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View Denise Savoie Profile
NDP (BC)
View Denise Savoie Profile
2011-03-25 13:16

Question No. 924--
Hon. Bryon Wilfert:
With regard to the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan: (a) what were the Department of National Defense's initial cost estimates, prior to November of 2010, for the removal of equipment and personnel from Afghanistan in spring-summer of 2011; (b) what additional costs are anticipated now that Canada has lost access to Camp Mirage in the United Arab Emirates; and (c) what funds have been reallocated within the department in order to cover these cost overruns?
Response
Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the $9.3 billion Afghanistan cost reported in the reports on plans and priorities includes incremental costs for the mission from 2001 to 2011 as well as close-out costs such as reconstitution, i.e., the costs arising from returning equipment to its pre-mission state, and redeployment once the mission ends.
In response to (b), the costs associated with the closure of Camp Mirage are one aspect of the greater context of Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan, and have yet to be finalized.
In response to (c), the source of funds remains to be determined.

Question No. 925--
Hon. Bryon Wilfert:
With regard to the procurement of the Joint Strike Fighter: (a) since 2006, how many and which private sector consultants has the government hired in order to assess the feasibility and technical capabilities of the F-35; (b) how much were each of these consultants paid for their work; and (c) for how many billable hours did each consultant invoice the government?
Response
Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, no private sector consultants have been hired to assess the feasibility and technical capabilities of the F-35.

Question No. 926--
Mr. Michael Savage:
With regard to possible tax evasion in Switzerland: (a) how many Canadians have been identified as having undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (b) what action, if any, has been taken by Canadian officials to recover unpaid taxes associated with Canadians' undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland; (c) how many identified Canadians have availed themselves of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); (d) how many identified Canadian accounts have settled with the CRA; (e) how much money has the CRA assessed as a result of investigating these secret banks accounts in Switzerland (i) in unpaid taxes, (ii) in interest, (iii) in fines, (iv) in penalties; (f) how much of the money in (e) has been collected; (g) how many of the cases are under appeal; (h) how many cases remain open; (i) how many more cases does the CRA anticipate will be opened; (j) how many cases have been closed (i.e., the full amount of taxes, interest, fines and penalties have been collected); (k) how much money in (j) has been collected (i) in unpaid taxes, (ii) in interest, (iii) in fines, (iv) in penalties; (l) how many account holders in the cases have made partial payment; (m) of the partial payments made, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (n) how much does the CRA anticipate it has yet to collect in (i) taxes, (ii) interest, (iii) fines, (iv) penalties; (o) of the amounts of money contained in the Switzerland accounts declared or discovered by CRA, what was the (i) largest amount, (ii) smallest amount, (iii) average amount; (p) on what date was the CRA first made aware of the names of Canadians with accounts in Switzerland; (q) on what date did the CRA begin its investigation; (r) on what date did the first audit of an individual account holder begin; (s) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland (i) have had their account or accounts audited, (ii) have had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) have been the subject of a compliance action; (t) how many of the identified Canadians with bank accounts in Switzerland (i) have not had their account or accounts audited, (ii) have not had their account or accounts reassessed, (iii) have not been the subject of a compliance action; (u) how many tax evasion charges were laid; and (v) has the government made any changes to the VDP in the past 24 months?
Response
Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA.
The Canada Revenue Agency, CRA, is unable to provide a detailed response to the question, as the CRA does not capture the information in the manner requested. While the CRA does track specific non-compliance, any given audit project may have links to more than one country; therefore, information is not tracked by country.

Question No. 927--
Hon. Navdeep Bains:
With regard to funds spent by Elections Canada: (a) how much has Elections Canada spent on legal counsel and legal advice since 2005; (b) how much of this spending was to address issues with regard to the Conservative Party of Canada; and (c) how many legal proceedings does Elections Canada have ongoing at this time?
Response
Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to funds spent by Elections Canada, here are the responses.
With regard to part (a), during the period April 1, 2005 to January 31, 2011, Elections Canada spent approximately $3,028,486 on legal counsel and legal advice.
