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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are working with our willing partners to improve the educational outcomes of first nations across the country.

That is why the national chief and myself announced the national panel. It is doing good work across the country. It is totally independent. The government has not constrained the panel in any way. Its recommendations should be coming forward in December or January. In the meantime, we will wait to see the good work that it will produce.

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

September 28th, 2011 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians were profoundly disturbed to learn that the President of the Treasury Board spent $50 million of their hard-earned money the way he did. They are even more disturbed by the fact that he will not get up and explain himself.

I do not know how he can look Canadians in the eyes and tell them that he is behaving responsibly. How can the President of the Treasury Board of all people think that he is beyond the scrutiny of this House when it comes to accountability of public funds?

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Infrastructure Canada approved 32 projects to support the G8 infrastructure under the three categories provided. I approved all 32 of those projects. There was a contribution agreement written up for each of those 32 projects.

The Auditor General has made some helpful comments about what we can do to be more transparent to the House of Commons in the future. We fully accept those recommendations and will follow them in the future.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence made a public declaration that, while a guest at a luxury fishing lodge, neither his host nor his companions had any business dealings with the Government of Canada, and yet the facts speak very differently.

Mr. Rob Crosbie is a political appointee in control of a federal crown corporation that receives $200 million in annual subsidies from which he draws a personal salary. How does the minister square this contradiction and, while I am on my feet, was the fish this big or just this big?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said a number of times, I was on personal time in Gander, Newfoundland, with some friends on a trip I paid for myself. As a result of work, I made the decision to go back to work early.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, in 2002 the current Prime Minister criticized a minister for staying at a cottage owned by a client of his department. At the time, the current Prime Minister said that he had either acted extraordinarily unethically or extraordinarily stupidly.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When a minister accepts a vacation at a luxury fishing lodge owned by the chair of Marine Atlantic, would he say that minister was acting extraordinarily unethically or extraordinarily stupidly?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as has been made clear, the minister paid for his own vacation, so obviously the facts are different. If anyone in the Liberal Party actually has any evidence that the minister or anyone else acted improperly, he or she can say so outside the House.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister continues to keep Canadians in the dark about the price tag of his crime bill. It is all about transparency. Yesterday, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that this bill will cost billions of dollars, yet this government still will not explain its impact on the country's future.

How can this government be so irresponsible as to force the passage of a bill without disclosing how much it will cost?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we tabled hundreds of pages for the member's edification before the standing committee just before the last election.

However, if he is worried about the costs, I hope that he could just spend a bit of time worrying about the cost to victims in this country, because this is who the bill targets. It gets those violent individuals, those individuals who sexually exploit others and the people in the drug trafficking business off the street, and that should have the support of the hon. member and his party for a change.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is shocking that the government is ramming the bill through the House and yet refusing to tell Canadians anything about what it costs.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer told us yesterday that it was unprecedented, in his 30-year career, to have such a major piece of legislation that we know will cost billions of dollars. The cost is not turning up in a single government document. There are no budget items on this whatsoever, not a single line anywhere.

When will the government come clean on what it will cost the Canadian taxpayer?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we report to Parliament about the costs of the individual pieces of legislation.

The NDP says that it knows it will cost billions. I would ask the member to table all those documents that he has. That would be very interesting, because they are completely out of line with what we have been saying and what we have laid before Parliament.

We should try to agree on something. I think we can all agree that if we spent $1 fighting crime in this country, it would be opposed by the NDP.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see that, for all the government's crime rhetoric, one of its top priorities is to roll back the clock on legal protections against extremist hate speech.

Will the minister tell Canadians why the government is moving to make it easier for racist, sexist and anti-Semitic commentary to flourish online?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the member is referring to. The bill before Parliament targets drug dealers, the people who traffic in narcotics, the people who bring drugs into this country and the people who sexually exploit children. That is the government legislation. What is she referring to?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister may wish to listen to what some of his colleagues are saying in press conferences or in what they are tabling before this House.

