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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

ArmeniaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, almost a century ago, the world remained silent when more than 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Eight years ago, this House passed a motion to “acknowledge the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemn this act as a crime against humanity”.

This grim and tragic historical event must not be forgotten. The brutal words of Hitler, when he was planning the Holocaust, disturb us still. That monster said, “Who today remembers the extermination of the Armenians?”

This is why we must remember the fate of the Armenians—men, women and children—in the 1915 tragedy. This is why we must commit ourselves to protecting human rights and dignity for all people around the world.

Today, we join with more than 50,000 Canadians of Armenian origin in order to remember the victims of this tragedy. We are also celebrating Armenia's 20 years of independence and we sincerely hope that we are seeing on the horizon the emergence of a future of peace, mutual respect and reconciliation in that part of the world.

On April 24, yerpek tchenk mornal. We will never forget.

Metropolitan Andrey SheptytskyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the darkest period of Europe's history, as Nazi Germany sought to exterminate Jews in their Eastern European homelands, we learned of those who chose to speak out against the slaughter and do what is righteous. Among them was Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church who risked his life and that of his fellow clergy to shelter and rescue Jews from certain death. Thanks to his sacrifice, Metropolitan Sheptytsky saved over 160 Jewish lives.

Leaders of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations representing the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths join us in Ottawa today to honour the courageous actions of Metropolitan Sheptytsky. They are hosted by the Canadian group, the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, which has done amazing work to build bridges of mutual understanding between these two communities.

Metropolitan Sheptytsky lived as a model to the world. Let his actions serve as an example to all of us that we should never shrink away from our obligations to stand up against evil and do what is right.

Healthy Schools DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is Healthy Schools Day in Canada. Students, teachers, parents and others in our school communities are focused today on improving the indoor environmental quality in school buildings.

Healthy Schools Day was established by Canadians for a Safe Learning Environment in Halifax West and partner organizations across Canada. This group has been very successful in helping to improve the condition of school buildings and raising awareness of products and practices used in schools. This means that students and staff have a safer and healthier place to learn and work.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating CASLE on its work. I encourage all members to join me in promoting Healthy Schools Day.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Butt Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, when Liberal dirty trickster, Adam Carroll, was caught circulating the divorce files of a member of this House, he lost his job. Today, after trying to avoid accountability for months, Parliament finally had a chance to question him. Here is what we learned.

First, the Liberal research bureau keeps copies of divorce files of members of the House in cabinet files in its office. This is an abuse of taxpayer money. The Liberal leader needs to explain why the taxpayer funded Liberal research bureau is paying for this.

Second, we learned that Mr. Carroll may have received a massive payoff from the Liberals. After admitting that he was fired for his actions, Mr. Carroll was asked if he was collecting a severance and he refused to answer.

In any workplace, other than the Liberal Party, when one is fired for cause one does not collect severance. Why does the Liberal Party act differently for its own staff with taxpayer money?

New Democratic Party of AlbertaStatements By Members

April 24th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Alberta's New Democrats on their excellent showing in last night's election.

New Democrats placed second in Edmonton, earning over 22% of the total vote. Brian Mason and Rachel Notley are returning the legislature to continue the principled, progressive opposition on behalf of Albertans. They will be joined by two more Edmontonians, public health advocate, David Eggen, and education advocate, Deron Bilous.

The NDP increased its share of the popular vote and had strong showings in well-known NDP hotbeds like Lethbridge.

The results of the election will disappoint social conservatives, including those across the way who publicly endorsed the Wildrose Party. Albertans roundly rejected the Wildrose climate change deniers who wished to build a firewall around our province.

I am confident that this strengthened New Democratic Party caucus will hold the premier elect accountable to deliver on her promises to improve environmental protection and access to public health care.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has a new shadow cabinet. His team believes Canadians need higher taxes, bigger deficits and fewer jobs. His new team consistently puts the rights of criminals ahead of victims and actually travelled to the United States to lobby against Canada developing and selling its own resources.

The new NDP House leader, the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, has repeatedly called on the government to restrict natural resource development. He strongly opposes an efficient streamlining of the review process for major economic projects. These changes will ensure timely and fair hearings in the best interest of Canadians without unnecessary delays driven by foreign funded special interest groups.

It is time for the NDP to stop trying to hurt Canada and to stick up for Canadian jobs, workers and families. Will the NDP please join us today and in the future as our Conservative government works hard for Canadians, for economic growth and for prosperity for today and for the future?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question.

Does he think it is acceptable for one of his ministers to knowingly mislead Parliament in the performance of his duties?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what this question is about but, obviously, I expect the ministers to always tell the truth.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on April 5 in this House the Minister of National Defence said about the F-35, and I quote, “No money has been spent on this file”.

