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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scientists.

Topics

Rodolfo Quezada TorunoStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) offered our sincere condolences to the government and the people of Guatemala on the death of Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno today.

Cardinal Quezada Toruno led Guatemala's National Reconciliation Commission from 1987 to 1993 and later negotiated the peace agreement signed in December 1996. That brought the end of Guatemala's 36-year civil war. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Guatemala on this very sad day.

Our government is actively engaged with our partners in the Americas to help ensure a prosperous, safer and more democratic hemisphere. Continuing in the cardinal's good work in Guatemala, we are proud to announce today that Canada and Guatemala are working together to strengthen security at the Guatemala-Belize border to help facilitate the peace process between these two countries and increase their capacity to stop the flow of organized crime.

We look forward to continuing this important work with Guatemala and throughout the Americas.

RugbyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on Parliament Hill, I had the pleasure of participating in a demonstration of the best sport in the world: rugby. Of course, you know because you were there too.

The match was staged to promote the sport and enabled many Canadians to discover the beauty of a game that unites agility and physical contact. This marvellous sport is not well known in Canada but deserves to be.

Yesterday's game showcased what, in essence, makes rugby so great. Media personalities, politicians and players from the Canadian rugby squad were all out for a good time. People tall, short, young and old all donning a jersey.

As with all events, there is always one mishap. Yours truly was given a jersey that seems to have been shrunk even though the sizing label was correct. Two of Canada's greatest rugby players were also on hand and both were given the task of having to do what they were not trained to do. My buddy, Al Charron, was given a task to coach yours truly and my friend, Gareth Rees, was given the task of refereeing. Everyone was a winner.

Our thanks go out to the organizers and sponsors of the event, the CRU. I wish all members of the Seniors Men's Canadian Rugby Team good luck in the three important games they will play in the next few weeks.

The BudgetStatements by Members

June 5th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government has a proven track record of creating jobs and economic growth across the country.

Since July 2009, Canada's economy has created over 750,000 net new jobs, 90% of those being full-time. Our government's economic policies have made Canada an island of stability in a troubled global economy. As the global economy remains fragile, especially in Europe, Canadians want their government to focus on what matters. That is exactly what we would do in implementing economic action plan 2012.

Unfortunately, the NDP members continue to play partisan procedural games to obstruct our job creating budget bill. The NDP members are proposing dangerous economic experiments, job killing taxes and reckless spending we simply cannot afford. They continue to put narrow special interests and activists ahead of ordinary Canadians.

When will the NDP members stop the political games and support our plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity?

Canadian ForcesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will celebrate the 68th anniversary of one of the greatest acts of bravery in the history of the Canadian Forces: the Normandy landings. It will be the occasion to honour thousands of men and women who fought courageously.

I had the great pleasure of participating in such a commemoration in Etobicoke last Sunday. Unfortunately, none of my colleagues from the other parties were present to thank these veterans for their tremendous sacrifices. Instead, they were slinging mud at one another, even phone canvassing.

Celebrations like the one in Etobicoke should put all politics aside. Thousands of Canadians fought hard to preserve our ideals. They deserve that we take the time to stand above partisanship to thank them.

I hope that the next time we celebrate the incredible efforts of the veterans of Etobicoke, my colleagues from the other parties will be standing beside me, thankful for everything that the men and women of the Canadian Forces did 68 years ago to ensure that we can still stand here in this House in a free and democratic country.

Natural ResourcesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that our country has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources. It is upon these gifts that millions of Canadians have built their careers and homes in support of their families, all the while creating economic growth for our country.

A recent study from the Conference Board of Canada shows that Canada's resource sectors are creating jobs and growth across the country in many different industries, including the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, the NDP leader attacked Canada's resource sectors by calling them a “disease”. In an attempt to divide Canadians, he is attacking key economic drivers in Canada.

For the Leader of the Opposition, the resource industries, such as forestry, minerals and mining, conventional oil, natural gas, coal and oil sands in my province and in my riding are not a disease.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives promised ships, planes and vehicles for the Canadian armed forces. They promised to repair search and rescue craft in British Columbia. The Conservatives knew full well that they could not keep those promises. They did not have the money to keep them. National Defence officials had made that clear to them.

Why did the Conservatives not tell the truth about their military procurement strategy? Why did they fail to respect taxpayers?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, we told the truth and we took action to rebuild our armed forces. While we were doing that, the NDP and the Liberal Party opposed our efforts to get the equipment that our men and women in uniform need to do their jobs to defend Canada.

Our government has made historic investments, unprecedented in modern Canadian history, to give Canada's men and women in uniform the equipment and resources they need.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, from the helicopters to the F-35 fiasco, Canadians are well aware of the Conservative' litany of failures and half truths on military procurement. On the F-35, costs were lowballed. The process was rigged from the start. Now the government is doing damage control because of a scathing Auditor General's report.

Now we learn that the entire Conservative defence plan has been mismanaged and is over budget. The minister was told last year by his own department that his plan was “unaffordable”. Why did the Conservatives hide the fact that their defence plan was unaffordable from the public?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that no government in the modern history of Canada has done more to invest in giving the equipment necessary to our men and women in uniform. For example, we delivered four C-17 Globemasters and seventeen C-130J Hercules. We have delivered unmanned aerial vehicles to support our soldiers in Afghanistan, over 1,000 new medium support vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks.

