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House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-45.

Topics

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government has always been very clear. We welcome foreign investment if it is of net benefit to Canada. The Investment Canada Act has provisions that allow transactions to be thoroughly reviewed. That is exactly what the Minister of Industry is doing at this time to ensure that the Canadian interest is always put first.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. The Conservatives are about to sell off a huge slice of Canada's own natural resources to China. Investors wonder whether the Minister of Industry will once again decide the fate of this deal behind closed doors like a thief in the night.

This uncertainty has already cost investors and pension funds tens of millions of dollars. When will Conservatives listen to Canadians, to business leaders, to foreign investors and put forward the clear rules they promised Canadians two years ago?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, so much for the Leader of the Opposition raising the tone of political debate in this place.

This government will always stand up in the best interests of Canada. We welcome foreign investment. Foreign investment in Canada's economy can help create jobs and opportunity. We are looking at these issues very carefully and closely before making any decision.

It is interesting to see the member stand and support the oil sands, something that he once called a disease and something that his own policies want to shut down. That would be the real cost of an NDP government, a carbon tax.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only a Conservative could consider a call to tell the truth and respect an undertaking to be a personal attack.

It is not only Conservative mismanagement of foreign takeovers that is causing economic uncertainty. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has just reported that next year the Canadian economy will grow by a mere 1.5%. That is $22 billion less than the finance minister forecast seven months ago.

With crisis in Europe, uncertainty in the United States and flagging growth here at home, for once does the Conservative government have anything more to offer Canadians than “keep calm and carry on”?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that presented a job creation action plan to Parliament earlier this year. It is this government that has weathered the economic storm for our country. It is this government, which at the bottom of the global recession, has seen the creation of some 820,000 net new jobs.

While challenges remain in Europe and in the United States, this government's strong economic leadership has been fundamental to more job creation, more economic growth, more hope, more opportunity. The only thing the NDP would want to do to that is bring in a $21.5 billion carbon tax on Canadians.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are paying the price for the Conservatives' cuts. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that there will be 125,000 fewer jobs in the country in 2016 because of the cuts. That is not all. The GDP will shrink by 1% in the next two years. Inequality is rising and real income is falling.

Why is the minister giving the government less room to manoeuvre and attacking workers instead of economic problems?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I guess every one economist is entitled to his or her own opinion. However, this morning the Minister of Finance, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and myself met with Canada's leading economists just to ensure that our projections that will be going into the fall economic update and that will coming forward soon are ensuring objectivity and that our economic projections are on track and, indeed, they are. We are facing a global economic recovery that is slow. Our projections are on track.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister still has a chance to get it right with this misguided budget bill.

Canadians were never told that the budget would tax health benefits, erase protection for Canada's waterways or hold vacation back from employees. Instead of learning their lesson, Conservatives did not consult with Canadians, and they are ramming through this dangerous budget bill with who knows how many jobs on the line.

Will the minister stop hiding from the consequences of his failed plan? Will he allow proper study and amendment of this budget bill before it is too late?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the budget implementation act will be voted on very soon in the House and it will be moved to the finance committee, which is standard practice in the House. My understanding is that there will be a suggestion that portions of the bill be moved for further study out to other committees within the House. We think that is very effective.

We would encourage the opposition to actually get on board and vote for some of the positive things. The temporary hiring credit for small businesses, for example, 534,000 businesses can take advantage of that.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, without any notice to the provinces affected and indeed without any publicity, the Government of Canada cancelled the so-called pilot project that involved the highest areas of unemployment across the country, which allowed people living in those areas to receive an extra five weeks of benefit.

I would like to ask the government if it can explain why it made these cuts to the people who are hurting most badly and most severely, to the regions hurting most badly and most severely. Can the government tell us why it did not, at all, consult with the provinces whose social assistance costs will go up?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government remains focused on jobs, economic growth and long-term economic prosperity.

This was a temporary measure that was brought in and reintroduced in 2008 and 2010 as part of Canada's economic action plan. Notice was given in 2010 that this temporary program would no longer be continued. It was meant to be temporary.

The good news is that the economic action plan brought in several years ago by the government has seen the creation of more than 800,000 net new jobs. The job is not done. We remain focused on economic growth. We remain focused on ensuring that every Canadian can have the dignity of a job.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have to focus on facts, not the government's rhetoric.

The unemployment rate has gone up in eight regions where the government made cuts. It is now higher than ever. It is even higher than when the program was first introduced.

