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House of Commons Hansard #189 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was terrorism.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the only outfit I can think of that has spent more and delivered less would be the Toronto Maple Leafs, and that is coming from a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

However, I am certainly no fan of the government. Canadians are out there having to decide if they should fill their fridge, fill their oil tank or fill their prescription. Those are the hard choices Canadians are facing.

When will the Conservatives realize that they have a real problem and are hurting real Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, with fans like that, who needs enemies?

Let us be clear. This government is focused on making sure of what is good for Canadians. We are creating jobs across the country, 820,000 net new jobs since the downturn in the economy. Whether that is via the EI small business hiring fund, apprenticeship grants, or by making sure there are targeted initiatives for older workers, this government is focused on creating jobs, unlike the Liberals, who just wanted to raid the EI fund.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' famous seven-point plan for the F-35s is nothing but smoke and mirrors. As soon as it was announced, the government started downplaying expectations.

KPMG's independent audit figures were to be made public in July. Now we will have to wait until Christmas. Even the Grinch will be disappointed this year.

Why do we have to wait so long for these figures? When will we finally get to see an update on the cost of the F-35s?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government has implemented a seven-point action plan to replace Canada's CF-18s, in order to ensure that we take our time to do things right.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

That is not much of an answer, Mr. Speaker. According to the National Post, KPMG's review of the price tag for the F-35 will be published some time before Christmas. It should have been done a long time ago, according to the government's own seven-point plan.

For years the Conservatives refused to update their lowball estimates for the F-35, even as every other partner country was revising theirs. It took the Auditor General's report to force the government to update its numbers.

Why did it take so long for the government to act? Will the Conservatives confirm that the new numbers will be released before this House rises in December?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government has implemented a seven-point action plan to replace Canada's CF-18s, in order to ensure that we take our time to do things right. Canada will not sign any contract to purchase new fighter jets until all the steps of the action plan are complete and enough development work has been done.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, lots of questions and no answers. We have heard the Conservatives say there is an option A, option B and option C, all of which are the F-35.

It seems that the new Chief of Defence Staff has a different take on this. He told the defence committee yesterday that the F-35 was not the only plane that met the stealth requirements of the SOR. According to him, other planes could meet the requirement for some measure of stealth.

Does the government now admit that the F-35 is not the only plane that can fill the requirements set out by the military and that a true consideration of alternatives must take place?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this plan includes an analysis of all the options to replace the CF-18s, which will not be limited by the statement of requirements.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague said, yesterday the Chief of Defence Staff said that there are planes than the F-35 that could fill the role for Canada. This is despite the fact that the Conservatives have said for years that the F-35 is the only plane available.

The Minister of Public Works refuses to reveal whether other planes are being considered. With the Chief of Defence Staff indicating that this is happening, will the Minister of Public Works finally tell us which other planes are being considered in the process?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, our government has put in place a seven-point plan to replace Canada's CF-18s in order to ensure that we take the time to do things right. This plan includes an analysis of all options for replacing the CF-18s, which will not be limited by the statement of requirements.

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will try another question for the Minister of Public Works.

Yesterday, the minister revealed that after watching the Charbonneau scandal she was rethinking how her government screens contractors and appointees. One would have thought the Conservatives had learned their lesson after the Bruce Carson fiasco at the PMO. However, the minister's shopping list approach through a non-binding code falls way short and will not touch contractors and subcontractors under the Conservatives' popular P3 plan.

If the minister is truly serious about revamping her scrutiny of contractors, why not upgrade the law?

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, our government has brought in measures to ensure the appropriate use of taxpayers' money. These measures include an integrity framework to ensure that we do not do business with criminals.

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Old Port of Montreal is not just any patch of land. It is one of Montreal's most popular gathering places. It showcases the St. Lawrence, it is one of the city's major tourist attractions, and it is a significant part of our collective history. Merging it with a huge organization whose main goal is to make a profit would be to lose sight of its unique features.

Can the minister guarantee that the Old Port will have special status within the Canada Lands Company?

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to achieve sound financial management of public funds. Canadians must have confidence in the way crown corporations operate and use their hard-earned money. The Old Port of Montreal Corporation will be placed under the stewardship of the Canada Lands Company as of November 29, 2012.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the Conservative robocall scandal, their chief windbag has been boasting that his party is co-operating fully with Elections Canada. But yesterday we learned the truth.

