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House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we did not vote against a virtuous circle; we voted against this vicious circle that the Conservatives imposed: job losses, lower wages, the highest family debt ever in our history. What are they doing now? They are cutting taxes for banks and big oil companies swamped with profits. They do not care about the 90,000 Canadian families that lost a breadwinner this fall because of their policies.

Instead of acting like Santa to Bay Street again, why do the Conservatives not give a real Christmas present to hard-working Canadian families and put a jobs plan into place for Christmas this year? A jobs plan is what Canadians need for Christmas.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, there is the Christmas spirit: vote against everything that Canadians want by reducing their taxes. The NDP continues to vote against it. Through the actions that this government has taken, every family of four, an average Canadian family, has over $3,000 left in its pockets. That is a good news story going into this Christmas season.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that Bill C-20 represents the most practical and fair approach to improving representation in the House of Commons. It is the only truly national representation strategy. It is the only formula that can claim to be fair for all Canadians. Bill C-20 addresses the serious and increasing under-representation of our fastest growing provinces: Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. The problem is significant right now and it is only going to get worse if we continue with the status quo.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform please tell the House why all parties should be supporting this bill?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, our government is delivering a principled, reasonable and fair bill for all Canadians with the fair representation act. It is truly a national formula. The opposition has brought forward alternatives. I thank those members for contributing to the debate, but I believe that in their attempt to score political points they are ignoring the real consequences of their proposals. It is time to put politics aside and support a truly national, fair for all Canadians strategy on representation. That is why I am asking the opposition parties to vote for the fair representation act tonight.

The Firearms RegistryOral Questions

December 13th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is incredible that we are hearing the same old empty rhetoric.

Quebec is willing to go to court to prevent the destruction of data from the firearms registry. It is the only way the provinces have of being heard because the government is completely out of touch and refuses to listen, in the same way that it refuses to listen to the chiefs of police and victims. And now, to defend its ideology, the government is going to engage in a very costly legal battle.

Why is the government persisting with the wrong approach instead of co-operating with the provinces?

The Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing new in what our government is doing. We made an election promise to all Canadians and Quebeckers. We said that we would scrap the registry, and that is what we are going to do. The registry consists of inaccurate, outdated and obsolete data. We do not want a provincial government to recreate, through the back door, a registry with inaccurate, outdated, and obsolete data.

The Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the data is outdated and obsolete because of the government and its own turpitude. In fact, it is this government that stopped updating the data.

And that is not the only thing. The government can claim to represent only 39% of the population. I would remind the honourable member that that is a failing grade in any school.

For weeks, we have been repeating tirelessly that the chiefs of police, women's groups, victims’ groups and Quebec all want to keep the registry. There is a simple solution to avoid having the matter go to court: give the provinces the data they are asking for, as the NDP proposed in committee.

At the end of the day, what is this government going to defend in court? The safety of Canadians or its arrogance and—

The Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleagues that on September 26, 2006, which was 5 years ago, the Auditor General stated, after having reviewed the long gun registry:

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.

This dates back to 2006. The database is incorrect, inaccurate and outdated.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government says it expects delivery of the F-35s to begin in 2016, but senior U.S. military officers have testified that the aircraft will not become operational until at least 2018. All reasonable people would agree that with our already refurbished CF-18s unable to fly beyond 2020, the need to implement a plan B becomes obvious.

Will the Associate Minister of National Defence please tell us what is his plan B, and does it include fewer F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have a plan to give our pilots the best equipment available, and we will not apologize for that.

The F-35 is a plane for now and for decades to come. Our plan is on track and we will continue to work with our allies on this plan.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my concern is that we have an Associate Minister of National Defence who does not know the difference between on track and off the rails.

The government's plan of delivery in 2016 is unrealistic. The world all over has acknowledged this, except for the government.

The minister is now saying that he may buy fewer planes. Is this the plan B that the minister was referring to last month, fewer F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely puzzled by the constant refrain and sarcasm, but nonetheless, if I can repeat for the hon. member who is not listening, our plan is on track. We will be delivering to our men and women in the air force the best equipment to enable them to carry out their duties in an effective and safe manner.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I heard the reply from the tourist in chief just now, but I would like to have someone serious. My question is for the Prime Minister.

There has been a unanimous motion by the National Assembly. There is consensus among the stakeholders in Quebec, among health care professionals, among police and among victims. They all say, with a single voice, that they want to get the information in the firearms registry back.