Of this amount, the office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections spent approximately $1,618,999 on legal counsel and legal advice for the enforcement of the Canada Elections Act, and approximately $1,409,487 was spent on legal counsel and legal advice for purposes other than enforcement of the Canada Elections Act.
Expenses incurred for legal services are of two general types: advisory services and litigation. Advisory services may include expenses related to opinions on specific subjects, review of documents or contracts, as well as the services of the broadcasting arbitrator.
Litigation services cover the gamut of cases in which the office of the Chief Electoral Officer may be involved, from electors who sue Elections Canada because they slipped while getting to the polling site to human rights cases, as well as others related to the interpretation of the Canada Elections Act.
With regard to part (b), of the amount shown in (a), approximately $1,255,561 was spent to address issues with regard to the Conservative Party of Canada.
With regard to part (c), there are currently 10 legal proceedings in which the office of the Chief Electoral Officer is involved in civil courts. This excludes routine applications to the courts for extensions of time to file returns. Note that an application has recently been filed in the Quebec Superior Court to join four of these legal proceedings in one. Should this application be successful, the number of civil proceedings will be reduced to seven.
One prosecution is ongoing at this time.

Question No. 928--
Mr. Claude Gravelle:
With respect to FedNor: (a) how many new programs will be introduced for the Northern Ontario region in the fiscal year 2011-2012; (b) how many programs will sunset on March 31, 2011; and (c) how many major projects will be launched in 2011-2012 in cooperation with each municipality and local community?
Response
Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, with respect to FedNor, here are the responses to the above-mentioned question.
With regard to part (a), the number of new programs that will be introduced for the northern Ontario region in the fiscal year 2011–12 is unknown at this time. In 2011–12, FedNor will continue to support economic development and business growth in northern Ontario through its northern Ontario development program, the community futures program and the economic development initiative for official language minority communities.
With regard to part (b), the community adjustment fund was one of the initiatives introduced in 2009 as part of the Government of Canada’s two-year economic action plan. FedNor was asked to administer this fund in Northern Ontario. This initiative is scheduled to sunset on March 31, 2011.
With regard to part (c), we are unable to forecast the number of major projects that will be launched in 2011–12. Applications to FedNor are received from across northern Ontario on a continuous intake system and undergo extensive due diligence to ensure that each project meets the published program guidelines and funding criteria. In 2011–12, FedNor’s contribution budget for northern Ontario is $46.4 million.

Question No. 933--
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh:
With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS): (a) has the government achieved its goal to reduce overall smoking prevalence from 19 percent in 2005 to 12 percent by 2011 and, if not, what are the reasons the government has failed to meet this target; (b) has the government established new goals and objectives for this strategy for the period following 2011 and, if so, what are they and, if not, why not; (c) does the government intend to revise or renew the FTCS and, if so, what steps has it taken to consult with the public and key stakeholders in this regard; and (d) does the government intend to continue to provide transfer payments in support of this strategy in 2011-2012 and, if so, (i) what is the total anticipated amount to be transferred in that fiscal year, (ii) has spending authority for these payments been obtained, (iii) has a process been put in place to solicit proposals for activities funded through transfer payments?
Response
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the federal tobacco control strategy, FTCS, has been successful in reducing smoking in Canada and preventing youth from starting to smoke. Canada is internationally recognized as a world leader in tobacco control. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, Canada has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world. In 2009, overall smoking prevalence in Canada was 18% and only 14% of Canadians were daily smokers. Data on 2010 and 2011 smoking prevalence are not yet available.
The current federal tobacco control strategy is 10 years old, and strategies to reach Canadians since then have evolved. In that context, Health Canada is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories.
Given the pervasive and serious nature of the problem of tobacco use in our society, the Government is continually assessing new ways to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of its tobacco control measures.