That is completely, utterly false. The government has disbursed over $335 million on the F-35 program. More is committed. The Prime Minister knows it; the Minister of National Defence knows it. Does the Prime Minister believe it was acceptable for his minister to mislead Parliament?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition knows full well that the Minister of National Defence was referring to acquisition costs for the airplane. The government, in fact, has not bought any aircraft. It has not yet signed a contract. It has not yet acquired any aircraft.

The government has spent money as part of an international consortium on the development of the aircraft, and there are more than 60 Canadian companies with contracts developing the F-35, as I have said repeatedly in the House.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, pilot training is a key life-cycle cost, one that seems to be left out of the Conservative's creative accounting on the F-35. The air force is categorical: under the Conservative's plan it cannot even afford to train the pilots.

LIfe-cycle costs have to be considered in every military equipment purchase; Treasury Board guidelines require it. The Minister of National Defence ignored the guidelines and misled Parliament on this as well. Is the defence minister's repeat contempt for Parliament acceptable to the Prime Minister, yes or no?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, the minister has done no such thing. I think we have been very clear on this. We said specifically that the minister was referring, of course, and the record is very clear on this, to acquisition costs. There are other costs obviously involved in our budgets that are also accounted for. The government has been expending money on development costs with the strong support not only of the Royal Canadian Air Force but also of the aviation industry based in this country.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, scandals are unacceptable to the NDP, just as they should be to the Conservatives. Changes to old age security are also unacceptable. Even though the Conservatives never talked about pension reform during the election campaign, they are now proposing to raise the eligibility age to 67. The Minister of Finance says that this will save money, but he does not specify how much.

The question is simple: how much money will they save?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we promised Canadians that we would ensure the sustainability of the old age security system, and that is exactly what we will do. This is not about the how much money will be saved, but about long-term sustainability in order to ensure that the system will be there when future generations need it.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again we have excuses and evasions, but they still refuse to give us the figures. The minister can dance around the facts all she likes, but Canadians deserve a real answer, Canadians who rely on OAS.

While the government claims this cut is necessary, most experts and economists disagree. Why is the government refusing to back up its claim with real evidence, and why will it not just tell us exactly how much it expects to save by raising the OAS age? It is a pretty simple question.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are joining leading countries around the world like England, Australia, the United States and others in recognizing that the population is aging, that we are going to have fewer working Canadians supporting a dramatic increase in the number of seniors who will be relying on OAS. The changes that we are proposing are going to ensure that the OAS system is there for seniors of future generations when they need it and when they expect it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Auditor General, the government did not clearly state what the cost would be to replace the jets, nor did it indicate the upgrading costs, the weapons costs, the maintenance costs or the training costs.

Just yesterday, the government had to admit that the training costs would exceed the government's original estimate by more than $2.3 billion.

How can the government continue to claim that it did not mislead Parliament when all of these facts were flatly denied by this government, by the Minister of National Defence and by the Prime Minister himself?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General asked the government to re-examine the numbers concerning the F-35 and the government is committed to doing just that. We will go through all the necessary steps before we acquire this aircraft. Our commitment in that regard is very clear.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General concluded that the government gave Parliament information that was inaccurate and insufficient.

The Auditor General found that the government did not take into account the cost of getting new planes in case of attrition, did not take into account the fact that there is a maintenance cost that is higher for an F-35 than it is for an F-18. All of these things are clearly laid out in the Auditor General's report.

The government has said it accepts the conclusions of the Auditor General's report. It accepts his findings, all of them.

Why will the government not admit that in fact it has been misleading Parliament by giving us information that is neither accurate nor complete? Why will it not finally admit that?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Auditor General said, the Auditor General questioned the reliability and the completeness of information that the department had provided on these costs.

That is why the government has committed explicitly to re-examining those numbers, as suggested by the Auditor General, before we move forward. That was the Auditor General's suggestion. The government, of course, is acting on that and doing much more, putting in a process of increased supervision before we in fact spend any money to acquire new aircraft.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the minister is swanning around London in a $1,000-a-day limousine, many of her employees are receiving this letter:

We regret to inform you that your position is affected under the Government of Canada Workforce adjustment measures.

In other words, these workers at CIDA are being fired.

How does the government justify the discrepancy in behaviour? The minister of the crown is going around buying $16 orange juice and staying in rooms that are unaffordable. How does the minister possibly justify this kind of an expense, this kind of an abuse? She has not paid back for the limousine.

Can the Prime Minister please tell us how—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of International Cooperation.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the expenses are unacceptable, should never have been charged to taxpayers. I have repaid the costs associated with the changing of hotels, and I unreservedly apologize.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will get to my question, but first I will have to wade through the crocodile tears. The data that we are seeing—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!