House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rcmp.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what erodes public confidence in the administration of justice in the judiciary is any kind of guilt by unfounded association, any kind of trafficking in innuendo, and drive-by smears. We will not indulge in those things before the House.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Housing.

There is a significant need for affordable housing in the province of Ontario, particularly for people with mental illness, victims of domestic violence, and lower income families.

Can the minister tell the House what he has done to help the people in Ontario who have faced such a critical housing need for so long?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her tremendous support. This caucus and cabinet have made it possible to sign a historic $602 million agreement with the province of Ontario, a Liberal government that believes in people and housing unlike a previous Conservative government that did not care diddly-squat about people and housing in Ontario.

Our partnerships with municipalities, not for profit housing, cooperative housing and the private sector will deliver 20,000 units to the people of Ontario. This party stands for housing. That party stands for nothing.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Some new words are coming into the vocabulary. I would urge the Minister of Labour and Housing to have a discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister about the propriety of the language used. Perhaps we can tone it down a little.

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the public inquiry into Canada's role in the deportation of Maher Arar has finally resumed public hearings and it is about time. Canadians can now learn who played what role in Arar's deportation and his horrific ordeal in Syria. Canada's previous foreign affairs minister tried to cook up a deal with the Bush administration to avoid this public inquiry.

Will this government finally end the stonewalling, table all documents, and allow an open and transparent inquiry to get to the bottom of this horrendous injustice?

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to a full and complete inquiry. In camera hearings balance the need to make the inquiry as transparent as possible while at the same time legitimately protecting massive security concerns, as we must.

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the journalist whose home was raided by the RCMP because she was reporting on the government's role in the Arar deportation has received the World Press Freedom Award, a telling commentary on how journalistic freedom is not always guaranteed in today's Canada. Yet, we still do not get clear assurances that this government is prepared to end the obstruction and let the public inquiry do its work in public.

Will the government assure Canadians it will begin to cooperate with the Maher Arar inquiry, or is that just too much to ask?

Maher Arar Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government is cooperating with the Maher Arar inquiry. The government agreed recently with the judge on the case on what should be permitted to be disclosed. My hon. colleague should know that.

Is she really saying that the government should disclose how CSIS and the RCMP operate? Should the government really disclose information it has that may endanger the lives of informants?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal Senator Massicotte would have us believe that he broke no rule in signing a $100 million contract with the federal government. But subsection 14(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act states, “ No person who is a member of the Senate shall...be a party to...any contract under which the public money of Canada is to be paid.”

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to punish this Liberal senator who has broken the law?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the contract was signed well before the individual was a senator.

Further to that, yesterday, prior to question period, a letter was delivered to the hon. member fully explaining the situation. The fact is that the lease was awarded through a fair and open tendering process that was overseen by KPMG, and the winner of the competitive contract, on the basis of least cost, was Alexis Nihon, a large, publicly traded company.

The occupation of the building took time because of the amalgamation of two units into one entity within government and the set up requirements. The hon. member knows the truth because he received the truth. He is just plain--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Nepean—Carleton.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act bans senators from participating in government business, whether they were appointed before or after that government business started. That means the Liberals broke the law and paid millions to a Liberal senator's company for an empty building.

What will it take for this Prime Minister to stand in the House and announce what he will do to punish this Liberal senator who has broken the law?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would urge the hon. member to go outside and make that exact allegation. I think he would require some legal representation from members of his own caucus, perhaps, and God forbid for his sake, because I do not think he would get very far in that sense.

This contract was tendered fairly and openly. It was overseen by KPMG and the company that won the contract is a large, publicly traded, commercial real estate company that owns over 50 commercial properties in Canada.

Members opposite are engaged in another drive-by smear campaign because they are not interested in the truth. They are only interested in attacking reputations under parliamentary privilege.