House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday in an improvised announcement, the government claimed Mr. Iacobucci would examine some documents. We still have no terms of reference, no idea when he will report to Canadians, and even no idea when he will begin his work. As we have always said, any inquiry, any examination, should go back to documents relating as far back as 2001.

Could the minister now make public the terms of reference for this inquiry and could he tell the House of Commons when we could expect a report from Mr. Iacobucci?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct something the Leader of the Opposition said. He implied that the government was in the business of releasing or not releasing these documents. The government has been very cooperative, and any redactions, any advice that we have had was given by non-partisan, independent public servants.

However, we are going beyond that. We will have Mr. Justice Iacobucci undertake an independent, comprehensive and proper review of all the documents, and this should have the complete support of the official opposition.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister sounds like he is trying to negotiate a plea bargain, but Canadians know that he is guilty of cover-up and delay in this inquiry.

My questions for the Minister of Justice are very simple, but the government refuses to answer them. So I will ask them again.

What exactly is Mr. Iacobucci's mandate?

When will he begin his inquiry?

When will he present his findings to Canadians?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Frank Iacobucci will undertake a complete, independent, comprehensive and proper review of all the documents. We want that work to proceed as expeditiously as possible, and again, the hon. member should be applauding these steps by the government.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister preaches fiscal restraint, new revelations have come to light about this government's excessive spending.

After announcing the abolition of positions that were already vacant, after paying thousands of dollars to replace lights and doorbells in federal buildings, now we learn that the budget for the Prime Minister's Office will increase by nearly 22% in 2010-11.

Has the Prime Minister become a proponent of “Do as I say, not as I do”?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Québécois is talking about the Privy Council Office budget. The activities of that department change every year. This year there is a lot of activity surrounding the G8 and G20 summits. The restrictions on increased spending apply to my department as they do to the others.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the restrictions on increased spending apply to his department as they do to the others, but his spending is increasing. I am trying to understand the logic.

Come to think of it, it is not surprising that only the Prime Minister's Office is spared from the budgetary restrictions, knowing what kind of man he is. Is the increased budget for his office not more evidence of his obsession with wanting to control everything?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, these are bureaucratic expenses for administrative duties, including for certain files that change from year to year, such as the G8 and G20 summits. It is true that the Prime Minister chairs these summits.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, both the former and the current Minister of Public Works and Government Services have blamed civil servants for obvious over-spending—to put it mildly—on federal building maintenance. How irresponsible and cowardly. Instead of taking responsibility, they are blaming their officials in order to hide their incompetence.

Will the Prime Minister remind his ministers that there is something called ministerial responsibility?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I stated yesterday, like all Canadians, we consider these expenses to be extravagant. I have asked my deputy minister to review these expenses to ensure that taxpayers receive value for their money. An independent third party will be appointed to do that.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there is a ribbon to be cut or a cheque with the Conservative logo to be handed out, the Conservative ministers feel that it is their personal responsibility. But when there is a problem, the ball is in the public servants' court.

Can the government deny that the contract awarded to Profac by the Liberals was twice renewed by the Conservative government and that it is responsible for the waste of public funds?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, while this is a competitively awarded contract, it is awarded and managed by the public service.

I have asked my deputy minister to review the contract, and today we have also asked that it be done by an external third party.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, opening up telecommunications to foreign ownership will follow along from 10 years where too many of the economic jewels in this country were sold off with the permission of the government and the previous government: Dofasco, Stelco, Algoma Steel, IPSCO, Falconbridge, Inco, LionOre, Cognos, Westcoast Energy, Vincor, Molson, Labatt, the Bay, Van Houtte, ATI Technology and Alcan.

The government did not stand up when it came to any of those takeovers. Why is the Prime Minister now opening up telecommunications? Has he not presided enough over the sell-off of our country's economy already?

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at the same time as we have seen some of those acquisitions, we have also seen many acquisitions by Canadian firms internationally as Canadian champions have been emerging. It is one of the reasons that Canada is coming out of the global recession with one of the strongest economies if not the strongest economy in the developed world.

I know the position of the NDP is that it does not want to participate in global markets but I am afraid the future has passed it by. We are in global markets. We are going to compete and we will succeed.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year there were 338 foreign takeovers of Canadian companies. Only 22 were reviewed by the government. The Conservatives did not prevent any of them.

Is the Prime Minister serious? None of these takeovers went against Canada's interests? Not a single one? None? Zero?

Absolutely nothing? That is just not credible.