April 7, 2008

CPC

Maxime Bernier

Conservative

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows full well, the question is premature. The sale of MDA is being reviewed by the Minister of Industry under the Investment Canada Act.

In my role as foreign affairs minister, I will act with one guiding priority. It is very simple. I will act keeping in mind the protection of Canadian sovereignty.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
Permalink
LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when there is a threat of a major company being sold to foreign interests, the workers at that company start to worry. In the case of the sale of MDA, the Conservatives seem to have no concern whatsoever about the workers and their families.

Can the minister assure the workers at MDA that they will not lose their jobs if the company is bought by American interests?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Hon. Diane Ablonczy (Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a statutory duty to review all aspects of this proposed sale. The issues that the member raises are part of this analysis. It must be done in a confidential manner. The minister has made it very clear that he will be making a decision later on this month and the member will just have to wait for that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this government's inaction in the possible sale of MDA is quite striking. It is clear that the Conservatives do not know how to protect our space industry of which we are so proud.

Will the minister finally stand up and defend Canada's aerospace industry or will he give in to the Americans, as he did with the ITAR rules?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Hon. Diane Ablonczy (Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am curious as to how the hon. member is so clear about things when no decision has been made.

Perhaps the hon. member would just wait for the process to work, for the decision to be made, and for the decision to be announced. Then I am sure she will have lots of attacks to make because that is the best thing she can do. She can criticize, complain and carp, but maybe she should wait until there is something to complain about.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
CPC

Mike Allen

Conservative

Mr. Mike Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, during the last election the Prime Minister recognized the important work undertaken by ACOA and committed to maintaining the budget.

Since 2006, ACOA has invested almost $500 million in more than 700 economic development projects in Atlantic Canadian communities.

Recent media stories speculate about ACOA's budget cut in the coming years. Given the importance of this agency to Atlantic Canada, can the minister assure the House the ACOA budget will be maintained as promised?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Permalink
CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, of course, this government is very committed to seeing that the Atlantic Canada agency continues to work for Atlantic Canadians, and that the region itself becomes a prosperous have region. That is why we are committed to projects such as the Atlantic gateway which works well with all provinces in Atlantic Canada.

That is why our government announced nearly $500 million of funding through ACOA for more than 700 economic and community related development projects throughout Atlantic Canada since January 2006.

This is why we are investing in innovation throughout Atlantic Canada, through firms, through universities, and through world class research projects. ACOA is recognized by Statistics Canada as a key contributor to growing R and D in Atlantic Canada.

It is only the member for Kings—Hants--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Permalink
LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Permalink
NDP

Peggy Nash

New Democratic Party

Ms. Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Canada today has world class imaging satellite technology with RADARSAT-2. Those stepping up to be heard in opposition to its sale are growing each day. Today the chair of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council told the Ottawa Business Journal:

When we lose technology companies [like MDA], it undermines the whole business framework from which new companies can grow.

Can the minister tell this House how innovation in Canada's high tech sector will be helped by allowing the sale of MDA to an American weapons manufacturer?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Hon. Diane Ablonczy (Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again, I really urge members of this House to wait until the process is complete before deciding how to respond. It is foolish and it makes no sense. It does not help Canadians to speculate about what might be if this or if that, when the process is still working. No decision has been made.

I urge members of the House to wait until a decision has been made before they draw any conclusions. I think Canadians deserve at least that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
NDP

Peggy Nash

New Democratic Party

Ms. Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, let me ask something concrete. Canada got RADARSAT-2 technology for non-military purposes.

ATK, the U.S.-based company that wants to buy MDA, is a weapons manufacturer, interested in such things as ballistic missile defence.

With NATO endorsing President Bush's plan for ballistic missile defence, can the Prime Minister tell us whether he or his officials have discussed with the Bush administration the future of RADARSAT-2 and, if so, what was the content of that discussion?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Hon. Diane Ablonczy (Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member that the Minister of Industry is making a very full and complete investigation into this matter. He has all the documents in his hands.

I am sure that he is well aware of the anxious concerns of the member opposite. I can assure her, as the minister himself has stated many times, that his decision will be made with the best interest of our country at the fore.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Science and Technology
Permalink
LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when someone is recorded making controversial statements, he should explain himself and apologize. Will the Prime Minister finally explain to Canadians what he meant when he spoke of the “financial considerations” presented to Chuck Cadman?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Mr. James Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already explained this many times. The only offer made to Chuck Cadman was to rejoin our caucus, run as a candidate and be re-elected. There was no offer of a million-dollar life insurance policy. This accusation by the Liberals is false.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has admitted there was an offer made to Chuck Cadman. It is there as plain as day on tape. But so far in this House the Prime Minister's plan A has been to dodge the question.

So why does he not go to plan B instead, come clean with Canadians, and explain what his recorded words really mean. And if he acted inappropriately, why will he not apologize to the Canadian public, the Canadian citizens?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Mr. James Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, this question has been answered a number of times.

After a month of Liberals throwing stones and trying to build a false scandal here, they still have all of their work ahead of them because the allegation that they have made against the Prime Minister that he somehow offered Chuck Cadman a million dollars in life insurance is utterly nonsensical. It has proven to be so day by day.

The Liberals should get on and talk about issues that are a concern to Canadians, rather than continuing to invent these scandals day after day.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Ken Dryden

Liberal

Hon. Ken Dryden (York Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have asked the Prime Minister many times to explain his words on the Zytaruk tape, but he has chosen not to. Until he does, I will try my best to understand what he would say if he did answer.

He might say: “Chuck was dying and he knew it, and if he died as an MP, his family would receive a much larger parliamentary benefit than if he were a former MP. So this was an incentive for him to vote with the Liberal government, but if he had another insurance policy that would pay out the same amount, he could then vote however he wanted and not be distracted by what he shouldn't be distracted by”.

For the Prime Minister: Is this how it all began?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Mr. James Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this is a new approach that I have not seen in eight years in Parliament. The Liberals invent a scandal, then they invent their questions and then they invent their answers to their own questions.

Again, we have been straightforward on this, as has the Prime Minister. There was no offer of a million dollar life insurance policy. Any efforts to present that as the truth is in fact fraud.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Ken Dryden

Liberal

Hon. Ken Dryden (York Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, if he was willing to answer, might go on this way.

“So, I talked with Chuck several times, but he was not interested. He already had his life insurance policy and besides, this would be illegal. But our guys still wanted to run it by him. I told them it wouldn't work. He'd made up his mind. But they still wanted to try”.

For the Prime Minister: Is this how it happened?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Mr. James Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time there was actually an official opposition in the House of Commons that used to raise substantive policy questions in the House of Commons. Once upon a time there was an official opposition that gave a damn about what Canadians wanted the House of Commons to address. Once upon a time there was an official opposition that really, truly brought issues of substance to the House of Commons. Once upon a time there was a Liberal Party that actually believed in things rather than smear people's reputations with false accusations.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink

April 7, 2008