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Edmottawa

One of the best of the best sites for Federal political watchers is the word for word OpenParliament.ca

A quick search on the site shows us 150 references to ‘Edmonton’ in the House of Commons, so far this year (albeit a number of those are just references to local MP’s and not issues at hand).  To quote and provide commentary on some of the highlights:

 

October 28th, 2011

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

That is consistent with any matter of policing. I live in the city of Edmonton where there has been over 40 murders this year and, incidentally, not one by a long gun. The weapon of choice most frequently used for murder in Edmonton is a knife, but that is a story for another day.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member will no doubt know that the City of Edmonton is currently facing a murder epidemic. There have been 38 murders in the City of Edmonton in this calendar year alone, more than in any other city in Canada. I am curious as to why she and her party are opposed to the government’s safe street and communities agenda, given that crime is out of control in the city in which both she and I live?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

The government has yet to table in the House the projected costs of the prison expansions needed under Bill C-10. It has also not yet revealed if there will be cuts to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. In the last budget the government cut support for the healing centres. As many provinces are facing significant deficits, the downloading of prison expansion costs will have implications for their programs, such as for addictions and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Alberta already has faced public displeasure over the decision to cut its restorative justice program. Municipalities are begging for support for housing. Sadly, a good percentage of the Edmonton murders recently are related to mental health and homelessness. One victim was murdered as he slept on a bench. He was slated to move into his first home the next day after 20 years of living on the street.

The situation in which far too many aboriginals find themselves growing up fosters criminal activity and abuse. Why not respond to the myriad commission reports calling for increased investments in housing, in youth programs, in schools, and addictions counselling, and reduce the probability of yet more victims of crime? Why not invest in programs that may provide a ray of hope instead of legislation and policies that merely entrench despair?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011 / 4:30 p.m.

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member will no doubt know that the City of Edmonton is currently facing a murder epidemic. There have been 38 murders in the City of Edmonton in this calendar year alone, more than in any other city in Canada. I am curious as to why she and her party are opposed to the government’s safe street and communities agenda, given that crime is out of control in the city in which both she and I live?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am fully aware of the murder rate in my city and it is reprehensible. What Edmontonians want is action by the federal government and all governments, including the police forces and all government departments and agencies to prevent more violent crime. It provides little redress to the victim of a crime that we are going to incarcerate somebody after the fact.

As I mentioned, there is the very sad case of a mentally troubled individual allegedly causing a fire in a building and causing the death of someone. A number of homeless people are being murdered on the streets as they are sleeping. This calls for a much broader response than simply locking people up on a minimum mandatory sentence.

 

43 murders in 2011, in a city which also bears a significant weight as the defacto centre for social services for central and northern Alberta, and the only references by our Federal reps to these issues, would seem to be the above.  A few comments and some party bickering offering little to no depth, debate, or solutions, and that’s all folks.

 

On the Royal Alberta Museum:

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2011/ 2:55 p.m.

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Prime Minister is once again giving the people of Edmonton the back of his hand.

First, there was the broken promise on the portrait gallery, then the Conservatives denied funding for the Edmonton folk music festival and then they failed to back Edmonton’s bid to host the World Expo.

The Conservatives have no trouble finding 50 million bucks to build gazebos in Muskoka, but when it comes to funding Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum, it appears they are weaseling out of their previous commitment.

Why does the government continue to show such disrespect for the capital of the province of Alberta?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I should just correct the record. Our government has been proud to support the Edmonton folk music festival with funding. Again, I reiterate that our government has not withdrawn any funding from this project.

We committed $30 million to the Royal Alberta Museum. We are very proud to do that. That funding commitment stands and we have not withdrawn that funding.

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Edmontonians are stunned and angered at the government’s sudden 11th hour backtracking from the new Royal Alberta Museum.

With no explanation, the government again pulled the rug out from under Alberta’s capital city to the tune of $92 million. The project is shovel ready. Millions have already been spent by the province and city.