One such initiative is the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which fully came into force on July 5, 2010. The act added further restrictions on tobacco advertising, as well as minimum packaging requirements for little cigars and blunt wraps, which ends the industry practice of selling these products in single units and “kiddy-packs”. The act also banned the use of certain additives, including flavours, excluding menthol, in cigarettes, little cigars and blunt wraps, as they contribute to making such products more appealing to youth.
On December 30, 2010, the Government of Canada announced proposed regulations to launch new, larger graphic health warning messages that will cover 75 percent of cigarette and little cigar packages in order to increase awareness of the health hazards associated with tobacco use and to further support smokers in their efforts to quit. These new health warning messages will be complemented by a multimedia social marketing campaign, including the use of social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to reach and engage smokers. Subject to provincial and territorial agreement, the new labels will also include a pan-Canadian toll-free quitline number that will seamlessly link callers to provincial and territorial cessation support services.
The Government of Canada is committed to developing innovative approaches that effectively reduce smoking uptake among youth and help Canadian smokers to quit smoking. Health Canada will continue to seek innovative approaches to tobacco control and implement the necessary measures to reduce smoking rates and protect the health of Canadians.
The Government of Canada is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories, including the use of grants and contribution funding.
Health Canada is pleased to have had the support of tobacco control stakeholders and the public health community during the passage of the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act and on the new proposed larger graphic health warning messages.
The Minister of Health indicated to provinces and territories that $3.5M of FTCS contribution funding would be available to support their cessation activities within the 2011-12 fiscal year. The government is examining the strategy to ensure a clear role for the federal government in this area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories, including the use of grants and contribution funding.
View Denise Savoie Profile
NDP (BC)
View Denise Savoie Profile
2011-03-25 13:17

Question No. 922--
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
With respect to Canadian Forces (CF) members, reservists, and veterans and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and acquired brain injury (ABI): (a) what, if any, research examines a possible relationship between military service and (i) ADRD, (ii) MS, (iii) PD, (iv) ABI and, if so, (iv) what is the summary of research findings related to each of (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and any of their recommendations and, if not, (v) why not; (b) what, if any, research examines a possible relationship between operational stress injuries (OSIs), particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and ADRD and, if so, (i) what are the findings; (c) what, if any, research examines a possible relationship between OSIs, particularly PTSD, and initiation of MS or exacerbation of MS and, if so, what are the findings; (d) what, if any, research examines a possible relationship between military environmental exposures and (i) ADRD, (ii) PD; (e) what, if any, research examines a possible relationship between ABI and PTSD and between ABI and ADRD; (f) what are the Department of National Defense’s (DND) policies with respect to a CF member's or reservist's diagnosis for each of the four identified conditions, specifically what a diagnosis means in terms of (i) current employment, (ii) opportunity for advancement, (iii) honourable discharge, (iv) presumptive illness, (v) pension, (vi) benefits; (g) what happens when someone is diagnosed with each of the four conditions in the CF or reserves; (h) what are Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) policies with respect to a veteran's diagnosis for each of the four identified conditions, specifically what a diagnosis means in terms of (i) any employment, (ii) opportunity for advancement, (iii) presumptive illness, (iv) pension, (v) benefits; (i) what are the benefits for which a CF member and reservist with (i) ADRD, (ii) MS, (iii) PD, (iv) ABI are eligible; (j) how are benefits in (i) calculated and what services and therapies, including but not limited to, aids and maintenance of the aids, disease modifying therapies, medical equipment, medical exams, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. for which members and reservists are eligible; (k) how do benefits for ADRD, MS, and PD differ from those available to members of the CF and reservists who suffer from a physical injury or an OSI; (l) what are the benefits for which a veteran with (i) ADRD, (ii) MS, (iii) PD (iv) ABI are eligible; (m) how are benefits in (l) calculated and what services and therapies, including but not limited to, aids and maintenance of aids, disease modifying therapies, medical equipment, medical exams, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc., for which veterans are be eligible; (n) what, if any, studies of international efforts have been undertaken by DND and VAC regarding military service and each of ADRD, MS, PD, and ABI and, (i) if so, specify what studies, the chief findings, and any recommendations and, (ii) if not, why not; (o) how many members currently serving in the CF and reserves have received