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House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Health Council of Canada released its 2011 progress report and the conclusion is very clear. The government failed to make progress because it failed to show leadership.

Conservatives stalled altogether on a cost-saving national prescription drug program, failing Canadians who are now facing extraordinary drug costs.

Will the government acknowledge its lack of progress and commit to working with New Democrats to protect Canada's health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with my colleague for the next four years.

Our government recognizes the importance of timely access to health care and is working to support the provinces and the territories in their efforts to address the issue of wait times, as an example.

We have increased the transfers to the provinces by over 33% since we formed government, so that the provinces and territories can continue to focus in areas of importance.

We will work collaboratively with the provinces and territories to renew the health care accord and to continue to reduce wait times in their respective jurisdictions.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, health care is far too important for just empty rhetoric and Canadians are very tired of false promises. Leading into the 2014 health care negotiations, now is the time to bring in much needed improvements.

Will the government commit to holding open consultations with Canadians, so that the next accord reflects their values and priorities for health care in this country?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we are looking forward to working with the provinces and territories to renew the health accord and to continue to address the area of wait times, as an example, while respecting the fact that health care is delivered by and is under the jurisdiction of the provinces.

Our discussions will emphasize the importance of accountability and results for Canadians, including better reporting from the provinces and territories to measure progress and guarantees covering additional medically necessary procedures.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, after last week's throne speech, we learned that the government is about to disband the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, which, since 2004, has been examining the legislation, programs and policies that affect Canadian women from all walks of life.

Can the Minister for Status of Women reassure this House that the committee will definitely remain active throughout the 41st Parliament?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as it is my first time getting up in the House in our four year majority mandate, I would like to thank the constituents of Edmonton—Spruce Grove for re-electing me. They are hard-working Canadians who want us to focus on job creation and balancing the budget.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague and all the women who have been elected to Parliament in the last election.

I can assure members opposite that I will be working collaboratively with all women in the House, including those who sit on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, to improve the lives of women all across this country.

LibyaOral Questions

June 6th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, when the government announced the beginning of Canada's participation in the mission in Libya it said it was an effort to protect civilians. Subsequently, there has been some confusion about the mission's objectives.

We are wondering if the Minister of Foreign Affairs could confirm that in fact the objectives of the mission remain unchanged to protect civilians, and that in any subsequent extension of the mission there will not be a change in the clear objectives of the mission and, for example, the military footprint will not change, including a commitment not to put Canadian forces on the ground in Libya.

LibyaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member for Beauséjour on his re-election and on his appointment as foreign affairs critic. I look forward to working with him on advancing the principles of Canadian foreign policy that express Canadian values right around the world.

There is no change in the military mission. The military mission was approved by the United Nations through resolutions 1970 and 1973 to protect the civilian population from attacks by Gadhafi's forces.

I look forward to debating an extension of that mission with the member and all members of the House in short order.

LibyaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, France and Italy have recognized the Libyan National Council as that country's legitimate government.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs clarify Canada's position on this?

LibyaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in Canada we recognize states, not particular governments.

We do look forward to working with the council throughout the Canadian mission in Libya. It has a very important role to play in the future of Libya.

The G8 leaders at their summit in Deauville did say at a political level that Colonel Gadhafi must go. That is an important political objective. We can work closely with the transitional council on this important objective.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has cost Canada some $300 million to close Camp Mirage in the UAE. We now learn that the Minister of National Defence is planning to open a base in Kuwait, some 400 miles further away from Afghanistan.

Will the minister tell Canadian taxpayers how much this reopening will cost in addition to the already $300 million sunk because of a turf war between the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the new defence critic for the Liberal Party and assure him that relations between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are on good terms.

I can also tell the member that his figures are completely wrong. Those numbers are completely false. What we have done, obviously, is to make arrangements to have logistic hubs in parts of the Middle East that allow us to continue the logistic support for the ongoing mission in Afghanistan. That is the intention of the department, nothing more than that.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, throughout 2009 and most of 2010, the Prime Minister repeatedly told Canadians that our military forces were leaving Afghanistan in 2011 in accordance to the resolution of the House. When the Minister of National Defence mused about extending the mission, he was quickly corrected by the Prime Minister's Office.

