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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only will the Conservatives' budget affect the well-being of all Canadians, but it will also make air travel less safe.

The government introduced a safety management system that limited inspectors' access to planes, then it refused to protect the jobs of qualified mechanics working for Aveos. Now it is cutting the air transportation safety budget by 7%.

Why are the Conservatives so determined to endanger the safety of air travellers in this country?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that our government will ensure the safety of Canadians. We will not measure our success in this area or in any other by how much it costs.

We will deliver the goods efficiently without spending more. Yesterday, the NDP announced that it wants a bailout plan for Aveos, which has wasted $1 billion, has declared bankruptcy, and is refusing to appear before a parliamentary committee to tell its side of the story. We will never agree to that.

Air TransportationOral Questions

March 30th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives figure out who is going to answer the question, what I will say is that I just do not get it why the government will interfere to prevent a strike but not interfere to save thousands of jobs for Canadians.

The combination of all of these cuts could create a perfect storm. After moving our inspectors out of airplanes and into offices, and cutting 7% of the aviation safety budget, the Conservatives are rolling the dice with the safety of Canadians. They will not even apply the law to make sure that Air Canada keeps its skilled maintenance workers at Aveos.

How can the minister justify reducing the measures that ensure the safety of Canadians?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, this member's rhetoric is really alarming and disappointing. It is beneath members of Parliament to suggest that any of us do not take the safety of Canadians as our first priority.

The savings will be of a nature that will not affect the safety of the airlines, and will respect taxpayers' money. The situation at Aveos is unfortunate. I feel for the families. However, we have a legal opinion that Air Canada is within its legal rights. Moreover, Air Canada said yesterday at committee that it wants to be able to hire many of those Aveos employees to continue to do the maintenance.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. That is why our economic action plan 2012 will make significant investments in science and technology to encourage businesses to invest more in research and development and to continue to create world-leading talent across this country.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry please update the House on our government's continued commitment to science and technology?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, our government committed to strongly supporting university and college researchers, the National Research Council, Genome Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the industrial research assistance program, and the list goes on.

These investments will ensure Canada's long-term competitiveness, creating jobs, growing our economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget punishes all Canadians. Not only does it contain zero measures for job creation, but there is nothing to improve our municipal infrastructure.

We are not the only ones criticizing it. The Union des municipalities du Québec is also calling on the Conservatives to move on to serious concerns. There is nothing in this budget for public transit, affordable housing or infrastructure.

How can the Conservatives ignore the pressing needs of our municipalities?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the best way to judge the state of Canada's infrastructure is to look at the average age of each piece of infrastructure. When we came to power, that age was 17 years. It is now 14 years. Our infrastructure is younger and more up to date than it has been in the past 30 years. We will continue to proceed with a program that is producing results, rather than spending just for the sake of spending.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, are the Conservatives trying to punish areas that did not vote for them by underfunding them? It really seems so. Cities are facing major funding gaps and the budget does nothing to address any of them.

Affordable housing? Not there. Public transit? Not there. Immigrant settlement services? Not there.

Most Canadians live in urban areas, but they are the ones who are going to be missing out.

When will the Conservatives accept their responsibilities to fund the services that Canadian cities rely upon?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, in fact, that member is wrong. Many MPs from the cities are Conservatives, but many are not.

What we are undertaking is a review of the building Canada fund to see what went well, what needs to be improved and what needs to be done. That will occur over the next two years.

In the interim, $10 billion is going to be invested in cities and infrastructure. This is an historic amount. No other government has put in so much.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, over 1.3 million Canadians are currently unemployed. Yesterday's budget will add another 20,000 people to that number, most of them in our national capital region.

Is that what the Conservative government means by job creation? Cutting public services and reducing the number of people providing those services? When will the minister responsible for the national capital region stand up and defend the local economy?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has brought forward some fair and balanced measures. Public servants are taxpayers too. The biggest threat to public services in Canada is skyrocketing deficits and out-of-control spending. That is why we have taken some fair and balanced measures.

There were some who were predicting, literally, 60,000 job losses in the capital. In fact, it is only going to be a small fraction of that.

Obviously, it is very difficult for any single person who loses his or her job, but we will ensure that they are treated fairly and reasonably. We have unprecedented investments in the national capital region, on both sides of the river. This will create more jobs, more hope and more opportunity.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the Conservatives understand the magnitude of the job losses. I am not sure if you received this tweet, Mr. Speaker, but this morning at 8 a.m. I received a tweet from the Government of Canada saying, “Start a career in the public service”. What career? They are killing 20,000 jobs.

