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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Political AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day when people who step forward to serve their country are attacked by the opposition.

Let us take the example of Mr. Valcour. He is a highly qualified individual, a graduate of Dalhousie Law School, a distinguished criminal and civil lawyer for several decades, served as chairperson of the Oshawa Harbour Commission, was a member of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority and was reappointed on the basis that his outstanding performance merited reappointment.

That is the kind of people who are attacked by the opposition. Every Canadian should be afraid of a party like that, that wishes to engage in personal attacks on individuals who want to serve the Canadian public.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, one has to wonder who is at the controls now.

Donations to the Conservative Party from the directors of SNC-Lavalin flooded in between November and December 2009. During the same period, Pierre Duhaime, the ousted CEO of SNC, was lobbying the Conservatives about federal nuclear development policy.

By pure coincidence, surely, the federal government announced on December 18, 2009, that same year, that Atomic Energy Canada was going on the market. And guess who hit the jackpot? Yes indeed: SNC.

Is there a connection between the Conservative funding and the awarding of that contract?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government followed a fair, open and transparent process. An independent firm reviewed the process followed to reach an agreement and conclude the sale of AECL. In addition, we appointed two independent advisors to ensure the fairness and integrity of the process, from start to finish. We acted in accordance with their advice at all times.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party received $25,000 from SNC-Lavalin and then Atomic Energy of Canada was sold for peanuts. We are entitled to have questions about that.

On another subject, we learned this morning that well-known entrepreneur Tony Accurso has discovered a new trick for cheating the government.

According to La Presse, by buying a company on the edge of bankruptcy that had nothing to do with his construction business, he is going to be able to save $45 million in taxes.

While the Canada Revenue Agency is going after charitable organizations, Tony Accurso pulls a fast one on them.

When is the Conservative government actually going to do something about the problem of tax evasion?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government has acted ethically on all of these points.

The question is this: knowing that the Leader of the Opposition received $7,000 from a vice-president of SNC-Lavalin, why are New Democrat members attacking us now, when we accepted donations that were legal and ethical?

I also have another question. This member, who has just asked me a question, made donations directly to Québec solidaire, one of the most ultra-radical parties in Canada. Why did he make that kind of donation?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we found out that MDA was having to lay off some highly qualified people because there was no contract to build the strategically important RADARSAT constellation.

In response to my question, the minister stated, and I quote, “...we are committed to the RADARSAT project and we are working on delivering in a cost-effective way”.

The Prime Minister has had a very big photo op, and he has made all sorts of promises about ensuring better sovereignty for this country and saving lives. Now the question is: What is the government waiting for to start this project? Is this going to be another example of a project that gets delayed and mismanaged?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the member was right in quoting me, because we are committed to this project and we will deliver it in a most cost-effective way.

We are taking action for the space sector. For the first time, we launched a review for the aerospace sector to make sure that we remain a leader in the world. This is real action.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what does this kind of answer mean? They are working on delivering this project but, in the meantime, there is no contract for the company and it is likely to lose some highly qualified employees.

The RADARSAT satellites are making Canada proud and we are waiting to build the three-satellite RADARSAT constellation. We cannot wait much longer. It is extremely important for security and sovereignty as well as for monitoring the changing environment in our far north.

Is this another example of a poorly managed project that will be slowed down by this government?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we are committed to the RADARSAT project. We are taking it seriously and we are going to deliver this project in the most cost-effective way. It is a matter of sound cost management.

As I was saying, we are taking concrete measures. Instead of cutting in science and technology, as they did in the past, we have invested more. In fact, we are investing $1.1 billion over five years. I wonder how they are going to vote. It is time, in fact, to hold a meaningful vote on the budget implementation.

A review of the space and aerospace sector has also begun. This is a first in Canadian history.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I want to return to the issue of search and rescue, based on what we have just heard in the House. This is a serious issue, especially for the Rideout family.

Mr. Speaker, picture yourself in the north Atlantic, 130 km out, with no presence of the Government of Canada to help you out.

Here is an email that was discovered by the media. I would like to ask the minister to respond to this, specifically. “Effective May 7, MCTS centres in Newfoundland and Labrador region shall use CIRM Roma for all radio medicals.” That is from the regional director of maritime services, Canadian Coast Guard.

