I posed this question in the House of Commons today...
Mr. Ryan Cleary (St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was in Atlantic Canada yesterday, showing again his disrespect for the region. He failed again to make a commitment to the Gulf ferry.
The federal government has an obligation to ensure Newfoundlanders have access to ferry services, but Marine Atlantic will be laying off employees and reducing crossings.
Instead of dodging responsibility, instead of denying their own mismanagement and letting down those who depend on this vital service, Conservatives need to step up and act.
What will the government do to ensure Newfoundland ferry service is protected?
Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as the member would know, Marine Atlantic is a independent Crown corporation responsible for its operational decisions. That corporation has the responsibility to ensure investments by Canadian taxpayers are used in the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador to serve the needs of its citizens.
In like fashion, that member is responsible for getting on his feet and explaining his part, with 22 other NDP MPs, in bogus mailings for partisan fliers that ripped off the taxpayers, and when he and his colleagues plan to pay them back.