a diagnosis of ADRD, MS, PD, or ABI and how many veterans suffer from each of the identified conditions; (p) of the cases identified in (o), (i) how many have been awarded a service-related disability, (ii) what specific criteria were required to award a service-related disability, (iii) how was 'benefit of the doubt' ensured and what was the framework followed to ensure reliability and validity, (iv) how many were denied a service-related disability, and (v) how many people are appealing a decision; (q) how many CF members and reservists with (i) ADRD, (ii) MS, (iii) PD, (iv) ABI were required to leave the military during the last 5 years, 10 years and 20 years; (r) of those CF members and reservists in (q), what was the average time from diagnosis to honourable discharge, what opportunities might have existed for members and reservists to have kept working but in an altered capacity, were opportunities explored, and why or why not, and what was the average impact on pension and benefits; (s) what, if any, tracking was undertaken of the member's or reservist's (i) disease progression, (ii) work status, (iii) family life, (iv) mental health, etc., (v) what recommendations, if any, have been made or could be made to improve the quality of life of former military personnel; (t) how are each of ADRD, MS, PD, and ABI tracked among (i) CF, (ii) reservists, (iii) veterans; and (u) what long-term care is available, if necessary, for modern-day veterans suffering from each of the four identified conditions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 923--
Hon. Shawn Murphy:
With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC): (a) how many persons were employed by VAC in Prince Edward Island for each of the fiscal years 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, broken down by (i) full-time employees, (ii) part-time employees, (iii) term contract employees, (iv) student contract employees; and (b) what was the total remuneration for VAC employees in Prince Edward Island for the same periods in (a)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 929--
Mr. Claude Gravelle:
With respect to federal regional economic development agencies: (a) what new programs and initiatives does each agency plan to introduce after Canada's Economic Action Plan (EAP) initiatives sunset on March 31, 2011; (b) what are the expected cuts for each federal agency once the EAP's initiatives sunset; and (c) how many jobs are created by each agency as a result of implementation of EAP initiatives.
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 930--
Mr. Todd Russell:
With regard to the operation of 5 Wing Goose Bay: (a) what steps have been taken since January 2006 towards the establishment at the base of (i) a rapid reaction battalion, (ii) an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron; (b) as of January 1, 2009, January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011, how many Department of National Defence civilian employees and members of the Canadian Forces were employed or stationed at (i) 444 Squadron, (ii) 5 Wing Goose Bay, but not otherwise included in the total for 444 Squadron; (c) what steps has the government taken to market 5 Wing Goose Bay for (i) foreign military flight training, (ii) any other purpose; (d) what efforts have taken place on environmental remediation at Goose Bay and what efforts are planned; (e) what are the details of any local benefits policy contained in any contract for environmental remediation projects at Goose Bay; and (f) what activity has the Department of National Defence undertaken since January 1, 2006, concerning any possible closure of the Combat Support Squadron at Goose Bay?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 931--
Mr. Todd Russell:
With regard to government television advertising during January and February 2011, for each of the following advertising campaigns, namely advertising of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, advertising by the Canada Revenue Agency and advertising by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation: (a) what are the total costs associated with each campaign, including (i) production costs, (ii) advertising air-time purchases, (iii) other costs, specifying what those costs are; (b) what are the total insertions of each advertisement which constitutes each advertising campaign; (c) on what dates, times, and on which television channel or station has each advertisement aired or will each advertisement air; (d) which office or official is responsible for each advertising campaign; (e) which advertising agency or firm was contracted in respect of each advertising campaign; (f) which creative or production agency was contracted to produce each advertisement which forms part of each advertising campaign; (g) when was each advertisement filmed; (h) what were the specific instructions, directions or other communications from each department or corporation to the production or advertising team in respect of the content, tone, format, script, visual elements or all other creative elements of each ad; (i) what are the file numbers associated with each of these advertising campaigns; and (j) what are the contract numbers associated with each of these advertising campaigns?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 932--
Hon. John McCallum:
With regard to the backdrops used by the government for the announcements from December 10, 2010 to February 1, 2011, inclusive, and for October 15, 2008, to March 31, 2009, inclusive, for each backdrop purchased, what were: (a) the dates (i) the tender was issued for the backdrop, (ii) the contract was signed, (iii) the backdrop was delivered; (b) the cost of the backdrop; (c) the announcement for which the backdrop was used; (d) the department that paid for the backdrop; and (e) the date or dates the backdrop was used?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 934--