Would the Conservatives explain why they left Edmonton out in the cold again?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that no funding has been withdrawn from this project by the federal government. We committed $30 million to this project. It was announced the day the project was announced. We are still committed to that funding. We have not withdrawn any funding from this project.

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the $30 million was promised by the previous government.

The Minister of Public Works expressed concern that a provincial Alberta minister went public on her decision to withdraw support for this important project. She called him a rookie.

The Conservative government committed money to Alberta under the building Canada fund.

Do any other Edmonton MPs share my concern? Will any of them stand up for Edmonton and demand this funding be restored?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the funding that the member is speaking of was never allocated. Our commitment was for $30 million and it stands. We are not withdrawing those funds from the project. We cannot withdraw funds that we have never given.

I will explain for the member that out of the $30 million, the Government of Alberta has only accessed $10 million. So there are still $20 million there for it to access immediately should it be needed for the project today.

 

And since the RAM conjures up thoughts of an Expo bid:

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

November 23rd, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, after encouraging Edmonton’s bid on Expo 2017 as recently as three weeks ago, the government now pulls the rug out from under Alberta’s capital. That same government, for a one-day G8 meeting, gave tens of millions to a Conservative cabinet minister’s Ontario riding: $16.7 million for an arena, $100,000 for a gazebo, $200,000 for a welcome sign, $300,000 for a toilet and $400,000 for a steamboat refit.

Why the open government wallets for Ontario ridings, but austerity for Edmonton?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke to the mayor of Edmonton, Mr. Mandel, and Sheila Weatherill of the bid committee to let them know that our government would not go forward with Edmonton Expo 2017 because this project was too large, too expensive and it was too large of a financial risk for Canadian taxpayers.

We think it is the responsible thing to do, and I am glad we are not alone. Here is what was said by the Taxpayers Federation. It said, “Citizens of Edmonton and the province of Alberta should be thanking the federal government for showing leadership in saying no to this dangerous project”.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is what the federation says about the Conservative spending.

Edmonton’s expo on clean energy was supported by municipalities across the country, with the resulting benefits to all provinces from the influx of 5.3 million tourists and badly needed jobs. Clearly the government can find the money for pet projects in target ridings.

This decision is not about money. It is about politics. Why are Conservatives taking Edmonton for granted? What exactly did the regional minister do to secure federal support?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government has delivered more projects to Edmonton and Alberta than any government in Canadian history. This government has done the responsible thing.

When it comes to large international projects such as Expo 2017, we did the right thing. We examined this project. We gave it the respect it was due. We looked at all of the costs associated with it. The reality is this is too expensive of a project. They were asking for over $700 million from the federal government. It would have cost well over $1 billion. This is a financial risk that taxpayers of Edmonton and Alberta do not want us to take.

Expo 2017
Oral Questions

November 17th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, by not yet endorsing Edmonton’s bid to host Expo 2017, the government is putting Canada’s only bid at risk. Edmonton’s Expo theme is energy and our planet. It would showcase innovations in clean energy technology and sustainability, initiatives the government claims are among its priorities. Supporting this bid would help deliver on the government’s stated clean energy policy.

Where are the Edmonton Conservative MPs? Will the government immediately endorse Edmonton’s bid to host Expo 2017 for Canada?

Expo 2017
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are aware that the City of Edmonton has put together a proposal to host Expo in 2017. As a matter of fact, Mayor Mandel was in Ottawa last week, and theMinister of Finance and I met with him.

I should let the member know that we are doing our due diligence on this project. We are concerned about the large price tag associated with this. We are doing our due diligence and we will give our response to the city very soon.

 

Oh, oh! Gazing into the campaign crystal ball.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding behind an administrative error to disguise their lack of ethics. But it simply proves that they are incapable of managing. TheMinister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism ordered his director of multicultural affairs to raise money for the Conservative Party. He did not ask a party employee, but one of his office’s directors. Parliamentary resources would be used, and the minister knew it.

