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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the Associate Minister of National Defence were to look beyond his speaking points and into the file, he would have read that the Pentagon has a lack of confidence in the F-35s.

A 55-page detailed technical report leaked last weekend concludes yet again that costs are through the roof, that there are major technical problems with this plane and that the delivery date will not be met.

Is the associate minister prepared to contradict the Pentagon and tell us yet again that the program is on track? Does the Pentagon have it wrong or does the associate minister have it wrong?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am really amused by the quick reference to notes, while the member opposite relies heavily on them.

However, the secretary of defense, Mr. Panetta, spoke recently about the commitment that the U.S. had, along with the nine countries, to ensure the F-35 program continued. It is on track. We are part of that process and we will continue to be.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, the Canada Elections Act explicitly states that one cannot falsely publish a notice that a candidate in a constituency has retired or withdrawn. Given the fact that the Canada Elections Act says this and given your ruling yesterday about the reprehensible behaviour against the member for Mount Royal, does the Prime Minister believe the Canada Elections Act needs to be clarified and will he issue an apology to the member for Mount Royal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, you have ruled on this issue very clearly. It is certainly the practice of our government to respect all rulings of all Speakers of the House. That has been our practice in the past. It will continue to be our practice in the future.

Clearly the member for Mount Royal continues to take his seat in the House and we, as a government, acknowledge that.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I guess we are not going to get that apology.

The intimidation tactics continue. A notice of motion was introduced before a committee to the effect that the work of committees should be done in secret, that is to say, behind closed doors so that the public and the media cannot see what is happening. When will this abuse of democracy stop? When will this Prime Minister, who has done so much preaching about openness and transparency, start to respect those principles?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government is always performing in an open and accountable fashion. We did this in the last election when we made clear commitments to Canadians about what we would deliver on. We would deliver for the economy, for jobs and for economic growth. We would deliver on tackling crime. That is exactly what we have been doing in the House every day when we have been here working hard.

I know the leader of the other party decided the session ended yesterday and he has checked out, but we happen to believe we have work to do here and that is what we are doing today.

National DefenceOral Questions

December 14th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week we watched the sorry spectacle of the Minister of National Defence trying to cover up for his inappropriate use of a search and rescue helicopter.

Last month, the Associate Minister of Defence said, categorically, that training of the F-35s would be done in Canada. Yesterday the chief of air defence said that they would be trained in Florida for up to a decade. For the benefit of the associate minister, Florida is not in Canada.

For just once will the ministers honourably provide the House with all the details of the F-35 program and training?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, both the chief of air staff and I have been clear. We are planning for long-term F-35 training to take place in Canada, just as currently is done with the CF-18s.

The vast majority of Canadian F-35 pilots will be training in Canada. It is reasonable that Canadians will do initial training with those from whom we purchased the aircraft, which has always been the case.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, by calling the Kyoto protocol “stupid”, the Prime Minister is neglecting future generations. It is unacceptable to see the Conservatives sabotage international efforts and cause job losses here in Canada.

Instead of talking nonsense and tarnishing Canada's image, will this government do what the rest of the world is expecting and come up with a real plan for the environment and act like a leader in the fight against climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada would have preferred a more ambitious result from the global climate change conference, but we do believe we have an agreement which builds upon Copenhagen and Cancun.

I know my hon. critic loves to quote from the pre-eminent scientific journal Nature when it suits her, but I would remind her that last month Nature wrote, “Like it or not, a dogmatic adherence to the protocol is now a political liability that threatens cooperative action to actually effect action climate change”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the international community is watching us. China, France, the UN have all criticized the Conservatives for pulling out of Kyoto. Is the Prime Minister going to call them stupid as well? Is he going to acknowledge the real reason the government is withdrawing from Kyoto, and that is to hide its failure and its job-killing inaction on climate?

The rest of the world is moving forward, building a new energy economy, but Canada is being left behind under the Conservatives' inaction. Why are they refusing to act?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague had been in Durban, she would have seen that Canada was among the leaders in the—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. We can deal with this after question period.