So the question is, why did the government cut this program without talking to the provinces or to those who are going to be affected? Why did it not consult Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government remains focused on economic growth and job creation.

This temporary measure was brought in and reintroduced in 2008 and 2010. It was meant to last two years. We are proud of our economic record. The creation of over 800,000 new jobs is a step in the right direction for Canada.

The job is not done. We will continue to work hard to achieve economic growth.

EthicsOral Questions

October 29th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Labrador received contributions from one particular company, from individuals working for that company, two days after the election was over. This is another additional issue and challenge for the member.

However, the overall problem remains, and that is that the member was elected spending $21,000 more than the amount permitted. One of the hallmarks of Canadian democracy is that we stick to the limits and one does not have to be rich or poor in order to deal with it.

Why did the government not call the member in and ask him to resign—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is a new official agent in place that is working with Elections Canada to address some of these issues.

I only wish the leader of the Liberal Party would look at his own caucus. One member of his caucus has been fined $4,900 for breaking the rules. Four senior members, including one of his own front bench members, have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally through loans that they have never paid back.

Why does the member not get his own Liberal house in order before he starts throwing barbs at an hon. man who is doing an excellent job for the people of Labrador.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, many Canadians are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which will hit our country's east coast with torrential rains and violent winds. Serious warnings about the storm have been issued by provincial emergency management organizations and Washington. We hope that all Canadians will remain safe and sound throughout this storm.

Can the minister tell us what measures the government has put in place to help Canadians prepare for the hurricane, and can he tell us what resources will be mobilized during and after the storm?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government stands ready to assist the provinces with the effects of Hurricane Sandy if assistance is required. We have taken precautionary steps to ensure that the federal government can aid the provinces affected should the need arise. The Canadian Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard are standing ready to assist.

We encourage all Canadians to be prepared. We encourage them to go to getprepared.gc.ca to be prepared for this.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we on this side believe recent events should serve as a wake-up call. Local emergency preparedness needs to be a high priority. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have chosen to cut funding from important emergency programs that help train and develop local crisis response personnel. Municipalities are concerned.

After this week's earthquake on the west coast and with extreme weather events increasing, will the minister now support local communities and reverse these short-sighted cuts?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the premise of that question. Most emergencies in Canada are local in nature and are managed by municipalities or at the provincial or territorial level.

With regard to the hurricane that could be affecting Canadians, we stand prepared, ready to help the provinces and assist them should that help be required. The Canadian Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard are standing ready to assist. Health Canada has reviewed the national emergency stockpile and the Government Operations Centre is working around the clock to ensure that all necessary assets are in place.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, here is another case of Conservative mismanagement. Once again, the Conservatives are saying one thing and doing the other. They claim to accept the Auditor General's findings on the F-35 and yet they are hiring an outside firm to come to the same inescapable conclusions that the AG already did, that they are bad public administrators who misled Canadians to the tune of billions of dollars.

Why waste the taxpayers' money on another review? Are they hoping to buy a different outcome this time?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, we accepted the Auditor General's one recommendation, which was to ask the Department of National Defence to table updated cost estimates for the F-35. We decided to go further than that. We put in place a seven-point plan and every part of that plan has to be independently verified. This review will help us make a decision on the replacement of the CF-18s and until all of those seven points are independently validated, we will not move forward.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, no one on the Ferris wheel of ministers and backbenchers on this file seems to get it. The Minister of National Defence has to get the basics right first and that begins with a statement of requirements. We know that they were wired for the F-35. The AG told us so and the Prime Minister agreed.

Has the Minister of National Defence accepted responsibility and amended the statement of requirements and if not, again, why waste the taxpayers' money on another review until they get at least that right?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that the secretariat has been set up to ensure that the entire seven-point action plan is handled appropriately with due diligence and transparency so that the government can move forward with the decision to replace the CF-18s.

In terms of taxpayer money, there has been no money spent on the acquisition of any fighter jets to replace the CF-18s and until we have all the information necessary, a decision will not be made.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, a 25-year veteran of the Competition Bureau has confirmed price fixing at the pumps. Conservatives have happily handed over billions in subsidies to oil companies but refuse to hold them to account. While Conservatives will answer my question with tired talking points about a fictitious policy, the reality is that their policies are costing people every time they fill up.

Why are they turning a blind eye to gas companies that continue to gouge Canadians?