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House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan and Canada's fiscal approach have been praised by observers around the world.

It is not as the leader of the Liberal Party would suggest. In fact, we are running a very expansionary fiscal policy right now, but we are obviously undertaking good management and some modest savings to ensure that as the economy recovers, we will in fact balance our budget and retain our fiscal advantage.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the position I just shared is not my personal view. It is the position clearly expressed by Ms. Cooper, and one that is shared by many other observers who see that this government's activities are doing nothing to help economic growth.

We are not asking for a response for us, but rather for those who are talking about the contraction in the United States and in Europe and the problems that exist in Canada. Why can we not get a different answer from the government?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of analysts who have examined our plan support our approach. It is a very expansionary approach now, with an expansionary fiscal policy. Clearly, we need to save money in order to achieve a balanced budget once the economy begins to grow again. It is crucial that we retain our fiscal advantage.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the President of the Treasury Board, we know very well that he can twitter. We know very well that he can tweet. What we also know is that he cannot get up on his feet.

That is the problem we have with respect to the accountability that we see today from the minister.

The Prime Minister has allowed an absurd situation to be created where the minister who is responsible for the public spending of Canada is not able to respond to an issue that is as clear as clear can be with respect to the activities that went on in Muskoka in preparation for the G8—

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker this issue has been thoroughly aired.

The Auditor General thoroughly examined all of the spending, and while she suggested some process improvements, we have noted that all of the money has been accounted for and went for projects that were approved.

I would think that the Liberal Party, having run an entire campaign, the worst in its history, on this issue and having been drubbed so badly, would decide that now is probably not the time to keep talking about politics in this way.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the President of the Treasury Board broke the rules, he was also breaking the Prime Minister's own guidelines for cabinet ministers.

When the media starting asking about how he was trying to pass off a $21 million Olympic hockey arena complete with a swimming pool as a media centre, he intervened with the local mayor and said, “Do not talk to the media until we talk and get our lines converged”, to which the mayor responded, “Done. Call me when convenient for you--I will be waiting. Fran loves it when you use that term!”

When will they stop trying to get their story straight and come clean with Canadians?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as has been said in this place many times, the facts have not changed. The issue has been thoroughly aired. The Auditor General has had access to all government information.

It is this kind of muckraking that Canadians rejected in the last election campaign. What they sent all of us here to do is to fight for Canadians, to fight for jobs, to fight for more opportunity, and that is exactly what the government is doing.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been 110 days since the Muskoka minister was put in the doghouse, and is that the best the government can come up with?

It is not just the minister's credibility on the line. It is the Prime Minister's, for promoting him and looking the other way when he broke the rules.

If the minister had nothing to hide, why did he intervene with local mayors and tell them to keep their mouths shut until they got their stories straight? This is about ministerial responsibility. It is 110 days and counting. When will the minister take responsibility to the Canadian people?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has looked at this issue. She has made some comments on how process improvements could be made. The government has accepted those recommendations.

The good news is that all 32 of these projects are public infrastructure, whether they be in North Bay or in the Muskoka--Georgian Bay area. They all are public assets that will benefit Canadians for many years to come, and a lot of jobs were created. In addition to these projects, there are 23,000 projects right across the country from coast to coast to coast.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board had a $20 million, Olympic-size arena built in his riding, using money from the border infrastructure fund. He used his constituency office to distribute government money all over the place. In all likelihood, those responsible for the G8 summit hid information from the Auditor General. As they say in baseball, three strikes and you are out.

Why is the President of the Treasury Board still in cabinet? How is it that he has yet to respond to questions addressed to him here in the House?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the facts have not changed in this regard.

The member opposite talked about a pool. It was there many years before Muskoka was even announced as the G8 centre. He talked about a hockey rink. That was not even paid for by taxpayers, but through the Government of Ontario.

The member opposite has the right to his own opinion. He does not have the right to his own facts.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the President of the Treasury Board's unofficial spokesperson knows what he is talking about, then he can stand up. Until then, he is not qualified to answer, and the question is not meant for him anyway.

The President of the Treasury Board got a job for his friend at the City of Huntsville. He managed a slush fund with his friends the mayor and the hotel manager. He made funding commitments for government projects in the middle of an election campaign. If the President of the Treasury Board truly believes in ministerial responsibility, he should rise and answer these questions.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that kind of muckraking is exactly what Canadians rejected at the last election.

What they wanted from their elected representatives was a team of men and women who would fight for jobs, who would fight for more opportunity and more hope, and that is exactly what this government is doing each and every day.

Asbestos IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known, yet this country continues to export nearly 200,000 tonnes per year into underdeveloped nations that have virtually no health and safety protocols.

Instead of shovelling even more corporate welfare into this made-in-Canada epidemic, why does the government not use that money for economic diversification for the asbestos region of Quebec to get it out of this deadly and dying industry?

Asbestos IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, Canada has been arguing for the safe and controlled use of chrysotile at home and abroad and recent scientific studies clearly confirm that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

Asbestos IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us try again and see if we get anything new.

This government claims to want to create jobs by supporting the asbestos industry. In reality, it is exporting disease and death to countries that have inadequate labour health and safety standards. This position does not help the communities that are relying on a dying industry. The workers have suffered enough.

What is this government waiting for to show real respect for these people and to develop with them a transition plan to stimulate the economy in that region?

Asbestos IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, for more than 30 years, Canada has been arguing for the safe and controlled use of chrysotile at home and abroad, and recent scientific studies clearly confirm that chrysotile can be used safely in a controlled environment.

InfrastructureOral Questions

September 27th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, more tax giveaways to big oil companies do not create jobs. What does create jobs is infrastructure. Almost 60% of Montrealers are scared to drive because of crumbling concrete. Yesterday, a motion to replace the Champlain Bridge was rejected by the Conservative government. Muskoka got a $50 million slush fund, but other communities are being denied the basics. Why?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my experience in municipal politics has taught me that municipalities have not in the past had a more committed partner than our Conservative government, led by this Prime Minister.

It was our government that launched the building Canada fund and we will continue to deliver for municipalities.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was talking about an infrastructure plan, like the Champlain Bridge, that right now costs $30 million a year just to maintain. Cities across Canada need new bridges, new rail lines, sewage treatment plants, and other critically important projects. Investing in infrastructure makes sense.

We have seen the government reward its well-connected friends. When will it protect Canadians by investing in basic infrastructure?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague already knows, we will have a new infrastructure plan after 2014. That is why we trust our infrastructure investments. That is why, in the economic action plan, we invested more than ever in infrastructure. I do not understand why members of the NDP are saying that today and yet they voted against it when we set it up.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that closing the Champlain Bridge would result in annual losses of $740 million. We know that the bridge must be replaced immediately to ensure the safety of Quebeckers and the health of the Canadian economy.

Yesterday, we moved a motion proposing that the Champlain Bridge be replaced. The Conservatives rejected the motion outright. They said no to the economy and to safety.

Why did they reject the motion? When will this government take action and build a new bridge?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, while my colleague talks about closing the Champlain Bridge, we are investing $380 million to ensure that it is safe and will continue to be operational for a long time. While the member moves motions, we are working to ensure that the people of Montreal will have a safe bridge that is in good working order for a long time to come.

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the facts are these. Parliament approved government spending on border infrastructure, but without lawful authority the Treasury Board President took money from border infrastructure and spent it instead on totally unrelated and unauthorized vanity projects in his own riding.

To cover this up the government misinformed the Auditor General and caused the Auditor General to misinform Parliament. Now the minister hides. This looks like the behaviour of a coward. Will the Treasury Board President finally respond for himself?