House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for that good question.

We have restored the refugee health care program that the Conservatives did away with. The courts ruled that cutting this program was cruel and unusual. It was a good program for refugees and a good public health program. Restoring the program is simply the right thing to do.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, first we learned that the Liberals may lease foreign-built tugboats. Now they are bringing in a foreign consultant. Do they think no Canadian can do the job?

The Liberals seem to prefer creating jobs overseas for foreigners, but there are no plans for jobs here at home.

Could the Minister of Procurement explain why the Liberals do not trust the Canadian shipyard workers and Canadian businesses?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Leona Alleslev LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, the government hired Mr. Steve Brunton as a shipbuilding expert to provide the government with independent expert advice on multiple facets of the national shipbuilding procurement strategy. Mr. Brunton has extensive experience in overseeing shipbuilding programs and naval acquisitions in the United Kingdom, one of our closest allies.

The government will benefit from unbiased expert advice on shipbuilding.

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, first the Liberals wanted to have ships built abroad rather than here in Canada. Now they have hired a foreign consultant to work on the Canadian naval strategy. That is one job less for a Canadian.

Did the procurement minister clearly indicate in her mandate that the ships would be built here in Canada, or is this a trick on the part of the Liberals to wash their hands of the matter and have our ships built abroad?

Shipbuilding IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Leona Alleslev LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to the national shipbuilding procurement strategy and buying our ships in Canada openly and transparently. No decisions have yet been made with respect to the naval tug requirement. The project is still at an early stage of planning.

As part of the national shipbuilding procurement strategy and the defence procurement strategy, the government is committed to ensuring that the replacement of the National Defence large tugboats will result in significant benefits for Canadians and Canadian industry.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the spending decisions of the current government and the resulting deficits are dragging down the economy and killing jobs. So are Liberal policy decisions. The Liberals have shut down the Billy Bishop runway expansion, and with it $2 billion in plane orders to Bombardier are gone.

The Liberals are costing jobs and killing choice and competition in Toronto for travellers, tourism and businesses. Why the reckless attack on Toronto's economy and jobs in the vulnerable aviation sector?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted with the great news that came out last week concerning the fact that Air Canada decided to purchase 45 CSeries jets, and possibly 30 more, and that it will be undertaking the maintenance of those aircraft in Quebec for the next 20 years at least.

This is great news for Bombardier. This is great news for Quebec. This is great news for the aerospace industry. Everybody should be very happy about it.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, last fall, the Minister of Immigration travelled to Lebanon to a refugee camp so that, in his own words, he could see the people we were helping with his own eyes. At the Zaatari camp in Jordan, he was joined by his two seatmates, left and right, where they told refugee families that Canada was there to help.

However, last week at the public safety committee, we heard from government officials that virtually none of the 25,000 Syrian refugees came from those camps.

Why has the minister misled Canadians and, more important, why has he offered false hope to those families for the purposes of a photo op?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, that is a misguided question. When we went to bring the refugees from these countries, we took the lists provided by the United Nations, which were lists of the most vulnerable people in the region. We contacted those people and many of them, thankfully, are now in Canada.

We never said that they were from camps. In Jordan, for example, some 75% of the refugees are outside camps. They are from the region. They are the most vulnerable. I, for one, am very proud that almost 25,000 of them are now in Canada.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans passed a motion to review the imminent closure of the Comox communication safety station. There have been serious concerns raised about the safety of our coast if this station is shut down. Spills, accidents, and longer waits for emergency service are all likely. Lives are at risk.

Will the minister now do the right thing, hear from witnesses, listen to residents, and abandon the plans to shut down the Comox station?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Liberal

Hunter Tootoo LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the Coast Guard has modernized its marine communications and traffic services centres with 21st century equipment. I have visited these centres and have seen first hand these new systems that have replaced the 30-year-old technology. Members of the Coast Guard staff are highly trained, highly skilled, and they need the right tools to do their jobs.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister really believe that technology alone can replace these communication centres? It is simply not the case. In fact, over the weekend the Victoria station went down, leaving Georgia Strait, Howe Sound, and Vancouver harbour completely unprotected. This was not the first communication failure either, but still the government seems determined to shut down the Comox station.

