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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will help the minister out a little bit. Let us go to clause 34, where the minister gets to hire his own personal inspectors. Check this out. They can walk into any private telecom business. They can snoop through any file, any hard drive with no warrant needed.

The minister's appetite for spying knows no bounds. Instead of spying on law-abiding citizens, why does he not go after the crooks in the Conservative Party who have run the biggest electoral fraud scheme in Canadian history?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, now at least this member has given Canada the opportunity to see his ignorance. This clause gives law enforcement authority to enter a TSP, a telecommunications service provider, to examine its systems in order to observe compliance only.

This does not and should not give police the powers to search or seize documents.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the Conservatives are showing blatant favouritism towards their friends.

The upcoming transfer of the employment insurance processing centre, which is completely effective, from Rimouski to Thetford Mines is a partisan move. We now know that the building that is going to accommodate the new offices belongs to an associate of the industry minister's father, which certainly hints at a conflict of interest. We know there is a backlog of 80,000 employment insurance claims in Quebec. What we need is more resources.

Can the minister announce that she is going to right this wrong and keep the employment insurance processing centre in Rimouski open?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the current Service Canada centre in Thetford Mines opened five years ago. At the time, that location was chosen by officials from Public Works and Government Services Canada because it was the lowest bidder in a fair and competitive process. The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable did not play any role.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, as far as I can tell, this government is confused about this, because this minister is saying one thing and the Minister of Industry is saying the opposite.

The employees in Rimouski are being forced to choose between moving to Thetford Mines and losing their jobs. Some, like the man who has joint custody of his children or the woman who acts as a caregiver for her mother, will simply lose their jobs to satisfy the whims of the Minister of Industry.

Does this government have no shame? How can it be so reckless with the families in my riding who are counting on these jobs?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is improving the employment insurance benefits system by modernizing and automating it. However, that is not going to be done in the more than 120 offices across Canada. We are going to consolidate those 120 sites into 22 centres. It will be much more efficient, much faster and more accountable. Regardless of the location, the process will be open and fair and run by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Via Rail DerailmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three VIA employees, Ken Simmonds, Peter Snarr and Patrick Robinson, who died in the derailment yesterday.

Research shows that trains are five times safer than cars, but Canadians are worried today. That is why the NDP supports the Railway Safety Act. It is why the government must guarantee further investment in rail services.

Could the transport minister give Canadians an update on the investigation of yesterday's tragedy?

Via Rail DerailmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts go out to the families of those who have been affected by the accident.

Transport Canada takes all accidents involving railway safety very seriously. Transport Canada will provide the Transportation Safety Board with any assistance it requires for its investigation. Should safety deficiencies be identified as a result of the Transportation Safety Board's investigation, Transport Canada will take immediate action.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, more allegations are emerging from what is clearly a sophisticated election fraud designed as a systematic effort to mislead Canadians and subvert their right to vote.

Caught red-handed by Elections Canada, the Conservatives are falling over themselves to feign the appropriate amount of indignation. Nobody believes that this is an isolated incident, especially not after malicious Conservative calls into Mount Royal. Nothing they do is done without central party permission.

When will the Prime Minister finally admit that they tried to defraud and deprive Canadians of their right to vote during the election?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, Elections Canada has confirmed that during the recent election, at least 127 polling stations, affecting as many as 1,000 polls, received late changes. Like any party, we called our supporters to ensure that our voters were aware of these changes.

We call on the members of the official opposition and members of the Liberal Party who have been making these allegations to provide any evidence they have related to this matter to Elections Canada. Let us call on Elections Canada to look into this matter and get back to this House and all Canadians without delay.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the science of voter suppression, well documented at stealingdemocracy.com, has been systematically executed by the Conservatives.

In my riding of St. Paul's, in the last election fraudulent calls impersonating my campaign went to the homes of Jewish voters during the sacred Seder of Passover. We reported these calls to Elections Canada then.

Will the Conservatives stop the “I am not a crook” rhetoric and comply fully with Elections Canada and the RCMP to get to the bottom of the largest electoral fraud known in Canadian history?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is very interesting rhetoric from the member opposite.

If the hon. member believes that voter suppression occurred in the last election, I would simply point out the numbers to her. Almost 900,000 more Canadians voted in the last election than in the previous election. Voter turnout went up significantly, including in a number of the ridings the Liberals cited yesterday specifically.

