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House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am having a lot of trouble following the Liberal Party on this particular issue. For almost 10 years it had us involved in the development of the F-35s and spent hundreds of millions of dollars. Then, after the Liberals were defeated, they came out against it. Today they are mad that we have not yet signed a contract.

Obviously we will sign a contract when and if that is the appropriate thing to do. We will always ensure that when we reach the end of the useful lives of our present aircraft that we have the best aircraft for the Canadian Forces.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that I understood the answer.

I would like to quote the Minister of National Defence, who said on December 15, 2010 in the House of Commons, “Here is the truth. The truth is that the cancellation of the F-35 purchase could cost this country up to $1 billion.”

And yet, no contract has yet been signed. Can the minister explain to Canadians what he meant?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to explain one more time that we are involved in a development process with the--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Explain yourself.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. associate minister has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Conservative Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is one of nine countries involved in the joint strike fighter program. We have been engaged with our partners in the development of an aircraft not yet purchased. No contract has yet been signed.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has bungled the CF-18 replacement right from the beginning. Will it now do the right thing, which is: first, define a statement of requirements based on our objectives from a defence and foreign policy point of view; second, hold an open and transparent competition; and third, choose the best aircraft based on performance, cost, industrial benefits and, I need to add, availability? In other words, do what the Liberals did 30 years ago when we chose the CF-18.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty rich talk from the party that sent our men and women to Afghanistan in green uniforms and wearing black boots and that cut the military budget over the length of its tenure. It became the era of darkness in the military. The Liberals are not the ones to criticize this government.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the resignation by the famous scapegoat Michael Sona was initially refused by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Conservative Party's director of political operations, Jenni Byrne, hurried to make a telephone call to get rid of him, thinking she could sweep the entire business under the rug. I think it is quite clear that she had key information about this whole scandal.

The Conservatives have information about the election fraud, but they would rather cover their behinds than be honest and frank with people.

How high in the Conservative hierarchy will we be going? Who on the other side of this House is involved in this massive cover-up operation?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is a question that comes from the same party that has a member from Winnipeg who has already had to apologize and withdraw his false allegations. It is the same party that made up letters on a website that were described as complaints to Elections Canada. It is the same party that broke the law in financing the Broadbent Institute.

The New Democratic Party should stop making false allegations and tell the truth.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the contemptible attacks on the Broadbent Institute, could we perhaps stop tarnishing the memory and the last will of a man who died from cancer. I want this to stop.

Canadians know how things work in the Conservative government; everything is centralized. We have even seen government ministers reduced to mere puppets, obedient and sheepish, reading the blue cards written out by the Prime Minister’s Office. And now, the government wants us to believe that Jenni Byrne, the Conservative Party's director of political operations, was aware of election fraud on an unprecedented scale and that she never said a thing to anyone—

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is the same New Democratic Party that has already been forced to withdraw its comments and apologize to Canadians for making false accusations. The hon. member for Winnipeg is particularly guilty in this regard. He is the one who most often made these false accusations. Shouting false accusations louder does not make them any truer.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary's list of fantasy investigations cannot hide the fact that he refuses to answer questions about the actual Elections Canada investigation into his party for electoral fraud. Conservatives are the one-stop shop for voter suppression and illegal election financing.

In response to questions, the parliamentary secretary claimed that the Conservatives deny “any involvement whatsoever in the matter pertaining to Guelph”. How can that be when they are also saying that they found the Conservative from Guelph who is responsible?

When will the Conservatives stop the doublespeak and call a public inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure where that NDP member has been, but we have said no such thing. She just made an allegation that the Conservative Party is under investigation. That is factually false. I am sure she would want to be accurate.

We do know that the NDP is apologizing and backtracking for its baseless smears. It has had to apologize for these things. We have seen just recently on the public broadcaster, the CBC, some other allegations brought against the NDP. We are very interested in these. We hope that Elections Canada investigates these matters and that the NDP assists it in that regard.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, three-quarters of Canadians agree that there should be an independent inquiry into the electoral fraud scandal. Instead of taking action, the Conservatives are sounding a lot like the Liberals did 10 years ago. Back then, Stan Keyes called questions about the sponsorship scandal a “typical opposition slur with no proof”. He, of course, had to eat his words in the end.

Is that why the Conservatives are afraid of an inquiry? Will they listen to Canadians who want an independent public inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, some words have been eaten, but unfortunately the buffet has been occurring on the NDP side. It is like a virtual word-eating buffet in the NDP. Those members have had to apologize for the baseless smears they have made. It is a smorgasbord of apologies from the NDP for the allegations that it makes.

A number of things have been alleged by the CBC with respect to the NDP's conduct in a whole range of ways in the last election. We hope Elections Canada investigates all these matters as it is the body that has the authority to do so. We hope the NDP participates.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government announced its intentions with regard to foreign ownership in the telecommunications sector and the upcoming auction of wireless spectrum.

Clearly, this announcement was designed to try to please everyone, yet, in the end, almost no one is satisfied.

By lifting foreign ownership restrictions completely for companies with a less than 10% market share, the government is on the verge of creating a two-tiered industry, which could cause serious problems in the future.

The Minister of Industry needs to go back to the drawing board. Does he even see the distortions he risks creating in the industry in the future if he goes ahead with this measure?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's decision was historic. We are acting for Canadian families, and we are going to support them.

I would also like to point out that the NDP critic said that his party heard the government's intention to cover 90% of the Canadian territory within five years and that they liked the idea. The critic also said that he comes from a rural riding where there are major problems with coverage and that this is an issue that is very dear to him.

If he is saying that no one likes this announcement—and I disagree—at least he said he liked it.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I also said that I would reserve judgment until I see the details. The minister will hear from me this afternoon.

The Minister of Industry is trying to please everybody and, ultimately, is pleasing virtually nobody.

The decision to place a cap on the auction rather than opting for the concept of set-aside will hamper the proper development of next-generation cellular technology, LTE.

With LTE technology, companies will be offering the equivalent of a Ferrari to consumers, but the motor that the government will provide will be that of a conventional car. The upshot of this is that the Canadian cellular network is going to stagnate. WIND Mobile has already announced its decision to boycott this auction.

Will the minister review his plan, so that new entrants can provide genuine competition?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have presented a balanced approach that takes into account the complexity of this issue. We have done this for Canadian families. We want to support sustainable competition. We want to promote investment and innovation. We want all Canadians to have access to new technologies wherever they reside in Canada. This means better prices, more choice, and greater quality for all Canadian families. That is what this tremendous announcement means.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

March 15th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, as our economy and society increasingly move into a wireless world, rural Canadians have watched from across a digital divide suffering from poor Internet and cellphone service. The spectrum auction was a golden opportunity to fix the problem but the minister dropped the call. Weak rural build-up requirements will once again see most people outside urban centres waiting years for high-speed service and even then costs will be higher.

Why is the minister choosing to exclude rural Canadians from the digital economy?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is the opposite. This is a great announcement for rural areas. Let me quote the NDP industry critic. He said, “We heard the intention of the government to cover 90% of the Canadian territory within five years. We like the idea. I come from a rural riding. There are major problems of coverage in my riding so this is something that is very dear to me”.

What a great announcement.