This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

Young FarmersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize recent achievements made by two outstanding young farmers.

Mark and Sally Bernard who operate Barnyard Organics in Freetown, P.E.I., were named the top young farmers of Atlantic Canada. This was not their first award. They were awarded Farmer of the Year by the P.E.I. Certified Organic Producers Co-op in 2009 and the NSAC's Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.

Producing primarily organic grain and oil seeds, the Bernards also raise broiler chickens, layer hens and sheep. In addition, they have a grain cleaning and soybean roasting operation. The 550 acres of land and all of the livestock are certified organic.

Mark and Sally are a great example of young farmers utilizing their talents to create a successful business in a difficult market. On behalf of the House of Commons, congratulations to Mark and Sally, and I thank all farmers across this country.

25th Anniversary of Man in Motion World TourStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, while in my riding of Prince George—Peace River last week, I had the honour and privilege of being a part of two Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary events.

It was 25 years ago that Rick Hansen began his Man in Motion tour inspiring a generation of Canadians to be the best they could be.

At both events last week, it was clear that Rick Hansen, a true Canadian hero to all of us, is still inspiring us to dream big and to celebrate those who are making a difference in our communities.

To that end, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the organizers of last week's festivities. It is with a great sense of pride that I offer my congratulations to Patricia Marshall and Ann Lewis in Prince George and Lori and Bob Slater in Fort St. John for their dedication and commitment to ensuring both events were successful.

Thanks again, Rick Hansen and all who continue to make such a difference.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts is clear: to oversee the federal government's expenditures.

When a border infrastructure fund magically morphs into a minister's personal slush fund, change is needed.

Instead, the committee's report tabled yesterday is weak and sanitized and overlooks the serious ethical failures of this government. Important witnesses were never invited, little work was done on this subject, and all our efforts to have the Auditor General appear as a witness were nipped in the bud by the Conservative majority.

So the Conservative majority on the committee was busy avoiding the hard questions and making sure the Auditor General was blocked from appearing. This is absolutely shameful. Will this report become the new gold standard of Conservative whitewashing? Can Canadians expect the same kind of kid-gloves treatment on the next Conservative boondoggles?

If the government is unwilling to examine its mistakes, the least it could do is get out of the way while the opposition does its job to uncover the truth.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader already plans to oppose our low-tax, low-debt, pro-trade plan for jobs and growth. He is going to oppose a plan that has already created 600,000 net new jobs and brought Canada out of the recession stronger and faster than any other country in the world.

He proposes high taxes that would devastate our economy, he wants to shut down entire industries and today members of his caucus proposed what amounts to a bailout for a company that has burned through $1 billion in the last five years and will not even show up to defend itself before a parliamentary committee. It is as if he looks at the debtor nations of the world that are running off the debt cliff and says, “Hurry; we have to catch up to them”.

On this side of the House, we understand that we cannot create jobs by taxing those who hire, we cannot borrow our way out of debt and we cannot give people anything without first taking it away. This budget will put taxpayers in the driver's seat, right where they belong.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the Prime Minister is back.

There is every indication that the Conservative budget will be synonymous with cuts and job losses. A few months ago, the Prime Minister promised in this House, solemnly, precisely, that he would not cut pensions, not cut transfers to the provinces for major programs such as health care, and not reduce services to the public. That is exactly what he said in this House.

Will the Prime Minister keep his promise, or break it?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to personally congratulate the new NDP leader on his election.

This government went to the people. We looked for a mandate for our budget and our economic action plan. We will govern according to that mandate.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for his kind words, but the question was whether or not he was going to respect his word.

In a few hours the Conservatives' budget will cut services all across the country. Here is what they promised during the election. They promised to create jobs. Instead they are slashing health care and pensions.

There is growing inequality in this country, yet the Conservative solution is to go after old age security, to go after health care, to cut vital services and make people fend for themselves at the very moment they need it the most. How does that make any sense?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government ran in the last election on a plan to continue to create jobs and growth in this country.

Part of that plan was a gradual elimination of the deficit over the life of this Parliament. That is and continues to be part of the plan. As we were clear, we are not cutting health care and pensions.

EthicsOral Questions

March 29th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only things that are eliminated are 2,600 jobs at Aveos.

Let us talk about someone who still has his job.

