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House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are about to stick the provinces with a billion-plus dollars in bills for their prison agenda. Ontario has said enough and it is demanding that the Conservatives pay for their own prison agenda, not the provinces. They want front line police officers, not more prisons, just front line police officers. That is where the money should be spent.

The Conservatives do not understand. I do not understand the humour that is coming from that side of the House.

However, if they are so hell-bent on ramming through this bill, will they at least listen to the three provinces that have come forward and said, “We're not paying the shot”. Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are not paying the shot. The government should pay the shot.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I do respect my colleague opposite, but I know that he comes from a long and distinguished career of defending criminals, as a defence criminal lawyer. Our perception is a little bit different.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I know it is a Wednesday. We are barely a third of the way through the list. The hon. Minister of Public Safety has the floor and has a right to respond to the question.

The hon. Minister of Public Safety.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, I understand the perspective that the member has, given his choice in career, and it is an honourable profession.

It is not the position, though, that our government takes. Our government takes a balanced approach. We want to ensure that victims are protected, that prisoners are--

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Western Arctic.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Privacy Commissioner repudiated Conservative claims about gun registry data. She confirmed records could be shared with the provinces. Once again out of touch Conservative talking points failed to hold up under scrutiny. The Privacy Commissioner says all it takes is an agreement between the government and the provinces.

Will the government agree to drop the ideology and negotiate with those provinces that want to use the records to protect their citizens?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, last night, this House historically passed at second reading the ending the long gun registry act by a vote of 156 to 123.

Despite the fact that that member told his constituents that he would vote to end the gun registry, once and for all, he failed his constituents. This government does not fail the people we made that promise to.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

But, Mr. Speaker, the government is failing all the victims that we are hearing on Bill C-10 and not Bill C-19.

The government's arguments do not hold water. The hon. member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River said yesterday that if Quebec wants the registry, then it will have to pay for it. However, the Privacy Commissioner refutes that argument. There need only be an agreement to share the information. There is no breach of privacy and there are no costs to cover. The only obstacle is the Conservatives.

Will the government work in good faith with the provinces—

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Public Safety.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, with respect to Bill C-10, which my colleague mentioned, I would like to point out that one of the staunchest supporters of Bill C-10, and the effectiveness of that type of legislation, has been the NDP government in Manitoba, which has made it clear that it will stand with us against criminals, despite the position of the federal NDP.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of a serious tendering process, we are stuck with a growing list of problems with the F-35s. The cost of the program has more than doubled, the F-35s have been defeated in combat simulations, communications equipment does not work and, worst of all, the pilots are not even safe. It is all very well for the government to say that it takes the safety of our troops seriously, but this fiasco shows the opposite.

When will the Minister of National Defence finally admit that he has failed? When will he finally review the F-35 program?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all the information provided by the member is false, absolutely false.

What I continually cannot understand about the NDP is why it opposes getting the best equipment for our military, why it opposes the incredible benefits these purchases would bring to the entire country, including Quebec. I am completely baffled by the position taken by the NDP, which runs contrary to the wishes of the military and the aerospace industry.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day new problems with the F-35s come to light. Today, we have learned from an internal National Defence report that the F-35s are so expensive that we cannot afford enough aircraft to meet our needs. Consequently, there will be no room to manoeuvre in the event of the loss of any of the aircraft. This is in addition to concerns about their astronomical cost and safety.

When will the government stop denying the truth? When will the government finally announce an open and transparent bidding process?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, once again that is absolutely false.

The Royal Canadian Air Force has clearly stated the number of aircraft it needs, which meets the right balance for its capabilities, as well as the balance in terms of the budget.

We have seen time and time again that every time we have brought forward improvements for military personnel, whether it be improvements for the children of deceased veterans, whether it be improvements for their salaries, for their equipment, whether it is anything from the graveyard to the schoolyard, the NDP opposes if it would improve things for the Canadian Forces.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, to date we have been urging the Minister of National Defence to put his plan for new fighter jets out to tender, but with the air force calling for 80 planes, not 65, what becomes clear is that the government has no clear sense of its own requirements. It has no plan.

Why 65 planes? Why a plane that does not work in the north? Why a stealth bomber designed to support ground troops? Why blow billions on the F-35?

When will the minister finally admit he has botched this file and hit the eject button on the F-35 program?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is that is the number the air force asked for. It has clearly indicated that is the right balance. It has clearly indicated that this will allow our pilots in the air force to carry out the important work that we ask of them.

Why is the NDP against giving the best equipment to the best pilots to the best air force, that would improve our aerospace, that would bring jobs and prosperity to our economy in his province and across the country? The NDP's position on this is backward thinking.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

November 2nd, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Bleuet, the minister from the Lac St. Jean region, known for its blueberries.

Today, the papers are reporting that officials have known since December 15 that the Champlain Bridge was a safety hazard and that it could collapse. We could have expected officials at Transport Canada to get together as early as January 6 to find a solution. Instead, the government tried to cover its behind and have the blues pages handy to respond in case of a leak.

What did this government hide? When will it tell the truth about the safety of the Champlain Bridge? We want to know.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have invested in maintaining this bridge in several budgets. Our government was happy to make an announcement recently, through the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, that we would replace the Champlain Bridge and build a new bridge over the St. Lawrence River. These are important advances.

I hope that we will have the support of the hon. member for these projects.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I asked for a blueberry and got a lemon. I wanted to know what was going on.

The problem is that a decision could have been made on January 6. But we had to wait until October to find out what was going on. Even people at Delcan are saying that it makes no sense and that the bridge could collapse. We have waited all this time and we do not know if the bridge will last another 10 years.

Instead of having to one day appear before a commission of inquiry into the collapse of the Champlain Bridge, could the government table the inspection reports? People are crossing that bridge. Instead of hearing what the minister will say, we want to know whether the bridge is safe.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our minister has demonstrated true leadership on this issue. We have made investments to maintain this bridge. The minister has announced a plan to replace the bridge. The Liberals never did that.

We should focus on infrastructure and not on a Montreal member's campaign for mayor.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, international scientists have asked that the cuts to ozone research be reversed. Thousands of Canadians have signed petitions. We have hosted a non-partisan breakfast on Parliament Hill on ozone research that has showed how important ozone research is, and Canada's leadership.

Will the government unequivocally commit today that there will be absolutely no cuts to ozone research in Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I have assured the House any number of times in recent weeks, Environment Canada will continue to monitor the ozone. The World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Centre will continue to deliver world-class services.

This government makes no apologies whatsoever for trying to find the most cost effective ways of protecting the Canadian environment.

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, experience with analyzing and assessing program spending to ensure real results are being delivered for Canadians, experience with risk methodology consistent with the Treasury Board Secretariat's integrated management framework.

Those are some of the qualifications that were on the French-language job poster put out by the headhunting firm hired by the Conservatives to find a candidate for the position of Auditor General.

My question is simple: how much were these headhunters paid?

Auditor GeneralOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we have already said that the government looked for qualified candidates who were more or less bilingual. Upon completion of a rigorous process, the most qualified candidate was chosen. Again yesterday, Mr. Ferguson said that he wants to and will learn French. However, he has other skills that are important for this position.