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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the government has said repeatedly that we accept the conclusions of the Auditor General and we are working to implement his recommendation. What he has asked is that the Department of National Defence come forward with updated and accurate cost estimates for the F-35 and table those in Parliament.

We are actually going much further than that because we think that a purchase of this size needs the utmost transparency and due diligence. Therefore, we have created a secretariat outside of the Department of National Defence. We expect to review all of the process to date, and all of that will be independently validated.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is astonishing that the Department of National Defence justified its decision for the F-35 based on this 160 word letter. The letter was produced as justification on the day that it was requested. It mentions the term “fifth generation fighter” four times in one paragraph to try to convince Public Works that the F-35 is the only plane for Canada. However, the Auditor General notes that the term “fifth generation” is not even a description of operational requirements. We know it is really just a marketing term.

Why did the Department of National Defence do a sales pitch to Public Works instead of providing a complete and documented justification for its decision?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to repeat, the Government of Canada has taken action to ensure that due diligence, oversight and transparency are fully embedded in the process to replace Canada's aging CF-18 aircraft.

We are following a seven step action plan. As was stated earlier, we are fulfilling the wishes and the recommendation of the Auditor General. From this point forward, this includes a number of steps that will mean freezing the funding. The secretariat, outside of National Defence, will be the one to oversee this process.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, not only did the Department of National Defence use this 160 word letter to justify one of the largest military procurements in our country's history, it engaged Public Works far too late in the game and provided no supporting documents explaining why the F-35 was the only aircraft.

Will the Minister of National Defence finally take responsibility for failing to follow the rules and commit now to an open and fair competition, like he did in the House in May of 2010, six weeks before the F-35 decision was announced by his government?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government has been clear that we expect more transparency and increased due diligence before any purchase is to be made. We have frozen the funding. The Auditor General has said that no funding has been misspent because there has been no funding spent on the acquisition of any plane. No purchase will be made until all of these steps are taken into consideration.

We have set up the secretariat. I am glad to note that the Auditor General says that the government is going in the right direction.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, new information has come to light about the Conservative Party's involvement in the electoral fraud that took place during the last election.

The IP address used to download the lists of voters from the Conservative database is the same as the one used by Pierre Poutine, who made illegal, fraudulent calls. The Conservatives stubbornly deny having any knowledge of this.

When will they take this violation of election laws seriously and co-operate fully with Elections Canada?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are co-operating with Elections Canada, and we condemn all attempts to mislead voters.

The New Democrats have made false allegations about this on many occasions. They have had to apologize outside the House. Yet they have come back to the House of Commons with the same false allegations they have already had to apologize for.

They should stand up and apologize again.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are sick of these bizarre answers.

The fact is, mounting evidence is linking these voter suppression calls to the Conservative Party. Investigators are interviewing more Conservative operatives, Conservative voter lists were accessed from the same IP address Pierre Poutine used to order voter suppression calls, and missing evidence about who accessed the Conservative database may never be recovered.

No one trusts the Conservatives on this. When will the government do the right thing and call an independent inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, further to what my colleague said a moment ago, the Chief Electoral Officer found troubling all of the sweeping allegations of wrongdoing without facts to support it. That is what we hear in this House day in and day out from an NDP that has had to apologize time and time again for defamatory comments that it has made in public.

Let us be clear. The articles that were published over the weekend made it absolutely crystal clear for the NDP. The Conservative Party is fully supporting this investigation and has played no role in it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, silencing electors is not enough for this government. It also wants to silence scientists and all of its critics.

The Minister of the Environment has gone too far in his attempt to discredit the people who criticize him. A group representing over 1,300 charities in the country has written an open letter to the minister asking him to retract his comments about environmental groups, which he accused of money laundering.

Will the minister apologize?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the measures announced in the budget would provide more education to charities to ensure they are operating within the law and more transparency for Canadians who donate so generously to those charities.

We understand that registered charities are an important part of Canadian society and we encourage Canadians to donate generously. In order to protect Canadian interests, we have a duty to ensure that these organizations are operating properly and in compliance with all federal laws. That is what we will be doing.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, so there is no apology.

In a scathing editorial today, a national newspaper calls on the government to “halt its smear campaign”. Conservatives will stop at nothing to push through risky projects for their oil lobbyist friends. They have no concerns about passing on environmental and economic costs to future generations.