What does the minister have to say to that? First of all, apologize to the Rideout family. Second of all, reopen these centres in St. John's and Quebec City.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the Canadian Coast Guard and DND have provided radio medical services to mariners in the Atlantic region for many years through the Halifax companies, and they continue to do so.

In the event that there are emergencies of sufficient consequences that would require that we have to go to a backup, we do in fact use an internationally recognized company to perform that task.

Radio-Canada InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the closure of Rights and Democracy and the ending of grants to the International Council for Canadian Studies, now it is Radio-Canada International’s turn to be squeezed dry.

Clearly, this government's aim is to control everything that goes out and everything that comes into Canada and everything about Canada.

When did the Conservatives receive a mandate to destroy our international reputation? When did they receive a mandate to destroy all the respected institutions that make it possible to understand the diversity of the information culture here and elsewhere? When?

Radio-Canada InternationalOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, in my view, it is clear that we have made this type of commitment. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has the funds it needs to carry out its mandate and continue with the action plan until 2015.

We have made this kind of commitment in each of these fields: culture, language and cultural infrastructure. The CBC is part of that. It has the investments it needs to build these foundations throughout the country and to fulfill these commitments to our culture.

It is clear: we have the commitments, the investments and the policies, and they are ongoing.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may not like the CBC, but just about everyone, from Christopher Plummer to Russell Peters, has cut their teeth on Canadian radio drama. Artists are Canada's most well known exports. This is a big part of our economy. I know the heritage minister is going to get up and try to hide behind past Liberal cuts, but that is not going to cut it here today. It is his government that is responsible for the demise of CBC radio drama.

Why does the minister continue to attack Canadian culture and the Canadian economy?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is such utter nonsense if we look at our budget and all the investments that we have made with regard to culture.

It is a simple fact that this government is the only government in the G20 that made a precise decision not to cut, not to maintain, but to increase funding for arts and culture during the recession. We increased our support for the Canada Council for the Arts by 20%. We have created two new national museums. We have created the Canada media fund, which is a $100 million investment every year into Canadian television, the audio-video sector and films all across this country. We are providing funding at a record level but in responsible ways to arts and culture to make sure that it continues to contribute to our national identity and to our economy.

Search and RescueOral Questions

May 10th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, closing down the marine rescue coordination centre in St. John's was not bad enough. An ailing fisherman off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador had his call for help routed to Italy. That is right: Italy, as in Europe. It speaks volumes about the Conservatives' lack of understanding or concern for the challenges faced by fishing crews and mariners on our coasts. It—

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. member for St. John's East has the floor.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

It is funny, Mr. Speaker, but it speaks volumes about the Conservatives' lack of understanding or concern for the challenges faced by fishing crews and mariners off our coasts. We never imagined that medical emergency calls would be routed to Italy, all calls. Coast Guard emails confirm this new procedure for all medical calls will be in place effective May 7.

How can the government explain such an outrageous decision?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated a couple of times now, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence provide radio medical services to our mariners in this important work they do, and their safety is of our utmost concern, in Atlantic Canada through centres in Halifax.

As in the past, and we continue to do so, we use an internationally renowned, recognized service provider in the case of—

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for St. John's East.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we cannot close the barn door. The horse has gotten out on this one, and I have lost count of how many times the government has taken wrong decisions on search and rescue. It is poor management and a lack of priority.

People who make a living working off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve far better than having their calls for help taken by a doctor sitting in an office in Rome, who did not even know where Newfoundland was. When will the government take search and rescue seriously for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and for all Canadians? Who signed off on this outrageous experiment and will the government open up the centres in St. John's—

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the service provider that was used as a backup, as I said, is internationally known and has provided backup service to our centres for many years. It is the same service centre that provided backup for the Swissair disaster. It is a renowned company, well known. We use it as a backup only and normally operate through channels in Halifax.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the French just recently elected a new president of the Fifth Republic. Canada has a long-standing close relationship with France, and trade liberalization only serves to strengthen those ties.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. Can he give us an update on the most recent developments with regard to the ongoing relationship between Canada and France?