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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Shipbuilding IndustryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we have heard from Britain's House of Commons that Britain and Canada have been in serious discussions regarding the joint building of naval ships. Yet, even as it negotiates giving away Canadian jobs to other countries, the government continues to claim that it is fully committed to the national shipbuilding strategy; a strategy that we fought very hard for.

As the MP for Halifax, where the Halifax Graving Dock Company started in 1889 and the shipyard continues on today as part of Irving Shipbuilding, I am proud of the rich history of shipbuilders and shipbuilding throughout the Maritimes. It only makes sense to keep building ships in Halifax. We have the workers, the capacity, the history and the know-how.

Shipyard workers said they do not trust the government. The Conservatives broke their word on shipbuilding tariffs, and the people of Halifax are worried they will break their word again.

The government must stop endangering the jobs of Canadians and risk losing a century of skills. It is time to stand up and fight to keep these jobs in Halifax.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, we would like to congratulate Canada's world cup cricket team, which gave England quite the scare this week with batsman Rizwan Cheema almost scoring a century. Best of luck in the weeks ahead.

Last year, our Conservative government welcomed the highest number of immigrants since 1957. Yet the Liberals cherry-pick statistics to say the numbers are going down, not up. I wish Liberals were not only in it for themselves.

Here are the facts. Conservatives increased economic immigration to historic highs. In 2011, we will help up to 65,000 mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and children immigrate here under the FC1 and FC4 family class programs. The Liberals, meanwhile, let backlogs expand and processing times explode.

Our Conservative government will continue to support immigration, including supporting cricket players in Canada, such as Rizwan Cheema and Tyson Gordon, while pursuing immigration policies that will attract the Canadian Sachin Tendulkar.

Louis RielStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the third Monday in February is devoted to the memory of Louis Riel, who was hanged by the Conservative government of John A. Macdonald following the North-West rebellion of the Métis.

The struggle by Riel and the Métis resulted in the founding of Manitoba. Defending the rights of his people cost Riel his life. The day after Riel's hanging, Honoré Mercier, future nationalist Premier of Quebec, said, “Riel, our brother, is dead, victim of his devotion to the cause of the Métis of which he was leader; ... victim of the fanatism of Sir John and of some other friends of his; for the blood on their hands will forever signify their cowardice and tarnish their legacy.”

Today the Bloc Québécois is honouring the memory of Riel and the battle fought by the Métis for the advent of democracy in French Canada.

Thank you, Louis Riel.

Homeless World Cup of SoccerStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's homeless population is somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000, and another 1.7 million struggle with housing affordability issues.

The Homeless World Cup of Soccer brings thousands of players together in a phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play soccer for their country and change their lives forever. Their courage, determination and tremendous human spirit to overcome obstacles should be an inspiration to us all.

Street Soccer Canada has been sending teams to the Homeless World Cup since 2004 and for the first time, will send a women's team, as well as a men's team.

I hope everyone in the House will join me in congratulating our Canadian stars in making it to the World Cup. I hope members will take the opportunity to play Team Canada here on Parliament Hill this summer and send a message that we need a national strategy to fight homelessness.

Sponsorship ProgramStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was also known as "adscam" or “sponsorgate”.

It has been over five years since Justice Gomery told Canadians the truth about the Liberals' shocking culture of deceit, entitlement and corruption in his report on the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

Canadians are still waiting for the Liberal Party to pay back the millions of dollars they stole from Canadian taxpayers in this disgusting breach of public trust. However, that has not stopped the man at the top from holding out his hand for another taxpayer funded payout.

Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien will receive a $25,000 court-ordered payday for having suffered the inconvenience of a hearing on the corruption that took place on his watch.

Thankfully the culture of deceit, entitlement and corruption of the Liberal government is a thing of the past.

I again ask on behalf of Canadian taxpayers, where is the $40 million?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, they have been called little white ones, they have been called big fat ones. Those who tell them are at risk of having their pants catch on fire.

What we know is that the Minister of International Cooperation is standing smack dab in the middle of one and we know that the Prime Minister refuses to do anything about it.

We have seen the contempt that has been shown for this place. We have seen the contempt that has been shown for truth.

The Prime Minister does not want to act. When will he fire the minister?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend from Cape Breton, we know no such thing.

Here is what we do know. We know that the minister made a difficult decision. She made a courageous decision to not provide a $7 million grant to this particular non-governmental organization because she felt that money could be better spent to help some of the world's most poor and vulnerable people.

The minister did the right thing.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, it has been easier getting Hosni Mubarak out of the presidential palace in Cairo than it is to get truth out of the government.

What we know is the minister responsible for CIDA has misled Canadians in this chamber. She underlined those misstatements when she appeared before the standing committee.

Canadians want truth from their government. When they do not get that they expect the Prime Minister to show some integrity, to show some leadership. When will he replace the minister?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here is what the Minister of International Cooperation said in this House:

--but ultimately the decision to not provide funding was mine, as Minister of International Cooperation.

The minister communicated her decision to the department. What the minister did is work tremendously hard to help the most vulnerable people in the world rather than to provide funding to this non-governmental organization.

