House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to applaud the determination and courage of a woman named Marie-Hélène Dubé, a fighter who is determined to live life to the fullest.

In 2003, on her 32nd birthday, this mother of two learned that she had thyroid and lymphatic cancer. After two recurrences and treatment after treatment, she is doggedly fighting this illness. She has exhausted her 15 weeks of employment insurance sickness benefits, but she refuses to feel sorry for herself. Instead, she has decided to take on another battle: she has launched an online petition calling for employment insurance sickness benefits to be extended.

This petition has been signed by 62,766 people and I am presenting it for her in the House today.

On behalf of all of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I wish to pay tribute to her and tell her how much we admire her tenacity and unwavering determination. Our best wishes go out to her for a full—

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.

Poland
Statements By Members

April 13th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Kochani Polacy, as a proud Polish-Canadian, it is with shock and great sadness that I rise today in the House to offer my condolences and heartfelt sorrow for the tragic and sudden passing of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynska and 94 of Poland's best and brightest sons and daughters, leaders of the nation, all of whom were on their way to honour those who 70 years ago were lost in the Katyn massacre.

I know President Kaczynski was an integral part of Poland's solidarity movement. He will be remembered as a man who stood fiercely to protect the principles of democracy and human rights. I pray for him and his wife and offer my sympathies to his daughters and grandchildren for this senseless tragedy.

What a sad twist of fate that the loss of Poland's best and brightest has now happened twice in a generation. These two events will be inextricably linked together forever, but I am confident that Poles, a resilient people who have overcome hardships and challenges through the partitioning of their great nation and the horrors of totalitarianism, will rise and overcome again.

May we always remember those who have died and the service they gave to Poland. May they rest in peace.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians have recently noted the Liberal leader's obsession with referring to himself as a proud member of the political class. Let us just say that we are not surprised, after all, the Liberal leader holds the hereditary title of count and admits that he is flattered when people refer to him by this title.

He also said that while living in England, when the Liberal leader was away from this country for 34 years, he found the title useful among English society. He refers to himself as a proud member of the political class. This is the House of Commons, not the House of the elite. This Chamber is green like the grass of the commons. It is not royal red.

The Liberal leader has forgotten that we are elected as commoners and represent Canadians from all walks of life. His bizarre Old World ravings about class and title demonstrate that he is totally out of touch with Canada, Canadians and life in the 21st century. It also proves that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the government did some recalibration. The Prime Minister fired a minister and called in the Mounties. Days later we still do not know why. Yesterday we heard that there were some serious allegations brought forward by a mysterious third party.

What were these allegations? What are they? Why were the Mounties called in? And, why will the government not 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 has said publicly, allegations were brought to his attention last Thursday and on Friday morning he referred those allegations to the RCMP, the relevant authority, so that it would have the opportunity to review them and take the action that it felt was necessary.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe—Grey and Mr. Jaffer make quite a pair. We learned that Mr. Jaffer had use of his wife's ministerial car and use of his wife's office for lobbying purposes, all of which appears to violate the government's code and may well violate the law of the land. Through all of this, the Prime Minister did not just turn a blind eye, he praised the minister.

Would the government explain how this pair was allowed to get away with this for so long?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the allegations in question that the Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Liberal Party refers to came out in media reports just last Thursday.

I will just say this. Taxpayers work hard for their money and every tax dollar should be used wisely while on government and public business.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, can the minister stand in this House and say that the matters that are alleged to have been conducted are a good use of taxpayer money? It hardly seems to us that it is.

The former minister's husband was arrested on drug possession charges. He used the minister's limousine, driver and office to conduct lobbying activities.

Why did the Prime Minister turn a blind eye to these activities for seven months?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have seen some recent media revelations with respect to this matter.

However, I will say that taxpayer dollars should be used for official government purposes. Commercial activity should not be pursued with taxpayer dollars. It is incumbent upon all members of Parliament, all of us in this House regardless of party, to follow all the rules as set forward by the Board of Internal Economy.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to deny that Rahim Jaffer had privileged access to the Conservative cabinet. Yesterday, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities avoided telling us about other projects in which Mr. Jaffer was involved as an unregistered lobbyist, projects they discussed.

I will try again. On August 13, the ministers of Labour, National Defence and Canadian Heritage attended the same event as Mr. Jaffer in Barrie.

What did they discuss with Mr. Jaffer, and did they report the subjects of those discussions to the commissioner, as required by law?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I can report to the House that Mr. Jaffer had no discussions with me about any of his commercial interests.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Jaffer seems to have better access to the federal cabinet than the Prime Minister. Let us keep going.

On January 27, 2009, Mr. Jaffer was at an event in Ottawa with the Minister of International Cooperation and, again, the Minister of Labour. On April 30, 2009, Mr. Jaffer was at an event with the Minister of Health and the Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

Would any of those ministers like to tell us what discussions they had with Mr. Jaffer and whether they were disclosed to the Commissioner of Lobbyists as required by law?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have strong legislation with respect to the registration of lobbyists. It was this government that established an independent lobbyist commissioner who reports to Parliament and not through the federal government.

If the member opposite has any specific allegations he would like to make about anyone, I would encourage him to bring forward specific details and forward them to the commissioner so they can be investigated independently.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a whole host of reasons could be behind the fall of the former minister for the status of women, such as: obtaining a $800,000 mortgage without a down payment; the use of her ministerial mailing privileges and driver by her husband, Rahim Jaffer; supposed ties of this couple to the underworld; or a dinner that the minister is alleged to have attended with an individual associated with organized crime.

Is this why the Prime Minister decided to relieve the former minister for the status of women of her duties and turn the case over to the RCMP? Are there other reasons besides those already uncovered by the media?