When Elections Canada asked for some information from Arthur Hamilton, the Conservative Party's lawyer, it took three months to set up a meeting.

Will the Conservatives stop dragging their feet and co-operate with the investigators quickly in the future, instead of trying to delay the investigation?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are proactively co-operating with Elections Canada to find out what happened in Guelph. Furthermore, the government is committed to being transparent. The New Democrats are blocking a bill that would make the unions and their finances transparent so that workers can learn how their money is being spent.

However, today we know that the Union of Postal Workers is off at an anti-Israel conference in Brazil. Why is the NDP trying to cover up the costs of that conference?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, waiting 90 days to respond to Elections Canada is not co-operation.

Newly released court documents reveal that voter suppression investigations have expanded far beyond Guelph. Elections Canada has requested phone records for no less than 56 ridings across the country. Conservatives can no longer pretend that this is just about a few rogues in Guelph. Will they now support my private member's bill against fraudulent election calls?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, of course we have been working proactively with Elections Canada to find out what happened in Guelph. We ran a clean and ethical campaign, unlike the NDP, which took $340,000 in illegal union money.

Today we learned that the postal union is trying to access tax dollars in order to send delegates to an extreme anti-Israel conference in Brazil at a beautiful beach town. We would know more about the way these union bosses spend their workers' money if we had the union transparency bill adopted. Why is the NDP trying to block union transparency?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Guelph was clearly not an isolated incident. There were some 56 ridings with the same activities as Guelph, including 20 in B.C., 9 in Alberta, 5 in Manitoba, 2 in Ontario and 20 in Quebec.

A Conservative Party lawyer waited 90 days to even respond to Elections Canada. What is the government doing to actually ensure real co-operation with Elections Canada?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I already answered that question. I expected that after doing so, that member would in turn answer the question posed to him. Why is his party blocking the transparency or union finances?

Unions have the extraordinary power of taking money out of the pockets of workers. It is a coercive power that they enjoy and are unique in enjoying, and they can spend the money without sharing with their workers how that money is spent. Now we know that the CUPW union is spending money on ritzy conferences in South America.

Why will the NDP not support union transparency?

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

November 30th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works said that, for over a year now, she has been considering whether the Old Port Corporation should be placed under the stewardship of the Canada Lands Company. Yet, six months ago, on May 12, I asked the Conservatives' friend Gerry Weiner, the chair of the Old Port of Montreal Corporation, the same question and he said that this was a completely hypothetical question and that it was not possible.

And so, the question is simple. Who is telling the truth: the minister or the former minister? Why did they not wait for the Auditor General's results in the spring? Was the audit for nothing? Was it just to buy time?

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government is determined to provide sound fiscal management of public funds. It is of the utmost importance that Canadians have confidence in the way that crown corporations operate and use taxpayers' hard-earned money. The Old Port of Montreal Corporation will be placed under the stewardship of the Canada Lands Company effective November 29, 2012.

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are going to ask him to take a break. He is reading too much.

I am going to ask the same question of the minister responsible for Montreal. Maybe he will give me an answer.

As the New Democratic Party reiterated earlier, we know full well that the Canada Lands Company's mandate is to sell properties, to sell assets, and to make money, while the Old Port of Montreal Corporation's mandate is to protect the waterfront and our heritage.

Is the minister responsible for Montreal prepared to negotiate an agreement with the City of Montreal so that, for its 375th anniversary, it can protect its crown jewel? The Canada Lands Company sells properties. We want to protect the waterfront. We do not want any condos built there.

Old Port of Montreal CorporationOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the fact that the Old Port of Montreal Corporation is an important institution for the City of Montreal and its people, but we are talking here about good management and good governance.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, new court records have confirmed that Elections Canada has seized Conservative phone records in 56 ridings. Voter suppression calls have been traced to the Conservatives' national campaign number.

Why will no minister touch this? Why will any of the MPs whose ridings are involved not speak up? When will they tell us what they know? The members for Winnipeg South Centre, Yukon, and Nipissing, when will the Conservatives come clean to Canadians, or are they waiting for the RCMP to once again raid their headquarters?