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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

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, is accountability a meaningless concept? Is answering a question actually beneath the Conservatives?

We have become accustomed to the Conservatives' methods, the promises of openness followed by secrecy, promises of transparency followed by withholding crucial financial information, promises to close revolving doors for lobbyists followed by unprecedented access to ministers, and now condoning of unethical behaviour.

Will the Conservatives grow up and take responsibility for these mistakes?

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 is this government that brought in the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history. It clamped down and made major reforms to the lobbyists registry, made major reforms to eliminate the influence of big money, and made major reforms to ensure that we had an independent Ethics Commissioner who did not simply work as a staffer in the PMO, something that was absent in the 13 long years of the previous Liberal government.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, ever since Embassy magazine uncovered the doctored document exposing the minister's sneaky conduct, Conservatives have concluded that twisted talking points, not honesty, was the best policy.

CIDA officials recommended funding KAIROS because it was devoted to helping others, defending human rights and helping build democracy. Yet Conservatives cut funding to organizations like KAIROS, based on ideology not aid effectiveness.

When will the government acknowledge that foreign aid should be based on good policy and effective work? When will it reinstate KAIROS' funding?

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, I think the minister has been very clear that she was the one who took the decision with respect to not providing the $7 million grant to an organization.

Let me read a quote from her deputy, the president of CIDA, a well-respected public servant, who said:

This is quite normal, and I certainly was aware of her decision. The inclusion of the word “not“ is just a simple reflection of what her decision was—

I do not know what kind of stand the New Democrat Party would like to take, but in this party and this government, elected officials make decisions, and that is the way it should be.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is serious enough that the Minister of International Cooperation falsified documents and misled the House, but it is even more disturbing to see who the minister attacked with her fraudulent ways.

Since 1967, Development and Peace has undertaken nearly 14,000 projects and delivered over $440 million in international aid. Denying funding to KAIROS hurts Development and Peace.

What do the Conservatives have against Development and Peace?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government is working to make sure that aid is efficient, effective and focused.

We want to ensure that our assistance is getting into the hands of those who need it the most. Our aid effectiveness agenda is focusing assistance on food security, children and youth, and sustainable economic development.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the tsunami in Indonesia, Development and Peace helped rebuild 3,000 victims' homes. Nearly half of Development and Peace's aid goes to South America, more than one-third goes to Africa and the rest goes primarily to Asia. Canadians did not give anyone the mandate to abandon the poorest people in the world.

How can the Conservatives have the gall to attack an organization of such merit and, on top of it all, commit fraud to do it?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, our government is working to make sure that aid is getting to the people who need it the most.

I would like to tell the House about some of the amazing projects that we are working on. Last week I announced the international aboriginal youth internships initiative. Each year, 140 Canadian aboriginal youth will have the opportunity to work in developing countries on Canadian-supported development projects with recognized organizations. That is getting the job done.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the House leader's claim, the Conservatives are taking foreign aid away from the poorest of the poor and giving it to the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Barrick Gold, Canada's largest and wealthiest mining company, with a market capitalization of $47 billion, is the happy beneficiary of a half billion dollar corporate social responsibility grant in Peru.

Is that what the House leader had in mind when he said that the KAIROS decision was based on focusing limited funds to help the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in the developing world?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the opportunity to clean up something that he misled the House about last week.

Barrick Gold has received absolutely no money from the Canadian government or CIDA. The pilot project to which the member refers started in 2009. It is putting local Peruvians to work as part of a reforestation program. Barrick Gold has contributed over $150,000 to this project, and we would like to see more companies get involved in corporate social responsibility.

We welcome support from Canadian companies that want to help the world's poor.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a wonderful example of reverse Robin Hood.

Sudan just went through a painful and bitter and, some would say, genocidal separation of northern and southern Sudan. KAIROS has been there for years attempting to bring peace and democracy. Just as the people of Southern Sudan embraced peace and democracy, the CIDA minister, at the direction of the Prime Minister, cut KAIROS' funding and KAIROS was forced to close its office and abandon Sudan.

Is this just one more example of what the House leader had in mind when he said that the KAIROS decision was based on helping the poorest of the poor?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I reiterate that our government is working to make sure that aid is efficient, effective and focused. We want to ensure that every assistance dollar that we put out there is getting into the hands of those who need it the most.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the obscene subsidies given to the oil companies by the Conservatives are making taxpayers in Quebec and in the rest of Canada sick. According to a major poll, the majority of people are calling for an end to these tax gifts. Public funds should instead be used to reduce our dependence on oil.