If the members opposite have any information at all related to the allegations that they have made, I call on them to submit all of that information to Elections Canada and for Elections Canada to report back without delay.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I went into politics, I never thought I would see so many possibly criminal actions against voters. We are talking about harassment meant to discourage people from voting. We are talking about people who pretended to be Elections Canada representatives in order to direct voters to fake polling stations.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to Canadians and tell us that he plans to respect democracy and fully co-operate with the RCMP?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I just said to the other members, if the hon. member has any evidence to support these allegations, he should provide that information to Elections Canada.

OECD Centres of Government MeetingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday that the Prime Minister personally approved a whopping $22,000 to wine and dine European bureaucrats. Posh receptions, free wine, nothing is too good for the Prime Minister's friends, yet at the same time he is telling Canadians to tighten their belts and he is telling seniors that their retirement just costs too much.

How can the Prime Minister justify blowing thousands on his friends while telling Canadians to tighten their belts?

OECD Centres of Government MeetingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this was the first time that Canada hosted this group from the OECD in 20 years. We extended hospitality to these guests similar to that extended to Canada and in keeping with international protocol. It is no secret that our government has taken significant steps to reduce and restrain spending on travel and hospitality across government.

Let me be clear. Canadians can count on our government to spend tax dollars responsibly while meeting our commitment to international organizations like the OECD.

OECD Centres of Government MeetingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems if others are spending money the Conservatives will just follow them like lemmings.

When it comes to tough economic times, the Prime Minister is losing all credibility. He preaches restraint and then goes out and blows nearly five times more on a fancy reception than his own government rules allow. It is the same old story from the Prime Minister. His friends always come first and according to the government, Canadians just have to buck up.

When will the out of touch Prime Minister realize that he works for Canadians and not just his insider friends?

OECD Centres of Government MeetingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, this three day summit that was hosted with these guests from the OECD was the first time this had occurred in some 20 years. We extended hospitality to them no different from how Canadians are treated when they attend these meetings in other countries.

It is no secret that this government has sought savings across government when it comes to travel and hospitality. We put our record up against any government that has preceded us. We respect Canadian taxpayer dollars and we are working to reduce spending in every way possible.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we cannot be away a day much less a week without more unfortunate news on the F-35 file. Lockheed Martin has just lost $32 million in performance bonuses for failing to meet production targets. The best trial pilots in the world are grounded because of safety concerns and delays. The facts continue to contradict what the Conservative government tells the House every day. The jet is not even being tested.

Why is the government so committed to this unproven and overpriced fighter jet?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is unproven is the very item that the member opposite spoke to.

The Royal Canadian Air Force plays an important role in protecting our sovereignty and defending our interests at home and abroad. Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their lives and we have set a budget to replace them. We have been clear that we will operate within that budget. We will make sure that the air force has the aircraft necessary to do the job we ask of it. We intend also to ensure that Canadian taxpayers are well served by these decisions.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, by now we all know about the emergency meetings the government has called, two of them in fact, and one even being hosted by the minister in Washington at the end of this week. Yet, the same minister continues to tell Canadians that everything is on track. No wonder Canadians have lost confidence in the government's ability to manage this file.

The Japanese and the British are also nervous, issuing warnings about production delays and the price escalation of this plane.

Will the minister tell the House today how many planes the government is buying, by what date and at what price?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we intend to continue monitoring the situation. As I have stated before, when the current aircraft come to the end of their useful life, we will ensure that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment necessary to do the important job we ask of them.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act was passed into law two months ago, despite the best efforts of the opposition to block the rights of farmers. Since then, the opposition and its allies in the far left fringe have been using the court to try to overturn Parliament's passage of this bill. Their stated purpose is to cause economic uncertainty so marketing freedom fails for our farmers come August 1.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board please tell the House if the courts are buying these bullying tactics employed by the opposition?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Selkirk—Interlake for his great work on this file. Finally, we have a question that touches directly on Canadians' lives.

On Friday, western Canadian farmers were thrilled to hear the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench throw out the arguments of Allen Oberg and his group of former directors. The judge denied their request for an injunction. He upheld Parliament's right to pass this legislation.

Our government has always maintained that farmers in western Canada deserve the same freedom to market their grain as farmers in Ontario and elsewhere have. It is clear from this ruling that as of August 1, 2012, farmers right across Canada will enjoy all the benefits of marketing freedom.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 27th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year Canada exported $4 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia. In March, Saudi troops helped Bahrain brutally attack unarmed protesters seeking democratic reforms. Canada has an obligation not to export weapons to countries that violate human rights.

Will the minister ensure that weapons manufactured in Canada will not be used to commit serious human rights violations?