We learned this morning that a number of Conservative MPs believe that hate speech laws are futile. In our communities, hate speech all too often results in acts of violence. It is irresponsible for the government to repeal these laws and it shows that the government is out of touch with reality and Canadian values.

Can the minister prove that he is committed to protecting Canadians from hate speech?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we protect all victims in this country. We consult with victims across this country. We sit down with them. We hear what they have to say. The bill that is before Parliament right now, Bill C-10, reflects those concerns.

What I will do for the hon. member, because she should hear from those victims' groups as well, is ask those groups that when they come to Ottawa again to please spend a bit of time with the NDP and the Liberals so they will know the things that we know that we are legislating on.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were justifiably shocked to learn that in Saudi Arabia a woman can face a punishment of 10 lashes for the simple act of driving a car, a routine act for most women in any democracy.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs contemplate bringing issues such as this one to the attention of his counterparts around the world?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has enjoyed good diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many years, but reports of a Saudi woman being sentenced to 10 lashes for the crime of driving her own car are deeply disturbing.

Although we have heard some positive signs of reform announced in recent weeks, I think I speak on behalf of all members of the House when I condemn, in the sharpest terms, this deeply offensive court decision.

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Minister of National Defence was visiting a fishing lodge so that he could meet with some of his well-connected friends. The chair of Marine Atlantic, Mr. Crosbie, obtained his job from his Conservative connections and now he is hosting the minister at his fishing lodge.

Does the minister really think it is appropriate for him to use valuable military search and rescue resources to visit Conservative appointees?

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member has it wrong again. He has been wrong all week. He has made misleading statements in the House before.

I was there on a trip that I paid for myself. I spent some time with my friends in beautiful Newfoundland and Labrador. I made the decision to leave the trip early to come back to work.

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister had been warned there were barely enough helicopters to meet basic search and rescue requirements.

Our search and rescue response standard of two hours is the worst in the world. Replacing our 50-year-old fixed-wing SAR aircraft is stalled because of government mismanagement. The government is closing down rescue centres in Quebec and St. John's, and the closest SAR helicopter to the Arctic is in Ontario.

Why will the minister not fix search and rescue in Canada instead of using SAR assets as personal transportation?

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all search and rescue assets that are involved in exercises or demonstrations would immediately divert if they were called upon. The member knows that because he has participated in these as well.

When it comes to the issue of military procurement, support for the military, support for economic measures, the record of the New Democratic Party is a train wreck on the economy and heretics on military procurements.

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian search and rescue helicopter fleet can barely meet demand. The situation is so serious that parts are taken from one helicopter and used on another. Nevertheless, one of just three helicopters based in Gander, one of the regions with the greatest need, was used by the minister for a pleasure trip.

How many helicopters will have to be grounded before the minister stops using them as his personal taxis?

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I left the trip early to go back and do some work.

With respect to the search and rescue assets, as a result of pressing needs, the Department of National Defence has purchased a large number of spares from the United States, at a very reasonable price I might add, that came about as a result of a project cancellation. With that purchase and those new parts, we will be able to significantly increase the availability and yearly flying time of the Cormorant fleet.

It was the cancellation of this important contract replacement by a previous Liberal government that left us in the situation where we are flying 50-year-old helicopters.

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister misused DND resources when our search and rescue helicopters can barely meet needs. If the minister is so interested in search and rescue operations, we again wonder why the St. John's and Quebec City search and rescue centres are being closed.

What is this government's priority—fishing trips or providing services to the public and the tools to which the military is entitled?

Search and rescueOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the consolidation of the sub-centres into the existing Joint Rescue Coordination Centres will have no negative impacts on the current level of service provided by the Canadian Coast Guard. This does not in any way affect the availability of Coast Guard ships, the Coast Guard auxiliary or the Canadian Forces aircraft. The consolidation represents a positive change by locating all Maritime air search and rescue coordinators into the same centres working side by side.