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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable was very clear: the member's allegations are unfounded and unsubstantiated. No decision was made about the new offices in Thetford Mines during the consolidation of employment insurance activities. These decisions were made by Public Works employees as part of a clear, transparent and fair process.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry is so afraid of what will be revealed that he is threatening to take me to court. It makes me think of RackNine.

The minister boasted to a local newspaper that he lobbied to have the employment insurance processing offices in Rimouski moved to his riding. Now, he is saying that he had nothing to do with the decision to transfer these offices, which according to the same article are to be located in a building in Thetford Mines belonging to his former and his father's current associate. Nevertheless, the Ethics Commissioner is investigating. We want to know if he interfered.

Will the minister finally tell us the truth, or do we have to wait for the results of the investigation?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, these allegations are unfounded and are not based on any evidence. All of the decisions about where the employment insurance offices would be located were made by Public Works and Government Services Canada employees as part of a regular, transparent, fair and competitive process.

AsbestosOral Questions

March 1st, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister thinks that moving an employment insurance processing centre to his constituency is a transition plan for asbestos.

Yesterday, La Presse reported that, between 2005 and 2010, more than 45% of work-related deaths in Quebec were associated with asbestos. An industry that is no longer socially acceptable clearly has no future. Out of simple respect for his office and for his fellow citizens, the minister must come up with an answer that is different from the same old tune about safe handling.

What is preventing the Minister of Industry from announcing an economic transition plan? Is the reason that he has sunk to courting votes or that he has no influence in his caucus?

AsbestosOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been promoting the safe use of chrysotile for more than 30 years. Recent scientific studies prove that chrysotile can be safely used in a controlled environment.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that fraudulent calls were made to over 80 residents of Guelph on election day, each of which I immediately reported to Elections Canada, as well as 37 other ridings, to confuse and suppress the vote.

Elections Canada evidence shows that the Conservative campaign in Guelph had bought and recorded messages from RackNine and did not claim them as an election expense. The staffer who Conservatives offered to Elections Canada as the perpetrator of this national voter suppression campaign has denied executing such a sophisticated and pervasive scheme.

When will the government disclose to Elections Canada who the real culprit is?

41st General ElectionOral 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, the Liberal Party has known all along which companies it contracted to do voter contact during the election but it has allowed this to go on. It has not just allowed it to go on but it has made baseless smears against our party for more than a week, despite the fact that it knew the companies that it had hired, U.S.-based companies, were calling on behalf of the Liberal Party, just like it probably knew who was making the smears against the Minister of Public Safety long before you determined it, Mr. Speaker.

I would say to the leader of the Liberal Party, no more dirty tricks.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has a duty to ensure the integrity of Canada's voting process. Fraudulent calls also harassed Liberal voters in Vancouver Quadra and we reported it at the time.

The independent Elections Canada returning officer in Vancouver Quadra wrote, “The Vancouver Quadra campaign office did inform me by phone of inappropriate calls during the 2011 election”.

Is the Prime Minister now going to accuse Elections Canada officials of launching, in his own words, “a deliberate smear tactic?”

41st General ElectionOral 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, once again, a Liberal candidate from Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon wrote a letter to the editor saying that she relied on First Contact and that First Contact uses patented technology based in the United States. We see that candidates who were running for the Liberal Party used this very company to do voter contact information for them.

The Liberals are saying that misleading calls went into Vancouver by callers claiming to be from the Liberal Party. It is pretty clear that they were in fact calling on behalf of the Liberal Party because the Liberal Party hired this company to do it.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, John from Sudbury said that he received a robocall telling him to report to a different polling station than the one indicated on the card from Elections Canada. He went to the office indicated on his card and was able to vote. He was angry because this was an intentional move to influence the outcome of a democratic election.

Does the parliamentary secretary think that John lied and is conducting a smear campaign?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in the Eglinton—Lawrence riding, Liberal Joe Volpe said that he had received calls from North Dakota. They were fraudulent calls. We have now learned that he was the one who signed a $25,000 contract with PrimeContact, a company with offices in North Dakota. The Liberals have known this for some time. Why did the Liberals try to hide this information instead of being open and transparent?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives continue to deceive Canadians. They did it with election fraud, and they are doing it with the budget.

They are releasing spending estimates, but they are refusing to show us what major cuts they are planning. We know this is coming, and Canadian families are worried. The minister is saying that he will make cuts. He does not care about families. On our side, we think that Canadian families have the right to know which services will be cut.

