House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us look at a different sort of example. The Air Canada Public Participation Act requires that Air Canada:

...maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg, the Montreal Urban Community and the City of Mississauga;

The act refers not to some centres, but to all operational centres.

Yet Air Canada is trying to get around this act and export thousands of Canadian jobs to El Salvador. The Minister of Finance is responsible for enforcing this act.

Will the Minister of Finance strictly enforce this act, or will he be as soft as when he lets foreign interests buy Canadian companies?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government takes its responsibilities seriously. The Air Canada Public Participation Act is important legislation. It complies obligations on Air Canada, as the member said, in Winnipeg, in Mississauga and in Montreal. The government will continue to work with the industry and with the company involved to ensure the law is fully respected.

Foreign Takeovers
Oral Questions

October 5th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of takeovers have been approved, with only one rejected to date. The government is failing to protect our strategic industries. It imports the lousiest owners and exports our best jobs.

It gets worse. The Conference Board confirms the government is using Canadian tax dollars to finance these foreign takeovers that ship our jobs and resources overseas, such as Vale, Xstrata and BHP. Profitable foreign multinationals can writeoff their takeover costs against the taxes they owe Canadians. It is an absurd loophole.

When will the Prime Minister finally stand up and undertake to close it?

Foreign Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is painting a picture which is not quite accurate. A number of these companies, just as Canadian companies are expanding overseas, create new jobs, new opportunity and new innovation. It always has to be done under the rubric of a net benefit to Canada test.

The hon. member is wrong to suggest that Canada gets nothing out of the interaction between foreign companies that invest, the jobs that are created and the investment and the innovation that is done in our country.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the former minister of public works says that he has nothing to hide in the investigation into the illegal information cover-up scheme operated by his senior staff. He told the House that he had the current minister forward the Togneri file to the Information Commissioner.

Could he explain why he is refusing to have that minister turn over hundreds, maybe thousands, of emails that would shed some light on this affair? Why the culture of secrecy? Will the minister stop stonewalling the Information Commissioner and provide the evidence, all of it?

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the law is very clear. All ministerial aides, all public servants are expected to comply with the law. It was our government that fought hard to bring light where there was darkness. It was our government that fought hard to expand the Access to Information Act.

When this government sought to expand the Access to Information Act to the Canadian Wheat Board, it was that member who fought us every step of the way. Thank goodness the House thought otherwise and brought light to the Canadian Wheat Board.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, with the answers in the House today, obviously not only is the minister not living up to his responsibility, he is hiding behind the coattails of the House leader.

When will the minister take responsibility for his action, for his staff that broke the law? The minister either oversaw this information cover-up scheme or he blindly allowed it to happen. In either case he should resign. If not, will the Prime Minister accept responsibility for this coverup and fire the minister?

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government accepts its responsibilities. It brought in the Federal Accountability Act, the biggest ethics reform our country has ever seen. It expanded access to information. When we did that, the Liberals, including that member, fought it every day, tooth and nail.

The minister has accepted the resignation of his assistant and has referred the matter to the commissioner. That is the right course of action on this matter.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the noose is tightening around the Minister of Natural Resources's neck. There is more and more evidence that Mr. Togneri, his scapegoat aide who just resigned, was not acting alone. Another two of his assistants seem to have been in on the plot.

Two emails obtained by the media concerning access to information requests show that Mr. Togneri referred departmental officials to his colleagues, Marc Toupin and Julian Andrews.

Now that the Prime Minister has just said that the minister is responsible for his staffers, will the minister also ask his two assistants to resign?

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has acted appropriately. He has accepted the resignation of one of his political assistants. He has done the right thing. He has referred the matter to the Information Commissioner.

I guess the member for Bourassa would like to adjudicate these matters on the floor of the House of Commons. We would rather have confidence in the independent commissioner looking into this important matter.

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this goes on much longer, the minister will be out of staffers. He will have to go recruiting.

Here is another example of an email. When an official asks Mr. Togneri for an explanation, saying, and I quote: “Please exclude what is highlighted”, the minister's former aide answers, “Please contact Marc Toupin on that file.” That proves that Togneri was not acting alone.

Instead of pleading ignorance, the minister should have the courage to shoulder his ministerial responsibilities. If he is a man of honour, is he prepared to resign?

Ministerial Responsibility
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the Liberal Party would ask questions on access to information. I have right here a book from a Liberal cabinet minister's office, in which political staff have to tick off a box and initial. It asks whether something is okay to release, yes or no. Then the political assistant initials it. This is very interesting.

Maybe we should refer this book to the commissioner, along with some of the dirty tricks the Liberals would use when they were in power.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's deadlines for the completion of infrastructure work are making life impossible for municipalities, which are faced with a shortage of pipes and labour, the first frosts of the season, and ballooning construction costs. Quebec's municipalities may end up with a $200 million bill or lose their projects.

Will the government stop being paternalistic, do away with its case by case review process, and confirm that every approved project can be completed without penalty, regardless of any deadlines?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités convention alongside 1,100 mayors. I had a number of conversations with people who praised the results of our Economic Action Plan. We talked about the thousands of projects completed throughout Canada. Discussions are underway regarding the current projects between my colleague, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Quebec government. We are awaiting the outcome of those discussions. We will be fair and reasonable, as usual.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

It is funny, but the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités passed a resolution calling on the federal government to act. Did it do this for nothing?

Let me give you an example from the minister’s riding. In Roberval, there are no contractors to do the work. In East Angus, in the Eastern Townships, a water and sewage treatment plant project is in jeopardy due to a shortage of pipes. In Montreal, the cost of expanding the Deux Mondes theatre will rise because the deadline is going to force builders to work over the winter.

Will the government ever listen to reason and extend the deadlines, which is what the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités and the Union des municipalités du Québec have been calling for?