Let us talk about his Minister of Industry. He moved a Service Canada centre to Rimouski, in his own riding, to help out his buddies. He was rebuked by the ethics commissioner in the Rahim Jaffer affair. And we have learned that he was given a trip to Marcel Aubut's cottage at the time that Aubut was lobbying for a new arena in Quebec City.

What does it take to get kicked out of cabinet?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times, the minister did not use a contract or taxpayers' money inappropriately. That was not his intention and I trust the minister.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want to balance the books on the backs of vulnerable Canadians.

The Prime Minister promised to create jobs. Instead, he is delivering cuts. He promised to encourage growth. Instead, he is saddling the provinces with higher health care costs.

The Conservatives are shortchanging the provinces by $31 billion, impacting needed front-line health care services. Why is the Prime Minister attacking the very core of our cherished medicare system? Why is he turning his back on Canadians who need quality health care?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I stated all week, our government recently announced long-term stable funding for the provinces and the territories that will see transfers reach a historic level of $40 billion by the end of the decade.

The NDP can talk a good game, but when it comes to health care, let us take a look at the record. Here are some of the health initiatives the NDP voted against. First of all, there were the health transfers, first nations health initiatives, first nations health infrastructure, addictions treatment programs, telehealth and research, just to name a few examples of what the NDP did not support.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, of course the Prime Minister never campaigned on his reckless health care cuts because he knew that Canadians would not stand for it. In fact he promised to protect health care transfers—

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Vancouver East has the floor.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the first chance he got, the Prime Minister is slashing health care funding and wreaking havoc with our health care system.

What does the Prime Minister say to Canadians who still will not be able to find a doctor or who believed his phony claim that Conservatives would protect our health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government announced a long-term stable funding arrangement with the provinces and territories and 6% increases. By the end of the decade, that budget will be $40 billion.

Again let me list some of the examples of initiatives in health care that the NDP voted against: suicide prevention research; personalized medical care; autism research initiatives; consumer products safety initiatives; health products initiatives; Telehealth; addictions programs; first nations health infrastructure; first nations health initiatives; and the list goes on.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, could the Prime Minister square this circle that we have trouble with on this side with respect to the F-35 contract?

The Prime Minister has said that there is a $9 billion limit on what he is prepared to spend. His Minister of National Defence has said that the F-35 is the only plane. General Natyncyzk has said that 65 planes are an absolute minimum with respect to what should take place.

We now know that the plane will cost well more than the $75 million he said that he had a firm contract for in the last election. How will the Prime Minister deal with this critical question?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure anybody alive can square all the circles over in that corner of the House.

In terms of the specific request, I note today that the estimates put out by the United States with regard to the costs of this plane are well within the contingencies established by the Department of National Defence.

However, as the member knows well, the government has not yet signed a contract and retains considerable flexibility on that matter.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the early eighties we started out with 120 CF-18s when the order was first allowed.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

It was 138.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

It was 138. Now we have 80 with respect to the number that is there.

The question becomes a critical one, and it is still in place, it is still there and it still cannot be answered.

How can the Prime Minister ensure that the statements made by the three individuals I have named, himself, the Minister of National Defence and the general in charge of the CDS? How can he be sure that in fact we will have an F-35, or whatever plane, within the budgetary amounts on schedule with—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what position exactly the leader of the Liberal Party is advocating, but this government's position is that we will replace the CF-18 when that airplane begins to reach the end of its useful life at the end of the decade. We will ensure that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment possible.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when a Liberal government minister went to a fishing camp, the Prime Minister, who was then an opposition member, was the first one to demand that minister's resignation. He asked why the minister would not do the honourable thing under the circumstances.

Therefore, we should put the very same question to the Prime Minister. What has changed? We now have two clear examples of ethics issues involving the Minister of Industry. Why is he still in cabinet?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question. I am not aware of any connection with contracts and government business here.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today at the procedure and House affairs committee, the Chief Electoral Officer said, “Any action taken to deliberately misdirect electors and interfere with their right to vote under the constitution and the Elections Act is a serious offence....that is totally unacceptable in a modern democracy”. He also went on to say that any attempt to misdirect voters was an absolutely outrageous attempt to thwart our electoral process. Yet the government continues to characterize all this as just opposition smear tactics.

The government cannot have it both ways. Which is it? Does it think that this is all just games or does it believe there is a serious issue here that needs getting to the bottom of?