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House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

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, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2011, the Prime Minister said that he found it disappointing and sad that some in Parliament were backtracking on the F-35s and that some were talking openly about cancelling the contract should they get the chance.

My question is simple: do the Prime Minister and his cabinet still feel the same way?

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, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet.

The government will update the public before the House recesses.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I could have predicted that response. Here is another chance.

In 2010, the Minister of National Defence said that if we did not make this purchase there was a real danger that we would be unable to defend our airspace, unable to ensure our sovereignty and unable to honour our commitments to both NORAD and NATO.

Does the Minister of National Defence still stand by what he said in 2010?

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, we are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet. Our seven-point plan allows for an options analysis, which is not limited by the statement of requirements.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a surprising answer.

In 2010, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said it was the best plane the government could buy for the armed forces. When a fighter pilot has a long-range Russian bomber in its sights, that is an important point.

Are we going to have to live in fear of Russian bombers if the F-35 program is cancelled?

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, we are determined to follow through with out our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process for replacing Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try in the other official language.

The Conservatives wasted months stopping the Standing Committee on Public Accounts from reviewing the F-35 purchase. Then they did a complete whitewash of the Auditor General's report. They continue to refuse any attempt to determine who was responsible for this historical fiasco. Now we hear that the program is about to be cancelled.

Will someone over there finally come clean with Canadians and acknowledge that the government deliberately wasted Parliament's time and a lot of taxpayer money?

National DefenceOral 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, we are determined to follow through with out our seven-point plan and with our thorough and transparent process for replacing Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet.

The government will update the public before the House recesses.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are up against the deadline on Nexen. Canadians are worried about this deal. Approving the Nexen buyout would give a Chinese state-owned company ownership over a huge slice of Canada's natural resources, yet this massive decision is being made behind closed doors. There are no clear rules and no consultation with Canadians. That is unacceptable.

Will the Conservatives announce their verdict on this Nexen takeover in the full light of day, or should Canadians expect another last minute decision taken at midnight?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what we see day after day in this place is the two opposition parties taking very extreme positions on investment in Canada. The Liberal Party day after day would just rubber-stamp every transaction as it did when it was government. The NDP opposes every transaction.

This government will responsibly look at the Investment Canada Act and evaluate proposed transactions to the net benefit of Canadians.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, made up Conservative attacks cannot make up for the government's incompetence.

The Conservatives delayed decisions on Nexen and Petronas. Now they are delaying a decision on their own new investment agreement with China. It is clear Conservatives did not understand this agreement when they signed it, details like opening the door to unlimited foreign ownership of Canadian natural resources.

Instead of scrambling to understand their own investment agreement with China, will the Conservatives bring FIPPA to the House for a proper debate and a proper vote?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members just continue to make it up as they go along.

This foreign investment and promotion protection agreement with China will simply add reciprocity to investment in China. This will protect the interests of Canadian investors in China. Foreign investors have long had those same legal protections in Canada. This agreement will give Canadians equal protections when investing abroad.

What does the NDP have against investment? What does it have against trade? When will that party stop being an anti-trade party?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are the ones making it up as they go along.

Approving the Nexen purchase would have major consequences for this country, particularly after the signing of the trade agreement with China. That agreement will give a foreign government corporation ownership of part of Canada’s natural resources. The consequences are too important not to be honest with Canadians.

Can the Conservatives promise they will make their announcement about Nexen on Monday, in the daytime, as it should be done? Or are they again going to wait until the stroke of midnight?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, again, what this government will promise is that we will evaluate proposed transactions according to the provisions of the Investment Canada Act. Section 20 of the Investment Canada Act clearly lays out the criteria for net benefit. When the government makes the decision, it will be made in the net interest of Canadians.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, senators, those residents of the lucrative retirement home for Liberals and Conservatives, think they can do whatever they like.

In between naps, these government cronies, from the height of their unelected office, have decided to fill their pockets with public funds. In the meantime, Canadians’ household debt has reached record levels. Not satisfied with pocketing $132,000 a year, three senators have been caught with their hands in the till, collecting money for their supposed “second residence” in Ottawa, even though they have lived in the capital for decades.

When are the Conservatives going to put an end to the grotesque farce of the Senate?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, all parliamentarians here are familiar with the concept, which also applies in the Senate, that parliamentarians normally provide for a residence in their area that they represent as well as a residence here in Ottawa. Parliament assists the House of Commons, in our case, with the costs of one of those residences.

The Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration is reviewing the matter as we have seen in the news to ensure that those rules are properly respected and indeed applied to all members. We want to see it also applied, of course, in this House.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives can say what they like, but when they look in the mirror, they see that they have abandoned all their former democratic principles.

Opposition to this archaic and outdated Senate was one of the rare positive points in the defunct Reform Party’s platform. You know things are bad when we are longing for the Reform Party.

On the one hand, there are principles, and on the other hand is the chance to give friends presents, to appoint bagmen or architects of in and out schemes. The Conservatives have chosen the second option.

Is there not a single former member of the Reform Party who is embarrassed by the abuses they used to denounce, that are still going on today with their blessing?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about abuses. The party opposite is blocking a bill that would require financial transparency on the part of unions. We are talking about money that the unions are taking out of the pockets of workers by force.

There is a party over there that not only has one in three members of its caucus as former union bosses and bureaucrats, but a dozen of their national council are set aside just for unions. They took $340,000 in illegal union money. The reason they are blocking the bill is that they just have too much to hide.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative propaganda machine has been in hyperdrive for five years on the F-35. Deny, spin and move on through contempt motions, an election and hundreds of hours in this chamber. Ridicule the opposition, ridicule officers of Parliament and spin Canadians.

In March 2011, the Liberals told Canadians the real costs of the F-35s. The Conservatives blatantly misled Canadians during the election rather than admit the truth. Will the Minister of National Defence resign now?

National DefenceOral 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 are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s.

The government will provide a public update before the end of the parliamentary session.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has come to this, that the parliamentary secretary of robo-answers will defend the minister when the minister will not defend himself.

The Conservative spin machine nearly achieved Mach speeds with the fake F-35 photo op. Ministers were photographed climbing in and out of a plane that will never achieve liftoff. Standing beside the fake plane, the Minister of National Defence proudly proclaimed in July 2010 that the F-35 was the only plane for Canada.

Now that it is no longer the only choice, will he apologize for the fake $50,000 photo op, apologize for ridiculing the PBO, apologize for misleading Canadians—

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please. The hon. parliamentary secretary.

National DefenceOral 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 are determined to follow through with our seven-point plan and our thorough and transparent process to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s. Our seven-point plan includes examining the options and is not limited by the statement of requirements.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I never thought that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works would be overexposed here in the House.

The cynics would say that both sides of this record sound the same. I hardly know what he will do.

Once again, I will try to ask a question of the Minister of National Defence, who has a lovely, happy smile and cannot answer questions.

Is he going to apologize to Canadians for having fooled them? Are the Conservative Pinocchios on the other side going to apologize and tell us how much they have fooled the public?