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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us see if we can follow this.

The Minister of National Defence says that the F-35 is the only plane that meets the mandatory requirements. His parliamentary secretary says it does not: it is a developmental project. The Associate Minister of National Defence says, yes, it does. But he is off looking for alternatives.

We know that the process has been rigged in favour of the F-35. My question is simply, how did they mess it up so badly?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, while the member opposite is entitled to make whatever criticisms he chooses, he is not entitled to invent his own facts. On that issue, once again he is wrong.

We remain committed to the joint strike fighter program. A budget has been allocated; a contract has not been signed. When all is done, we will ensure that the air force and Canadians receive the best quality for their money.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Talking about messing it up badly, Mr. Speaker, you should see their record on the environment, and it just gets worse.

The Conservatives want to use this budget to help their oil industry friends by gutting environmental protections, such as by clawing back first nations consultations, shutting Canadians out of environmental reviews and rubber stamping major projects without any consideration of the impacts.

The Conservatives are trying to bury their anti-environmental agenda deep in the budget where no one will see it.

Canadians want accountability and they want debate. Will the minister agree to propose these changes in a stand-alone bill?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government makes no apologies for finding more cost-effective ways of protecting both the environment and jobs and the Canadian economy, but I did find a very interesting quote the other day. It says:

People in politics tend to see successes in terms of increasing the budget, but when I was minister of the environment, I reduced by 15 per cent the budget....

Who said that? The newly minted leader of the NDP.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources has repeatedly and brazenly undermined the process reviewing the northern gateway pipeline project, actually attacking Canadians who had the audacity to stand up for our homes and our land, calling them radicals.

Now he is proposing a Republican-style rider in the budget that would further undermine the few environmental protections that Canadians have.

Is he planning to further undermine this process by changing the rules mid-stream, or will he finally respect the fact that when Canadians raise their voices in defence of their homes and their land, it does not make them radicals; it makes them Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, resource development can be advanced while protecting the environment. We can generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, trillions of dollars in economic development, billions of dollars for governments to support social programs and, at the same time, make sure that every project is safe for Canadians and safe for the environment.

We can and we will. Why will the NDP not join us in this nation-making effort?

National DefenceOral Questions

March 28th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my friend, the Associate Minister of National Defence.

I am still trying to sort out the contradictions here. The Prime Minister said there is a $9 billion limit on the budget. That is the budget. We do not know what the price per plane is for the F-35s. It will certainly be more than the much vaunted number of $75 million. We will not have 65 planes.

Therefore, my question for the Associate Minister of National Defence is, how will you square this circle? How can you help us clear up this situation? What planes will we get, at what cost and when will they be delivered?

These are the questions that have—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will just remind the hon. member for Toronto Centre to address questions through the chair and not directly at ministers.

The hon. Associate Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

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

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member opposite that we will find the best solution to replace our aging CF-18s—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member for Toronto Centre has asked a question, the minister is answering it and the member for Toronto Centre's colleagues should let the minister answer it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Conservative Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, as indicated, Canada is a partner in a joint strike fighter program developing an aircraft.

We will continue to be committed to that program and when things are settled and according to the kinds of standards and expectations we have here in this country, a decision will be made as to what we will do next.

YouthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in seven years, the government will talk about young people in its budget. Unfortunately, that is because it is shutting down Katimavik, our biggest youth service program.

We know that the Conservative government does not care about empowering or investing in our youth, but does the minister realize that by cutting Katimavik he is also hurting thousands of community organizations in hundreds of towns across the country?

Every year because of Katimavik thousands of young Canadians get to serve their country, get to learn how to build a better Canada one community at a time. Apparently, that does not matter.

Will the minister be honest enough to admit that the government does not care about young people?

YouthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we have a strong record in supporting kids and that will continue.

My colleague will have to wait for the budget tomorrow, but I know that he is very anxious to please Canadians. I think the best way for him to please Canadians would be on Saturday night when he gets into the ring, if he keeps his hands nice and low and keeps his chin nice and high, he will be giving Canadians the greatest show we have been waiting for.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, there was one. Now there are two: two unilingual anglophone immigration board members in Montreal. Do I have to point out that Montreal is in Quebec, and that the Quebec nation is francophone? This situation is unacceptable not only on the surface, but at the core, because it makes the board members' work inefficient, questionable and perilous.

When will the government fix the problem and show this country's francophones the respect they deserve?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. The Immigration and Refugee Board complies with the Official Languages Act. It holds hearings in the applicants' chosen official language before a board member who speaks that language.

In Montreal, 21 board members are bilingual, nine are unilingual francophones and two are unilingual anglophones. Thirty percent of applications are submitted in English, and those hearings are held in English. There is no problem in Montreal. The board provides services in the applicants' chosen language.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member says there is no problem in Montreal. So why did the Supreme Court quash one decision?

Bilingualism is considered merely an asset when people are applying for the job. It should be an essential requirement for the Montreal office. In this kind of environment, language skills are extremely important. One cannot understand a case if one cannot read the file. That seems pretty straightforward to me.

When will the Conservatives respect both the letter and the spirit of the Official Languages Act?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the spirit and letter of the Official Languages Act require us to provide services in the official language of choice of Canadians, or refugee claimants in this case. There are nine unilingual francophones in the Montreal office.

Is he suggesting that we should dismiss the nine unilingual francophones? No, because Canada is a bilingual country. We respect the rights of francophones and anglophones, both the 30% of claimants in Montreal who file their claims in English, and the nine decision makers who are unilingual francophones.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country are concerned about drug shortages. These have been caused in large part by sole-source supply agreements entered into by provincial and territorial governments and their drug purchasers.

Could the Minister of Health please give the House an update on what she has been doing to deal with this very important issue?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has pointed out, this is a difficult situation caused by sole-source drug supply agreements with provinces and territories. I have strongly encouraged them to consider alternate arrangements that provide for multiple suppliers in the future.

Health Canada has provided provinces and territories the names of companies in Canada that are already licensed to produce the drugs that are in shortage. We have approved six drugs and are expediting the review of more. We are working around the clock to play our part in dealing with the important issue. We have also offered the provinces access to the national emergency stockpile system.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, there is not a fisheries group in Canada that supports the elimination of the owner-operator fleet separation policy. I introduced a motion to have the fisheries committee hear from the people who would suffer the most when these policies are removed.

Did the government vote this motion down because the inshore fishers have something that the corporate sector wants? Why is the government going to sacrifice communities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada just to satisfy corporate greed?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, the member obviously has a crystal ball, but I do not.

The member opposite has been in the House for some 25 years and knows full well that committees answer to the House and that a committee's business is the committee's business.

As for the government's interest in the matter, as I said before, we are looking for input from fishermen to listen to their ideas about the future of the fishery.

Postal ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé NDP Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is scandalous that more Canada Post corporate outlets are being closed. We have learned that one of the few remaining corporate outlets, on Boulevard Sainte-Foy in Longueuil, will soon close.

This bad decision has consequences for the people in my riding. They will have to travel as far as Brossard, or even to Montreal, to obtain postal services, and this is very worrisome for our seniors. It also means that jobs are in jeopardy.

Will the minister assume his responsibilities and maintain public services? Will he stop further job losses?