May 26, 2008

CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we will be guided by the principles that have guided this government and its appointments up to this point in time.

The hon. member says that she is from Manitoba. Why has she not figured out that there is a problem with auto theft in that province and why does she not give us some support on that for a change?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Emanuel Montenegrino has worked for the Conservatives on a host of legal matters, including legal representation for the Prime Minister. He is also registered to lobby for 10 clients, which includes lobbying the Prime Minister's Office and MPs directly.

Now we have learned that he was asked to secretly vet some prospective judicial appointees outside the normal established process.

In an unrelated matter, that individual was recently suspended for two months and fined by the Law Society of Upper Canada for professional misconduct.

Is he still working for the PMO and lobbying its offices at the same time?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the appointments we have made to the bench have been applauded right across the country, including by members of the hon. member's own party who have publicly supported us in the appointments we have made.

These are outstanding individuals who are prepared to serve their sovereign and their country and they should be applauded by all members of the House.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Hon. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this is about the government's judgment and willingness to turn a blind eye to conflicts of interest whenever it involves its friends.

Mr. Montenegrino was hired by the PMO to hold the hands of Conservative MPs during months of committee hearings on the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. He was hired by MPs and cabinet ministers to do legal work, while, at the same time, was registered to lobby the same people on behalf of different clients.

What went on in those closed door meetings between the Prime Minister's confidant and the judicial appointees he was asked to vet?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this government brought in the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history in the Federal Accountability Act, with great resistance from the Liberal side.

We have an empowered registrar of lobbyists who is in charge of overseeing and regulating the lobbyist sector. If that member or any other member has evidence of wrongdoing by a lobbyist then they should report it to the lobbyist registrar so that it can be investigated and examined.

This government, however, has followed all the rules and we are proud to advance the agenda of accountability.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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CPC

Dean Del Mastro

Conservative

Mr. Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the member for Ajax—Pickering has made a number of unsubstantiated allegations against the Minister of the Environment in the House over the last number of weeks and months.

It is now reported that the body to which the member made his complaints has completely dismissed the matter. It was apparently off the mark.

Since the member for Ajax—Pickering has made these false accusations against the Minister of the Environment in the House, could the government House leader please clarify the situation?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Minister of the Environment
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services has rejected the complaints from the Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering.

In fact, this morning, on CFRA radio, the OPP commissioner, Julian Fantino, said that the only political interference in this case was coming from the member for Ajax—Pickering. He called the member's claims preposterous, ludicrous, “frivolous, vexatious and...an attempt to interfere with due process”.

The only thing left for him to do is to stand in his place, apologize for his smear campaign against the Minister of the Environment and apologize to the good men and women of the OPP who he smeared as well.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Minister of the Environment
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NDP

Catherine Bell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Catherine Bell (Vancouver Island North, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, defence department documents show that the situation for the aging fleet of Buffalo search and rescue planes is worse than we thought. It is very precarious, they say, and yet the government decided that it would wait until 2015 before replacing these 40-year-old aircraft.

Will the Conservatives commit to having new search and rescue planes before 2015 or will they admit that, even with a $70 billion military capital plan, domestic search and rescue is just not a priority for the Conservatives?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Search and Rescue
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, I spoke with our officials with respect to the extension of the Buffalo aircraft and they have advised me that they are structurally sound. We augment the search and rescue on the west coast, as the member would know, with other aircraft.

We will continue to work as quickly as possible to see that we are able to procure new aircraft. This particular aircraft is very specialized in its use. It has the ability to go into mountainous areas in terms of search and rescue.

We will not put pilots in unsafe aircraft. We will continue to work with industry and with our department to see that we do it properly, transparently and that we get it done on time, unlike the previous government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Search and Rescue
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NDP

Catherine Bell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Catherine Bell (Vancouver Island North, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, words from the minister will not give B.C. search and rescue aircraft enough propellers to fly or engines that will not quit.

People want to know if the planes will fly, not Conservative spin.

