House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, clearly, no minister in our government has ever been responsible for party fundraising.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the contractor who won the contract to renovate West Block organized a cocktail fundraiser for the Conservatives because, and I quote: “It was the thing to do...a small thank you of sorts”. In other words, he was happy with the work his Conservative lobbyist did with his “very close friends”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that when someone decides to return a favour, it usually means he is happy with what he got?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. This government has always acted with high ethical standards.

Our first priority when we were elected to government was to bring in the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history. That also eliminated the influence of big money in politics. That is perhaps the best thing that this Prime Minister or any prime minister has ever done to clean up the way Ottawa works.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

October 7th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, veterans are still coming forward to tell us that after they had criticized the government their health records were raided and put before ministers of the government. The Privacy Commissioner has now made it very clear that the laws of this land have been broken by the government in these actions.

What does the government do? It blames the bureaucrats, as usual, refuses to take responsibility, and then says that some insider will somehow fix things up. That does not cut it.

When will the government announce a public inquiry to get some accountability into Veterans Affairs?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our country and every Canadian owes a great debt to our veterans. They served Canadians bravely in world wars and peace missions around the world. They are serving Canadians very well in Afghanistan right now as we speak.

I want to be very clear. Protecting the privacy and the dignity of Canadian veterans is a significant priority for this government. No effort will be spared. Any violation of the law will not be tolerated anywhere in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Privacy Commissioner's report on the Department of Veterans Affairs is devastating.

The minister says he plans to make some changes. We already know what he will do: dismiss two or three staff members to appease the critics.

That is not enough. An apology is needed. Many are calling on the government to apologize and allow independent authorities to investigate.

When will they call a public inquiry to determine who broke the law, as well as why and how?

Veterans Affairs
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 have two things to say.

First, the independent Privacy Commissioner has looked into this matter. We appreciate the fine work that she has done and every recommendation in her report will be listened to.

Second, veterans in this country can count on the Minister of Veterans Affairs to forcefully advocate for their interests and to ensure that their privacy and dignity is respected. That is a solemn pledge. The minister has delivered more for veterans in the last few months than in Canadian history.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, if that were the case, we would be hearing an apology on the floor of the House today given that we have heard that the law has been broken. This is completely unacceptable.

We need to remember what these veterans have done. These veterans stepped forward to say that adequate health care was not being provided to veterans. They stepped forward to say that pensions were being clawed back when they should not be. They stepped forward to point out that veterans have to go to food banks in this country. That is what they have stood up to say. What do they get? They get their health records spread around in the ministries of the government. It is unacceptable.

Veterans Affairs
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 will stand by our veterans and we will do everything that is humanely possible to ensure their privacy is respected.

Our government has stepped up to the table with record investments to support our veterans and our men and women in uniform. We are showing the greatest respect possible for those who serve and who have served our country.

Regrettably, far too often when we bring an issue to the floor in this regard it is the NDP that stands up and votes against it.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to cover its tracks as the stench of corruption wafts around a well-connected lobbyist's role in a $9 million construction contract.

Yesterday, the government House leader tried to snow the media when he claimed that Gilles Varin did not have any involvement in the “new Conservative Party”. Again today, he is at it.

Well, the Conservative Party knew Varin well enough to cash his big donation cheques in 2007 and 2009.

Why is the Prime Minister's Office trying to mislead Canadians about the Varin connection? What else are the Conservatives covering up?

Government Contracts
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 individual is not a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He has never been a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He has never been an organizer for the Conservative Party of Canada. He has never been an adviser to the Conservative Party of Canada.

I do understand that a few donations have been made but, of course, they could not be big donations thanks to the Federal Accountability Act.

Maybe the member opposite should check his party's own records. I understand that the individual has also donated money to the member for Bourassa.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, he is a well-known, long-established Conservative and the minister knows it.

Yesterday, the Minister of Public Works said that no member of the government was being investigated by the RCMP. How could she know that? Has the RCMP briefed the Prime Minister?

The government House leader's parliamentary secretary says that they mean that the Mounties have not contacted any ministers. It is not the same thing.

Why did the Prime Minister not say that? Why could he not be straight with Canadians? Are the Conservatives in this deeper than they wish to admit?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, no members of this government are part of this inquiry.

There are rules, guidelines and laws that govern the Government of Canada's contracting policy. If there are any individuals or contractors who have broken these rules, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Natural Resources admitted that he attended a cocktail fundraiser hosted by Mr. Sauvé. Mr. Sauvé candidly said it was the thing to do to please the government.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources and the Quebec lieutenant tell us who organized this?

Government Contracts
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 Liberals have asked questions about giving big campaign contributions to the Conservative Party caucus. In fact, it is our Prime Minister who eliminated the influence of big money from politics. There are no more $5,000 cocktail parties and no more evenings where a couple of million bucks are raised in a night. That is something the Prime Minister can be very proud of.

Still, small, modest donations can be made to political parties, just as I understand one of these individuals made to the member for Bourassa.