House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

Public Appointments
Oral Questions

2:45 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, I know that the problem in the House of Commons is that we have people like the NDP members who just will not stop attacking people in the media.

Mark Patrone is a first rate Canadian with long experience in broadcasting. He is an example of the capable members that we keep appointing, people who serve their communities as well and who are eminently qualified for the positions they take on. We should be proud of their willingness to commit to help Canadians in that fashion.

As for the NDP members, if they wanted that appointments commission in place, they did not have to work so hard to keep it from happening.

Public Appointments
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have never heard such a tear-jerking defence of pork-barrelling.

Let us go back to what Justice Gomery said. He slammed the government for its excuses on killing the public appointments commission. He said that this key aspect of accountability has fallen into a black hole of Conservative indifference.

If we are going to have responsible government in this country, we have to drain the swamps of cronyism. Instead, the government is using taxpayers' dollars to give out untendered contracts to party pals. It is using the public appointments process as a massive job creation program for failed Tories.

Why has the government broken this key promise to the Canadian people that it would end cronyism?

Public Appointments
Oral Questions

2:45 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, on that theme that I was developing a bit earlier, I know it is important for us to look to those folks in the media for whom the NDP have a low regard but we in some cases have a high regard, and I go to no more than Tim Naumetz of the Ottawa Citizen, who, in looking at our appointments, said the following: “...many, perhaps more, are going to eminently qualified Canadians. Better than ever, you are getting appointments of top-notch people that are going to serve Canada well. No more of the pork-barrel patronage that we saw in the past”.

That is what our government is delivering: first rate, qualified appointments, regardless of their background.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government keeps trying to defend cutting women's advocacy groups, and Canadian women are noticing. Yet the Conference of Defence Associations, the oldest and most influential advocacy group in Canada's defence community, receives $500,000 in funding from the government.

Why is it that defence advocacy groups that get government contracts receive so much attention when women's advocacy groups fighting for women's rights get the door slammed in their faces?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauport—Limoilou
Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our government spends $20 million every year on projects that a have a direct impact on women and young girls, a record for Status of Women Canada.

Furthermore, several Canadian government programs are directly related to women, such as the official languages minority communities program, the aboriginal peoples program, particularly the national women's organizations component, and the women's multiculturalism program.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member did not answer the question.

We have no issue with the CDA receiving funding. We have a problem with the hypocrisy of the government, however.

The government cut the court challenges program, telling Canadians it did not make sense to fund an organization that challenged the federal government. However, it has no problem giving money to organizations that agree with everything the Conservative government says.

When will the Conservatives come clean and admit that they have a double standard?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would be quite aware that that very particular issue is now before the courts. I think all members of the House of Commons would agree it would be inappropriate to make any comments on it at this time.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

February 25th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, cigarette smuggling is in the news. This sort of problem has reared its head before. In the early 1990s, smugglers cost various levels of government billions of dollars in lost tax revenue. The authorities sometimes make successful busts, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

How does this government plan to fight tobacco smuggling?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. friend. That is why we have provided the RCMP and other authorities with additional resources to reduce the problem she mentioned.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, additional resources are not enough. We need exact figures. Cigarette smuggling is not a problem just because it costs the government revenue. Smugglers also undermine all the anti-smoking programs created to maintain public health. Moreover, cigarette smugglers contribute to the rise of organized crime.

What exactly is the government doing to make sure the illicit tobacco trade does not affect public health or the welfare of aboriginal communities?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we have exact figures. I can send them to my colleague. For example, between December 2 and 4 of last year, the RCMP seized nearly one million illegal cigarettes, and it is continuing to do its job.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this problem is so serious that it deserves four questions. Cigarette smuggling is flourishing and is now out of control. Federal and provincial governments are currently losing millions of dollars in tax revenues. Over the past few years, consumption of illegal cigarettes has doubled in Quebec, and things are getting worse.

Is the Minister of Public Safety ready to ask the RCMP to take this matter firmly in hand and put an end to cigarette smuggling?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the RCMP will continue to work toward its goal of overcoming the problems my colleague mentioned. That is why we reversed cuts to funding and resources. In the past, when the Liberal government was in power, resources were cut and crime rates increased. We want to increase resources and cut crime.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, last November, I asked the same question and received pretty much the same answer. However, smuggling has been shown to be on the rise. To fight this scourge, several organizations and departments must work together. If that happens, one minister must take the lead on concerted action, and the most logical person for the job is the Minister of Public Safety.

Why is he so weak and missing in action? Why does he not assume leadership of such an operation? Can he tell us about the measures he plans to take?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have already dedicated more resources and people to the problem. We have also equipped our integrated border teams with more resources to tackle the problem.

That is something the Bloc members cannot do. They cannot do anything to help the people of Quebec with this problem, but we can.