Mr. Don Davies:
With regard to Pre-Removal Risk Assessments (PRRAs) filed by individuals subject to removal from Canada for each year from 2005: (a) how many PRRAs were submitted; (b) how many were approved; (c) how many were denied; (d) of those denied, how many were on the grounds of (i) posing a danger to the public of Canada, (ii) posing a danger to the security of Canada, (iii) administrative reasons, (iv) other reasons; (e) what were the countries of return of the persons applying for PRRAs, both approved and denied; (f) how many PRRA applicants (i) were subject to an extradition order, (ii) were advancing a refugee claim, (iii) had a PRRA rejected and did not leave Canada; and (g) who are the individuals at Citizenship and Immigration Canada responsible for deciding the outcomes of PRRAs?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 935--
Mr. Malcolm Allen:
With regard to the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund: (a) what was the total amount of funding allocated to the fund during fiscal year 2009-2010; (b) which departments contributed to the fund and how much money was contributed by each department; (c) what projects were supported by the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund and what is the total cost of each project; (d) which companies were awarded contracts and was a procurement process in place; (e) which facilities used by the G8 leaders were sponsored by the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund; and (f) which municipalities were awarded contracts or received funding from the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund and how much did they receive?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 936--
Mr. Malcolm Allen:
With regard to the Canada Summer Jobs programs: (a) what was the total amount of funding allocated for the program on an annual basis from 2006 to date (i) overall in Canada, (ii) by province and territory, (iii) by riding; (b) what was the total number of student summer jobs created on an annual basis from 2006 to date (i) overall in Canada, (ii) by province and territory, (iii) by riding; (c) what was the total number of contracts awarded on an annual basis from 2006 to date (i) overall in Canada, (ii) by province and territory, (iii) by riding; (d) what was the average wage paid per year from 2006 to date (i) across Canada, (ii) by province and territory; (e) what was the average length of the contracts from 2006 to date (i) across Canada, (ii) by province and territory; and (f) what was the total number of hours of work per year from 2006 to 2011 (i) overall in Canada, (ii) by province and territory, (iii) by riding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 937--
Ms. Ruby Dhalla:
With regard to programs and services of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration since 2008: (a) what is the budget of each program or service including (i) each expenditure, including contracts under $10,000, (ii) the value of the expenditure, (iii) the goods or services consumed, (iv) the department under which the expenditure is accounted for, (v) whether or not the contract was tendered through an open bidding process if the goods or services were purchased from an outside source, (vi) the name of the outside source, (vii) the contract's reference number, (viii) dates of contracts, (ix) descriptions of the services provided, (x) delivery dates, (xi) original contracts' values, (xii) final contracts' values if different from the original contract's value, (xiii) how much remains unspent for each program and service; (b) what is the breakdown of costs for each meeting, townhall, roundtable and conference related to programs or services provided by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office including, but not limited to, (i) travel, (ii) accommodations, (iii) food, (iv) refreshments, (v) drafting of reports, (vi) drafting of speeches, (vii) drafting of press releases, (viii) drafting of talking points, (ix) drafting of media communications; and (c) what is the total amount spent by the Foreign Credentials Referral Office on advertising since 2008 and identify, in alphabetical order by supplier, (i) how much was spent per print advertisement, (ii) how much was spent per radio advertisement, (iii) how much was spent per Internet advertisement, (iv) how much was spent per television advertisement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 938--
Ms. Ruby Dhalla:
With regard to the Foreign Credentials Referral Office in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, since January 2008: (a) what are the monthly statistics, by labour market code, of individuals seeking information from any program or service provided by phone, in person or overseas; (b) for each labour market code, what is the breakdown of the programs, services, processes, support or agreements currently in place to assist individuals from those occupations and, if programs or services are not currently available for those labour market codes, the date the department intends to institute programs or services for those occupations; (c) for each labour market code, what is the status of negotiations with provinces, countries and professional organizations for resolving issues relating to foreign credentials; and (d) for each labour market code, what are the monthly statistics of the number of foreign credential problems of individuals successfully resolved by the programs and services of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office?
