IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Will the Conservatives stop the cover-up on spending cuts that hurt Canadian families?

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question Period

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Madame la Présidente, on apprenait hier que le Conseil du Trésor imposait un bâillon à tous les ministères à propos des réductions dans les services publics. Qui a donné cette directive? Le même ministre qui présidera à des compressions qui pourraient atteindre 8 milliards de dollars, ce qui représente beaucoup de services à perdre. C'est aussi ce même ministre qui a tenté de cacher une caisse occulte de 50 millions de dollars. Pour la transparence, on repassera!

    Les Canadiens ont le droit de savoir si le gouvernement impose un bâillon aux ministères en craignant la réaction des familles canadiennes.

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Madam Speaker, the government is undertaking an exercise to ensure that we can find savings to help ensure that we can keep Canada on a strong economic path.

    We are looking at opportunities where we can do things better for taxpayers. Obviously it is very difficult to report on the results of that exercise when it has not been completed.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Madam Speaker, this is the minister who hid documents from the Auditor General, about the G8 legacy fund. This is now the same minister whose department has issued an unprecedented gag order to hide information from Canadians.

    Will the Conservatives list the planned cuts for every government department and agency in the upcoming report on plans and priorities, or will they try to cover up like they did with the G8? Why are the Conservatives so afraid of telling Canadians what they are up to?

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this government will continue to be transparent and it will seek authority from Parliament on a range of budget issues.

    What we are doing, though, is reviewing every single expenditure within government to ensure that we can find savings to ensure we can balance the budget to keep Canada strong.

    Obviously, when that exercise is complete, the Minister of Finance will stand in this place and present the financial plan for the following year. It will be subject to the estimates process and to the full financial scrutiny that has always been the case with this government.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Madam Speaker, the minister did not answer, but we know on this side of the House what they are afraid of.

    The Conservatives are afraid of the fact that Canadians are increasingly concerned about the government's choices. We see it in the public reaction on the F-35 fiasco, the attacks on seniors' pensions, the unprecedented attempt to intrude on Canadians' personal information.

    Now the government is trying to hide its cuts to services Canadian families need. Shame on it.

    Will the government issue a new directive that ensures spending reports will be fully transparent? Will it stop the cover-up on spending cuts that hurt Canadian families?

    Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a little bit rich for a New Democratic Party member of Parliament to stand in this place and talk about attacks and talk about personal information.

    Today we learned that the official NDP opposition have been caught in a nasty, dirty Internet trick. Not only has it stooped to the lowest of the lows, but it has been running this nasty Internet dirty trick campaign with taxpayers' money.

    Today I call on the NDP to stand up, to take responsibility for these dirty tricks, to apologize, and to identify which one over there is responsible for these sleazy attacks.