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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parks.

Topics

Olympic AthletesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for two weeks this summer, the best athletes in the world will meet in London for the Olympics. Nearly 250 Canadian athletes will represent our country in 20 sports. Our team, led by the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Marcel Aubut, and his chef de mission, the extraordinary Mark Tewksbury, will be able to count on experienced athletes, such as my friends Adam van Koeverden, Clara Hughes and Alex Despatie, as well as on young hopefuls, such as Michael Tayler and Martha McCabe, who will be at the Olympics for the first time this year.

For Canadian athletes, getting to the Olympics means thousands of hours of training and sacrifice to be able to represent their country in the biggest sporting event in the world. Only a rare few have that honour, so I know it is with much pride that our delegation will soon leave for London.

I want to tell all those athletes how proud we are of them and remind them that, from the starting gun to the finish line, 34 million Canadians will be cheering for them every step of the way.

Go Canada go.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, today, on National Aboriginal Day, I would like to take a moment to remember the contributions of aboriginal soldiers, peacekeepers and servicemen, such as police officers.

Thousands of aboriginal veterans saw action and endured hardship in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, on peacekeeping assignments and while protecting this great nation. They fought overseas to defend the sovereignty and liberty of allied nations, in addition to supporting the cause at home. This proud tradition of service continues today.

I, myself, having served in the RCMP for over 18 years, attained the rank of sergeant. On July 7, 2006, under my command, two first nations colleagues of mine, Constable Marc Bourdage and Constable Robin Cameron who was the first female shot in the line of duty, were killed while serving their country.

Today, we honour aboriginals who served and continue to serve with honour and distinction in all branches of the Canadian military. We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the values and freedoms we enjoy today.

This National Aboriginal Day, let us all reflect on the aboriginals who have served in the name of Canada.

Ministerial AwardsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today and announce the first-ever “most likely to do the shuffle” awards.

Of course we start with the award for the champagne Conservative, the Minister of International Cooperation, but she should watch out because her colleagues are spending hard on limos and catching up.

As for the most costly photo op award, who else but our very own Minister of National Defence, who spent $47,000 on posing with an F-35 that cannot fly. It was not only very expensive, but also tragically ironic.

The be seen, not heard award goes to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The minister spoke fewer than 600 words in question period. On his salary, that is $433 a word.

Last but not least, the award for least likely to make cabinet is a tie between the members from Kootenay—Columbia and Nanaimo—Alberni. Here is my advice: if they remove that independent thinking and insert talking points, they will be just fine in about 20 years.

I really do hope these awards help the Prime Minister as he tries to clean up this mess.

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, let us go back over our government's record this past spring.

We have increased full and part-time jobs, lowered taxes for Canadian families, signed new trade agreements, invested $150 million for community infrastructure and expanded Canada's student loans and grants. We brought “royal” back to our navy and air force and we cut red tape for veterans. We have created national parks and expanded existing parks. We have invested $50 million to protect species at risk. We have maintained our country's path for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

In contrast, the Leader of the Opposition has managed to accomplish one thing: oppose everything.

That leader called an entire sector of the economy a disease. He believes the only way to promote growth in one sector of the economy is to drive another one down.

As countries around the world struggle with out-of-control deficits and debt, Canada is on the right track to balance the budget, and while our government rolls up its sleeves and continues on the path to provide opportunity, hope and long-term prosperity for Canadians, we expect the NDP leader--

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Oral questions.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the F-35 is probably the biggest procurement fiasco in the history of Canada. There was no bidding process to buy the jet, which does not even work. And even if it did work, it would not meet the criteria set by the government. Then there is the $47,000 photo op with the full-scale model. The Minister of National Defence is responsible for this failure.

Will the Prime Minister clean up this mess over the summer by replacing the Minister of National Defence with someone who can do the job?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has not yet purchased the F-35. On the contrary, we have said many times that we will replace the jets when necessary, at the end of this decade. Now, we are in the process of rebuilding the Canadian armed forces. It is very important to give our men and women in uniform the equipment they need. I am very proud of our government's track record on this.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I know that the Prime Minister respects the French language, and Canadians appreciate the fact that he answers questions in French. However, the Conservatives' political decisions should reflect that respect. For example, the Minister of Canadian Heritage is cutting funding for French-language newspapers, such as Manitoba's La Liberté and Sudbury's Le Voyageur, in half. The minister says that he cannot do anything because there is a formula. But the minister is the one who came up with the formula.

Will the Prime Minister scrap the minister's formula, or the minister for that matter, and save Canada's French-language newspapers?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government's level of support for such activities is unprecedented. Our commitment to the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality is unprecedented. Also unprecedented is the fact that the NDP fields unilingual candidates in francophone ridings. The Conservative Party has never done that.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this spring we saw the Conservatives abandon the very principles they claim they came to Ottawa to defend: ramming through their Trojan Horse budget bill, gutting their own Federal Accountability Act, treating their backbench MPs like a rubber stamp, using closure a record number of times, engaging in electoral fraud and slush funds and, of course, having ministers travelling the world staying in luxury hotels and taking $23,000 limo rides on the taxpayers' dime.

