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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the guillotine is coming down on the old age security program even though the Conservatives promised they would never touch it.

The cuts are not only going to reduce our seniors' standard of living, but they are also going to increase expenses for the provinces. As with the prisons, the Conservatives are shirking their responsibilities and sending the bill to the provinces. The fiscal imbalance is back.

Will this government do its job and help our seniors instead of making them poorer?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times this week in the House, the current old age security system is simply not sustainable. If we ignore the current path we are on, we will put future generations of Canadians at risk. That is why this government is moving forward.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Dominic LeBlanc

Don't speculate on the budget.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, we will not speculate on the budget. Hon. members can wait until 4 o'clock.

That is why this government is protecting retirement security issues. We are making sure we focus on them. We are making sure that seniors today and future generations of Canadians are protected.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, old age security is not sustainable? That is ridiculous.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour is massaging the numbers in order to scare people and justify these cuts.

The Government of Canada's chief actuary, the OECD, which conducted a study on pensions, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer are clear. These experts say that the old age security program is indeed sustainable.

The budget is about making choices. Today, the Conservatives have a choice: maintain our old age security program and fight poverty among seniors or put the money elsewhere.

Why are the Conservatives choosing to cut seniors' incomes?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, this is actually pretty simple math. Right now, for every one senior there are four people contributing to OAS. Twenty years from now, there will be two.

We want to make sure there is a sustainable OAS system so that future generations of Canadians can benefit from it. I am so fortunate to work with a group of individuals here who want to protect seniors now and future generations of Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives just will not let the facts stand in the way of their decisions.

Fact: Experts such as the OECD and the Parliamentary Budget Officer have said OAS is sustainable. Fact: Rewriting OAS eligibility will download billions of dollars of costs onto the provinces.

How can Canadians trust a Prime Minister who is slashing their retirement security for no good reason? How can they trust a Prime Minister who hid from them his plan for OAS during the election campaign?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is actually very easy to trust the Prime Minister because he delivers on everything he says he will deliver on.

We are focused on jobs and job creation. There have been 610,000 net new jobs since we came into office.

With respect to OAS, as I said, I will not speculate on the budget, but we are going to deliver on those things we said we would deliver on.

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not just today's seniors who worry about the Prime Minister's reckless OAS cuts. Young Canadians and middle-class families are left wondering if they can still afford to retire at 65. We know years of saving just is not enough anymore. Why? Because the Conservatives want to blow more money on failed fighter jets and a costly prisons agenda.

Why is the Prime Minister leaving tomorrow's seniors out in the cold? Why should seniors work two years longer to pay for the Conservatives' mismanagement?

PensionsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned several times in the House this week, this government is focused on making sure that seniors, those people who built our country, are provided the benefits they are due, whether that be the OAS, an increase in the GIS, actually the most substantive increase in the last 25 years which that party voted against, or increases in the GIS in 2006, 2007 and 2008, which the NDP voted against.

I am very pleased to be part of a party that supports seniors and provides opportunities.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada remains deeply troubled with the apparent arbitrary and politically biased nature of judicial proceedings against Ms.Tymoshenko and other individuals, proceedings which undermine the rule of law.

The government has shown tremendous leadership on this file. In February it paved the way for three Canadian doctors to participate in an international medical commission to assess the health of Ms.Tymoshenko.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs kindly give the House an update on the actions the government has taken since the independent medical commission?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased that Canada's intervention saw three Canadian doctors visit Ukraine to see the former prime minister. We are very concerned by reports that Ms. Tymoshenko's health continues to deteriorate, and we are certainly prepared to offer her care in Canada.

Last week, my parliamentary secretary, the member for Mississauga--Erindale, travelled to Ukraine to deliver strong messages on behalf of Canada. I have also met with Ukraine's foreign minister to express our strong concerns. We are prepared to work with Ukraine to ensure it continues on the path of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were completely improvising when they announced that $9 billion would be enough to purchase 65 F-35s, but now the reality is catching up with them. The Auditor General of the United States has reported a 40% cost increase per unit, for a total cost of $1.45 trillion for the entire program.

