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House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libyan.

Topics

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, with the global economy still fragile and too many Canadians still out of work, our government's top priority remains completing the economic recovery.

Our low tax plan to create jobs and economic growth is working, yet the NDP continues to promote its job-killing policies. The NDP wants to shut down Canadian industries and put people out of work.

Canada's oil sands are a proven strategic resource that creates jobs and economic opportunity in all provinces and regions in the country. The Keystone pipeline project will contribute to job creation and energy security in both Canada and the United States.

Our government will continue to promote Canada and the oil sands as a stable, secure and ethical source of energy for the world. The NDP is all too willing to abandon Canada's interests and sacrifice Canadian jobs. These job-killing policies are yet another worrying example that the NDP is not—

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Oral questions, the hon. member for Outremont.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year the Prime Minister released an important document entitled “Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State”. Could the Prime Minister tell us if it is within the guidelines for a minister to run government funding out of his constituency office? Is it within the guidelines to have inaccurate and incomplete information provided to the Auditor General? Also, is it within the guidelines to have ministers interfere in spending reviews?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters to Canadians, and that would be jobs and the economy, not the mud-slinging by the opposition.

Let me say again that the facts have not changed. This issue has been thoroughly aired. The Auditor General had all the government information. There is nothing more to add.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the refusal to respond to the facts is telling. It is even more telling than the President of the Treasury Board's silence. Information continues to trickle out about the misappropriation of G8 funds. Access to information requests, searches and thorough research on our part were needed to begin to see the full extent of the minister's misbehaviour more clearly. We know that the Auditor General never received all of the necessary information.

The Conservatives are saying that they have nothing to hide. If such is the case, I would imagine that the Prime Minister would agree that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics should shed some light on the whole issue.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again let me say that the government has nothing to add because the facts have not changed. This matter has been thoroughly aired. The Auditor General had all the information that was required.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the minutes from meetings on the G8 legacy fund, the President of the Treasury Board told local mayors “...budgets in addition to the basic G8 Summit Management Office Budget must first be determined by the Prime Minister's Office”.

Can the Prime MInister tell us how his office was the one determining budgets for a local slush fund? How was his office involved in diverting money from the border fund to help the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka get re-elected?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat what I said. Our government is focused on what matters to Canadians. That is jobs and the economy, not the mud-slinging by the opposition. Again, the facts have not changed. There is nothing more to add to that.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Muskoka minister had many schemes for funnelling money into his riding under the pretext of the G8.

One scheme involved building a massive hockey arena and then telling everybody it would be used as a media centre. When the OPP raised questions about this pet project on security grounds, what was his reaction? The minister told local mayors that it was good news that the Prime Minister was filled with fury at police for daring to raise questions about security at an international summit.

Will the member explain why the Prime Minister was so furious at officials who were not willing to rubber-stamp his every whim?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of good news from the infrastructure funding in that area. Again, let me say quite clearly that our government is focused on what matters to Canadians, and that would be jobs and the economy. The facts have not changed. There is nothing to say. This issue has been thoroughly aired.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives have to bring in foreign affairs to cover up for the President of the Treasury Board, the fact is very clear that they have some serious explaining to do.

For example, they spent $21 million on an Olympic-size hockey arena complete with a swimming pool that they tried to pass off as an international media centre which was never used. Also, the minister told local mayors that he would intervene with bureaucrats if they tried to check on the funding.

We know what the minister was trying to hide, but what is not so clear is why the Prime Minister was so personally furious when officials stepped in. What is it that the Prime Minister was trying to hide? When is the government going to come clean for the member's refusal to--

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has nothing to hide. The facts have not changed. This matter has been thoroughly aired. The Auditor General had all the information that was needed. Let me tell the member again that that this government is focused on jobs and the economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

September 26th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Finance a question.

I know he has returned from Washington and from other discussions about the international situation. It seems pretty clear in listening to the debate and discussion that many, including the president of the IMF herself and others, have talked about the risk of too much austerity at a time when there is a genuine and real risk of a deep recession taking hold not only in Europe but across the developed world.

Does the minister not realize there is an equal risk to the dangers that cuts and austerity can pose to the chances of recovery?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government continues to be focused on jobs and the economy. The world economic situation is fragile. We are seeing some weakening of global economic growth. Canada, of course, is relatively well positioned. Our economic fundamentals are strong. Our fiscal fundamentals are strong. In fact, we are the envy of most of the other countries in the G7 and for that matter in the G20.

Having said that, at the G20 summit in Toronto, the leaders agreed that we would carefully calibrate what needs to be done by individual countries.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am trying to understand exactly what the Minister of Finance is trying to say.

Clearly, Canada, like the United States and Europe, is not immune to these problems. The president of the International Monetary Fund spoke clearly about the danger of excessive restraint. The Bank of Montreal economist said the same thing: we must not smother economic growth.

Can the Minister of Finance explain why there is no economic program or why there has been no discussion here in the House of Commons in this regard?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is just the opposite, of course. There are a number of initiatives that our government is involved in with the public sector and private sector in Canada now. We continue work sharing. We have a new hiring credit for small business. I hope that the opposition parties, including the third party, would support these initiatives in the second budget implementation bill. We are continuing with our tax reductions which stimulate the creation of jobs in Canada.

Having said all of that, different countries will respond in their unique circumstances. We will be flexible and pragmatic in Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would certainly be a refreshing change.

I would like to ask a question of the Minister of the Environment. It is very clear the government has a policy that promotes the development of the oil sands and promotes the export of the oil from the oil sands. What is not clear--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Wait for it; don't applaud too soon.

Mr. Speaker, what is not clear is that we have a policy with respect to sustainability. Could the minister tell us, why is it that the government has failed to develop a coherent approach on climate change, on the reduction of greenhouse gases and on producing a truly sustainable policy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I assure my hon. colleague that cleaner air, cleaner water and active stewardship of our great natural spaces remain key priorities of this government, even in times of fiscal restraint.

I would inform my colleague that according to the World Health Organization, Canada ranks third in the world in terms of air quality. This is something all Canadians can take pride in. We take pride in our regulatory approach to greenhouse gases. We are moving forward sector by sector.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project is a complete no-brainer. The problem is that, too often, the Conservatives act without their brains. The government did not use its brain before deciding to support a project that will harm our environment, our economy and our energy security.

Will the government listen to Canadians and think before saying yes to Keystone?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 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, we know that the oil sands are a proven strategic resource for Canada and that they provide jobs right across the country. The Keystone XL pipeline is going to contribute to job creation and energy security both here and in the United States.

Our government is going to continue to promote the oil sands as a stable, secure and ethical source of energy for the world.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is really disappointing to hear that the government has one set of rules for its oil industry friends and another set of rules for the rest of us. How else can the minister justify a project that adds more greenhouse gas emissions to the oil sands, which are already growing so fast they are overwhelming any emission savings coming from other sectors? Why the double standard?

When will the minister finally stand up for Canadians and say no to this misguided project?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 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 NDP members should stop taking the side of the extremists who want to kill Canadian jobs. They have made it clear they want to shutter new development of the oil sands. They are willing to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

They can go outside and join with those dozens of protestors, but we are going to stand with the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who depend on the oil sands.