House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was care.

Topics

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, restoring integrity to government is certainly a big job after the experience of the last 13 years of the party opposite.

The federal accountability act is indeed a big document and a comprehensive document. It is the first honest, meaningful step to begin to re-earn the public trust, the public trust that was so shattered from what we learned at the Gomery inquiry. We heard stories of kickbacks, of corruption and of envelopes with thousands of dollars in cash trading hands.

The reason the act is so big is that it requires--

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Sackville--Eastern Shore.

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is a great day in the country when the leadership of Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba brings a real accountability package to members of Parliament, in their case, members of the legislature, when it comes to responsibility to their constituents.

This little blue package contains nothing about floor crossing by members of Parliament going from one party to another during their term in office.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why was this very important aspect of democracy left out of his accountability package?

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, that was left out of the accountability package because it is not part of the plans of the government. We do not agree with that particular policy. I understand the hon. member's party does. The members of that party can always bring forward that measure in a private member's bill and the House can vote on it, but in the meantime the President of the Treasury Board has seen fit not to limit what his own colleague terms “my powers of seduction”.

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it took the Liberals 12 years to develop that form of arrogance. It took the Prime Minister and his government 12 days to do that.

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. It would be helpful if we had a little order in the House and I know the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore is keen to contribute to the order with the rest of his question.

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is quite simple. The people of Vancouver Kingsway, of Kings—Hants, of Newmarket—Aurora and many others, who have been betrayed by their members of Parliament who crossed the floor during their term of office, do not believe the government is serious when it comes to accountability. How can we have accountability when members are not responsible to the people who elect us?

Will the Prime Minister include the aspect of floor crossing legislation in this accountability package?

Federal Accountability Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is certainly allowed to bring forward that position. I think his party did it twice in the last Parliament, unsuccessfully, but it certainly has the opportunity to do that again.

I have to say that I am awfully glad to have crossed from that side of the floor to this side of the floor after the election.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade finally admitted the appearance of a conflict of interest surrounding his ongoing financial relationship with Canfor.

Last week, he stated:

If we ever get to the point where a critical decision would mean too much or too little for Canfor, I would recuse myself.

The negotiations concerning softwood lumber and the reimbursement of billions of dollars cannot be separated.

When will the minister recuse himself?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member will know, the Minister of International Trade will comply with all the recusal requirements that exist in the Conflict of Interest Code. These requirements were in place when the minister was in the previous government. They did not create a problem then and they do not create a problem now.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows very well that in the previous government the current Minister of International Trade was not negotiating the refund of duties directly with the American administration.

Canfor will be the single largest beneficiary if these illegal tariffs are in fact refunded. The Minister of International Trade has this ongoing financial relationship with Canfor.

Since softwood negotiations and the refund of illegally collected duties go hand in hand, when will the minister protect the integrity of his government and of the negotiations with the United States and recuse himself?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these questions are getting to the point of the ridiculous. If this government were to be successful in resolving the softwood lumber dispute and getting the duties back, this would be in the interest of all Canadians.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

April 11th, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 17, the Prime Minister made a solemn commitment to help the forest industry with loan guarantees, but he also said that his party would provide adequate support for displaced forest workers and their communities.

What did he mean by that?

And what has he done since for forest workers and their communities?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have been working since January 23 to resolve this issue left to us by the previous government after four years of failed discussions with the Americans. We will succeed in making the softwood lumber industry prosperous and competitive in the coming years.