She has been a real leader in Haiti. She has been a real leader in Afghanistan. She has been a real leader in helping Canada's commitment to double our aid to Africa.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been pretty quick to throw other ministers under the bus. The difference this time is that he has been driving the bus. His DNA is all over this crime scene.

He wanted to silence his critics. The big hand of the PMO comes down and it has a pen in it. That pen writes across the application “not”.

That is not what we want. We cannot put up with this. Does the Prime Minister put up with the minister because it was he who put her up to it in the first place?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I just read a quote from the minister. She said 11 times last year at a committee of this place that it was she, as Minister of International Cooperation, who made the decision.

She said in the House of Commons and again, I will repeat it for the member for Cape Breton—Canso:

--ultimately the decision to not provide funding was mine, as Minister of International Cooperation.

Let me say this. The minister made a difficult decision. She made a courageous decision. The minister made the right decision, to support the most vulnerable people in the world.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Voltaire said, approximately, “Lie, lie, there will always be something left.”

In the case of the Minister of International Cooperation, all she has left is her limousine. We know how she loves limousines and her seat at the cabinet table. That is also the case for the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, who might want to look in the mirror before accusing journalists of lying.

How can the Prime Minister tolerate such repugnant behaviour?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister was clear. She has not stopped repeating it. She said it 10 times before a House committee and she also said it before the House: she made the decision to not approve funding for this organization. The minister made a difficult decision, but the right one, in order to help the most vulnerable people in Africa.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve better than that. For most Canadians, honourable conduct is very different than the conduct of the Conservatives. The bad example comes from the top.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by sending these two ministers to do his dirty work he is trying the patience of our citizens even more? Perhaps he is choosing to act this way because he is so cynical that it is exactly what he wants.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all the case.

The minister made the decision to not fund this non-governmental organization. She decided to spend this money in Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan to help the most vulnerable, and she has done a fantastic job as minister over the past five years. It is very important to point out that my colleague's assertions are false.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is mounting pressure for the Minister of International Cooperation to resign. The three opposition parties have raised a question of privilege regarding the minister's misleading statements on the KAIROS file. Editorial writers and tens of thousands of citizens who have signed a petition are calling for her firing.

If the minister has any honour left, what is she waiting for to resign?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts: the minister made the difficult decision to refuse funding to this non-governmental organization. She told the House and the committee that she was the one who had made that decision, which I believe was the right one.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that on April 23, 2010, she said the exact opposite. She said that CIDA had made the decision and that she had approved it.

Despite public pressure and our repeated demands, the Prime Minister insists on keeping her as the Minister of International Cooperation.

Did the Prime Minister personally intervene to cancel the KAIROS funding? Was it his decision, and is that why he is keeping the minister?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister very clearly said that she was the one who made that decision. It cannot be more clear than that. She said it 11 times in committee and repeated it in the House.

I can repeat it again, for my dear Bloc colleague, that the minister made that decision herself. She was responsible for grants awarded by CIDA. She was responsible for decisions and she was the one who made them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 18th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative House leader knows very well that that is not true.

This government, which claims to be tough on criminals, still has not frozen the Ben Ali family's assets. Everyone knows that the former dictator pillaged and extorted money from the people of Tunisia for years. Now Tunisians are demanding justice and have asked Canada to freeze that crook's assets.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs realize that, by refusing to freeze Ben Ali's assets, he is sending a message to the dictators of the world that Canada is a safe haven for anyone who wants to escape justice?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, members of the Ben Ali regime are not welcome in Canada.

Canada is ready and willing to use all tools at our disposal, including working with the international community to support democracy in Tunisia.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Ben Ali family are expert money launderers and the Conservative government knows it. Every day of respite we give them is another opportunity for them to transfer their money to tax havens.

Does the government realize that its failure to act makes it an accomplice to those who stole from the people of Tunisia?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, our government is working with the Tunisian government on this issue. We have communicated to the Tunisian government clearly and on several occasions the specific information necessary for Canada to freeze any assets in Canada. The government of Tunisia has not yet responded to our request.

We remain committed to working co-operatively to bring justice for the people of Tunisia.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government House leader used the word “courageous” eight times during question period, once describing a wounded veteran, but seven times referring to the Minister of International Cooperation, and twice already today.

Let us see, “courage” is misleading a parliamentary committee and pretending bureaucrats recommended this decision.

Real courage is showing leadership, acknowledging a mistake and taking responsibility.

When will the government stop talking its mindless talking points and take responsibility for this gross misconduct?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my friend from Vancouver East that I reject the premise of her question.

The minister has been clear that she took the decision on behalf of her department. The minister is not one to go along just to get along. She is not afraid to take difficult decisions and I think she made a good decision in this regard.

Just because a non-governmental organization gets a grant from the government does not mean it has an entitlement to receive it in perpetuity.

The minister has done a lot to reform CIDA. She has done a lot to ensure that every single dollar allocated to support the most vulnerable in difficult and poor places on this earth can get the best result for the Canadian taxpayer.