When will this government stop sparing the oil companies? When will it require them to pay their fair share of taxes?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, again, the Bloc Québécois is trying to be divisive on energy policy. It is important to realize that, with the oil sands and its energy resources, Canada can be an energy superpower, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country. It is no secret that the energy sector will help the economy to grow and rebound in the years to come.

Government SpendingOral Questions

February 18th, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to helping the oil companies, which already earn indecent profits, the Conservatives are paying close attention to Ontario automobile manufacturers, which are once again asking for public money. But the Conservatives just gave them $10 billion.

When will the Conservatives realize that it is now Quebec's turn to get its share and that it is time to help the sectors that have too often been abandoned, like the forestry and aerospace industries, or, more generally, Quebec's manufacturing industry?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, they are completely disconnected. Canada Economic Development is more active than ever in our regions. We have never seen anything like it. In the forestry industry, there was $1 billion for the community development trust, $1 billion for the community assistance fund. The members opposite voted against this and I still hear them screaming. How ineffective can they be? There was $1 billion for pulp and paper green transformation programs, an announcement at Tembec in Matane and an announcement at Domtar in Windsor.

They have the audacity to stroll around their ridings and take credit for our measures, and then they come crying here for no reason.

Davie ShipyardOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes time to help businesses in the west and Ontario, the Conservative government answers the call. But when it comes to Quebec businesses, the Conservatives create roadblocks.The Superior Court has given the Davie shipyard an extension in order to restructure, but this week the Conservatives amended the largest request for proposals in the history of Canadian shipbuilding to keep the company from bidding.

Why is the government doing everything possible to try to prevent the Lévis-based shipyard from bidding?

Davie ShipyardOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the Davie shipyard is welcome to bid on these contracts. We obviously encourage that, but companies that are doing business with the Government of Canada do have to be solvent. That is a requirement to be able to bid on these contracts.

Davie ShipyardOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives got elected by saying that being in government was the way to be heard. However, the people of Lévis are realizing that their member, a Conservative, is not able to guarantee that Quebec will get its share of shipbuilding contracts. What is worse, they are realizing that he is part of a government that is trying to push Lévis aside and favour the shipyards in Halifax and Vancouver.

Why did the Conservatives amend the request for proposals at the last minute just to hurt this shipyard in Lévis?

Davie ShipyardOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, this is a very competitive process, but it is an open, fair and transparent process that is under way, and it is arm's length.

Importantly, there is an independent fairness monitor who has just issued a draft report. He has stated that, in his opinion, the decisions that have been made have been made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and they encompass the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance. That is exactly how we will continue to run this process.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, less than two weeks after the Prime Minister claimed border integration between Canada and the United States, he has already failed Canadians twice.

First, President Obama introduced a $5.50 border tax for Canadian travellers, and now in the U.S. Congress a proposed freight fee that would cost importers and exporters over $100 million a day. That is over $40 billion a year. We Canadians are being asked to fix the American deficit.

How did the Conservatives screw this up so fast?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first let me be very clear that this is a proposed bill and is not law and it is a very bad idea, just like the passenger inspection fee proposed in the draft 2012 budget.

We want to ensure that trade and travel between our countries is easier, not more difficult. We will do everything we can as a government to make sure that happens.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, they are the ones who want this agreement.

The United States is in the midst of a debt crisis and that is only the tip of the iceberg. Despite this, a Conservative senator is proposing a sort of integration that would include a joint assembly, like the European Union.

Do Canadians want their policies to be dictated by the Tea Party and the Republicans? Will the Conservatives be able to tell the difference between co-operation and assimilation?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we want to ensure that trade and travel between our two countries is made easier, not more difficult. This kind of a tax would have harmful and negative long-lasting effects on trade that is vital to the economies on both sides of the border. It is one of the reasons why our government has been clear that we will not raise taxes in the upcoming federal budget, unlike the hon. member opposite.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister continues to show his contempt for Parliament and for the Canadians who send us here by refusing to table the real cost estimates for his Conservative government's crime legislation.

Take, for example, Bill S-9, the auto theft bill. The documents tabled yesterday say it would only cost $600,000. That is only enough money to incarcerate roughly seven more criminals each year. That is not only ridiculous, it is an insult to the intelligence of Canadians.

Why is the government hiding the real cost of this legislation from taxpayers?