately trying to paint a different picture than is actually true.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, a confidential inspection report from 2010 shows that a number of sections of the Champlain Bridge are in mediocre condition, are deteriorating rapidly or must be replaced right away. Entire structures need to be rebuilt in 2012-13. The more time goes by, the more urgent the repairs become in order to ensure the safety of motorists.

Can the government tell us if it has an action plan to ensure the safety of the people using the bridge?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as usual, our government is working based on plans, analyses and results. The hon. member is asking us about our plan for the Champlain Bridge. We have invested $380 million in this infrastructure. Does he think that we would have done that without a plan? Come on.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all very well and good to repair the bridge but, at this rate, it will be entirely rebuilt instead of a new one being built.

The government kept secret a report indicating that there are real risks that the bridge may collapse. Workers and their families who use the bridge every day should not have to worry whether it will collapse right under them.

If we need to close the bridge, will the minister tell Montrealers what they are supposed to do until the new bridge is built?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, playing politics at the expense of the people of the greater Montreal area is not really our style. Just yesterday at lunchtime, I was working with the mayors of Montreal, Longueuil and Brossard. Together, we are continuing to work to ensure that the Champlain Bridge is safe and that traffic is flowing smoothly.

While this member wants to scare the public, we are doing the work and making sure things get done. Not only are we making sure that the existing bridge is safe, we are also going to build a new one.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that this government is often surprised by the decisions made by the American government. So I would like to inform the government that the American Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, just spoke with American Senator McCain, to inform him that the F-35 program is at risk, meaning that the price of the F-35s will be increasing yet again.

I want to ask the government if there is a Plan B. Is this government ready to launch a tendering process and a competition that would allow us to save money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there was a competition between the F-35 and another aircraft. The F-35 won the bid and as I understand it directly from the U.S. authorities, there is no intention at this point in time to pull out from anything. The F-35s are coming off the production line. Pilots are flying them. They are being delivered through the international partners and our program is on track.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was neither competition nor bids. U.S. Secretary of Defence Panetta told Senators McCain and Graham that the F-35 program is too rich for the Pentagon's budget and may be either cancelled or reduced severely.

The U.S. secretary of defence gets it. The U.S. navy gets it. The Australian military gets it.

What is it about this minister that does not get it? When the program is cancelled, what is plan b?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are confident that the F-35 program is exactly the kind of resource Canada needs today and well into the future. We are committed to ensuring that our men and women receive the best equipment they need to do their work and do it safely.

At the very same time, we are concerned as well about the rhetoric we hear that is misinformation, miscommunication and misinterpretation of what Mr. Panetta said.

Water ManagementOral Questions

November 15th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's drinking water report card says the government is failing in almost every aspect of water protection.

Only marginal improvements have been made to municipal water treatment since the government was first elected, an area where we should be investing to help cash-strapped municipalities.

The report card also gave the government an F for its management of water within its jurisdiction, including first nations reserves and national parks.

Does the lack of a national water strategy explain the government's dismal failure in water management? If not, then what does?

Water ManagementOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is working with first nations in respect of water and waste water, building on our water action plan.

We released the results of the national assessment of water and waste water systems in first nations communities in July. We are working with first nations to improve and expand operator and manager training and compliance.

We will be reintroducing first nations water legislation soon to create endorsable standards and guide investments. We are getting the job done.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the parliamentary law clerk, the member for Peterborough broke the law by asking for documents from the CBC. That same week, the Conservatives pleaded guilty to the in and out scandal.

Does this member's interference in the legal progress not prove that the member does as he pleases, or is this a more general abuse of procedure on the part of the Conservatives?

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

It is neither, Mr. Speaker. The member for Peterborough was mandated by his constituents to ensure that the CBC is accountable.

We on this side of the House applaud the member for Peterborough for his hard work on behalf of taxpayers.

He was elected, re-elected, and elected again to stand up for taxpayers and to ensure that money is being spent appropriately by the CBC. He is doing his work and we applaud him for doing so.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to mind being a mascot on captain Peterborough's ship of fools, but this is not about applauding someone who is undermining the public broadcaster. This is about a member whose behaviour, according to legal experts, is invalid, unenforceable and unlawful. The law clerk's message is really clear.

Is the government about carrying out a kangaroo attack against the CBC or does it respect the independence of the courts, and will it respect the letter from the parliamentary legal counsel?

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the integrity of the member for Peterborough on this issue and standing up for taxpayers cannot be challenged by the member opposite who campaigned time and again to vote against the long gun registry, stood in his place and betrayed his constituents.

The member for Peterborough campaigned on and asked for a mandate to come to Ottawa and fight for taxpayers. He kept his word.

This member asked for a mandate to come to Ottawa and defeat the long gun registry, and he betrayed his constituents.

I will stand by the member for Peterborough every single day of the week.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, Keystone XL will send thousands of Canadian jobs across the U.S. border and substantially increase oil sands emissions. It will lock us into the export of bitumen for decades. Yet, the government only listens to its oil lobbyist friends.

President Obama decided this pipeline needs more public input and study. When will the Conservatives stop blindly backing risky pipelines and instead commit to an energy strategy that puts Canadian jobs and the environment first?