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House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-38.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is one of a long list with government denials that do not add up.

In the 2006 in-and-out scandal, the previous parliamentary secretary, the one who just answered, spent years denying guilt. However, the Conservatives had to own up and paid $300,000 for election fraud—

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. There is still far too much noise.

The hon. member for Malpeque has the floor.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

--and now, for the 2008 campaign, the current parliamentary secretary is himself being investigated for election fraud.

I ask the public security minister: has the RCMP been called in?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is coming from a member of Parliament who tried to claim rent money from the taxpayers, money to which he was not even entitled, and then kept it secret.

We are used to that side of the House throwing rocks when they live in glass houses. However, if they are going to live in a glass house, at least they should pay rent to live there.

National DefenceOral Questions

June 11th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the Conservatives are stealing money from the unemployed and seniors by cutting employment insurance and old age security, spending at the Department of National Defence has increased by $4 billion over the past year.

The President of the Treasury Board had asked all departments to reduce their spending, but the Minister of National Defence took the opportunity to increase spending, despite the F-35 fiasco, which does not even factor into this equation.

How does the Minister of National Defence, with his creative accounting, explain going over budget by $4 billion?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what I do know is that the Department of National Defence has enjoyed a billion-dollar increase in our budget, thanks to the support of the Minister of Finance and our Prime Minister. That has allowed us to embark on new procurements. It has allowed us to put new programming in place to support our men and women in uniform.

The department's spending is reported through public accounts that are tabled in the fall. The public accounts will reflect those year-by-year adjustments.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, a whopping $3.8 billion was reportedly spent in one month alone. The minister's talking points do not explain the 55% hike in his department's March madness spending. At the same time, a majority of shipbuilding projects are being pushed back, with a three-year delay expected in the delivery of ships for the Arctic.

Managing things properly, on time and on budget is out the window with the Conservatives. What concrete measures will the minister be taking to reign in the out-of-control spending in his department?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the public accounts will reflect the year-end adjustments.

Also, The Fiscal Monitor is produced by the Department of Finance and reported on an accrual basis, not actual spending. Although the final expenditures will not be available until the fall of 2012 and cannot be released until tabled in Parliament, it is expected that the department's accrual expenditures will be similar to those in fiscal 2010-11.

I do know that we are not going to take advice from the no-defence party, which opposes everything we spend on the military.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we hear the minister's comments, but what we want and what Canadians expect is for the government to keep its promises.

Shipyards have been selected for the national shipbuilding strategy, but no contracts have been signed. Meanwhile, spending is out of control, and we still have returning soldiers struggling with mental health issues and lacking adequate support.

Can the minister gain control of his department to make sure priorities are met and our soldiers are looked after?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the answer is, of course, yes. We are making major investments across the board in procurement, base improvements and programs that support the military, their families and veterans.

The ironic thing about the question from the member opposite is that when we make these investments, in every case he and his colleagues in the no-defence party stand up and oppose those measures. There is one word for the member opposite, and that is “hypocrite”.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, those were three opportunities for the Minister of National Defence to account for almost $4 billion of spending in one month alone. He failed three times, and this after being advised that the Canada first defence strategy—by his own department, I would add—is unaffordable. Now even shipbuilding threatens to blow the bank, but the minister, undeterred, treats defence procurement like his own personal shopping spree.

Will the minister put down the catalogue and present a new, prudent defence strategy, including the required equipment that will serve our troops as they serve to protect us?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, how ironic and how sad that the member opposite would suggest that military procurement, investments in our brave men and women and investments in our returning soldiers who need treatment that they and their families benefit from somehow depend on a catalogue.

What we are doing is investing in these programs, procurements, and people who need that support. That party and that member continually oppose those investments, to the detriment of the men and women in uniform.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the agreement concluded this weekend among members of the eurozone to stabilize the Spanish banking system. These small steps are the kinds of measures that Europeans must undertake to move their economies forward.

Can the Minister of Finance please comment on the situation in Europe as we head into next week's G20 summit in Mexico?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are encouraged to see Europe taking steps to tackle the ongoing challenges with respect to sovereign indebtedness and with respect to undercapitalization of the banks. We have consistently urged our European allies to do so. Europe has the resources to do this and we applaud it for the announced measure. We look forward to the timely implementation of this next action in Europe.

In contrast, of course, we will not be advocating for the use of Canadian tax resources to bail out European banks, unlike the NDP.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, despite widespread opposition, the fisheries minister is stubbornly moving ahead with his threat to scrap fleet separation.

An independent fishery once flourished on the west coast but then owner-operator rules were removed and the industry is now dominated by large corporate interests. This is the future fleet devastation that awaits the east coast fishery.

Will the minister stand up for an independent east coast fishery and withdraw his reckless plan to eliminate fleet separation?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, apparently the member opposite has a crystal ball that I do not have. There is no mention in the BIA about fleet separation or anything else.

I consulted with the fishermen and asked for their feedback on what they perceived as possible solutions to improving the fishery. Obviously, I got some feedback in that regard and I am carefully considering all of the feedback that I have received.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the minister not telling us what is going on. He has not talked to the fishers or the communities that will be affected by his cuts.

We now learn that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will no longer be enforcing the tagging of lobsters, which will have a devastating impact on the ability of the industry to conserve lobster stocks into the future.

When will the minister recognize that he is going down a reckless path and start consulting with fishermen? When will he recognize that this is the time to make some changes?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for admitting that his party is prepared for change when it comes to modernizing the fishery.

I tend to think that the NDP makes up questions on the go. I have no idea what the member is talking about when he talks about eliminating the tagging of lobster.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has proven once again that he has no desire to protect fish habitat or listen to people from the fishing communities.

After his devastating cuts that eliminated contaminants surveillance, weakened marine safety and eliminated six regional offices, the minister is now warning us that there are more cuts to come. The fishery is one of our national industries.

Why is the minister refusing to tell Canadians what essential services will be cut next?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about close to 11,000 employees in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We have sent out 1,000 letters of notification that jobs may be affected, which will probably net out to 400 jobs, just slightly over 3% of the total employment in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which can easily be handled through attrition.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, frankly, this minister is not giving us any answers, is not being transparent in any way and is not taking any responsibility. The fishing communities deserve better.

Things are going from bad to worse. He is not only dismantling his department, but he is also threatening the survival of independent fishers with his irresponsible policies. Atlantic fishers have been clear: fleet separation has to be maintained, but the minister is turning a deaf ear. He is not consulting our fishers.

Why is the minister insisting on attacking independent east coast fishers and favouring multi-national companies?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that one thing that I have done is consulted. The purpose of our consultation process was to hear back from people in the fishery and fishing industry as to what they thought we could do as a government to improve the fishery and improve our efficiencies to make it so fishers can actually make a living from fishing.

That is what we are doing. We are listening to people and analyzing what we have heard.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, Nunavummiut took to the streets to protest the high cost of food in the riding of the Minister of Health.

The minister's nutrition north has utterly and predictably failed to lower food prices for northerners.

Will the minister finally admit that food and security is a crisis, accept that nutrition north is not doing the job, start doing hers and implement concrete solutions so northerners can feed their families?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, in consultation with northerners, retailers and suppliers, we have created an advisory board made up of northerners to take stakeholders' concerns and provide recommendations to the government as the nutrition north program continues to develop.

Our government has entered into formal agreements with food retailers to ensure accountability and to ensure the subsidy is being passed on to consumers, which means at the point of purchase in those communities.