Why is the minister refusing to be transparent? Why is he hiding the truth from Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, our upcoming budget will build on our low tax plan for jobs and growth, which has already created over 610,000 net new jobs for Canadians. Our government is working to reduce wasteful and inefficient spending across the government. Before the recession, we paid down debt as we emerged from the fragile global recovery. We are on track to eliminate the deficit in the medium term.

As members know, we want to avoid a debt crisis like the one that has paralyzed other economic zones in other countries.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, fake lakes, fake new citizens, fake election officials and now fake job figures. At least the Conservatives are consistent on that side of the House. They have lost 60,000 in a few months. They will not say what they are cutting but we know from the estimates that food inspection, transportation safety, environmental assessments and veterans services are all on the chopping block. Why? So they can pay billions and billions of dollars for failed jets and expensive prisons.

Budgets are about choices and the Conservatives are making the wrong choices. When will they stop cutting services that families count on and when will they start putting--

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is one of the more dramatic examples of the truth, which is that we all know that the NDP members cannot count.

The OECD can count. The IMF can count. The G7 can count. The G20 can count. The banks and the economists in our country can count, thank goodness. However, it appears the member opposite cannot count.

We have 610,000 net new jobs since the end of the recession in July 2009, verified by all those international bodies.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the IMF can count all right. It ranked Canada for economic projections in 2012 152nd worldwide. That is a failure.

Now the OECD, Moody's, Fitch, and the IMF all say that the cuts will drive the economy back into recession and yet the Conservatives want to steamroll their ideological agenda over this fragile economy by slashing government services instead of investing in vital services that families need.

Why will the Conservatives not do what is right, protect our fragile economy and put Canadian families first for a change?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the IMF and the OECD both project Canada to have the strongest growth in the G7. The World Economic Forum rates our banking system the best in the world. Forbes magazine ranks Canada, not second or third, but as the best country in the world in which to do business.

What do the credit agencies say? Just last month, Moody's said:

Canada is in that group of countries that are seen as not only safe because they're triple-A rated as well as having strong fundamental characteristics....

We believe that compared to other triple As...Canada is seen more as a haven....

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Just more fine, empty words from the Conservatives, Mr. Speaker. People have had enough. This is why thousands of people, all across the country, are taking part in the Public Service Alliance of Canada's national day of action today to say no to the Conservatives' reckless cuts to services that families need.

Cuts in services to families are unacceptable.

Now that we know the date on which the Conservatives will bring down the budget, can we also know if they will commit to maintaining services that are essential to Canadians?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, our upcoming budget will build on our low tax plan for jobs and growth, which has already created over 610,000 net new jobs for Canadians.

It is no surprise that self-interested public sector union bosses would promote big and wasteful government. These self-interested union bosses do not diminish the honest work performed by public servants every day.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our government has brought forward six straight budgets to promote jobs and economic growth in Canada, including cutting taxes 120 times. Since 2006, over one million new net jobs have been created, but the global economy remains fragile. That is why we are moving forward with our long-term plan for jobs and economic growth, not the NDP plan for higher taxes and massive deficit spending.

As we approach economic action plan 2012, would the Minister of Finance inform the House when he will present budget 2012?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, and that is jobs and economic growth.

The economic action plan 2012 will focus on making Canada's economy stronger for today and tomorrow with prudent, pro-economic growth initiatives, keeping taxes low and responsible spending of taxpayer dollars.

I would be pleased to request the designation of an order of the day to present budget 2012 on Thursday, March 29 at 4 p.m.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the Conservatives head off to Washington to try to avoid the worst-case scenario with the F-35s, it is funny that, here, they are no longer talking about the cost, they are no longer talking about delivery dates, they are no longer saying how many F-35s they are going to buy. All of a sudden, we hear that no contract has been signed and, in his answers yesterday, the minister no longer even mentioned the F-35s.

I wonder if, at last, the Conservatives have had some common sense knocked into them.

Is the minister finally going to reconsider the F-35 purchase?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is more of the daily diatribe against the interests of the Canadian Forces and their families and against the interests of the aerospace industry. I do not know why the New Democratic Party continually demonstrates that it is so out of touch with our country's defence needs.

That member, among all members present, should know that this is the only fifth generation aircraft available to the Royal Canadian Air Force. This is the plane that Canada needs now and into the future.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, if I seem a bit grumpy today, it is because my BlackBerry was abuzz late into the night last night with media reports that the associate minister had at last changed his talking points: no mention of the F-35s and emphasis on the fact that no contract had been signed yet. We know that no contract has been signed as of yet and that is why we continue to call for this contract to go out for tender.

Does this signal damage control or a climb down? Will we finally see a plan B come out of the emergency meeting in Washington?