But in reality, as early as March 2009 the government had put all options back on the table despite what the Prime Minister was telling Parliament at the same time.

Why did the Prime Minister not tell Canadians the truth about his plans for Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that the Prime Minister has always told the truth on this issue.

I believe the member for St. John's East is talking about leaks that are not of Canadian origin and the government has a policy not to comment on such leaks.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are right to question the government's promises on Afghanistan.

For over a year the Conservatives repeatedly denied being pressured to extend our military mission by the United States, yet we now know the Americans made a formal request for Canada to extend the mission in 2009. Instead of saying “no”, the government just asked them to have patience.

How can we trust a Prime Minister who says one thing to Canadians and another to the American government?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the member for St. John's East knows full well, we have been open and transparent about Canada's involvement in the mission in Afghanistan.

We have debated this issue a number of times here in the House of Commons. We take the member's questions on a regular basis and I look forward to doing so in the coming session of Parliament.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is about to invest $35 billion in a maritime strategy that could create jobs in all shipyards across the country. What should be good news is worrying shipyard workers because foreign companies like BEA Systems want their piece of the pie. The NDP raised these concerns several times last winter.

Can the government now confirm that Canadian shipyards will be the only beneficiaries, the only shipbuilders in this maritime strategy?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when the government made the historic decision to build the ships that our navy and Coast Guard needed right here in Canada, what that meant was more than 75 million man hours of work for the shipbuilding industry and for the manufacturing sector over the coming decade.

This is a competitive, open, transparent process between several shipyards. At the end of the day, two shipyards will be chosen to do a great deal of work on behalf of the shipbuilding industry, but there will be shipyards and manufacturing sectors all across this country that will benefit from those jobs.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is just the problem. The government says, “Trust us on jobs, trust us on this file”, but the reality is that it has been playing politics with this issue.

With this much money and jobs on the line, Canadians must see that there is a smart overall strategy that puts forward the strength of each of our shipbuilding regions in B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Will the government stop the political games and look to use the strength of every shipbuilding region of our country in these contracts, so that all Canadians could benefit from this strategy?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the process that is under way is at arm's-length from the government through what is called the shipbuilding secretariat.

We have created an open, fair, transparent and very competitive process. This process includes not only independent oversight provided by KPMG but also a fairness monitor and an international third party marine expert that is evaluating these bids to ensure the fairness, openness and transparency of the process.

At the end of the day, this is a very competitive process. Again, this will create 75 million man hours of work across this country.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, today is tax freedom day, the day Canadians start working for themselves after paying off all the taxes they owe to all levels of government.

Unlike the tax and spend opposition, we do not believe Canadian families should pay high taxes. That is why since 2006, our government has reduced the overall federal tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years.

In the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, we will build on that record.

Could the Minister of State for Finance please inform the House how much earlier tax freedom day is today compared to where it was before we formed government?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the new member for New Brunswick Southwest in this hallowed House.

The member, of course, understands quite a bit about taxes. That is why we are actually celebrating today the fact that tax freedom day is 20 days sooner than in 2005. I think we all know why that is. It is because we have reduced over 120 different taxes. We have reduced the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. I could go on and on about the reasons—

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues to shake the confidence of federal public servants. Threats of blind cuts are looming in the national capital region. Today we learn that the government has already increased the use of vulnerable temporary workers by 100%.

Why does the Conservative government prefer using cheap labour over paying its public servants properly?

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member to this place and I also thank the electorate of Parry Sound—Muskoka for allowing me to be in this place.

The issues that the hon. member refers to involve merely 1% of total payroll expenditures. Of course, we use temporary help when it is crucial to ensure the delivery of services to all Canadians that are needed to meet unexpected circumstances, fluctuations in workload and special expertise. Those are the things that help us deliver services to Canadians and that is why we are proud to do it.