House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was internet.

Topics

Competition Bureau
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the claims about Senator Housakos' acquaintances remind us of the Competition Bureau's inaction in collusion investigations. Despite allegations from former senior public officials, nothing is moving forward. Despite the existence of electronic surveillance transcripts, nothing is moving forward. Despite suspicious businesses and police search warrants, nothing is moving forward.

Is the Competition Bureau dragging its feet because the Conservatives are scared of what could be discovered?

Competition Bureau
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the outrageous comments made by the member opposite do not serve her or her constituents well. They do not serve the Liberal Party well.

If she has any facts whatsoever to present, I would encourage her to do so in this place and I would encourage her to do so outside this place. If she has any evidence or anything to put up, she should put it on the table. The reality is that all we have seen from the Liberal Party this month after their pursuit of an unnecessary and opportunistic election is mud throwing.

We are going to remain focused on jobs, hope and opportunity for every Canadian in every part of this great country.

Competition Bureau
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim to be pouring billions of dollars into asphalt and cement.

Is taxpayers' money going into the pockets of suspicious individuals or businesses?

Are the friends of Senator Housakos and the Prime Minister's advisor, Dimitri Soudas, people we would want to be associated with?

Is there a system to artificially inflate prices?

What guidelines have the Conservatives given the Competition Bureau? I would like the Prime Minister to answer.

Competition Bureau
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have here a press release put out by the Liberal Party, which states, “Liberal Party National Director Rocco Rossi today welcomed Yves Lemire, the new Deputy National Director of the Liberal Party of Canada”. He is becoming “an integral part of the Liberal team” and he has the full support of the Liberal leader. We checked later on in this press release and Mr. Lemire was also a municipal councillor on the island of Montreal and he used to work for Benoît Labonté, the executive director of Vision Montreal. Quel scandale.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the political lieutenant—

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie has the floor.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the political lieutenant for Quebec said that he had no problem with officials from Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated attending a Conservative Party fundraiser. However, the rules of ethics prohibit such activity. The political lieutenant for Quebec therefore condoned the fact that officials appointed by his government broke the rules of ethics and awarded a contract to BPR, a firm that employed Conservative Senator Housakos.

Does the Prime Minister stand by these statements made by his own political lieutenant for Quebec?

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we brought in very clear rules about political donations. The Conservative Party receives donations from tens of thousands of donors. These donations are all quite modest. That is our system.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I note that he did not answer the question and is therefore condoning breaking the rules of ethics, just like his political lieutenant.

Here are the facts. On the day of the cocktail party organized by Senator Housakos, he announced $212 million in funding to repair the Champlain Bridge and attended a pre-cocktail gathering that was also attended by officials from the bridge and BPR, one of the firms that was awarded the $1.4 million contract to study the condition of the bridge. Senator Housakos works for that firm.

Is this not a case of partisan appointments made to facilitate favouritism? The Prime Minister once condemned—

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Transport.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister and this government created the Federal Accountability Act. This government put an end to all of the former government's practices.

It is the Prime Minister and this government that eliminated big money from politics. It is the Prime Minister who eliminated corporate, union and $5,000 cocktail parties. It is this government that has brought about more accountability and ethics reform than any other government in history, and we have every right to be very proud of that.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, when they were in opposition, the Conservatives condemned the Liberals' lack of ethics. Today, though, those same Conservatives have abandoned their lofty principles and are showing favouritism by making partisan appointments.

I want to ask the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, who is defending the behaviour of his Conservative friends at Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated, why it is more acceptable to break the ethics rules now than when the Liberals were in power?

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I hear the Leader of the Opposition and the Bloc leader making so-called clarifications of the facts. What they are doing is muddying the waters. Quite simply, Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated is an independent corporation whose job it is to award contracts in a fair, open and transparent manner. That is what it does. The government has nothing to do with the process.

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the May 20 cocktail fundraiser organized by Léo Housakos was attended by Paul Kefalas, who chairs the board of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated, and Serge Martel, a known Conservative who is a member of the same board and who signed the call for tenders pertaining to the contract that was awarded to the consortium of which BPR is part and for which Léo Housakos worked.

How can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services condone the fact that these people were at a pre-cocktail, unless it is because he was in attendance himself?