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 #64 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was women.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are gaining the benefit of the tax reductions that this government has put forward. As has been mentioned here earlier today, we have taken over a million low-income Canadians completely off the tax roll, which has help families in need. An average family of four in this country pays $3,000 less than it did when we came to government. That is what Canadians want to hear.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Bank completed the round of publication of results of large Canadian banks by announcing that it made a record net profit of $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, Canadians are having difficulty since job losses are piling up. A total of 19,000 jobs were lost in November and 54,000 full-time jobs were lost in October.

Since the Conservatives cling to the belief that tax cuts must be given to banks that are making billions of dollars in profit a year, here is a simple question. How many jobs will the Conservatives create with this gift of $1.4 billion for the banks?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the job number that matters to Canadians is that 600,000 more Canadians are working today than were working at the end of the recession. That is because of the policies we put in place. It is because businesses are paying less tax, so those businesses can reinvest in themselves and can hire more Canadians. It is simple economics.

The NDP has voted against every one of those plans that we have put forward. We will continue to support our businesses so they can hire Canadians and get them back to work.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we understand that at a press conference this morning the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development announced that he would be calling for yet another audit into the affairs at Attawapiskat.

I would like to point out to the government a simple fact, which is that it has not followed the recommendations of its own Auditor General with respect to its own activities, in particular having to do with the appointment of so-called third party managers.

There is no provision for a dispute resolution mechanism, there is no building of capacity for chiefs and councils, and there is no provision for any involvement by chiefs and councils in the selection of the third party manager

Why is there a double standard? Why not apply the standards of the Auditor General to the--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking responsibility for the real challenges that we are seeing in Attawapiskat.

I should note that there has been some public comment that resources allocated toward health care, education and housing would somehow be diverted to support band administration. This is not the case. Not a single dollar will be used for that purpose, and the money to support the third party administrator will come from money that is set aside for band administration.

We are concerned about the huge challenges facing Attawapiskat. That is why we are getting involved and taking significant action to support these vulnerable people.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny a very clear fact, and that is that since 2003, the Auditor General has been frank about the need for change in the very program that the government has just imposed on the Attawapiskat reserve. They have refused to follow the recommendations of their own Auditor General and, in the meantime, they are talking about the council's responsibility when they are not prepared to accept their own responsibilities. There is a double standard here, and that will create even more problems between the government and Indians across the country.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking action to ensure that there is support for the families in Attawapiskat, who are facing a cold winter coming.

Immediately since the state of emergency, we have allocated $500,000 in emergency funding to renovate five homes for families in urgent need of shelter. We are working quickly to provide temporary and long-term housing for more than 20 families, and our government will be working with our partners.

We have already sent 10 composting toilets, 20 high-efficiency wood stoves and other basic necessities. More supplies will be flown in during the coming days. This is real action for families in Attawapiskat.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada had the unmitigated gall yesterday to refer to mismanagement on the reserve, when it is the government's own mismanagement that has been called to account on three separate occasions in three separate audits by the Auditor General of Canada.

When will the government take responsibility for its grotesque failure to apply the basic standards of accountability and responsibility to itself? That is where the responsibility lies. That is where the mismanagement lies. It always has and it always will, and the Conservatives will turn around and blame the victim every single time.

That is what they--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously there are challenges in the management of this reserve, since $90 million has been spent since 2006 and we still have people living in these types of conditions.

We have spent $4 million on housing, $10 million for water infrastructure and $40 million in education, but Canadian taxpayers are not seeing the results for their hard-earned tax dollars. That is why this government and this minister have acted quickly to ensure that we provide the help our fellow Canadians in Attawapiskat so desperately need.

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in this House, the Associate Minister of National Defence described a flight on a search and rescue helicopter from a fishing camp as “a very routine endeavour indeed”.

“Routine” is taking a taxi to an airport. “Routine” is taking a taxi to work.

I would like to ask the associate minister exactly what he means by “routine”. How frequently does the minister use a search and rescue helicopter to get back from vacation?

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence was on leave at his own expense. He was called back to work on very short notice. Government aircraft were used in this case for government business. Every rule--much more exigent, demanding rules--for the use of government aircraft was followed. This is a government that has reduced the use of government aircraft by 80% compared with the previous government.

