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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

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative's record is rather impressive when it comes to failures.

But Canadians are not fooled. They know full well that to fix all of the problems with the F-35s, particularly the ever-increasing costs, we need much more than the creation of a simple secretariat made up of the very people who were responsible for the fiasco. After making many mistakes, the Conservatives have lost control over this procurement process.

Will we have to wait for a new Minister of National Defence before we get answers?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, no money has been spent on the acquisition of any new fighter aircraft. In fact, to replace our aging CF-18s we have launched the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat. This arm's-length secretariat will ensure that the due diligence, oversight and transparency will be performed for this acquisition. Importantly, it also includes the advice of independent members, one being a former very well respect Canadian auditor general, Denis Desautels. We look forward to his support.

In the interest of taxpayers, we will not move forward with a purchase of any new aircraft until we have received the conclusions of the secretariat.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have had over six years. The CF-18s need to be replaced, but they just cannot get the job done: “It's the best plane in the world”. “No, it's just a developmental project”. “The AG is right”. “No, the AG is wrong”. “We haven't spent any money, except for the $700 million”. “That minster is in charge”. “No, it's the other guy”. “No, now it's this minister in charge”.

Why have the Conservatives turned defence into an Abbott and Costello sketch? Who is on first?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can say who is not supporting the military and it is that member and his party.

While our party has spent up to $1 billion annually to replace equipment, support programs, to make our forces better and ready to respond and to support the men and women in uniform, what we get is claptrap and insults.

The member from Winnipeg referred to war toys. However, C-17s brought compassionate aid to Haiti. Those are not war toys. There has been a lot of work that has been done in Afghanistan to protect those men and women's lives who are doing so much for Canada. That is an insult to our soldiers.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thought that minister was on the bench. However, instead of turning this important project into a comedy of errors, the Conservatives could have just committed to an open and transparent competitive process. That would have guaranteed the best plane for the best price with the best benefits to our economy. Instead, we get more of this ducking and diving, with no answers to some very simple questions.

When will the comedy team get the hook? When will the Conservatives get a new act together to replace the CF-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, rather than respond to this comedy routine, I want to remind the member opposite and members of his party that this government believes strongly in investment for the Canadian Forces, and for the Canadian economy, giving them the protective equipment they need to do the important work at home and abroad.

I am extremely proud of the work of the Canadian Forces. I am proud to be part of a government that has brought the Canadian Forces out of decade of darkness under the previous Liberal government to a decade of delivery under a caring, compassionate, Conservative government.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, many in the House will recall the name of Clinton Gayle. He was a drug dealer who received a sentence of less than two years and was able to appeal his deportation as a result. While he was delaying his removal, he shot a Toronto police officer named Todd Baylis. Our Conservative government committed to take action to put a stop to this.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism please update the House on how we are meeting this very important commitment to all Canadians?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, for too long, too many convicted serious foreign criminals have been able to delay their deportation from Canada for years. These people have abused the privilege of being in Canada by committing a serious crime, having been found guilty by a Canadian court of law. Because of a loophole created by the previous Liberal government, they have been able to make appeal after appeal of their deportation, sometimes for as long as a decade or more, and too many of them have gone on to victimize other Canadians.

That will stop with the adoption of Bill C-43. The faster removal of foreign criminals act would close the loophole and shut the door on unnecessary—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Terrebonne--Blainville.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, in March, the Conservatives got rid of the community access program, which provided Internet access to the less fortunate. Once again, they are attacking society's most vulnerable people. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are reducing the number of public servants providing services to the people and replacing them with machines. This decision makes no sense at all.

Now that half of Canada's poorest people no longer have access to the Internet, how can the minister justify his decision?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the community access program began in 1995 and has achieved its objectives. In 2010, we implemented the broadband Canada program to connect as many Canadian households as possible across the country.

Unprecedented amounts of money have been invested, but, hypocritical as always, the NDP voted against that investment.

It is also important to look at the policies we implemented with the spectrum auction. What we want is more competition and more choice for Canadians, whether they live in rural or urban communities. We also want them to have access to better technology no matter where they live. That is what we are doing, and it is something that party will never do.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi NDP Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, either the minister does not understand the file, or he truly thinks that Canadians are stupid.

I would like to talk about other cuts that will directly affect the people of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the economy of my entire region.

According to the Union of National Defence Employees, 144 civilian jobs at the Saint-Jean military base are being eliminated. The military base is an important economic driver in my region.

Why are the Conservatives attacking so many regions in Quebec with their budget cuts?