The hon. Minister of the Environment has the floor.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague had not sent a deputy to attend in Durban, she would have seen first-hand how Canada did lead the way in contributing to the creation of the Durban platform.

Again, I would remind her and refer her to Nature, which says, “There is no need to kill Kyoto. The treaty is already weakened and will prove hard to revive”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is gung-ho on building new pipelines and shipping value-added jobs right out of Canada.

Yesterday's report from the environment commissioner revealed that the Conservatives could not even safely manage the pipelines we had now. When a company is caught breaking the rules, over 90% of the time nothing happens and the problem is not fixed.

Before rushing forward with new pipelines, why will the government not fix the safety monitoring problems with existing pipelines?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the National Energy Board is a solid independent regulatory body that ensures the safety of the pipelines.

The NEB instituted corrective action that would address the recommendations. It has undertaken to review the emergency preparedness manuals that deal with the 5% that it did not already deal with, which is the lower risk portion. It has also launched an action plan that focuses on workers' safety, integrity of installations and damage prevention.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, southern Albertans have petitioned the House, calling on the government to call a halt to gas fracking on lands controlled by the federal government.

First nation women are being criminally prosecuted for attempting to block fracking trucks from entering the lands of the Kainai blood tribe. They worry that fracking threatens their scarce surface water and groundwater reserves. A just released USEPA study indicates these concerns may be well-founded.

When will the government finally start acting on its duty to regulate the impact of industrial developments on first nation lands?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is highly concerned about protecting the environment both on federal lands and other. I would remind my hon. colleague that shale gas is principally a responsibility of the provincial and territorial governments.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, this government is pathetic. Canadian families are carrying record debt loads under the Conservatives. Workers' wages have fallen by 2% over the last year, and 90,000 Canadian families had their livelihoods taken away this fall. And what is this government doing? It is giving the oil companies and banks a lovely gift on January 1, while hiking EI premiums for families.

Why is this government giving Bay Street another big Christmas present? Why is it giving Canadian families a lump of coal in their stockings?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have continued to caution Canadians about overextending themselves on credit, whether it is residential mortgage credit or credit card credit.

With respect to residential mortgages, we have tightened the rules three times in the past several years, including this year. We have seen Canadians now increasing their activity in terms of paying off mortgages. However, we have low interest rates and some Canadians are taking advantage of those to take on some larger mortgages.

Again, we need to caution Canadians not to overextend themselves because interest rates eventually will go up.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to caution itself. It plays Santa to Bay Street by giving corporate tax cuts to banks and oil companies that are awash with cash. It plays Scrooge to Canadian families by cutting public investment, cutting services that middle-class and poorer Canadian families depend on and it talks about cutting health care transfers that Canadian families need.

The Canadian economy needs public investment. Canadians need a jobs plan to pay down their record levels of debt under the government. Canadian families need their health care system.

Why act like Santa to Bay Street and like Scrooge to everyone else?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the economy, Canadians know the NDP does not have a clue.

Here is what the The Province from Vancouver had to say yesterday in an editorial:

Time and again — either through unaffordable election promises or capricious plans to hike taxes — New Democrats act as though there is a magic money fairy somewhere who sprinkles government with endless supplies of cash. It's why voters often fear giving the NDP the keys to the treasury.

I know it is Christmastime, but I am at best a mere elf. I am no magic money fairy.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are very few female judges in federal courts and the situation is not about to change. In some provinces, no women sit on the advisory committees that provide recommendations to the government about judicial appointments, yet friends of the Conservatives have no difficulty obtaining positions. In Quebec, five people appointed by the government are party insiders.

Why does this government give jobs to its friends and not do anything about gender equality?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is completely wrong. These individuals give of their time and their talent for no remuneration to help give advice on this.

With respect to the appointments, we stand behind all of them. I note, with interest, the first female chief justice of Quebec's Court of Appeal, the Hon. Justice Nicole Duval Hesler. As well, four out of the nine judges on the Supreme Court are women, as well as five out of the eleven on the Federal Court of Appeal.

Why are the NDP members now starting to attack the judiciary and all those who help in this area? I am very disappointed.