Response
(Return tabled)
8555-403-922 Canadian Forces8555-403-923 Veterans Affairs Canada8555-403-929 Economic Action Plan8555-403-930 5 Wing Goose Bay8555-403-931 Government television adver ...8555-403-932 Backdrops8555-403-934 Pre-Removal Risk Assessments8555-403-935 G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund8555-403-936 Canada Summer Jobs programs8555-403-937 Foreign Credentials Referra ...8555-403-938 Foreign Credentials Referra ...
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View Maxime Bernier Profile
CPC (QC)
View Maxime Bernier Profile
2011-03-24 10:07 [p.9165]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both of our country's official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on National Defence regarding the Supplementary Estimates (C) 2010-11.
I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on National Defence regarding Bill C-41, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
2011-03-24 13:44 [p.9195]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. Bloc Québécois colleagues for supporting me in my speech on the budget.
I am pleased to speak here today, because the budget is of particular interest to me. As the member for Québec and caucus chair for the Quebec City region, I cannot help but note that the Quebec City region has been forgotten in this budget. The budget reads more like an election speech, since the measures within the budget are simply a smattering of goodies for vulnerable groups.
The Conservatives will say that, during the election campaign, seniors will not get their $50 a month. They said we did not read the budget, but with our experience here in the House of Commons, we have a good research service and members who have a thorough grasp of their files. From a careful look at the budget, we could see right away how little it has to offer Quebec.
We made some very targeted requests in precise figures. In fact, the Conservative Minister of Finance even said that the Bloc had done a good job. So why are we not voting in favour of this budget at the outset? We had asked for $2.2 billion in compensation for harmonizing the GST and the QST. Six provinces have been compensated, including British Columbia, Ontario and the maritime provinces. Yet Quebec is being ignored. Several billion dollars were given to those provinces in compensation: $1.6 billion to British Columbia, $4.3 billion to Ontario and $1 billion to the Maritimes, for a total of about $7 billion. Quebec paid $1.75 billion of that amount to compensate them. We are asking for $2.2 billion.
It is also shocking to see how quickly the Conservatives agreed to that: after 244 days for Ontario and 131 days for British Columbia. How long has Quebec been waiting for an agreement to be signed? How many days? It has been 6,841 days. It is truly shocking to watch the Conservatives drag their feet on this issue.
Earlier, the Conservative member for Beauport—Limoilou said that we are always whining. We read the papers just like everyone else, just like the citizens of the Quebec City region. We know very well that Minister Bachand has been working hard while trying not to upset the Conservatives too much because they react easily and he does not want them to slam the door and say that they will not compensate Quebec. Nevertheless, Quebec has been waiting for this money. If Quebec had $2.2 billion dollars in its coffers, the Government of Quebec would be able to pay off 60% of its deficit, which would give it more flexibility to meet the needs of the people.
Conservative MPs from the Quebec City area should have demonstrated more leadership with regard to this budget, which could be called an election announcement. The epicentre for the MPs that were elected here in the House is the Quebec City region, which has six representatives. If there is an election—we are, of course, still waiting to see if there will be one—we will hound the Quebec City region's MPs. They will have to answer questions. During debates or when they are interviewed by our local and regional newspapers, they will have to answer, in an intelligent way, certain questions that we want to ask them.
