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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, 3,000 jobs, the majority of which are in Quebec, are in jeopardy because Air Canada is transferring its technical services to Aveos, which could then move to El Salvador.

Why is the Minister of Finance not demanding that the letter and the spirit of the legislation be respected and that Air Canada maintain control of its operational and overhaul centres?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, long before this question hit the floor of the House of Commons and the Bloc finally woke up to this, we have been dealing with Air Canada on this for months. We wanted assurances. Are the jobs going to be secure? Will the maintenance facilities in Mississauga, Winnipeg and Montreal be maintained? Will the employees be saved? Will they have the same pension benefits, entitlements and so on? The answer is yes on all fronts.

To the Bloc, hello, wake up, that is the story. The members are finally cluing into it, but only now the facts come to light. We are way ahead of them on this one.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has been bragging for weeks about what it will accomplish on the environment and climate change. Yesterday we learned what it really meant. The government is gutting support to protect Canadians from pollution and climate change, removing funds for all the new parks it has been promising for years and slashing money to monitor health hazards all to pay for more prisons for first-time offenders.

Will the minister now stand up in the House and admit that the only difference between him and four failed predecessors is that his failure has been in a record short period of time?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I reject outright the outrageous premise of the question, but I thank my colleague because it gives me the opportunity to say that Environment Canada remains committed to initiatives and investments to ensure the health and safety of Canadians and their environment.

Departmental expenditures change from year to year, especially in a regulatory department like Environment Canada where a significant portion of funding is temporary in nature. My colleague will recognize our successful temporary programs like the economic action plan and the home retrofit.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I reject outright a Minister of the Environment who has rolled over and surrendered more resources more quickly than any other minister in the history of Canada, some $800 million in 60 days.

Energy prices are up an average of $200 in the past year per family, yet the government is cutting 100% of support for the home retrofit program intended to protect families.

Will the Minister of the Environment, who wrote off this program so publicly after two days on the job, now explain to seniors and working families who are trying to make ends meet why they are being abandoned so callously by the government?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I cannot accept the outrageous premise of my colleague's question.

Coming back to our highly successful temporary programs like the economic action plan, like the home retrofit program, or the Retire Your Ride program in my department, which took more than 120,000 older highly polluting vehicles and 4,000 tonnes of emissions off the road before our new greenhouse gas emission regulations came into effect, I would suggest my hon. colleague that he cool his jets and wait for the budget on March 22.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we will give the minister another try.

Clearly when it comes to air pollution and climate change, the only thing the government wants to cut is necessary funding. After Environment Canada revealed that the government would achieve only a quarter of its promised greenhouse gas reductions, the same government gutted climate change funding. Despite clear evidence of failed federal action on oil sands impacts, the government eviscerates budgets for clean air and water.

How can the government possibly defend these regressive actions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, again I cannot accept the premise of the question, but I can thank the member and remind her that we have a plan, unlike the Liberals who for 13 years achieved nothing on remedial action for climate change. Our plan is working.

With regard to the main estimates and our continuing commitment to Canadians and the safety of their environment, I say to the member, too, that she should cool her jets and wait for the budget on March 22.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is entitled to his opinion but not to his own facts.

Under the Conservatives, greenhouse gases are amongst the highest in the world, while spending on green energy solutions has been slashed. Last year the minister killed off the popular home retrofit program and scrapped support for renewable heat and green energy. Yesterday an additional $600 million was eliminated.

Meanwhile, the minister really took one for the team, cutting a full 1% from his limo budget. Is the only Conservative plan to fight climate change to have the minister walk a little more?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand the entire context of the member's question.

However, I can tell him that we are well on target to reducing greenhouse gases and meeting our 2020 target of a 17% reduction from our 2005 base year.

I would remind the member that Canada contributes barely 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions every year. We are engaged in encouraging the large emitters to join us in reducing those emissions.

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, Parliament has passed five straight successful budgets.

In that time our Conservative government has cut taxes for the average Canadian family by $3,000, rebuilt Canada's infrastructure, brought health care transfers to record highs and much more.

While the Liberal-led coalition wants to force an unnecessary election to impose a $6 billion tax hike, our government is focused on what really matter to Canadians: jobs and economic growth.

