This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, since we are trading literary recommendations today, I hear there is a new publication called “Buying Jets for Dummies”. I recommend it to the Associate Minister of National Defence.

The Associate Minister of National Defence clearly said that there are no problems, but there is a plan B. The minister said there are problems, but there is no plan B. Americans and others understand that the F-35s are behind schedule and massively over budget. Perhaps the ministers could ask the U.S. secretary of defense about his plan B.

Here at home, New Democrats have a great plan B: put the file out to tender. Will they?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, maybe the hon. member could lend me his copy of the book.

In any event, I am not going to get into the rhetoric. I can guarantee that the plan is on track. We are sticking with the program. The planes are coming off the production line. They are being flown by pilots who know their business. I prefer to listen to them and to the experts rather than the idle chatter from the opposite side.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Quebec public safety minister appeared in committee to prevent the government from scrapping the gun registry and destroying its data. What was the government's response? A deafening silence. Instead, he attacked the credibility of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. We also learned that the Prime Minister refused to meet with the Dawson Student Union following the shooting in 2006.

Why is the government refusing to listen to the Government of Quebec, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and victims?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the answer is quite simple. Our Conservative government does not support treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters as criminals. We have consistently opposed this wasteful and ineffective measure which does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

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

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, since we are talking about books, I also have a book to recommend. It is called “Democracy for Dummies”.

Not only is the government completely ignoring all appeals, but it is also preventing parliamentarians from doing our jobs by shutting down debate in committee—and not just any committee, the justice committee. Could anything be more undemocratic?

Canadians have already paid for the data—extremely useful data—in the firearms registry and, rightly so, the provinces would like to have that data back.

Will this government finally stop mocking our democracy and give Canadians back the data that belong to them?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, public policy must be judged by its real effects on the ground, and not by its intentions. When it comes to real effects, the part of the firearms registry dealing with long guns has never in any way helped prevent crime in Canada. Furthermore, regarding the data, I would like to remind my colleague what the Auditor General said on September 26, 2006:

We found the information in the database to have significant quality problems:

...

Verification frequently determined that information on the weapon's action, make or serial number was wrong.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

November 17th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, first the government robbed wheat farmers of their right to vote. Now we know the minister is taking wheat farmers' money to fund his folly.

In an 11th-hour act of desperation, the government has increased the cap on the Wheat Board's contingency fund from $60 million to $200 million to fund its own ideological obsession with killing the single desk. That is money that should rightfully be returned to farmers.

When did the government get into highway robbery and when will the minister do the right thing and give farmers back their hard-earned money?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, of course, this contingency fund has always been held separately from farmers' pool accounts. As a government, we took this prudent measure to protect the future of western Canadian farmers, Canadian taxpayers and, of course, the new voluntary Wheat Board.

Mr. Oberg continues to waste millions of dollars of farmers' money on his own personal political agenda. Since it is unclear what additional liabilities he will leave behind with his scorched earth policy, we have taken this prudent step.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing prudent about what the government is doing. Elected farm directors are abiding by their oath of office. It is too bad the minister could not do the same. The minister knows the contingency fund is a result of the current board's management and comes from farmers' grain sales. His increasing the fund by executive order is an admission of greater risk under his government board. However, to expropriate millions of dollars of farmers' money is akin to theft.

How can the minister justify taking farmers' money to run his government-controlled grain company?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed, like western Canadian farmers. I thought, since the member for Malpeque grew that third eyebrow, he would see clearly the need for freedom in marketing for western Canadian farmers. We are going to hold that money in trust for western Canadian farmers for the new voluntary Wheat Board and ensure they have a chance at a vibrant future.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons misled Parliament when he said that the government used the Challenger jets only 24 or 25 times a year.

In reality, the government has used those planes no less than 71 times a year. Will the government House leader apologize?

Or, does he want to borrow a book that I just acquired called flying Challenger jets for dummies?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will concede that, when it comes to flying Challenger jets, we have a lot to learn from a former Liberal cabinet minister . When we compare our record with the Liberal record, there is no comparison. The Liberals have us beaten by 100,000 kilometres, I bet, if not far more. They were in the air all the time. It is a hard thing to come down to earth like they have. However, when it comes to the use of Challenger jets, it is lower under our government than it has been under any other government in years.

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we have more evidence that this government has no credible plan to help small business and that the so-called plans they have, such as the Canada small business financing program, are working poorly, if at all.

It is outrageous that Industry Canada had no comment to make on allegations that funds have been diverted from the program. The minister absolutely must fix this program to ensure that it can fulfill its role and truly help small businesses.