Why is it that the government has no trouble finding a half million dollars to buy advocacy from the Conference of Defence Associations but cannot find enough money to replace planes that save lives on our Pacific coast?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Search and Rescue
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I just said that we will be replacing those aircraft and that we are working diligently to ensure that search and rescue continues safely.

However, it is interesting to note, coming from the member, when it comes to resources for National Defence, back on December 6, 2007, the NDP voted against funding for occupational stress injuries and clinics. The NDP members voted against budget 2008 with respect to veterans' hospitals. They voted against the extension to the VIP project and against educational benefits for the children of deceased soldiers.

When it comes to members of the NDP, from the schoolyard to the graveyard, they vote against our military, their families and the continuation of military procurement.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Search and Rescue
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LIB

Pablo Rodriguez

Liberal

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the tourism industry is already suffering considerably from the strong Canadian dollar. We do not need to add to its suffering. Yet that is exactly what the government is doing by refusing to come to its senses and see that tourism in Mont Tremblant is taking a beating without its airport.

My question is for the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. Has he told the public safety minister just how much could be lost in economic spinoffs if the Mont Tremblant airport continues to be treated so unfairly?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government fully understands the importance of small airports across Canada. My staff continues to explore possible solutions for this issue. It is also important to understand that contracts exist with approximately 200 airports across the country and those contracts must be respected.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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LIB

Pablo Rodriguez

Liberal

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister is completely out to lunch on this. It is not the same thing. The calculation is quite simple. I will explain it so he will understand.

We add up all the revenue generated by visitors who pass through the Mont Tremblant airport. We calculate the number of jobs created, the income tax generated and all the sales tax revenues, and then we compare this amount with the bill from the Canada Border Services Agency. This is very straightforward. In tallying this up, even the minister must see that the airport is a good business proposition.

Will they reverse their decision?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, my officials are continuing to work with representatives from the airport referred to by my colleague. A solution must be found and the contract must be respected. Representatives from the Mont Tremblant airport signed a contract and they approved of it when they signed it. We will continue to seek a solution.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, small cities across the country are experiencing major customs staffing shortages at local airports and face unfair treatment by the CBSA. As a result, there has been a loss of income from air cargo contracts, business travel and tourism. Economic development is also suffering. However, the public safety minister has been AWOL on this critical issue.

Why will the minister not respond to calls for fairer treatment by the CBSA?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Border Services Agency
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in fact, across the country, not just airports but other regional systems are experiencing economic growth because the fundamentals of the economy of Canada are so strong that requests for more flights, for instance, are coming into airports.

My officials have been working very carefully and closely with airport representatives, like the ones the member mentioned, not just in Moncton but in Charlottetown and Fredericton, to look at how we handle the pressures of a robust economy because of the good policies and principles that have been put in place by this government. We want to assist these growing economies.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Border Services Agency
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, many of these smaller airports are losing carriers that need to operate beyond the strict nine to five service offered by CBSA because the government has cherry-picked some airports to be open 24 hours a day and has punished other smaller airports, like Regina or Moncton.

When will the public safety minister come forward with staffing solutions that will allow air carriers to land outside the nine to five times and when will the public safety minister stop separating A cities from B cities?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Border Services Agency
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CPC

Stockwell Day

Conservative

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of Public Safety, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a robust and strong economy because of the principles that have been put in place by this government, which means from region to region there are increased pressures for all kinds of systems to be operating, including transport systems.

If we were to follow the Liberal approach, which would be an approach that would plunge the country back into deficit, then that problem would go away because the pressures would not be on those airports.

These are the challenges of growth and we are working with those challenges.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Border Services Agency
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BQ

Claude Bachand

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairshas demonstrated his incompetence again within the last week. In Rome, he announced that C-17s would be deployed to transport four UN helicopters to Burma. It became clear that he had spoken off the cuff when he realized that the planes were unavailable. Imagine that. He was forced to charter a Russian commercial aircraft at taxpayers' expense.

How can the Prime Minister defend his Minister of Foreign Affairs and especially his incompetence?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Minister of Foreign Affairs
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May 26, 2008