Will the minister stop making Canada a laughing stock and will he cease and desist his baseless smear campaign?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member and this House that our focus is on economic growth and long-term prosperity. It also is on protecting Canadian interests through ensuring that these organizations are operating properly and within the law. We are taking action so that Canadians can be sure that charities are using the resources appropriately.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, so, still no apology. And the minister refuses to stand up for the environment.

In addition, the government is unapologetically trying to cover up its anti-environment agenda with a campaign of smears and intimidations against critics. However, Canadians refuse to be silenced, because there is too much at risk. Citizens are standing up to push back against plans to weaken environmental protections and to shut out concerned Canadians.

Will the minister shake the oil out of his ears, listen to Canadians and stop his unprecedented gutting of environmental legislation?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, every Canadian has an opportunity to speak.

This legislation will enhance environmental protection, it will create jobs and it will generate billions of dollars of revenue to governments for social programs. The opportunity will be there for opposition members to attend a special subcommittee of the Department of Finance, a finance committee. The public will also have an opportunity to speak. This will be the longest debate in the budget in 20 years.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

May 7th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as we have just witnessed from members' denial and distraction, the Conservatives seem to be tripping over themselves once again over the election fraud scandal. It seems now that their strategy is completely collapsing.

We know that the IP address used by Pierre Poutine leads right back to the Conservative campaign, calls by a Conservative in the national war room are being investigated and they have sourced the lists to the Conservative database.

When will the government drop its denial and distraction and call a royal commission on this?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me an opportunity to clarify once again what I said a few minutes ago.

The Conservative Party has been fully co-operative from the outset on this. I think the articles over the weekend indicated such. We are aware of concerns that have been raised in the local campaign involved but we were also made aware of the deliberate attempt by the Liberal Party to mislead voters in Guelph and to hide the calls they made using a phoney name and a phoney number. All of this broke elections law. We found that out, not because the Liberal Party came forward, but because it was brought forward.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lise St-Denis Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must insist. Now the noose is tightening regarding the robocall scandal. It has recently come to light that the IP address used by Pierre Poutine was that of a Conservative campaign worker. Furthermore, the list used to call non-Conservative supporters was taken from the Conservative CIMS database.

What more does the government need for it to redeem itself and share all information with the authorities?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Liberal leader has already had to apologize for making false allegations against several businesses and individuals in that regard.

Second, one must admire the audacity of the Liberal Party. It is the only party that has a member—the member for Guelph—that admitted to having made calls to voters using a false name and number. The Liberals broke the law. It takes some nerve for them to turn around and accuse us.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has accused Canadian environmental charities of money laundering. That is a serious criminal offence triggering international obligations under FINTRAC, the G8 and the G20.

The minister's allegations are irresponsible. Could he actually define money laundering? Could he provide a specific example of it? Has he reported anything to FINTRAC or the RCMP? If not, will he withdraw his reckless allegation intended only to smear people he does not like?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we do understand that registered charities are an important part of our society and we do encourage Canadians to donate generously to these charities. However, in order to protect Canadian interests we have a duty to ensure that these organizations are operating properly and spending their resources appropriately.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, one in ten Canadians and one in five single-parent families are affected by food insecurity.

Today the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food is visiting Canada, the first OECD country to receive him. Instead of welcoming him with open arms and taking the matter seriously, the Conservatives are slamming the door in his face with a bang.

Approximately two million Canadians do not have access to healthy food. Why does the government continue to ignore this problem?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, our government has invested significantly in shared priorities with first nations to access healthy and affordable food, housing, education, water infrastructure and economic opportunity. We will continue to work with our first nation partners to ensure that they can participate fully in Canada's economy.

As well, Canada was the first G8 country to fully disperse our United Nations L'Aquila pledge on agriculture and food security. Our officials are meeting with the rapporteur. They will provide briefings on the programs and initiatives in place to ensure that access--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Ministers of Health, Aboriginal Affairs, Agriculture, Fisheries and Foreign Affairs have all declined to meet with the UN representative.

Canada's reputation in the world continues to suffer as the government looks the other way when it comes to food security. All Canadians, families and children deserve access to safe and secure nutritious food.

Why is the Conservative government refusing to even talk about this serious issue?