House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

April 12th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, evidence that Canada's economic action plan is working continues to mount. Statistics Canada reported that almost 18,000 new jobs were created in March. That represents the sixth month of job gains in the past eight months.

Since July 2009, Canada has created almost 180,000 new jobs. The OECD has predicted Canada's economic growth will lead the G7 this year by a wide margin. Despite the good news, our recovery remains fragile. That is why our government put forward a growth and jobs budget, which will fully implement the second year of Canada's economic action plan and roll out the remaining job creating stimulus projects across the country.

Compare that to the Liberal plan for the economy: hiking job-killing business taxes, raising the GST and imposing a carbon tax. We will stick to our plan, a plan that is having a positive effect.

Pensions
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to ignore the systemic pension crisis facing the country, where 1.6 million Canadians are living on less than $15,000 a year, one-third of Canadian families have no savings at all and tens of thousands of Nortel and Abitibi workers are faced with the prospect of losing the pensions they paid into their whole lives.

However, instead of taking action, the Minister of Finance is bumbling around like the cartoon character Mr. Magoo. He cannot see anything wrong because it does not fit his narrow ideological frame. Addressing the pension crisis is not rocket science. All it takes is political backbone: eliminate seniors poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement; work with the provinces to phase in an increase to CPP benefits; and amend the bankruptcy laws to protect unfunded pension liabilities.

The New Democrats will continue to fight for pensions and our seniors because they deserve the best of all members of the House of Commons.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked to hear the Liberal leader say that the class system was alive and well in Canada. In a recent media scrum, he called himself “a proud member of the political class”. That is unbelievable.

This is not the first time the Liberal leader has gone elitist on Canadians. During his recent spenders' conference, the Liberal leader referred to the break between his own political class and the citizens of Canada. He also referred to America as being his own country. No wonder he is calling for GST hikes, carbon taxes and job-killing business taxes.

Just who does the Liberal leader think he is? An elitist aristocrat? Does he not realize that Canada does not have a class system?

After 34 long years of being away from Canada, the Liberal leader is completely out of touch with hard-working Canadians. His claim to being a proud member of the political class proves that, yet again, the Liberal leader is just visiting.

Poland
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the unimaginable happened in Poland. The plane that crashed was carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, parliamentarians, senators, opposition leaders, senior officials, including the central bank governor, the chief of defence staff, as well as generals of the armed forces. In all, 96 people lost their lives.

This accident is even more tragic, since this delegation was killed not far from Katyn, the same place where, in 1940, the Soviet army massacred 20,000 Polish soldiers. The Polish officials were travelling there to commemorate the 70th anniversary of this tragedy.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I offer moje kondolencje i sympatja to the people of Poland, to its diaspora and to all its politicians.

Poland
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to mourn the death of the president of Poland and the 95 other Polish leaders who died in Saturday's tragic airplane crash.

President Kaczynski was a defender of freedom, one of those courageous Poles who took a stand to put an end to half a century of repression and bring down an entire empire.

The shock of this weekend is compounded by the 70th anniversary of the massacre at Katyn, a place of infamy in Polish history, now darkened by this tragedy.

Today, everyone in the House stands in grief and solidarity with the people of Poland and with the Polish Canadian community. We honour the lives of the victims, including some of Poland's most distinguished citizens. We recall with gratitude the immense contribution made by Polish people to our life in Canada and we venerate Poland's unquenchable passion for freedom.

Poland
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Canada-Poland Parliamentary Friendship Group, I would like to express our shock and sadness at the sudden and tragic passing of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and the members of the Polish delegation who lost their lives in Saturday's plane crash.

I had the honour and privilege of accompanying First Lady Maria Kaczynska as she toured Centre Block last year. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, how delighted she was to have her photo taken with Sir Winston Churchill's portrait in your office.

We learned from her that day that her uncle had been one of the victims of the Katyn massacre. Therefore, it is especially difficult to hear of her untimely passing while en route to Russia to commemorate the lives of the 24,000 Polish prisoners of war who were brutally killed in the Katyn forest 70 years ago.

My wife, Basia, and I join with all members of the Canada-Poland Friendship Group in expressing our sincere and deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, the people of Poland and all Polish Canadians during this very sad and difficult time.

I encourage Canadians to sign one of the books of condolence at the Polish Embassy in Ottawa or through any Polish consulate.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Prime Minister fired a minister, kicked her out of caucus, called in the RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner, and Canadians still do not know why.

There are “serious allegations” surrounding the conduct of the minister, but we still do not know what they are. When will the government tell Canadians the truth?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister reported to Canadians this past Friday, allegations came forth from a third party. Those allegations were forwarded to officials at the RCMP and with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner in Ottawa.

The RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner will come to their own conclusions, as is proper on this issue.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how long will the government hide behind the Ethics Commissioner and the Mounties? This sordid tale has been going on for six weeks. It was not enough that the minister violated airport security and abused airport personnel. It was not enough that her staff impersonated the public in a letter writing campaign.

For six long weeks, the Prime Minister has got up and said that she was doing a great job and then presto, from Thursday night to Friday morning, he called in the RCMP. Why?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it will come as no surprise to the leader of the Liberal Party and leader of the official opposition that I do not share the conclusions he has just made.

When the allegations of the third party arose, our government acted both quickly and appropriately and forwarded them on to both the RCMP and to the Office of the Ethics Commissioner.

The Prime Minister has been and will continue to act appropriately in this important issue.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again, who is the third party referred to in the minister's reply?

These are questions that have to do with the integrity of this government.

When the Mulroney-Schreiber affair cast doubt on the integrity of the Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister called for a public inquiry. Today, the integrity of his office is again in question.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to be transparent in this case? Canadians are entitled to the truth, are they not?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the issue to which the Leader of the Opposition refers, as I said, is a public, well-documented issue and a public inquiry was held.

Let me be very clear. The allegations that were brought forward by a third party do not involve any minister, any MP, any senator or, for that matter, any government employee.

The Prime Minister acted expeditiously and forwarded these allegations on to the appropriate officials.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly outraged that well-connected Conservatives are apparently meeting with questionable businessmen and claiming they have the inside track on securing government funding. These claims are made more credible by the fact that these Conservatives appear to have had privileged access to federal cabinet.

Will the government come clean on all of the dates that its ministers have met with Rahim Jaffer or his business associates since they launched their company, Green Power Generation Corporation?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, all that is insinuated by the member for Winnipeg South Centre and various reports in the media suggesting that the Prime Minister's office has opened its doors to Mr. Jaffer or his associates are absolutely without basis and are false.

Our government has worked hard, from our first piece of legislation, the Federal Accountability Act, to raise the bar on important issues surrounding the administration of public business, and we have every right to be proud of those new reforms.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us get specific. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is responsible for administering the $1 billion green infrastructure fund.

On September 3, 2009, the minister met with Rahim Jaffer in Ottawa. What did they discuss and were those discussions reported to the Commissioner of Lobbying, as required by law?