Instead of applying the scorched earth theory, what is stopping this government from transferring the information to Quebec—information that is not the government's property—so we can create our own firearms registry in Quebec?

The government has said no to the registry, but the information belongs to Canadians and Quebeckers. It does not belong to the government.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the best way to fight crime, whether in Quebec or outside Quebec, is to have tougher laws that will mean that we have safer streets and communities where we can live in peace. We recently passed a bill in the House of Commons, and I am eager to see that bill come into force, as quickly as possible. That is one of the ways to fight crime. We are not going to achieve that goal with a long gun registry.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will take the word of the Minister of Public Security in Quebec City, who is from Beauce, over that of the tourist in chief from Beauce.

I now have a question for the Minister of Justice.

This is going before the courts, where millions of dollars will be spent. I would like to have the assurance of the Conservative government that if there is an injunction, or if the constitutionality of Bill C-19 is challenged, the Conservatives will preserve the information in the meantime. Or are they going to destroy it? Will they respect the court?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, we have always said, on this side of the House, that we respect the Canadian Constitution. That is what Canadians and Quebeckers want.

We have passed a bill that, at the end of the day, represents the responsibility of the federal government in relation to criminal law. That legislation will be in force shortly, when we proceed to third reading. I hope that all provincial governments will respect the Canadian Constitution, as we do.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, yet another well-connected Conservative has received a patronage appointment. This time it is Reginald Bowers who is heading to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

The board is responsible for resource management, environmental protection and safety concerns in the industry. Here is the rub: Mr. Bowers has little to no experience in the offshore oil and gas industry. Apparently managing a successful Conservative campaign is experience enough.

When will the Conservatives start taking the development of Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore resources seriously and stop appointing their friends?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government is appointing capable advisers to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. The individual in question has decades of experience in regional economic development. We look forward to working with him as a representative of Labrador on the board.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Lobbying discovered that not one, but two friends of the Conservatives had engaged in illegal lobbying. What happened next? Nothing. There was no punishment, no charge, no fine, not even a little slap on the wrist. The code does not have any power, but the fact remains that this government is sitting on its hands when it comes to Conservative lobbyists. It refuses to give the commissioner more power and it even refuses to let the RCMP appear before the committee.

Will the government finally address illegal lobbying? When will the Conservatives block the revolving door they installed to let lobbyists into the Prime Minister's Office?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 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, our government has put tough laws in place to ensure that in Canada, lobbying takes place above board and according to the rules. That is why we submitted for review by the Commissioner of Lobbying every meeting that Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud did not report. The Commissioner of Lobbying was clear in her report that Mr. Glémaud and Mr. Jaffer did not secure any government funding.

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making sure that businesses have the tools they need to innovate, to grow, to prosper and create jobs. Last year we launched the applied research and commercialization initiative through FedDev to foster partnerships between post-secondary institutions and businesses in southern Ontario.

Could the Minister of State for Science and Technology and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario give the House an update on this important program?

Research and DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, businesses in southern Ontario know full well that our government listens to their needs and then acts. More than 300 small- and medium-size businesses have already partnered with colleges and universities. Therefore, I have announced an extension of the ARC program so that we can continue to fill the gap between industry and the marketplace.

Our government continues to work hard to make sure that businesses have the tools they need to create more jobs, to grow and to keep our economy moving forward.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, in their accountability election platform, the Conservatives promised to require ministers and senior government officials to record their contacts with lobbyists. The Lobbying Commissioner's report is clear that the government broke this promise because it failed to blow the whistle on two well-connected Conservative operatives who used their privileged access to lobby five ministers for nearly $200 million in contracts.

Will the Attorney General finally get tough on Conservative crime and lay criminal charges against Jaffer and Glemaud?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 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, as I already indicated, this government put in place some tough laws to ensure lobbying in Canada takes place above board and according to the rules. That is why we referred all meetings that Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glemaud had not reported to the Lobbying Commissioner for her review. The Lobbying Commissioner was clear in her report that Mr. Glemaud and Mr. Jaffer did not secure any government funding.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2009 Stephen Watkins from Newmarket, Ontario awoke to his worst nightmare. His two sons, under his full custody, were abducted by their mother and flown to Poland, where they have been held ever since. The fate of these children rests with a Polish judge in a hearing set for this week. We have seen no action from the government for over two years.

Why will the government not support the victims here? What is the government planning to do to bring these children back home for Christmas?