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, if indeed this is the only time the minister was hoisted in a basket by a helicopter and taxied to his next destination, how in the world can it be considered routine?

A minister takes a joyride in a search and rescue helicopter, then he makes up a story, then he changes the story, then he threatens to sue the people who question him.

My question today is simple. How can the minister explain the use of a search and rescue helicopter for a personal trip, and after all this, how can Canadians expect to have confidence in the Minister of National Defence?

Search and RescueOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, on this side we do not expect the member opposite to show respect for the dedication of this minister, from taking part in training missions to visiting our troops when they are on missions abroad carrying out the business of Canada. This minister has shown dedication of an exceptional quality.

In this particular case, he was on holiday. He was there at his personal expense. He was called back to work on short notice. He followed the rules, and those rules are much tougher than they have ever been in this country.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Associate Minister of National Defence refused to answer a very simple question. I will repeat it in order to give one of his colleagues a chance to answer it.

This week, Senator John McCain said that after 10 years and hundreds of billions of dollars, “we still do not have an aircraft that provides the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps with the combat capability they need”.

Can the Conservatives tell us how they interpret Senator McCain's comments? What will it take for them to realize that the F-35s are a disaster?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government is procuring the best aircraft in the world right now for the Royal Canadian Air Force. We are doing so to fulfill a very important mission: protecting Canada's sovereignty and carrying out overseas missions with our NATO allies, missions like the one in Libya.

This project, which will result in the acquisition of aircraft in a few years, is moving ahead as part of a joint plan with our allies, and we are very proud of it.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am always surprised at how the government can give such convoluted responses to such simple questions.

Senator McCain said there has been a 61% increase in development and acquisition costs since the program started. However, the Conservatives are still quoting a 10-year-old price from Lockheed Martin.

Why will they not agree with Senator McCain that this program needs rethinking? Why will they not put this deal out for competitive bids?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this project has already generated important results for Canadian companies, generating jobs and growth across this country. There is $370 million in firm contracts for Canadian companies, many of them in Quebec, 65 of them engaged in this project. We continue to follow its progress through the Joint Project Office.

However, Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense for the United States, was very clear when he came to Halifax, as was the State Secretary of Norway when he came before us in committee. This is the best project for us and for many of our allies. It is going ahead.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the agents who process employment insurance claims are not being allowed to work overtime during the holiday season, unlike in previous years. Thank you, Conservative government.

Yet this is the time of year when Service Canada must meet the increased demand for assistance from unemployed workers. These fathers and mothers do not know how they are going to pay their bills and still be able to give their children a few presents.

Has the Conservative government become the Grinch who stole Christmas?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the exact opposite is true. We recognize that there is always a surge in EI claims at this time of year. That is why we have a very long tradition of adding extra resources to process claims. We continue to respect that tradition and are adding more resources.

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

That is very good to hear, Mr. Speaker. The reason there is a rise in EI claims is that too many Canadians are unemployed. There are a number of ways in which the government could show some heart but, in this particular instance, the government has chosen a totally different track.

First, the government cuts front line EI workers and now it is putting the kibosh on overtime. Consequently, families in Toronto, for example, who are unemployed, and there are many, are wondering how they will make ends meet.

The government could choose to be Santa Claus or choose to be the reindeer even. Why does it choose to be the Grinch?

Service CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has his facts totally backward. We agree with the OECD which said recently that employment was the most promising way of tackling inequality. That is why our number one focus for the last three years has been on jobs and economic growth.

We have brought in a number of ways to help Canadians get back to work, things like the home renovation tax credit that created jobs right away in small communities even like those in my riding. We also had the rest of the economic action plan that created over 600,000 new jobs. However, the hon. member and his friends keep voting against all these ways to help.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 9th, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment spent several days in Durban this week, at Canadians' expense, only to sabotage the Kyoto protocol.

Any reason is good enough to justify Canada's withdrawal from this agreement, even though it is vital to our planet and future generations. This minister is embedded in the tar sands. He wants to maintain the status quo whereas the rest of the world is moving forward to create a new energy economy.

Did the minister go to Durban just for the fossil award?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as we have said in this House many times this week, the Government of Canada supports the development of an agreement that would have all major emitters around the table see real change in GHG emissions.