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House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elected.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong. Parliament has approved the transfers of these moneys. This includes estimates, the 2011-12 report on plans and priorities, and the 2010-11 departmental performance reports.

Just because the member opposite did not read the estimates, does not mean Parliament did not approve them.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me greet the new spokesperson for the President of the Treasury Board.

The Conservatives keep reminding us that they spent $1 billion on the green infrastructure fund, but only 10% of that has been spent in three years.

In committee, the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board told us that it takes time to develop projects, but that the Conservatives plan to spend all the money. He never mentioned transfers.

Publishing a report on a website, but failing to include it in the budget on which parliamentarians vote is anything but transparent.

Why does this government refuse to treat parliamentarians with respect? Why this lack of transparency?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, why this lack of research on the NDP's part?

I have before me the parliamentary documents authorizing those transfers. They were tabled in the House on June 3, 2011, June 9, 2011, November 3, 2011, and November 17, 2011.

There was also a vote last Monday. I would imagine that the hon. member was at the vote. He should have read the documents he was voting on before voting and before complaining.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked a historic day in Canada-U.S. relations. Canada shares the most successful relationship in the world. More than $1.5 billion worth of goods crosses the border each day. Millions of jobs in both countries depend on the trade and investment that flow daily across our borders.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update this House on the announcement yesterday by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we saw yesterday was the leadership of the Prime Minister and the leadership of the President of the United States doing everything they can to help create jobs and have more economic growth.

Over recent years we have seen the border become thicker and thicker, and this has hurt Canadian competitiveness and cost Canadian jobs.

Yesterday's announcement will make the job of an auto worker in Windsor more secure. Yesterday's announcement will make someone who works in a port in Montreal or on a railway in western Canada secure. This will lead to more jobs and more economic benefits for the Canadian economy.

This is good news for the country and we should all be celebrating that.

Rural AirportsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, just released secret documents reveal the Minister of Transport and his department are planning to sell off airports and other assets across this country. This fire sale would mean higher fees and airport closures.

Rural Canadians rely on these airports to deliver their mail, visit their families, or see their doctors. Loss of airports would isolate these communities.

Could the Conservatives tell us which Canadian communities will lose their airports just for a quick buck?

Rural AirportsOral Questions

December 8th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, as announced in budget 2009, a review of corporate assets has been led by the greatest finance minister in the world in collaboration with other ministers whose portfolios have also been identified for the review.

This review includes selected assets of the Department of Transport. Our government is committed to ensuring that hard-earned tax dollars are used in a prudent and responsible manner.

Rural AirportsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the premise of that answer.

The worst part of all this is that by hiding the documents, the government is once again being secretive. Several pages were even censored.

The sale of small airports could mean the end of air services for communities that need them, not to mention increased costs for passengers, if these airports are run by the private sector.

Can the minister tell us which airports are going to be sold and what the impact will be on Canadian families?

Rural AirportsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as was announced in the 2009 budget, a review of the government's assets will be conducted by the Minister of Finance. Incidentally, he is the best Minister of Finance in the world. He is going to work with the ministers whose portfolios were identified for the purpose of this review, including our own portfolio. Our government is committed to using Canadians' hard-earned money prudently and responsibly.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yet another study supports what we have been saying all along about the Conservatives' prison agenda.

According to Quebec's Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-économiques, the Conservatives' out-of-touch agenda would make the cost of prisons skyrocket, while the government launches cuts to all public services. The provinces would foot the bill for these costly Conservative choices.

How many independent studies will it take for the government to admit that it is wrong?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Delta—Richmond East B.C.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear in the House about working with our provincial and territorial partners with respect to the implementation of our crime legislation. We have many supporters. Attorneys general from across the country are saying they asked us for this legislation. They thank us for bringing it in. They are looking forward to working with us.

We are committed to standing up for victims in Canada, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the government answers any old thing, I am going to provide numbers which show how much this bill will cost.

