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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, after 17 long years, this government is getting rid of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

What we are doing is in fact focusing on legislation that actually targets criminals, people who are actually breaking the law and who should be behind bars, so that ordinary Canadians are safeguarded.

I do not understand why the member continues to want to prosecute farmers, hunters and sports shooters in my riding.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not. Let me be clear on the record, I do not want to prosecute. That is in the amendments we presented in committee.

Mr. Speaker, I have a vague recollection of a speech by the Prime Minister in the 2006 election campaign that spoke of open federalism. That was a long time ago. Rather than uncorking the champagne, this government should admit the contempt it has shown towards Quebeckers. Even Alberta admits that nothing justifies depriving the provinces of data paid for by taxpayers in order to protect them.

Will this government finally listen to the provinces?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously the provinces have powers in this area. It is up to them to decide on their own policies.

I would simply put it this way, I thought yesterday was a great day for law-abiding Canadians. If the NDP really believes and the Liberal Party really believes in the long gun registry, then I challenge them to come to the House every day from now until the next election and tell Canadians they will bring it back. We would be happy to take them on.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have choices to make for the next budget, and a little relief for families would be more than welcome. As Fitch and Moody's stated, this government's plan to cut services will slow economic growth. Over its lifespan, a single F-35 will cost $450 million. That is the equivalent of a year's worth of OAS benefits for 70,000 seniors.

In the next budget, why not give families a break? Why not put families first?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what this government has done and will continue to do: protect families and put families first. That is why we introduced the universal child care benefit. The NDP voted against that, of course.

We also introduced a number of tax cuts to help families keep more money in their pockets. The NDP voted against that. We are the ones helping families.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we voted against them because they did not get the job done. The proof of that is the IMF's economic growth figures for 2012 ranking Canada 152nd worldwide. They are not getting the job done.

Making a budget is about choices. The cost of the Senate last year was $88 million. That could pay OAS benefits for a year for 14,000 Canadian seniors.

The Conservatives' priorities are more senators and more money for the PMO. New Democrats would put seniors and families first.

Why will the Conservatives not put families as a priority in this year's budget? Why will they not put Canadian families first?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, why does the NDP oppose every measure this government introduces to help families? Why? Why did it oppose the universal child care benefit and tax cuts, cuts that leave more money in families' pockets so that they can take care of themselves? Why does the NDP always oppose such measures?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the F-35s, the government is acting arrogantly and blindly. Let us review the facts. Everyone agrees that the cost will increase and that delivery will be delayed considerably. Everyone also agrees that the F-35s have not proven themselves.

The Department of National Defence has even finally admitted that there is no plan B. Why did this government not think to ask the Department of National Defence to work on a plan B?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, here we go again, another railing against the interests of the Canadian Forces. We have come to expect this.

The member in particular would know that senior officers have chosen the F-35. In fact, I refer to a quote from Lieutenant-General Deschamps, chief of the air staff of our Canadian Forces. She would know who he is. He said:

Our analysis of our mandatory requirements for the next generation fighter made it clear that only a 5th generation fighter could satisfy those requirements in the increasingly complex and uncertain future security environment. The F-35 Lightning II is...the only 5th generation aircraft available to Canada.... The F-35 Lightning II also offers the best value of any fighter available....

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to wonder if the minister wants the F-35s so badly so he will have a faster personal taxi service than the search and rescue helicopters. Yesterday, the Associate Minister of National Defence told us to stay tuned for his plan B. His department said the opposite. I repeat, there is no plan B. We even learned about an emergency meeting to discuss a potential plan B. This all smacks of improvisation.

The NDP has been asking for clear answers for some time: how many planes, at what price and when?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to show just how informed the member is about the aircraft, there is only one seat in an F-35, so I could not take it as a taxi if I wanted to.

What we do know about the New Democratic Party--and it is not really new any more; it has been around for a while--is that every opportunity we have taken to improve life for the Canadian Forces through programs, equipment, infrastructure, the NDP has voted against it. NDP really means no defence party.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course on this side of the House we support our troops. In fact--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Let us have a little order. The hon. member for Beaches--East York.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, in fact, our commitment to our pilots would be to procure planes that actually work.

Let us talk about the budget for a moment. The chief financial officer of the U.S. Department of Defense released new numbers on the cost of the F-35. These planes will be rolling off the line at a cool $200 million. That is more than double what the Conservatives have been claiming.

With production delayed by several years, taxpayers have the right to know how many planes will the government buy and how much will each one cost?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, who is sounding defensive now?

What we do know is that the Canadian Forces need new aircraft. There have been plans in place now for over a decade to ensure that we face no operational gap. We have put a budget aside that is specifically dedicated to the replacement of the F-18s.

All of the misinformation and the misfired questions coming from the members opposite tell the truth about how they feel about the Canadian Forces. They want them to be smaller, less equipped, and they want them to stay home.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are happy to talk about operational gaps. Let us talk about what the chiefs of staff have told the government. They have said the CF-18s need to be replaced by 2020, and they have said we need at least 65 new planes. However, basic math tells us we are getting far fewer and much later.

Yesterday, the minister said he had a plan B, just stay tuned. Then we learned from DND that in fact there is no plan B.

With respect to the F-35, we know that the minister has serious problems with managing his department, but does he also have a problem with basic math?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, no, what I have a problem with is the blind partisan criticism that comes from the uninformed member opposite on this program.

This program is designed to ensure that Canada will have a fifth generation aircraft available to face the very complex security environment that we know will exist. That is why this government has been committed across the board from the time we were elected to equipping, supporting and funding members of the Canadian Forces so that they can do the important work that we demand of them.

We are very proud of them. We are going to continue to support them. I encourage the member opposite to do the same.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has made a clear statement. He says that he is the one who is going to decide what is a safe country for refugees. He says he does not need any help from a professional advisory committee, that he is the minister who has the ability and power to determine that a refugee from some country around the world does not need to have an appeal, that the refugee will have to go through the Federal Court. This is a new power which the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism believes he has an entitlement to.

Why does the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism take—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the thoughtful question. Unfortunately, the premise is entirely wrong because the criteria for the designation of safe countries is laid out in Bill C-31. In part, it will include countries that have a rejection rate at the IRB of 85% or more. I am not the one who makes those decisions. It is the independent decision makers at the quasi-judicial independent IRB.

It is very interesting to see the member's indignation. All we are saying is that those claimants will not have access to the Refugee Appeal Division. The Liberals refused to bring in a refugee appeal division. It is this government that is finally creating the Refugee Appeal Division.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, Moody's has warned that deep cuts by the Conservatives will do more harm than good, yet the Prime Minister is vowing to cut baby boomers. When the Prime Minister slams the door in the faces of seniors with his pension reform robbery, the provinces will be left to pick up the pieces. Whether it is pensions, health care or big jails, the government is willing to download costs to the provinces which the provinces cannot afford.

Will the government cancel its plan to pass the buck and its responsibility?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Speaking of responsibility, Mr. Speaker, that is what this government is all about, because we will not do what the Liberals did in the 1990s, and that is slash transfers to the provinces. We have promised the provinces that we will not do that to them. It is very important that we do not do that. They are our partners. We work with them.

When I listen to the opposition howl over there, it is interesting because every time we put forward an initiative that actually helps the provinces and continues to increase transfers, the opposition votes against it anyway.