National DefenceOral Questions

June 21st, 2012 / 2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are still investing in the military, including in its infrastructure across Canada. At the same time, we need to ensure our economy is balanced, while making important decisions that respect Canadian taxpayers. For every decision that is made, we work with the public service in order to find fair solutions that are necessary to maintain support for our soldiers as well as local communities.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to increasing prosperity for Canadian families, the evidence is in, and the government has failed.

The average after tax income for families has gone flat under the government. Seniors' after tax income has actually gone down. Canadians are losing ground under the government and now it wants Canadians on EI to accept 30% less pay on a downward spiral.

After watching income stagnate, why are the Conservatives using their budget bill to drive down wages for hard-working Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are doing exactly the opposite. We are ensuring that whenever people on EI are working, even part-time, that they are going to be better off than if not working, than if they were just on EI. That is a big change. We know that working part-time often leads to a full-time job. We are ensuring that we are taking it yet one more step to ensure that families are always better off working than not.

We have had tremendous success in lowering the poverty rate in our country. For example, the low income rate for children is now 8.1%. Under the Liberals it was 18.4%.

We are making progress to help ease poverty in our country.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear whose pockets are being lined with this wealth they claim to be creating. It is obvious when we look at the corporate bonuses that go to the CEOs.

Statistics Canada's data are clear. Since 2007, entirely on the Conservatives' watch, the average income of Canadian families did not move. And with the new employment insurance rules, people will be forced to take jobs that pay 30% less.

Can the government tell us why Canadian families are not benefiting from the Conservatives' economic policies?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are better off. In fact, there are almost a quarter of million children who used to be in poverty but who are not now.

There is a quarter of a million fewer children in poverty than there was under the previous Liberal government. Why is that? It is because we have invested in helping Canadians get over the welfare wall, through the WITB program and through over 150 different tax cuts aimed at families that now have roughly $3,100 more in their pocket at the end of the year because of our tax reductions. That is money they can spend on their families.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

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

Today, at the last minute, the chair cancelled this morning's meeting. This despite witnesses being confirmed and my motion to call the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister to testify on allegations of election fraud being on the agenda.

NDP members have stated that they will not support my motion. It is clear that the NDP are colluding with the Conservatives to protect the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Why did the chair of the ethics committee cancel the meeting? Why is he protecting the parliamentary secretary? Did the Leader of the Opposition confirm this?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question.

I am not sure where he gets his information from, but the meeting was cancelled last night. I asked that it be cancelled because we knew that today would be the last sitting day of the House. It is normal practice to cancel meetings when it is the last day. A number of committee meetings were already cancelled for today, which is perfectly normal.

The motion is still on the notice of motions. If the hon. member wants to move the motion when we return in September, then he is free to do so. It will still be there.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Today, at the last minute, the chair cancelled the committee meeting, despite the Liberal motion that was on the orders of the day, despite the fact that witnesses had been called.

Did spending the night with the Conservatives in this House during last week's votes make the NDP want to keep sleeping with the Conservatives in order to defend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister?

Why did the chair cancel the meeting and why protect the parliamentary secretary? Did his leader—

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Sherbrooke.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the meeting was cancelled last night. It is an entirely standard practice. Most of the committees were cancelled today, as it is the last sitting day of the House.

I will say again that there was no discussion with the Leader of the Opposition. That is completely false. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will stop there because these are allegations that members should not have made. They should at least respect the chairs of committees.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I give my best wishes to indigenous people and all Canadians on National Aboriginal Day.

Northerners know the economic benefits national parks bring through increased tourism. With the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve and the creation of the East Arm National Park, northerners have shown their commitment to these heritage sites. However, with the Conservatives reckless cuts to Parks Canada, northerners are concerned that this vital form of sustainable economic development will be delayed or severely crippled.

Why is the minister cutting back on the government's promise to fully fund these northern parks? Is it the government's opinion that parks do not create jobs?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to note that, since 2006, this government has protected more parkland than any other government in recent history. We are committed to protecting Canada's parks. We are also proud of the fine work that Parks Canada staff do to promote Canada and promote our great natural heritage.

However, a concept that the opposition does not understand is being wise stewards of taxpayer dollars. In fact, one could say that its ability to manage the economy is like a dine and dash: order the most expensive thing on a menu and then stick someone else with the bill.

We have decided to ensure that we are wise stewards of taxpayer dollars, while managing the economy.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are fortunate in my riding to have a tourism jewel, the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse National Historic Site.

The existing agreement provided low-cost service to Parks Canada and let thousands of tourists visit the site. However, Parks Canada has slapped the site managers in the face by taking over management of the port of Pointe-au-Père. Hours will be reduced, the season will be shortened and fees will double, all because management of the port is being taken away from an organization that has done a great job for 30 years.

Will the Minister of Tourism commit to review this ill-considered decision by Parks Canada?