How can a former member of the Reform Party defend this behaviour?

This summer, will the Prime Minister just shuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic or will he get his Conservative cabinet under control?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we just had one of the most legislatively productive periods, and the NDP members, by deciding they will oppose everything and filibuster everything, have proven themselves to be the least influential opposition in terms of legislative agenda in the history of this Parliament.

Canadians elected us to focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. That is what we are doing. That is why the Canadian economy continues to have superior performance.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this spring has not been easy for the Conservatives. The cabinet cannot agree among themselves, nor can Conservative backbenchers. It is total chaos over there.

There is growing dissent among the Conservatives, because they are attacking employment insurance, old age security, environmental assessment and fleet separation.

To bring back some order, they need to stop introducing sloppy legislation. Will they finally learn their lesson from the fiascos of this session of Parliament?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, Canadians and Quebeckers know that passing our budget on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity will produce positive results here in Canada.

We are opening new markets through free trade agreements. We have also brought in measures to protect the integrity of our immigration system.

So instead of engaging in useless political rhetoric—like the NDP members who want to increase taxes—and dragging out the legislative process, which prevents us from getting anything done, we have delivered, with an excellent track record that is very positive for the Canadian economy.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, we can see by their answers that they have not learned their lesson. Some ministers have used military helicopters as personal taxis; others have refused to apologize for insulting Alberta's deputy premier; others are rewriting the conflict of interest record book; and their parliamentary leader has issued repeated gag orders out of fear of debating with the NDP.

Will they use this parliamentary break to pull their heads out of the quicksand they keep sinking into?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, it will be good to see our constituents and talk to them about the savings we have found in the way we operate the federal government.

We have made targeted investments that show promise for research and innovation in order to make our economy more productive and innovative. We have also introduced measures to open up markets and help boost exports, instead of coming up with a grim program that would lead to job cuts and business closures as a result of higher taxes and a carbon tax.

That is absolutely not our approach and we will continue to do what is good for the economy.

HousingOral Questions

June 21st, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister--

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

I cannot get used to this fan club, Mr. Speaker, but somehow I do not think it will last.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question. His Minister of Finance announced earlier today that mortgages were going to be reduced from 30 years to 25 years and would require a 5% down payment.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, before the applause breaks out on the other side, does that mean that the government is now admitting that its decision in 2006 to ultimately raise the mortgages to 40 years, without a down payment, was in fact a mistake?

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance announced four different changes to rules for government-backed mortgage insurance. I note that objective observers in the marketplace have responded extremely positively to the minister's announcements. We do have record low interest rates in the country. The government has altered rules a number of times and will continue to do so in a prudent and flexible manner, depending on the circumstances.

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the data clearly show that, in 2008, 60% of first-time homebuyers chose a 40-year mortgage amortization period. Since 2006, personal debt has increased by more than $725 billion; the federal debt by $117 billion; and provincial debt by $60 billion.

Does the Prime Minister not recognize that he is responsible in part for the current debt problems of the Canadian economy?

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party talked about the debt situation.

It should be noted that the federal government's debt, and that of the country in general, is one of the lowest of developed economies. It is one of the reasons for the Canadian economy's superior performance.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the dance of complacency continues.

My last question has to do with this being National Aboriginal Day and the fact that we are celebrating as well the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. One of the things the government has to recognize is that one of the most significant claims that has not been recognized or resolved is the Haldimand Tract claim. This claim dates specifically from commitments that were made by the Crown to the Six Nations with respect to their support for the Crown in the War of 1812.

This dispute carries on. It lies at the heart of many other contemporary disputes. Will the government finally recognize the need to resolve it?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been in negotiations with its partners on this for some years now, and we will continue to work productively with our partners to try to resolve this dispute.

At the same time, this government is the government that brought in the new specific claims legislation advocated by the Assembly of First Nations. It has seen a record number of specific claims settled across the country.

On this anniversary of the War of 1812, in all our events we of course recognize the very important role played by aboriginal peoples and first nations in that very successful war that helped establish this Canadian nation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment put on her rose-coloured glasses when she spoke about sustainable development.

When we remove those glasses, here is what we see: the Conservatives are not going to meet their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental assessments are going to disappear while oil pours out of pipelines. What is more, the Conservatives are firing our scientists.

Who will defend this record? Is that why the Conservatives want to sabotage the Rio negotiations?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let us look at a highlight reel of the NDP year-end review when it comes to the environment. It voted against clean tech funding. It voted against climate change adaptation funding. It voted against increased participant funding for environmental assessment. It voted against laws that would increase monetary penalties for those who break the rules on environmental assessment.

Our most recent greenhouse gas inventory showed that greenhouse gas emission growth in Canada stabilized while our economy continued to grow.

When will my colleague opposite recognize that it is possible to grow the economy while maintaining environmental stewardship?