My question is simple. At this time, how many F-35s does the government think it can buy with $9 billion?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the member opposite once again that Canada has been a partner in the joint strike fighter program for 15 years. We have not signed a contract for purchase and have the flexibility we need to purchase aircraft in the years when it will be the cheapest for Canada.

Ultimately, we will replace Canada's aging CF-18 aircraft, and we will do so within the allocated budget.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we just heard from the Prime Minister, we have received news from the United States government that the price of the F-35 program has gone up again. The latest figure is $1.45 trillion, up from an even trillion dollars just one year ago. That is $135 million per plane, and if we want an engine to get it off the ground, that is an additional $26 million.

The Prime Minister just described these figures as well within the contingencies of the department. How much are the Conservatives prepared to pay for these planes, and why are they so reckless with taxpayers' money?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, to inform the member opposite, we remain committed to the joint strike fighter program. A budget has been allocated. A contract has not been signed for replacement aircraft.

We will continue to make sure that the air force and our men and women in the military have the necessary tools to do the job we ask of them.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week our motion in support of the owner-operator and fleet separation policies was killed by the Conservatives on the fisheries and oceans standing committee. It is clear they do not support independent fishermen and east coast communities.

Let us hear from the minister himself. We have asked him before, but got no answers, so let us try one more time. Will the Conservatives stand up for fishermen and maintain the fleet separation owner-operator policies, yes or no?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, I have entered into a consultation process with fishermen to find out how we can improve the fishery, how we can make it work better, and how we can make it sustainable for the long term. I make no apologies for consulting with fishermen.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, these vague promises will not make fish appear in the boats of east coast families.

Fleet separation is crucial for small-scale fishers. We are talking about over 10,000 independent fishers, over 20,000 crew members and thousands of other indirect jobs in our coastal communities. Putting an end to fleet separation will kill tens of thousands of jobs.

Will the minister protect east coast jobs or is he going to sacrifice the fishery to benefit large corporations?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times and have made very clear, the status quo in the fishery is not working. We are seeking input and advice from people who are in the industry and know the industry. We have to understand what they want us to do to improve the workings of DFO and how we administer fisheries policies in this country. I will continue to consult with those people.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government knows full well there is a chance for success if the government had the courage to do the right thing and take Air Canada to court. We are talking about 2,500 Canadians in Winnipeg, Montreal and Mississauga who need these jobs. These communities need these valuable jobs.

Why will the Conservative government not enforce the law and protect these most valuable jobs?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the loss of these jobs is important for communities and workers. However, as I said before, the legal advice I received states that Air Canada is in compliance with the act. In committee today Air Canada stated its commitment to keeping these jobs in Canada. That is very important for us. We will continue to support all industries in Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, today the Chief Electoral Officer gave unprecedented testimony in committee and called attempts to misdirect voters in the last election as outrageous. He also revealed that the specific complaints and investigations now extend to 11 provinces and territories, that there are over 200 ridings involved, and that he has launched over 250 investigations.

When we add all this up, including the shady extra Conservative bank accounts in Vaughan, it reeks of a national scandal. When will we finally get a royal commission?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the opposition needs to clearly determine whether it has confidence in Elections Canada or not.

Today the Chief Electoral Officer presented to committee. He in fact said that he had the capacity and resources to undertake this. He said several things that the member has either deliberately ignored or is deliberately manipulating. He said there were 250 files, not investigations. He said it could all be a single investigation. He also said he would report back to Parliament. What he said very clearly is the unsubstantiated smear campaign that has been undertaken by parties opposite is entirely inappropriate.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of the CBC. On the radio, on television and online, the CBC informs, entertains and inspires us, but the Conservatives could not care less. Once again, they are going to cut our public broadcaster's budget. To bad for Canadian culture; too bad for our heritage.

When will this government provide adequate funding for that institution, which is a source of pride for Canadians?