The budget really is a cruel joke on Canadians, particularly Canadians who work for the public service. All we have here are job losses and service cuts. Where is the hope for good public services? Where is the opportunity for jobs?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.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 2012 budget is a low tax, low debt plan focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Our government's modest and measured action is subdued compared to the measures implemented in the mid-1990s. Public servants who lose their jobs will be treated fairly.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety received a letter from the mother of student who goes to Canterbury High School in Ottawa. She says the member for Yorkton—Melville said some extraordinary things about giving people the right to carry arms and bear firearms and how that was good for public safety. He denied the statement, but now the woman in question has insisted that that is exactly what he said.

We also have the member for Calgary West who just put out an article saying “Where do we aim our guns now”, calling for even further weakening of our gun control legislation.

I would like to ask the minister, is it the policy of his government to encourage these expressions of vigilantism?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, these baseless smears against the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville are terrible. They are beneath the leader of the third party.

This member has worked very hard for his constituents and has worked hard for law-abiding Canadians. I am proud of our caucus. I am proud of our government. We are finally ending the wasteful, ineffective long gun registry, and the member from Saskatchewan has done a great job in support of that.

Young PeopleOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are doing away with Katimavik.

They claim it costs too much, but their own recent assessment found that this youth program is relevant, important and valuable. This program also benefits thousands of Canadians through more than 80,000 days of work a year at more than 500 community agencies across the country.

Claiming that a few exchange programs in Toronto or Quebec City will be better is insulting to our young people and their desire to be leaders—not leaders of tomorrow, but leaders of today.

Will the minister reverse this foolish decision?

Young PeopleOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, at the outset let me say how excited I am about Saturday's fundraising initiative. My mother and my father died of cancer, so anything that brings some attention to that cause, I am in favour of.

Specifically, since 1977, Katimavik has received roughly 99% of its funding from the Government of Canada. That is almost $400 million since it was created. It costs $28,000 for every young person it supports.

What we are going to do with the economic action plan is to focus on creating jobs and opportunity for all Canadians, for our young Canadians, and we are going to do it with programs and services that actually work.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget showed once again that the Conservatives just do not seem to care when it comes to Canadian culture.

At least $115 million was cut from the CBC's budget. That means less unique Canadian programming and it means less local content. Canadians do count on the CBC to be informed, entertained and inspired.

Is the government actually trying to cripple the CBC? Why will it not defend this important Canadian cultural institution?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, at the outset let me say that this government has invested more in arts and culture than any government in the history of this country. We are the only country in the G7 that has not only maintained but actually also increased funding for arts and culture.

The Canada Council is receiving the largest amount of funding it ever has, and through the economic action plan that is going to continue. Our museums are receiving the largest amount of funding, and that will be protected in the economic action plan going forward

On this side of the House, we understand that arts and culture is good for the economy and good for jobs. That is why we are going to continue to invest in it.

We asked our friends at the CBC to be part of helping us bring our budget back into balance. They are participating in that because they know it is good for the economy.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Conservatives showed once again that culture and information matter little to them: $115 million in cuts to the CBC amounts to a direct attack on our public broadcaster.

When will this government realize that when it attacks the CBC it is attacking our culture, our heritage and an important vehicle for presenting the issues facing our society?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the investments we have already made in Canada's cultural sector. We on this side of the House know that these investments are very important for Canada's economy.

Unfortunately, the NDP and the Liberals voted against all those investments. I hope that they will vote in favour of our artists and Canadian culture the next time they have the chance.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are over $500 billion in potential investment in our resource sectors. This investment will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth. However, we are competing with countries around the world for this investment. It is not guaranteed. We cannot sit back and just wait for it to happen.

Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House how our government will unleash Canada's full resource potential?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, while the no development party is opposing all investment in the Canadian economy, our government is creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

We need to modernize a one project, one review regulatory system with clear timelines from beginning to end. That will help move Canada's economy forward. It will benefit Plan Nord in Quebec, the Ring of Fire in Ontario, mining in British Columbia and all of Canada.

Canadians also need to know that we are enhancing environmental protection, with more safety measures for pipelines and tankers.

This is good news for the economy, for the environment and for Canada.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget draws attention to “an individual’s past history with the EI program”. The minister needs to explain this reference.

What comfort does the government have for fish plant workers from my riding who depend solely on seasonal work? They work in a struggling industry, do not have access to other part-time employment and depend on their employment insurance benefits to make ends meet.

Will the minister assure seasonal workers that the government will not change their access to EI benefits?