The budget of Correctional Service Canada will have doubled between the time the Conservatives came to office and 2014. As for Quebec, the costs will total at least half a billion dollars annually. The government is forcing the provinces to double their budget for jails, because of a bill that is rejected by all the experts.

Would the government go forward with its legislation if it had to foot the bill itself? I doubt it, but I will be pleased to listen to the same old tune again.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Delta—Richmond East B.C.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, we have something called a division of powers in this country. The federal government brings forward legislation on crime and crime initiatives and the provincial governments administer it. They do a very good job of administering it. We work with them on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to make sure that we are doing the right things by Canadians.

We have increased transfers to the provinces by 30% since we took government. We transferred $54 billion last year, up $2.4 billion from the year before. We are doing what we need to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have known for years that the current Prime Minister and his government do not believe the science of climate change.

Just this week, the environment minister went to Durban with no credible plan. He intended to withdraw from our international commitments and obstruct negotiations. Now, the minister wants us to believe he is changing his position again.

How can Canadians trust the government and its eleventh-hour conversion when it has been a denier and an obstructionist for two decades?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when the member opposite talks about no credible plan, I sure hope she is referring to her party's inability to have a plan when it signed the Kyoto protocol.

Furthermore, the member referred to the Kyoto protocol as an important symbol for climate change. We are not about symbols. We are about real action. That is why we are committed to ensuring an international agreement which has all major emitters at the table.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this government is acting in bad faith and is once again bringing shame on us on the world stage. It does and says anything to try to save face in Durban. I do not believe it when it claims to look forward to the future. The only will it has shown for years is not the will to reduce emissions but, rather, its emission targets.

For years, when they sat on the opposition benches, the Conservatives prevented concrete measures under the Kyoto protocol. Now that they form the government, they are turning inaction into a virtue.

Do they really think people will listen and believe what they say?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague opposite of a few things with regard to environment policy and energy policy. First, emissions increased in this country under his government. A policy that he should be especially familiar with, the national energy policy, lost thousands of jobs across the country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor. The member has asked the question and she will give the response.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

I am getting such a response to these inconvenient truths, Mr. Speaker.

We have a real plan and we are implementing it. We have a sector-by-sector regulatory approach that balances economic sustainability with environmental stewardship. That is what this government stands for.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government's record on seniors is shameful. Many seniors are struggling to pay for food, housing and medication. This is putting them into situations of dependence and making them more vulnerable to elder abuse. The Conservatives' out-of-touch plan has left hundreds of thousands of Canadian seniors living in poverty. That is what New Democrats voted against.

Conservative policy is insulting and abusive to seniors. Why will the government not take seniors' poverty seriously with a plan to protect the most vulnerable?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, any form of abuse is unacceptable. Following the introduction of a very successful awareness campaign, which will continue through 2012, we also increased funding for elder abuse awareness programs including new horizons.

Furthermore, the Minister of Justice and I have met with stakeholders across Canada. We look forward to fulfilling our commitment to further protect vulnerable seniors.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, to “further protect” does not necessarily mean the government is doing enough.

Even though this government is boasting about its achievements, the reality is that today an increasing number of seniors rely on food banks or charities to make ends meet. To tell seniors living in poverty that they will not have to pay taxes is not going to solve the issue of poverty. All Canadians have the right to age with dignity, not just those who had more luck.

When will this government stop repeating the same old tune and finally provide real security to our seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Richmond B.C.

Conservative

Alice Wong ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, our government continues to take strong action to support seniors. This includes providing billions in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners, removing hundreds of thousands of seniors from the tax rolls completely, increasing the GIS exemption and introducing the largest GIS increase in a quarter century.

We have also made significant investments in affordable housing for low-income seniors and introduced pension income splitting. We will keep working hard to deliver for seniors.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightfully concerned that in 2010 child pornography offences were up by more than 30%. The sexual exploitation of children by Internet sexual predators is a very serious crime.

The government recently introduced and passed through the House the safe streets and communities act. This act would increase penalties for sexual offences against children. Could the parliamentary secretary please update the House as to further measures the government has implemented to crack down on child pornography?