As we approach the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, would the minister inform Canadians when he will present budget 2011?

The BudgetOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic growth shows that the economic action plan is working.

Our economy has grown for six consecutive quarters with over 460,000 new jobs created since July 2009. While these are positive signs, the global recovery remains uncertain and there is more to do.

I am pleased to request the designation of an order of the day to present budget 2011, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 4 p.m.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister.

Thousands of good-quality jobs in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal are at risk. While the Prime Minister is being silent, the act is very clear in terms of Air Canada, and I quote:

—the Corporation shall...maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg—

including in Mississauga and Montreal.

Why is the Prime Minister not holding Air Canada accountable and making it abide by the law?

Air CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reassure him that in Mississauga, and in that other place he could not remember, the jobs are secure.

That is why, back in October and November, during the hearings on the future of how they would be structured and the opening of the sites in Mississauga, Winnipeg and Montreal, the assurances we received from Air Canada were that not only were all employees going to continue to be hired but also that they would have the same wages, the same pensions, the same entitlements. They would have the option of staying in Air Canada or going over to Aveos, but more importantly, no jobs would be lost and those maintenance facilities will stay open.

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the Conservatives promised to be transparent, we have learned that they are quietly trying to amend the rules concerning government contracts to allow the National Capital Commission to award contracts without a tendering process. Each year, tens of millions of dollars' worth of contracts could be awarded without a tendering process, at the whim of NCC executives and the minister responsible.

Does the government plan to make the NCC a Conservative slush fund so that the party can reward friends of the regime here in the Ottawa Valley?

National Capital CommissionOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all the case. In fact, I would like to ask my hon. colleague, as well as the members of his coalition, to fast-track the bill that many people in the greater Ottawa Valley area and the greater national capital region have been impatiently awaiting for years. We would like to see it passed as soon as possible.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, regional economic development agencies are at the forefront in strengthening local economies and fighting the effects of the recession.

However, we learned yesterday that the Conservatives are planning to slash their budgets. These cuts will hurt communities across Canada, but the damage will be the worst in the west. Western Economic Diversification alone is taking a 50% hit to its funding. That is less money for badly needed jobs, less for infrastructure, less for trade and tourism and less for small business.

With families and businesses still struggling, why has the government abandoned job-creating investments in the communities that need them the most?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, we were given the responsibility in my department of delivering the key economic action plan initiatives for the west. Through the RInC and CAF programs, we delivered programs in communities in all four provinces. These were temporary projects designed to create jobs through the economic downturn. Since July 2009, we have created 460,000 jobs across the country.

What hurts the west is that party, which voted against our economic action plan.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

March 2nd, 2011 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, crooked immigration consultants are abusing Canada's immigration system.

Today in Halifax the RCMP charged an allegedly crooked immigration consultant for allegedly helping people gain Canadian citizenship illegally.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please tell the House the steps the Conservative government is taking to crack down on crooked immigration consultants?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we do have the cracking down on crooked consultants act, which is now before the Senate. We encourage the opposition to co-operate in its speedy passage.

The charges today relate to the facilitation of some 1,100 apparent violations of the Citizenship Act. This is where an unscrupulous consultant, for pay, will manufacture evidence of residency in Canada. We require people to live here for three years before they obtain citizenship.

We are taking firm action to defend the integrity of our citizenship law and our citizenship system. Because citizenship in Canada has such a great value, we will defend that value.

Question PeriodPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, it turns out that, in addition to today's robust debate during question period, the Liberal member for Brossard—La Prairie used her Blackberry to take a flash photograph in the direction of a member of cabinet while answering questions in the House, the gallery above us and, in fact, Mr. Speaker, a flash photograph of you while you were busy presiding over the affairs of the House.

As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, the taking of photos by members in the House is not in order at any time and I would ask that you would remind the member for Brossard—La Prairie of the rules of this place.

Question PeriodPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

I am really sorry, Mr. Speaker. I was trying to get the windows and the top of your chair. I will erase them. If you want proof, I will show them to you.

Question PeriodPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

She is covering it up.

Question PeriodPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

I am not covering anything up.

Question PeriodPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!