Can the minister tell us today how much money Industry Canada has lost in this program by paying down loans for businesses that declared bankruptcy because they did not receive any really effective help?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as far as help for businesses and entrepreneurs is concerned, I am very proud of this government's record. We have reduced the tax rate to 11% for small businesses and, effective January 1, 2012, to 15% for all businesses in Canada. That is a realistic record. It is a concrete record that is important for small businesses. As far as any potential fraud is concerned, I encourage people who witness illegal acts or fraud to file complaints with the appropriate authorities. It is a serious matter. Taxpayers' money is at stake.

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian small business financing program has failed to help the companies it was supposed to support. Now we are seeing fraud in the government's program. It is not the first time the government has dropped the ball in these matters. Consumers and small businesses are still getting gouged because the government refuses to cut merchant fees for credit cards.

Why has the government abandoned Canadian workers and small businesses?

Small BusinessOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear in what I said in French.

All Canadians, who know something about that or who are witnesses on some front, must declare that to the authorities because it is important. It is taxpayer money and we take that very seriously.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Agriculture accused the elected Wheat Board members of stealing farmers' money. However, now we know the truth. The minister is planning to keep $200 million of farmers' hard-earned money, a $200 million grain tax. Not only is the government hauling out the single desk, it is picking farmers' pockets in the process. This is farmers' money, not the governments.

When will the minister give it back?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what western Canadian farmers are looking for is an opportunity to market their own grain, durum and barley, and we will give them that opportunity.

The contingency fund is there. The Wheat Board has used it at times, like a slush fund. We want to ensure that Mr. Oberg's sticky little fingers stay out of that, as they have been dipping into the pool accounts on farmers, spending tens of millions of dollars buying boats, spending like drunken sailors.

We will not allow that to happen. We will hold that contingency fund and help western farmers use that money in their own best interests.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the farmers he intends to give it back to are the ones who are actually leaving and do not get it.

It is really simple. The government promised to allow Wheat Board farmers a vote and it broke that promise. Now the government is imposing a $200 million grain tax on western farmers.

Last week, the government agreed to join the trans-Pacific partnership but will not tell Canadians if supply management is on the table.

The government sold out western farmers. Will it do the same thing to supply managed farmers across this country as it did to western farmers this week?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, this government respects the hard-working families who work on our dairy and poultry farms and who gather eggs every day so we can have them for breakfast. They respect that in us. We have been there for them when they need us.

We have a tremendous working relationship with the supply managed sector. We had it in our campaign platform. Those members did not. We put it in the throne speech. They voted against it. Who do members suppose supply managed farmers support? It is this side of the House.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is the economy and jobs. We are working for Canadians to support economic certainty and financial security.

I know the Minister of State for Finance has been travelling across Canada talking to our provincial partners, small business and others about improving our retirement income system.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance update Parliament on our government's legislation for a pooled registered retirement pension plan?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this summer, the Minister of State for Finance travelled to every province and territory to talk about the pooled registered pension plan. We wanted to improve retirement savings for Canadians, especially workers in small business and the self-employed, which is why we introduced legislation on the pooled registered pension plan today. This great, low cost savings option will help future retirees build their retirement nest eggs.

I hope all parliamentarians will support this very good measure. I hope the NDP abandons its plans to convince other countries to terminate jobs here in Canada.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question is whether or not the government will ignore the warning from the senior parliamentary law clerk that the behaviour of the member for Peterborough at the ethics committee is both illegal and undermines the independence of the court.

Instead of giving an answer, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has been giving us a smoke and mirrors show, ranting about shotguns, the Wheat Board and the state of the beleaguered Canadian taxpayer.

However, a question remains. In the government's attack on the CBC, is it willing to undermine the independence of the Canadian courts?

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, again, all the member for Peterborough is doing is what parliamentary committees are supposed to do.

Earlier this year, the previous Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, said that parliamentary committees can ask for whatever documents those parliamentary committees want.

The member for Peterborough is simply asking that the CBC be accountable for the taxpayers' money that it receives. That is not an attack on the CBC. That is a mandate that the member for Peterborough received from his voters to come to Ottawa and ask for accountability. He is doing his job.

Why is the NDP standing against accountability and against responsible spending at the CBC?

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime MinisterOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if this were about accountability to taxpayers, the Conservatives would have given the member for Peterborough the job of cramping the style of the high-flying Muskoka minister who blew through $50 million, cannot remember how it was done, had absolutely no receipts but assures us that every Tory in Muskoka had a good time.

Accountability is about respecting the divisions of the Constitution. That was the question that was put to the parliamentary clerk.

The question remains: Is he flying solo or is this part of a larger government plan to undermine the independence of our Canadian courts?