This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians are seeing is the latest in and out scheme from the Conservative Party. This one stars none other than the notorious SNC-Lavalin.

Here is how it works. It took 10 top SNC executives who sent donations into two dead dog ridings and the money was then flowed out to key ridings in Quebec, including, in particular, the now-disgraced Minister of Industry who was then the public works minister and at the time there were numerous contracts floating around.

I would like to ask him what was the quid pro quo for the money.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have already invited the leader of the NDP to rise and explain why his party received $7,000 from the vice-president of SNC-Lavalin. Three times now he has refused to rise and explain his own conduct. He says that anybody who receives a donation from that company or its members has done something wrong. Why is he pointing one finger at us and three fingers at himself?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad he is getting practice for 2015 when he will be asking us all kinds of questions. At least by then he might start getting his facts right, so he should keep practising.

Meanwhile, the question is to the fact that we have justice department lawyers parked and idle, while the Prime Minister is dinging taxpayers to cover lawyers for him in the Helena Guergis case. We all remember how he made all these unsubstantiated claims against Madam Guergis, which he was unable to substantiate. No wonder he is getting sued.

Therefore, it is a simple question. How much are taxpayers being dinged to defend the Prime Minister against the unsubstantiated claims that he made against a former colleague?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member again is 100% fact free. In fact, as the hon. member should know, all ministers of the Crown are indemnified for activities that fall within their jurisdiction during their term of office. In fact, all MPs are indemnified under the same circumstances, including some members of the NDP, his colleagues.

I would assure the hon. member that everything is in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' record is one of waste, questionable ethics, and political funding from sources charged with corruption. It is scandal upon scandal.

This week alone, we heard about a high-priced, private lawyer who is defending the Prime Minister, then about a former candidate who—

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Hey Nathan, your new civility is awesome.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages has to let the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent put the question.

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I said.

There are so many scandals: the former candidate involved in organized crime; the carefully organized influx of donations from SNC-Lavalin. It is starting to be a bit much and it is only Wednesday. What can we expect for tomorrow?

Will the Prime Minister finally put his foot down and create a culture of responsible ethics in his caucus?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is trying to distract us from the fact that the leader of the opposition received a donation directly from the vice-president of SNC-Lavalin.

The New Democrats are asking these kinds of questions because they do not want to talk about the economy, the 700,000 jobs we have created or the tax cuts that have bolstered our economy. That is our agenda, but the NDP members do not want to talk about it because they are afraid of this debate.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Space Program are a source of pride for Canadians and have made Canada the third country in space. They have also contributed to the growth and development of a first-rate aerospace industry.

Now, we have learned that the government is going to cut the Canadian Space Agency's budget by 10%.

How could this government, which claims to be the champion of innovation and competitive industry, make such a decision? Why did it make this ill-considered decision?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

May 9th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada plays a key role in the Canadian aerospace industry. Budget 2012 confirms that Canada will continue to participate in the International Space Station mission.

What is more, we are taking concrete action. We launched a review of the aerospace industry and the space sector in general to keep our leadership position. That requires vision. We are giving ourselves the tools we need now to keep this leadership position.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that they are always launching reviews.

In 2005, the Liberal government undertook a strategic satellite program called the RADARSAT constellation, which is an array of three Earth observation satellites. This was important because it was going to help Canada ensure its security and sovereignty in the far north, in our territorial waters, over our land, and also monitor the rapidly changing environment, particularly in the high Arctic.

Given the fact that MDA, the company that would build the satellites, and remember, we did not allow them to be sold to a foreign company, is waiting for a contract, will the government please tell us whether it intends to proceed with RADARSAT?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to the RADARSAT project and we are working on delivering in a cost-effective way. I wonder how the member will vote on all of these measures.

I want him to know that we launched a review of the aerospace and space sector to make sure that we keep the leadership position in the future.