Why is the Liberal government showing such disregard for marine safety? Why are the Liberals continuing with this failed Conservative approach?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

February 23rd, 2016 / 2:50 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Liberal

Hunter Tootoo LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, we have invested in new technology. It is like I said last week, switching from a dial phone to a smartphone. This technology is exactly what my staff members need in those centres to keep people safe. They have the training and the ability to do it. Now they have the equipment as well.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice sits on six cabinet committees, including one responsible for strengthening the relationship with indigenous Canadians. Her husband is a registered lobbyist who will lobby the government on issues related to first nations. Her husband's lobbying work is a direct conflict of interest, since the justice minister will now deal with legal matters involving first nations.

How can the Prime Minister justify this obvious conflict of interest?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when we want advice on conflict of interest matters, we go directly to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Ms. Dawson, and that is exactly what my colleague did. She proactively went and sought the commissioner's advice. The minister and her husband are following the Ethics Commissioner's advice to a T.

Obviously, my colleague has an enormous amount of difficulty understanding that. I invite him to go and see Ms. Dawson. Her office is on Slater Street, here in Ottawa. She can tell him exactly how all this works.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is hardly surprising that the government House leader knows the address all that well.

The Minister of Justice is directly responsible for projects that are funded under the federal government's aboriginal justice strategy. That means she gets to decide which groups receive taxpayer funding.

Given that her husband is now a lobbyist for the Westbank First Nation and the First Nations Finance Authority, will she recuse herself from any decision with respect to aboriginal program funding?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are not surprised that member does not know where the Ethics Commissioner's office is.

Let me be clear. The Minister of Justice has done exactly what is expected of honourable people who have shown throughout their entire career integrity and respect for good governance. She went to see the Ethics Commissioner with her husband, who has been in a business for 30 years, and asked for the advice of the Ethics Commissioner. The minister is following that advice, something the hon. member would have enormous difficulty doing.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the city of Kelowna's website, the Kelowna RCMP supports victim services in the Westbank First Nation. This is the same first nation that has hired the Minister of Justice's husband as a lobbyist.

The justice minister is the vice-chair of the government's cabinet committee for intelligence and emergency management, two issues that are integral to the RCMP's mandate. This is a blatant conflict of interest.

Given her husband's lobbying activities, will the justice minister step down from the secret government committee?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the only secret here is why that member continues to imagine all kinds of problems where none exist. Let me explain for him exactly what happened.

Our advice with respect to conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest comes from the person whom Parliament has chosen to provide that advice. Her name is Mary Dawson. She is the Ethics Commissioner and the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. We are happy to take her advice and follow it meticulously. That is what my colleague has done. I wish the hon. member might inform himself as to how the process really works.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Darshan Singh Kang Liberal Calgary Skyview, AB

Mr. Speaker, people in my riding of Calgary Skyview have been hit hard by the recent downturn in oil prices and are concerned about the economic future of their province. With the low price of oil and mounting job losses, they are worried there will be less revenue for the government.

Will the Minister of Finance please provide an update to the House on what our government is doing to assist Alberta in this difficult time?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Calgary Skyview. I would also like to thank the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the member for Edmonton Centre. All of them have been advocating on behalf of Alberta.

I was proud today to announce that we had fast-forwarded the stabilization fund for Alberta of $250 million, which is the maximum amount payable per person. This is an example of the spirit of co-operation between federal and provincial governments to work on behalf of middle-class families and those in particular who are struggling in places where it is very difficult due to the downturn.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has told Canadians that the Liberal government is significantly increasing the number of trainers who will be participating in the campaign against ISIS. General Vance has confirmed that these soldiers will be painting targets near the front lines and will defend themselves if fired upon. They are risking their lives in what the Liberals say is a non-combat mission. Will the soldiers involved in this training mission be eligible for the post-combat reintegration allowance?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad for that question. I want to quickly mention that the HMCS Winnipeg just returned today from Operation Reassurance. I want to commend its work.

However, yes, all our troops, regardless of where they are deployed, have access to all the benefits. It is a priority of this government to look after our troops.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, after being called out several times in the House on the issue of milk protein that is coming across our borders, the minister finally decided it was time to act. That is great, but that was nearly three weeks ago and we have heard nothing since. Dairy producers are still very worried. This loophole in the supply management system is costing our producers roughly $1,000 a week.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food reassure our producers and tell them when and how he plans to take action?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

We are well aware of the industry's concerns regarding the use of diafiltered milk to produce cheese. We are working with departmental officials in order to ensure that the standards are clear for everyone. The Government of Canada is fully committed to protecting supply management.