For example, they put on Nordiques jerseys to support the team coming back to Quebec City. We do not know why they put those sweaters on but, in the end, they did not bring in any funding for the Quebec City arena. They said that private funding was needed. Private funding was obtained and then they wanted something else. The real reason was put in writing. There was a directive from the Prime Minister's office stating that funding would not be given for arenas anywhere in Canada. The Conservatives also wanted to make it seem as though this arena would be used exclusively for sports. That is untrue. This is a multi-purpose arena that would house cultural and sporting events, as well as some Olympic events. Clearly, the people of Quebec City have been misled.
Furthermore, a number of issues have been put on the back burner, for example, the Quebec Bridge.
My hon. colleague from Louis-Hébert has worked hard on defending that issue in the Quebec City area. He also moved a motion in the House calling on the government to repurchase the bridge and enter into discussion with the owners, CN, to find a solution. Again, we saw the Conservatives' bad faith with this file. They acted just like the Liberals and let the matter drag on, saying it was up to the courts to decide. In the meantime, as in Montreal, the bridge is rusting and it could end up costing more than we think. This was an important issue for the Quebec City area.
The Shannon issue is one that I have followed closely and on which I have dogged the government. The groundwater in Shannon is contaminated. We will not get into details about the levels of contamination, but the shocking thing is that the government failed to include any money in this budget for decontamination.
It would cost roughly $20 million a year for a technique that might be better than the last one. This technique would allow us to move forward and clean up the groundwater so that people in the municipality of Shannon can be safe. I know that this case is currently before the courts, but enough with the excuses.
Before the last election, many things were promised. For example, they promised to resolve the mail sorting centre issue and to do something for the zoo. Once the election was over, we did not hear another word about these plans and they moved on to other things. Many things need to be addressed and there will be many more challenges to face for the development of the Quebec City area.
The Prime Minister said in his speech, the day after bringing down this electoral budget, that he was focused on job creation. If there is one issue in the Quebec City area that all members from Quebec City should focus on it is the Davie shipyard issue.
The rules for the request for proposals were changed causing the shipyard to lose weeks, and thereby preventing it from being able to restructure and become solvent. Regardless of what we want to do in this case, they have stymied our ability to be proactive.
In Le Soleil or the Journal de Québec, a daily newspaper in our region, the counterpart of the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse has said he thinks the federal government should be much broader in its request for proposals and give this company the opportunity to prove its solvency.
What is shocking is hearing the leader of the members from the Quebec City region, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, say that the Quebec City region should not expect the Davie shipyard to be a priority. We can see what little weight she carries in cabinet when it comes to talking about the Davie shipyard. She herself said that there should be no expectations, even if the Davie shipyard were solvent. She should stand up for her region and be proactive. She should do everything she can to ensure that the Davie shipyard receives its fair share. The total for all of the contracts is said to be $35 billion. Could the Quebec City region not receive its fair share? We are talking about 2,700 jobs and economic spinoffs to the tune of $2.1 billion, but the Conservatives are nowhere to be seen.
Earlier, I mentioned the Quebec Bridge. Money was taken from the fund for the continental gateway strategy to restore the Champlain Bridge. This fund is meant for modifications or economic inputs in connection with the St. Lawrence River and for the continental gateway. The money being taken from that fund is not new money, and that is what I find despicable about how this government works. We are seeing a smattering of goodies to please voters. I think that vulnerable groups are being held hostage. We know what the Conservatives are capable of doing. During the previous election, we saw how they could dangle the idea of another $50, but we also know that there was a price.
So it is not for everyone. People need to take a close look at this measure.
It is too bad; I would have liked to speak longer. the Quebec City region and a number of leaders were disappointed by the Conservatives' motives in the region—
View Peter Milliken Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill C-55, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act and the Pension Act.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2011-03-24 17:29 [p.9231]
I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor
March 24, 2011
Mr. Speaker,
I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in her capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the schedule to this letter on the 24th day of March, 2011, at 4:02 p.m.