The government has consistently reacted to support our men and women in uniform, giving them the modern equipment they need. At every step of the way, the NDP and Liberals have opposed our efforts to invest in our military.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer again misses the point. The Conservatives were told by officials a year ago that their entire military plan was “unaffordable”. One of the main reasons is the mismanagement of the F-35 and the Chinook purchase.

The minister himself was more interested in photo ops than running his department. The Conservatives' F-35 photo op cost taxpayers $50,000 and the fake plane had to be trucked in all the way from Texas.

How far back will ship, vehicle and aircraft purchases now be delayed as a result of the government's mismanagement?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the announcement to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet was considered significant and necessary to ensure public media and industry awareness. The cost of this announcement had been reported in many ways, including previous responses to written questions.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we have billions in procurement mismanagement, tens of thousands squandered on a photo op and the whole defence plan now back to the drawing board. What incompetence. When the defence minister was caught red-handed using a search and rescue helicopter to fly out on a vacation, he expected military staff to cover up for him. Today we learned the minister's office even had the gall to chastise the military for not defending his reputation properly.

My question is simple. What exactly was so lacklustre about the military's response to the minister's questionable activities?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these questions have been answered over and over again. The reality still remains that if it were up to the NDP, our military men and women would have no assets whatsoever.

The issue here is that we are doing the best we can under the circumstances to provide our men and women the tools they need to do their job. Issues of use of military assets is up to the men and women of the military.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, spending $47,000 on a photo op is not responsible management.

However, that is not the worst of it: not only did the Minister of National Defence have a military helicopter fly him back from a fishing camp, but his employees criticized the Canadian Forces for not properly defending the minister.

I served in the armed forces. I was responsible for defending my country, not the minister's reputation.

Why does the minister believe that the military should clean up his mess?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, nobody is denying the contribution made by the hon. member opposite to the Canadian Forces. However, there is a strong professional relationship between the Canadian Forces and the minister's office. The Canadian Forces are responsible for human resources within their organization.

With respect to the trip in question, it has been answered many times before.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question on the economy that I would like to ask the Minister of Finance. He will know perfectly well that one of the things that happens when there are significant layoffs in the manufacturing sector is that those layoffs often affect apprentices more than they affect anyone else. He will also know the very significant problem we have with respect to skill shortages right across the country.

Could the Minister of Finance tell us this. When it comes to the youth unemployment question and the youth employment question, here is a very practical issue. What will the government do to protect the number of apprentices who are now at work in the economy in Canada?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the investments we are making in helping young Canadians get the skills they need to do the jobs of today and the future. That is why we introduced the apprenticeship incentive grant, the completion grant for apprentices, and also incentives for employers to hire and keep them.

We also expanded the Canada summer jobs program so young people could get the experience for the jobs they needed. As well, in the budget, which the House is debating right now, there are an additional $50 million to help youth get the experience they need for the jobs that are in high demand.

We hope the opposition and the Liberals support that effort to help our young people.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that has nothing to do with the main issue: layoffs that are primarily affecting young people and apprentices. That is the real problem we now have in Canada's manufacturing sector as a result of such layoffs. It also brings to mind the inequality crisis and the equality crisis in the real economy.

Where is the government's plan to ensure that there will still be well-paying jobs instead of the layoffs we have been seeing for some time?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, a growing economy will create equal opportunities for all Canadians, including young Canadians. Under this government, 750,000 new jobs have been created in Canada over the past two years. That is the best job creation record in the developed world. The Conservatives will continue to focus on economic growth and job creation for all Canadians of all ages.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one can always throw the numbers around, but the key question around it has to do with the manufacturing strategy, the manufacturing unemployment that is facing the country.

The fact is that our main trading partner and our main economic partner, the United States, is putting tens of billions of dollars into a manufacturing strategy and tens of billions of dollars into creating new green jobs. It is putting tens of billions of dollars into ensuring that mandates stay in the United States.

Where is the manufacturing strategy for Canada to ensure that—

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, now we know the Liberal economic plan is to spend tens of billions of dollars on everything.

The country to which he refers is running a deficit of over a trillion dollars, while this country is on track to balance the budget within two years. We have the lowest deficit and lowest debt in the developed world. We have the lowest federal tax burden as a share of the economy since 1964. We have seen the creation of over 750,000 net new jobs with the best job creation record in the developed world thanks to having the world's best Minister of Finance.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for days silence has reigned among the Conservative ranks on the changes to the Minister of International Cooperation's travel expense claims for her trips to Korea, Haiti and Africa. I am not talking about the expense claim from her trip to London. I am talking about new expense claims.

The Conservatives should re-record their message to make it at least appear as though they are answering the questions about these changes. Taxpayers have the right to know what the Conservatives are trying to hide from them.

Why these changes? When will they provide answers?

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have answered that question many times. The answer remains the same: only appropriate expenses were paid for by the government.

Ministerial ExpendituresOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons insists on repeating that only appropriate expenses were reimbursed, let us talk about his expenses.

In January 2011, he went parading around Davos, you know, where cuts to old age security were announced. He was accompanied by the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Finance. In just a few days, the three musketeers of wasteful spending racked up $20,000 in limousine costs. For that price, they could buy a car and carpool.

Is that what the government House leader means by appropriate expenses?