House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

7th Étudiant Outaouais Gala of Excellence
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 12, the 7th gala of excellence for the Étudiant Outaouais newspaper was held at the Maison de la culture in Gatineau. Over the course of the school year, more than 170 student journalists from 14 high schools tackled some formidable challenges. Three hundred texts were written as part of the competition for the 2009 journalism awards gala.

The 2009 gold trophy was awarded to Joé Charbonneau Laurin, a grade-ten student at Érablière comprehensive high school. The silver trophy was awarded to Gabrielle Falardeau, from Mont-Bleu high school, and the bronze trophy was awarded to Sarah Lemelin-Bellerose, from Versant high school.

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to these three winners for their remarkable talent, their determination and their brilliant success. As well, I congratulate the student artists who also demonstrated exceptional talent.

I would also like to congratulate the Amis de L'Étudiant Outaouais group, and especially Martin Godcher, Sylvain Dupras and Marie-Ève Bouchard, for their dedication and for generously volunteering their time. A special thank you to Jacques Blais, from Médias Transcontinental—

7th Étudiant Outaouais Gala of Excellence
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Oak Ridges—Markham.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader will say anything and do anything to get what he wants. He came back to Canada simply to rule our country.

He is so focused on winning at any cost that he will actually say what the Liberal Party wants him to hide. On April 14, he said he would raise taxes. He would hike the GST. He is also the father of the job-killing carbon tax.

When out in B.C., he called the forestry sector a basement industry. He then criticized the auto sector out in B.C. to make up for that slip of the tongue. Once he got back to Ontario, he then defended the auto sector.

He will say anything, do anything, including blurting out that he will raise taxes--

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Oral questions.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when a minister loses a binder full of secret government documents, it is serious.

When the same minister does not try to get them back because she did not even know that they were lost, it is ridiculous.

When she blames her own employee, it is despicable.

How can Canadians believe this minister when she does not want to assume her own responsibilities?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious matter. Clear procedures were not followed in this case. Corrective action has been taken. I offered to resign if the Prime Minister felt it necessary and he did not accept it. The person responsible for handling the documents offered to resign and I did accept that resignation.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that presumably is the same 26-year-old staffer who is responsible for spending $1.7 billion since 2006. It is presumably the same staffer who is responsible for the isotope shortage. It is presumably the 26-year-old staffer who is responsible for the whole darn department.

How are we supposed to believe such a fiction? When will the minister take her responsibilities seriously?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this is a serious matter. Clear procedures were not followed. We have taken corrective measures in that matter.

As well, it is important to note that this government has invested $1.7 billion in AECL since 2006 because we do believe in the 30,000 high-skilled jobs here in Ontario and supporting the Canadian nuclear industry.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the issue here is an issue of competence, and not just competence in relation to this minister, but competence in relation to the whole government.

In 24 hours we have learned that the Minister of Natural Resources lost a binder of secret documents and did not even know the documents were missing. We have also learned in the last 24 hours that the Minister of Finance missed the mark on his five year deficit estimates by a staggering $70 billion.

The issue here is that Canadians want competence in their government. When are they going to get it?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated already, this government has taken steps. We know that this is a very serious matter. The procedures were not followed and corrective action has been taken.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the Prime Minister, who said last year: “The former foreign affairs minister admitted that he left classified documents in unsecured premises. That is the reason why he tendered his resignation and I accepted it.”

Does this standard still apply?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated to the House already the steps that have taken place. We do treat it as a very serious matter. Procedures that we had in place were not followed by a member of my staff and corrective action has been taken.

As well, it is important to note that I did offer to resign to the Prime Minister and he did not accept my resignation.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's own guide for ministers says this:

The Prime Minister holds Ministers personally accountable--

--I repeat, personally accountable--

--for the security of their staff and offices, as well as of “Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada”... and other sensitive information in their custody.

Are these just words on paper? Why will the Prime Minister not apply his own rules?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the House, we do take this as a serious matter. In fact, that is why corrective action was taken instantaneously, once it was discovered that the procedures were not followed.

I have offered my resignation to the Prime Minister, if he felt it necessary, but he did not accept my resignation. However, I have taken responsibility.

The person taking responsibility for handling these documents offered to resign and I accepted it.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Prime Minister's office, it was the Minister of Natural Resources' aide who left secret documents at the CTV office. Although they may try to have her take the blame, the Prime Minister was very clear at the time of the Couillard affair: ministers are responsible for their secret documents.

Consequently, will the Prime Minister ask for the resignation of the Minister of Natural Resources because of her negligence?