House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, “There must be an end to patronage, and when we are in power, we will put an end to it”. Who said that? The Prime Minister did, when he was in opposition.

The fact is that today's Toronto Star reports that the Minister of Finance has once again given a gift to one of his friends, another party backer who has been rewarded. This time it is Mr. Love, who has been appointed to the board of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Why does the Minister of Finance not honour his Prime Minister's commitments? Why does he not respect taxpayers?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the appointment was to the Royal Canadian Mint. The person in question is one of Canada's leading tax lawyers. He led the committee we had to design the tax benefit for children with disabilities, which is a great step forward for Canada.

He was paid a very large sum for volunteering his expertise for that, Ralph. Guess how much? One dollar.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Finance has been warned before that referring to hon. members by name is out of order, and in this case, he was pointing right at his victim.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. It just shows what kind of disorder can arise when we have this nonsense.

Members are urged to read the rule book. It does say they must refer to hon. members by their proper title or by the name of their constituency. They cannot point at a member and call him or her a name and carry on. We have had this trouble before. I hope it will stop.

The hon. member for Outremont.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, he is going to be making a lot more than that at the Mint.

Value for money: the traditional definition of value for money is “a measurement of quality that compares the resources used to procure services with the benefit obtained from those services”.

The minister spent $122,000 of taxpayers' money for a 20 page speech by one of his little buddies, a speech, I might add, that was filled with grammatical errors and a gaffe as big as the Rocky Mountains.

Can the minister please provide the House with his definition of value for money? I assume that he means “I value a long-standing relationship and therefore, I will give him money”.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member for Outremont talks about value for money. As I just explained, the leading tax expert who chaired our panel that created the registered disabilities savings plan was paid a grand total of one dollar.

That was because he cared about this country. It is because he is a patriot. It is because he was prepared to volunteer, give up income and give up his time, all for one dollar, which is more than the member for Outremont is worth.

Lottery and Gaming Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, every day Canadians are being victimized by illegal Internet gambling operations. While it is a crime to operate Internet gambling websites in Canada, this has not stopped many offshore companies from soliciting bets from Canadians.

Legitimate gaming industries in Canada, such as Woodbine in Etobicoke North, are being negatively impacted by these illegal websites. It is costing them millions of dollars in lost revenue and is putting Canadians out of work. When is the government going to act? What steps is the government going to take to address this problem? Or does it not care?

Lottery and Gaming Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker. We want to do everything we can to assist legitimate gaming enterprises. That being said, the hon. member quite correctly points out that Internet gambling is illegal, with three exceptions.

That being said, I have asked departmental officials to look into ways in which we might assist with the enforcement of the Criminal Code. I would be glad to get back to the hon. member. I will report back to him as soon as I see him again in the gym.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, February and March are big travel months for Canadians going on vacation. In March many schools have a spring break and some families take this time to go south and soak up the sun in resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico and the United States.

Given the millions of Canadians who travel abroad every year, could the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs tell us what MPs can do to help inform their constituents about how to travel more safely?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remind Canadians that when they are in a foreign land they are subject to the laws of that country. I encourage Canadians to visit www.voyage.gc.ca for up to date country travel reports. In fact, there is one for every country. Country reports outline rules, local customs and laws that Canadians should know before they travel.

To help members communicate this very important message to their constituents, I have sent each member of this House a copy of a package of information they can share with Canadians.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

February 14th, 2008 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Don Morgan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Saskatchewan.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government House leader would indicate his plans for the rest of this week and the first week at least after the House resumes following the upcoming break week.

I think the House would be interested to know how the business of the House will flow, both before and after the budget on February 26.

I wonder if the honourable gentleman could indicate two other things: when does he plan to commence the debate in this House with respect to Afghanistan and when will he be designating the first of the opposition days in this supply period?

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity last week to inform the House that this week was accountability in the House and Senate week. However, I am pleased to report that we have made progress this week in making Parliament more accountable to Canadians.

Last night the House voted to allow our bill to give Canadians a direct say in who represents them in the Senate to go to committee before second reading. This will allow the broadest possible input from the opposition parties and represents a serious effort on our part to move forward on creating a democratic, accountable Senate.

Today, we hope to conclude the debate at report stage on the bill to establish a transparent process governing loans to political parties.

If the debate does not finish today, we will continue tomorrow.

Canadians know that our government is committed to getting tough on crime. Earlier this week the government introduced a motion asking the Senate to pass the tackling violent crime act by March 1. I am pleased to say that the House passed this motion by an overwhelming margin.

Hopefully, the Senate will realize that the Canadian people have spoken through their representatives. They have made it clear they want this law passed and they want it passed now.

Tomorrow, we will continue our efforts to protect Canadians' safety and security by debating Bill C-26, our bill to strengthen drug laws and get tough on those who sell narcotics to young people.

Next week will be Listening to Canadians Week, when members of this House will return to their ridings to talk to their constituents about their concerns, so that they can represent their constituents better when they come back here.

The week the House returns will be sound fiscal management week, focusing on the government's third budget.

Before the budget, we will continue to work on the common ground we have found on the mission in Afghanistan.

We have put forward a motion seeking to continue the military mission in Afghanistan and this week the official opposition gave its input. The government welcomed this. We want to work with the opposition parties in a spirit of cooperation and compromise.

We were pleased to find so much common ground between the Liberal position and that of our government, so much so, that we can now truly say there is a consensus on a Canadian position.

The two main parties now have much in common on the issues of burden sharing with our allies, a timeframe for the mission to 2011, the importance of training the Afghan national army, and the role of development and diplomacy in ensuring the success of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

The future of the mission will be debated on the Monday and the Tuesday that the House resumes.

The government's next big priority will be the 2008 budget, which will be tabled on February 26.

I can assure this House that the budget will focus on controlled spending, paying down the debt and continued sound management of the economy.

The first day of debate on the budget will be Wednesday, February 27, the day after the budget. The second day of debate and the first vote will be Thursday, February 28. That will of course be a vote on a subamendment to the budget, presumably from the Bloc Québécois.

I urge all members of this House to work with the government to pass the budget, so we can continue to provide Canadians with strong management of the economy and ensure that the country continues to operate without a deficit.