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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would actually read the legislation she would see that it does not predetermine any issue. In fact, by introducing this legislation, we are acting on the side of the Canadian economy and the general Canadian public interest.

We are not the ones taking sides. I do not think the opposition can say the same thing.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's passion for secrecy is legendary. First it deceived Canadians with a so-called $10 billion accounting error. Then it refused to release the statement of requirements. It then said that there was a contract and then said that there was no contract. Then, when MPs may wish to examine ministers and other witnesses about the F-35, it shuts down the committee.

When will the Conservative government commit to govern with transparency rather than stealth?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, we have had a thorough study of the Auditor General's report. In fact, we have had the Auditor General come to committee on three separate occasions to discuss this chapter. We have had senior officials from the departments come to committee on two separate occasions. We have had the Parliamentary Budget Officer come to committee to discuss his calculations. We have had ministers also come before the committee of the whole for hours to answer all of the questions of the opposition.

It is time to get going and for the opposition to quit playing political games and get this report written.

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after so many years, we have learned there will finally be a competition to replace the search and rescue aircraft. The reason for this is clear: the operational needs for this aircraft were referred to the National Research Council for review and modification in order to guarantee an open and transparent competition.

If the process is good enough for that kind of aircraft, then why not for the CF-18s? Will the operational needs for the aircraft to replace the CF-18s be referred to the National Research Council for review, and will there be an open and transparent competition?

Search and RescueOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, search and rescue is a critical aspect for Canadian society and our government recognizes this fact. Our plans include proceeding as expeditiously as possible on the project. We will continue responsible management of this file, including consultations with industry. We are exploring options that will result in the best outcomes for search and rescue and the best benefits for Canadian taxpayers.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

May 29th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the public accounts committee.

In April, I moved motions to call for witnesses and to summon documents as part of the committee's study on the F-35 fiasco. Despite my motions having been previously called and still up for debate, the chair chose not to allow them to proceed.

My question is about the agenda of the committee. Why has the chair not allowed my motions to be dealt with and will he commit that, before proceeding to other business, he will allow my motions to be properly debated and properly voted on?

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer the question.

First, notwithstanding the fact that he is referring to matters that were dealt with in an in camera meeting and he understands the rules around that--

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Let me answer the question.

The first part of the answer is that--

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Hamilton Centre has the floor.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will try again.

The first part of the answer to his question is that his motion was out of order. The member does not want to accept that but that is not my problem.

On the second issue, there is another point of order. I committed to undertake to review that and come back with a determination that will happen on Thursday, and that is exactly what will take place.

RCMPOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, week after week, there are more and more revelations about sexual harassment in the RCMP.

Despite the fact that federal ministers have a clear responsibility to show leadership to address this very real problem, successive governments have turned a blind eye. The current Minister of Public Safety is reluctant to even use the words “sexual harassment” when asked about this in the House.

So many Conservative crime bills but nothing concrete to address the epidemic of sexual harassment in our own national police force.

Unfortunately, Canadians are rapidly losing faith in the RCMP as the clock ticks.

What is the minister's plan?

RCMPOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I think I have indicated in this House a number of times that I am extremely concerned about the troubling reports of sexual harassment in the RCMP.

There are a number of measures that the RCMP are taking, the commissioner specifically. I am very supportive of the initiatives that the new commissioner is taking.

In addition, we will be looking at the legislation that deals with issues of discipline. This is an issue that needs to be addressed through legislation. I hope, for once, I can count on that member's support when it comes to that type of legislation.

RCMPOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not a new problem, and there have already been countless promises made. It is now time to act rather than wait for there to be more victims.

A high-ranking RCMP officer in Alberta was found guilty of repeated acts of sexual harassment. What was the outcome? He lost a few days' pay and was transferred. That is not a solution.

When are the Conservatives going to get tough on crime when it comes to sexual harassment?

RCMPOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is committed to giving the RCMP the tools it needs to keep Canadians safe and to ensure there is appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms in place. We agree that changes are necessary to deal with what Commissioner Paulson called “dark hearted behaviour” displayed by a small minority of RCMP officers.

We will be bringing forward legislation in respect to discipline in the RCMP and I hope the member will support these important initiatives.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, from one failure to investigate to another.

It is another day into the investigation into likely the single most expensive military procurement in Canadian history. What is new? It is a secret. The Conservatives say that they have nothing to hide. They say that there is not a cover-up, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and even swims like a duck, what does the minister think it is?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, we have had a thorough study of the Auditor General's report. We have had ministers and senior officials from the departments come to committee of the whole and answer all of the opposition's questions. As a matter of fact, there were over 107 questions.

We accept the Auditor General's recommendations and we look forward to the committee's report.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have not heard the Minister of National Defence say why he refused to follow policy on life cycle costing. We have not heard the associate minister say why, for months, he misled Canadians in this House. We have not heard the Minister of Public Works say why her department signed off on sole sourcing the F-35. Instead, they are ducking public scrutiny.

Why will they not let the committee do its job out in the open and get the answers Canadians deserve?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, ministers did come before committee of the whole and answered 107 questions, all of the questions the opposition requested them to answer.

In response to concerns raised by the Auditor General, we have undertaken a seven point plan to guide the replacement of Canada's aging CF-18s, led by a next generation fighter secretariat. We will ensure that Canadians have reliable and transparent costing that fits within our budget before signing any contracts to purchase a fighter aircraft.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed Canada's horror at this weekend's attacks in the Syrian town of Houla in which nearly three dozen children under the age of 10 were viciously killed. Media reports today suggest that these killings were executions.

Despite repeated calls for peace, Assad's reprehensible campaign of savage violence continues unabated.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please tell the House the most recent actions taken by the Canadian government in response to the violence in Syria?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe all Canadians were absolutely horrified with the events that took place in Syria this past weekend. Targeting civilians, especially executing children, is absolutely intolerable and inexcusable.

Today, Canada, joined by many of its closest allies, has expelled Syrian diplomats from Canada. We are giving a very clear message to the Assad regime that his representatives are no longer welcome in our capital. We will continue to work very hard through the United Nations, the Arab League and our allies to bring much pressure to bear.

Tomorrow we are calling on the Security Council to bring in tough economic sanctions against the Assad regime and join what Canada has already been doing for many months.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, sweeping cuts to fisheries will have a serious impact on the health of our waters, our fisheries and our coastal communities.

In a rare showing of non-partisanship, four former fisheries ministers have come together to criticize Conservative changes to the Fisheries Act. Tom Siddon, fisheries minister under Brian Mulroney, called the changes “devious and scary” and accused the Conservatives of gutting the Fisheries Act.

When will the fisheries minister recognize that this is a reckless road he is going down and stand up and defend coastal communities?

Fisheries and OceansOral 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 said many times, we are focusing our fish and fish habitat protection rules on Canada's fisheries, not on farmers' fields.

The opposition likes to ignore the many massive improvements we are making to the act, such as identifying ecological sensitive areas, making the Fisheries Act conditions enforceable and allowing higher maximum penalties, as well as allowing regulations around invasive species. We made a $17.5 million announcement just yesterday on invasive species to fight Asian carp.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Conservatives are doing is endangering the very survival of the fishing industry and the economy of all coastal communities. That is why about 100 businessmen, academics and experts have signed a letter condemning the cuts.

By eliminating scientist and researcher positions, they are destroying our capacity to understand how fish habitats function.

Why are they attacking communities that make a living from fishing? Why are they abandoning sustainable management of the resource?