Yours sincerely,
Stephen Wallace
The schedule indicates the bill assented to was Bill C-55, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act and the Pension Act—Chapter 12.
It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
2011-03-23 15:07 [p.9138]
Mr. Speaker, concerned about the fact that the Conservative government is trying to exclude the Davie shipyard from a major request for proposals, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government to be fair. The Conservatives and the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse have to stop sabotaging Davie's recovery.
Why did the government change the request for proposals midstream, thereby giving the Davie shipyard less time to restructure?
View Rona Ambrose Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the solvency requirement was not changed at any time during the process.
The obligation for a company to be solvent is par for the course for any government contracting.
Let me say, when this company was in a very difficult financial situation last year it was this government that supported a $270 million loan through EDC to help this company along.
The truth is, Davie is pre-qualified to bid in this competition. We hope that it will be able to put forward a bid if it is solvent.
View Ed Holder Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ed Holder Profile
2011-03-22 14:15 [p.9104]
Mr. Speaker, Canada is privileged to have the best trained and most professional soldiers in the world.
My city of London, Ontario is home to Wolseley Barracks, where the Royal Canadian Regiment has produced an incredibly strong reserve unit. These soldiers undergo the same rigorous training as full-time soldiers, which is critical when they are asked to contribute to Canada's sovereignty and Canadian interests throughout the world.
We are proud of London and Canada's reservists for their commitment and we honour their service. A soldier is a soldier, whether full time or balancing both a commitment to their country and another career.
Someone once told me, “A soldier is someone who, at one point in his or her life, writes a cheque, leaves the date open, makes it payable to Canada” and under the dollar amount writes “up to and including my life”. Today we stand to honour them.
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
2011-03-22 14:41 [p.9109]
Mr. Speaker, anyone who is independent of the government and who looks at the procurement process for the F-35s will see the many problems: cost overruns and delay after delay.
The minister initially told us that the aircraft would cost only $9 billion, then it was $16 billion. Now the Parliamentary Budget Officer is saying they will cost $30 billion.
When will the minister admit this is costing Canadians too much money? When will he stand up and defend the men, women and children who will pay for this irresponsible process?
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2011-03-22 14:42 [p.9109]
Mr. Speaker, the non-partisan, professional DND procurement experts stand by their cost projections. In fact, those costs are based on actual detailed estimates that were calculated from a multinational joint strike fighter program. They were not based on extrapolations that were made from drawing upon historical data of other aircraft from 50 years ago. They were not based on a flawed calculation that included the weight of the aircraft. They did not project out 30 years. They went with the 20 year standard.
I wish the hon. member would get his facts straight.
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Dominic LeBlanc Profile
2011-03-22 14:42 [p.9109]
Mr. Speaker, the problem is last week the United States Pentagon joined Mr. Page in saying that the costs of the F-35 are “simply unacceptable in this fiscal environment”. Delays keep getting longer. Costs keep going up. Yet the minister gets up over and over again with the same story. Canadians are not buying it.
When will the Conservatives finally scrap this reckless procurement process and save taxpayers billions of dollars by having a real competition in Canada to get the air force the plane it needs at the best value for taxpayers?
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
View Peter MacKay Profile
2011-03-22 14:43 [p.9109]
Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing.
The reality is there was a competition, there was a process. Do members know how we know this? We know this because the party of the member opposite started the process.
There was a time not that long ago, in September 2010, when the member opposite said that the Liberal Party wanted to replace the CF-18 with the next generation fighter aircraft. There is only one next generation fighter aircraft. That was confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. That member used to be the biggest cheerleader for that plane.
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christiane Gagnon Profile
2011-03-22 14:47 [p.9110]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services told us that the Davie shipyard had until July to prove its solvency. That is not true. The request for proposals was changed along the way. Davie has to be solvent in May. The Conservatives are taking away precious weeks for Davie to restructure itself.
How can the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse be complicit with a government that changes the rules midstream in order to disqualify the shipyard in Lévis?
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