Why is he not doing the honourable thing, since he is the one accountable for this decision? He must resign.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the use of parliamentary resources for partisan political purposes is completely wrong and completely unacceptable. The employee in question has offered the minister his resignation. The minister has done the right thing and accepted it. The minister has assumed responsibility for these actions. He has apologized for his former employee’s actions and believes they were unacceptable.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, that director of multicultural affairs did not get fired for an ethical breach. He was fired because he was dumb enough to get caught. It is the minister’s head that should roll for breaking faith with the Canadian people, for using his office and the weight of his title to orchestrate the Conservative Party’s ethnic outreach strategy at the taxpayer’s expense. Conservatives cannot pass this off on some overzealous flunky. The buck stops with the guy whose name is on the masthead.

Mulroney used to fire ministers who stepped in a cow-pie. Whatever happened to ministerial accountability for the current Conservative government?

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister has done the right thing. He accepted the resignation of his staff member. Let us see if New Democrats will live up to that same standard.

I have in my hand an email from the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona‘s office where she is seeking to have a federal election. It states:

–a federal election called in the next month or two. Help your Edmonton NDP candidates get ready! Re-elect the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona and for details on how to work on the campaign, you can contact Erica Bullwinkle at duncanl1@parl.gc.ca.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has done the right thing. Will the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona follow—

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where Conservatives are burying the bodies of all the political staffers they are throwing under the bus. It is a good thing Skippy is practising his mortician routine because the Conservative lobbyists like Tim Powers could only absorb so many of these guys.

The minister of immigration is abusing his office. He is exploiting the hopes and dreams of the very people he is sworn to serve. There is an implied quid pro quo when the minister of immigration is the one heading up the outreach to new Canadian voters and he knows it.

The minister of immigration—

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am afraid the hon. member’s time has expired.

The hon. government House leader.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the facts. The facts are that the NDP member forEdmonton—Strathcona knows she cannot beat Ryan Hastman and she is trying to cheat to keep her seat. She should apologize and then she should demand this staffer resign.

 

 

I’ll hold the ball, and you come running up and kick it.

*First impressions on the news that the new Royal Alberta Museum had joined the Edmonton Expo as a grass stain on Edmonton’s arse after being yanked away at the kick-off (or thereabouts).  At the very least, the analogy of children playing ‘government’ seems pretty accurate*

Wednesday, Edmonton –  City Council approves a downtown arena deal which includes a funding request to the higher powers for $100 million plus a little extra for a ‘community rink’ if they’d be so kind.

Wednesday, Edmonton/Ottawa – The Royal Alberta ‘off again, on again’ Museum is off again after the higher powers break out into an incomprehensible ‘he did it’ ‘no he did it’ shouting match following the announcement of the project’s cancellation/postponement/not gonna happen at least anytime soon…ness.

 

 The 2005 Announcement

2005 Alberta’s centennial federal funding announcement 

The April, 2011, revival announcement

Some April coverage of the announcement from the Edmonton Journal (The Edmonton Commons)

“That’s what we get from Ottawa to commemorate our history and our role in Confederation. A plaque.”

“One envelope has $30 million in it. The other envelope has had $92 million in it.”

“They could fund the project on their own. Fair enough. Carry on,” he said.”

” Fingers were pointed, blame was levelled”

Rona Ambrose Talks about RAM Money

They didn’t think that maybe they should get that in writing?

A night at the museum

“There is a good deal of finger pointing going on…”

 

The Mayor blames Rona Ambrose (for the 2nd time in this calendar year), Rona blames the Province, the Province blames the Feds, Laurie Hawn blames the province, meanwhile science and history in downtown Edmonton are set back seemingly further than hockey and the true story, like with the Expo, is far more likely to come from the pages of a Freedom of Information request than from the mouth of anyone in the triangle of blame.