I wonder where the member was when we launched the $1.1 billion with respect to science and technology.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the one phrase that describes the Conservative government's military procurement program is sheer incompetence: fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft delayed and over budget; the close combat vehicle procurement slammed by the fairness monitor; the F-35's delay and deceit. Today it is the Arctic patrol ships again delayed and over budget.

Could either minister of defence tell us what it is they do over there?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unlike the 10 years of darkness attributed to the previous Liberal government, we are moving forward on a whole array of assets to support our military men and women in doing their jobs as Canadians expect them to.

As for the Arctic ships, our government is following through on our commitment to build ships in Canada. Irving Shipbuilding is currently building midshore patrol vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard, with the first completed ships expected this year.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was full of self-congratulation yesterday about the mental health strategy put forward by the Mental Health Commission, then later in the day admitted there was no new money for this strategy. She is dumping responsibility onto already strained provincial health budgets.

Mental health issues take a great toll on our families and on provincial budgets. Now that we finally have a strategy, we should get down to work. Will the minister show some leadership to make sure that the mental health strategy is implemented?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the strategy from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As the opposition members know, members of the NDP did not support the commission that was established.

Our government will continue to support the provinces and the territories in their efforts. That is why we have committed to a long-term stable funding arrangement that will see health transfers reach record high levels by the end of the decade.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we in the NDP have called for a mental health strategy for years, but we also know that the government loves to download to the provinces and keep the money. This is just another example of that. The government is starving provinces and territories with its new health care formula that will take away $31 billion, yet it is asking them to bear the brunt of this new strategy.

Why is the minister putting responsibility on the backs of financially strained provinces? Does she truly want this new strategy to work?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, again, we will continue to provide support to the provinces and territories. We have committed to long-term stable funding for the provinces and territories that will see health transfers increased.

Once we were elected, our government took quick action to establish the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which the member and the party opposite voted against.

We will continue to work with the provinces and territories.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we always support better mental health on this side, but we voted against the Conservatives' budgets because they did not get the job done.

My question is for the Minister of Public Safety.

Yesterday, the minister dashed off a threatening letter to Commissioner Paulson, ordering him to report on provincial efforts to keep records on firearm sales in their own provinces and ordering the RCMP not to co-operate with provincial chief firearms officers.

Why is the minister issuing orders to the arm's-length RCMP? Why is he interfering with provinces that are trying to take action to make their streets safer?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I would recommend the reading of the relevant legislation as to the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Safety in respect to his responsibilities for the RCMP.

However, I might indicate that Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. The Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act did just that. Any action that runs contrary to the will of Canadians as expressed by this Parliament is unacceptable. While I understand that provinces may wish to create a wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, they must do so under lawful authority.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are showing their true colours.

All we are asking is that the minister stop giving political orders to the RCMP and that he stop interfering in provincial matters. The minister's photo ops may be fine and dandy, but they do not improve security. According to the justice department's reports on plans and priorities, the 2012-13 target for crime reduction is—take a guess—as little as one percent.

Why does the minister want to prevent the provinces from making their streets safer? Is it in his best interest to maintain the current crime rate?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member has been, but we have been targeting criminals and crime in this country every year for six years. The only thing that has been consistent is the opposition of the NDP and its cronies to every single measure to better protect Canadians. That is their record.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has consistently taken steps to put the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals. We are taking strong action to restore balance in the justice system from the bad old days when the Pierre Trudeau government proclaimed that it was time to start putting offenders' rights ahead of public safety.

Could the Minister of Public Safety give the House an update on the steps our government is taking to hold convicted criminals to account?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question from the other side.

Today I announced a number of measures to increase offender accountability, including making prison inmates pay a portion of their board and room, eliminating so-called incentive pay, and ensuring costs associated with managing the inmate telephone system are charged to the inmate population. They use it, they pay for it.

Our government always stands up for the rights of victims over the rights of criminals, and in addition, can save the taxpayers $10 million by this measure on an annual basis.