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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

HousingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the affordable housing situation in this country is in full crisis mode, and it is not just the NDP that has been saying so for years now. A new study released today by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities supports what we are calling for. The construction of affordable housing would boost the country's economy and provide jobs for Canadians.

In these tough economic times, too many families are having trouble finding affordable housing. When will this government realize the extent of this crisis and invest in building affordable housing?

HousingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, no government has invested as much as ours has in affordable housing. With our economic action plan, we created more than 14,000 projects for improving, renovating and building affordable housing. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against all those initiatives.

HousingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister should read the FCM report. Renters make up a third of the housing market. However, in the last 15 years, according to the report, only 10% of new housing starts have been for rentals. Because of the utter failure of this and previous governments to actually deal with the situation, Canadian renters have been left out in the cold.

What is the government saying to Canadians who are struggling to find an affordable, decent place to rent? It is saying, “Sorry, if you are a renter, we do not care about you”.

HousingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy of the NDP is growing by leaps and bounds from minute to minute. Through our economic action plan and beyond that, we have invested more than any other previous government in affordable housing. We have also supported CMHC, the only provider of mortgage securitization insurance for rental housing.

Fortunately, we have a market right now where interest rates are low. People are buying houses. They are investing in their future because they can finally afford to do it. As with all of the other initiatives including affordable housing, the NDP voted against all of our moves to support Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' failure on affordable housing is leaving people out in the cold and shortchanging cities. Across Canada bridges are crumbling, public transit is stalling and water systems are aging. The NDP's practical solution is up for a vote tomorrow.

Taking one cent from the existing gas tax would help cities, stimulate the economy and create jobs. Surely the government will help us move forward with this plan, give cities the support they need and put Canadians back to work.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I was a mayor before coming here. No government in history before this government invested in infrastructure like this one. We made the gas tax refund permanent and now it is the law. We continue to support all cities across this country.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it clear in Davos that he will tackle the deficit his government created by gouging seniors' pensions. We know where the Prime Minister stands, but where do Conservative members stand? Does anyone over there have the backbone to say no to the Prime Minister?

My question is for the regional minister for P.E.I. Over 40,000 island baby boomers, as well as the island economy, will be seriously affected by this attack on pensions. Is the regional minister willing to stand up, defend islanders and just say no to the Prime Minister on his attack--

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it all wrong again. We are protecting Canadians' pensions. Those who are receiving OAS and CPP right now will continue to receive every single penny. We are also protecting the pensions of our future generations. We will continue to make sure that Canadians get every penny that they expect.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after squandering a billion dollars on gazebos and glow sticks, the man responsible for cost-cutting has now taken aim at the pensioners of tomorrow. But the President of the Treasury Board has another job: political responsibility for over 3.4 million baby boomers in Ontario, the same people soon to turn age 65.

The government has caviar tastes when it comes to jets and jails, but a baloney budget when it comes to seniors. Which side is the minister on? Will he fight to protect pensions or is he going to lead the charge in slashing the budgets of senior citizens in Canada? Tell us which--

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are going to protect the pensions. The CPP is on solid footing. It is actuarially viable for years to come. The OAS is not. We want to make sure that today's seniors, tomorrow's seniors and those in the future will have access to their old age security. We are going to make some changes to make sure that happens. That is a priority for us. We stand united in going forward to deliver on that.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Davos, the Prime Minister was probably stuck in his bubble, so he forgot that we have to look after our seniors. In Quebec, the Fédération de l'âge d'or du Québec has 265,000 members, some of whom reside in Mégantic—L'Érable, the riding represented by the Conservative government's Quebec lieutenant.

My question is simple: does he think that retirement age should be raised from 65 to 67, or does he agree with Rita Poulin, one of the presidents of the Saint-Méthode seniors association, that it is not even worth considering?

Whose side is he on: the Prime Minister's or his constituents'?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we stand united in ensuring that seniors get the benefits they are supposed to get. We will also ensure that future generations receive old age benefits too.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 program is in free fall. We have learned that a defect in the pilots' parachutes is grounding some of the aircraft and delaying test flights once again. Moreover, the F-35s are having trouble achieving the transonic acceleration objectives. This file is in need of a qualified pilot, and Canadians do not have a parachute.

Will the government admit that, unless we make an emergency landing, the F-35 program is going to crash and burn?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is sheer nonsense. A problem was detected in the way the parachutes were packed. The problem is being fixed. I am told that this will not affect the program in the least.

It is fear-mongering. It is more of the same. It is rhetoric.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, would you get on a plane whose pilot cannot figure out that he is flying through major turbulence? I would not. However, an associate minister who has no idea what he is doing is still in the pilot's seat. The program is struggling because of numerous technical problems with the F-35s even as orders fail to materialize.

What is the government's plan B for dealing with this program in free fall?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, when deciding on a replacement for the CF-18s, our government had a decision to make. We could have purchased an existing aircraft based on 1970, 1980 technology. Instead, we chose to work with our allies to develop the next generation of aircraft technology.

There are now F-35s flying. They are being tested. They are being developed. This will be the plane of the future for our men and women who deserve no less.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the refurbishment of our CF-18s was meant to keep them airborne until 2020, no later. As the air force chief told our national defence committee, “I think we have pretty much done what we can with that airplane”.

Facing similar circumstances and timetables, Israel, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S all have backup plans in place.

Why is the government content to monitor the situation while our allies in the F-35 program are taking action and implementing backup plans?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I really welcome the question from the member opposite because yesterday the member opposite told this House that the U.S. was cancelling 179 F-35s, which never happened. He also told this House that Australia has downsized its order, which also never happened.

What is true is that our allies, including Japan just last month, are choosing F-35s over other less capable aircraft.

What the opposition should tell this House and Canadians is that it does not support our military, does not support the Canadian aerospace industry, and most certainly--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Beaches—East York.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the minister stands idly by repeating tired speaking points, his allied counterparts are taking action. They all have backup plans.

As the odds grow longer on the F-35, our allies are hedging their bets in the interests of national security and fiscal prudence. Why is the minister and the government the only ones standing pat?

When will the minister show some courage and leadership as befitting a minister of the Crown and do something?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would rather take my advice from those who actually know the business, who are practising the trade and who know plenty about creating jobs, providing our men and women with the proper tools to do their job in the military and, moreover, creating an industry that has been languishing for many years.

Were it left to the NDP, we would have no assets in our military at all.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

January 31st, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, the eco-energy retrofit homes program is creating jobs across Canada and helping homeowners save an average of 19% on home energy use through grants of up to $5,000. This is saving Canadians money on their home energy bill while reducing greenhouse gas emissions across Canada. We expect this program will trigger more than $7 billion in economic activity.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources please update the House on this program?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the eco-energy program has been enormously popular with Canadians and should approach the $400 million level announced in the budget ahead of schedule. The program will provide a quarter of a million Canadian families with up to $5,000 to make their homes more efficient. This program is expected to generate up to $4 billion in economic activity across the country, creating and protecting jobs for—