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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government's record on national defence speaks for itself. On average, the budget for this important department has risen by $1 billion every year since 2006.

Obviously, just as Canadians are tightening their belts with regard to the situation this country faced in the global downturn, and as this government moves to achieve operational efficiencies, there will be a strategic review of some costs in National Defence and they will be reported to the House in due course.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly 7,000 civilian and military personnel at CFB Valcartier want to know if the Conservatives plan to cut their budget. While several regions of Canada desperately need help from our soldiers, particularly to deal with natural disasters, the soldiers themselves are dealing with limited human and material resources.

How can the government even consider more cuts? Can the Minister of National Defence assure the people of my region that there will be no cuts to CFB Valcartier?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, once again, in the context of the strategic review of government spending, of course there will be cuts to the National Defence operating budget.

However, for this important department, the facts speak for themselves: an additional $1 billion in spending every year since 2006 is the most important part of this government's record when it comes to National Defence.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge problem deserves to be taken seriously. The bridge is regularly partially closed and as a result Quebeckers spend more time on the road, arrive late for work and lose precious time with their families. It is a veritable nightmare. This situation is wasting Quebeckers' time and money. In the Conservative budget, replacing the Champlain Bridge was totally ignored.

Will this government stand up for Quebeckers once and for all? Can the minister immediately commit to providing the necessary funding for replacing the Champlain Bridge?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. He has been a member of Parliament for the Montreal area for many years. In fact, the Liberals were in government for many years and could have started the work.

We have started the work. We have invested several million dollars to repair the bridge and to continue to ensure the safety of the bridge. In this week's budget, we announced $228 million for continuing the work. What is more, all the options are on the table.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The government announced a $57 million cut to DFO and the loss of 275 jobs. The fishing industry, which does so much to drive the economy of Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coastal communities, deserves to know the details. These cuts will hurt economically, will diminish research capacity and will pose a safety issue.

Will the government be up front and provide the details on these massive cuts?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, a strategic review was an opportunity for the department to assess the performance of all of its programs. This also allows us to ensure that we are responding to the priorities of Canadians. We have a responsibility to do that and a mandate to do that from Canadians. We must ensure the government programs are efficient, effective and achieving the expected results for Canadians.

We believe that DFO is at a critical juncture.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, as we have just heard, the media reports now confirm that the Conservative government is closing down the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am absolutely shocked at what I just heard in QP. The minister just said, “No way will it impact safety. Efficiencies will be achieved through closing this call centre”. I have never heard a distress centre being called a call centre in my life. Nobody has. Achieving efficiencies was in the budget.

Could the minister please show us in this budget, where that—

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, new communications technologies exist that now permit search and rescue call centre employees to provide the same high-quality service from a central position.

We have an obligation to Canadians. It was clear, and we will go forward with our obligations to provide cost-saving measures that will protect Canadian investments.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fight for a climate change plan in Canada has an unlikely ally, the loyal executives at Suncor. They agree that the government's piecemeal approach to regulating emissions is expensive and ineffective.

The government has always had an open door policy for oil executives. Will the minister now commit to dropping his expensive and ineffective approach and introduce a legally binding plan to combat emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that my colleague is expressing concern for a fine Alberta industry that creates so many jobs and generates such great wealth for the Canadian economy.

As my colleague knows full well, we have a plan and the plan is working. We addressed transportation emissions first. We moved on to the coal-fired electricity generating sector, and we are about to begin consultations with other heavy emitters, including the oil and gas sector.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government does not understand that its plan is a failure. Canada is far from meeting its international commitments on climate change. In fact, Canada will not even meet its own targets. And to think that most federal greenhouse gas reduction programs will end in 2012.

When will we have a long-term plan to fight climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true.

We have a plan and that plan is working. Indeed, the emissions are getting heavier. What we will do to deal with that is to decouple the increase in emissions from the productivity and profitability of the various resource generation sectors.

We have a plan. We are a quarter of our way toward achieving our 2020 goals. We will meet those targets.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline study and considers it to be, and I quote, “inadequate”. Close to one million more barrels of crude oil will be transported by this pipeline. According to the agency, this will increase greenhouse gas emissions associated with the oil sands.

Can the minister confirm these facts and provide any studies on greenhouse gas emissions and the Keystone pipeline?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the National Energy Board is a strong independent regulator that ensures pipeline safety. It is mandated to ensure the safety and the security of pipelines from when they are first proposed until they are abandoned.

Canada and the U.S. trade oil, natural gas and electricity across our boarders every day. The Keystone XL pipeline will provide a substantial economic benefit to Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government just does not get it. Canada has lost its credibility. The U.S.A. is doing more due diligence on greenhouse gases from Canada's oil sands than the Canadian government has done in five years.

Instead of hiring PR teams to give a good name to the oil sands abroad, will the government regulate absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, that is a mixed question with a couple of subjects there.

While the opposition continues to bash Canada abroad and here in terms of the way we handle energy, our government will continue to defend the Canadian economy, continue to defend Canadian resources and continue to defend Canadian jobs, and we will not apologize for it.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, today marks World Oceans Day, a time when we recognize the importance of maintaining the health of a marine environment and its resources. The Conservative government takes this issue very seriously. We are committed to the preservation of Canada's fragile ocean environment.

Would the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans please inform this House about recent progress to advance this effort?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley on his recent re-election.

Healthy oceans and their role in the economic and social life for our country are critically important. This is why earlier today I was pleased to announce three new candidate marine protected areas on the east coast and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as a strategy for protecting the important corals and sponge reefs on our Pacific coast.

Today's announcements complement the eight marine areas which the government has protected since 2006, as well as our investments in science, the Coast Guard and sustainable fisheries.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's plan to help the residents of the Montérégie region in dealing with the flooding has been, in a word, pathetic.

After withdrawing the troops on the eve of floods becoming worse, the public safety minister said in a letter that the army could not stay there for the cleanup because, and get this, it would be unfair competition for the private sector.

Will the government finally accept Quebec's request to have troops assist volunteers and residents to clean up from this historic disaster?

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces are on the ground within 24 hours of each provincial request. Over 800 soldiers, sailors and air personnel have helped with dyke reinforcement, sandbagging, protection of infrastructure and houses, maintenance of the central roads and evacuations of civilians from flood ravaged areas.

The Canadian Forces have worked side-by-side with the provincial authorities during these crises to protect our citizens, property and infrastructure. The Canadian Forces is always ready to step in in response to emergencies.

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, thousands of Quebeckers will converge on Saint-Jean to help the disaster victims. This solidarity was also part of what we experienced during the Saguenay floods and the ice storm. Unfortunately, it is not shared by the Conservative government, even though it is responsible for representing all Canadians, including Quebeckers who voted for the NDP.

Will the government stand in solidarity with the disaster victims and allow Canadian troops to help with the cleanup?

Flooding in MontérégieOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces will remain in these regions during these emergencies to assist civil authorities until their unique capabilities are no longer required.

Every member of the House should be proud of the outstanding job the Canadian Forces have done in Quebec, in Manitoba and, most recently, in Saskatchewan to protect Canadians in danger.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

June 8th, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite Conservatives claiming that the HST would be good for the people of British Columbia, an independent panel commissioned by the B.C. government revealed that families will pay an average of $350 more in sales tax under the HST, and the promised cost reductions for businesses have yet to be realized.

Could the minister explain to the House if he still thinks the tax is good for the people of British Columbia?