House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was climate.

Topics

Poland
Statements By Members

April 14th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday, Poland lost its political, military and church elite, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, whom I had met. They had been flying to a memorial to remember the Katyn massacre, an event not well known in world history, but one that they rightly did not want forgotten given the brutal murders of over 20,000 Polish officers and elite by Soviet forces in 1940.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called this plane crash the most tragic event of Poland's post World War II history and the Archbishop of Warsaw has stated that “words are too poor and weak” to capture the loss. As a first generation Polish Canadian, I can say that they are both correct and that the Polish community in Canada, known as Polonia, is in shock and mourning.

On behalf of my entire family, the residents of Brampton West and Polonia, I wish the survivors of the deceased and the people of Poland our sincere condolences on this terrible tragedy.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, while our government was delivering economic results for Canadians, the Liberal leader laid an important plank in his platform. He clearly stated, “We will have to raise taxes”. Of course, he is the same Liberal leader who is on the record stating, “I am not going to take a GST hike off the table”. But why would he? He is a self-proclaimed tax-and-spend Liberal.

The Liberal leader was among the first Liberals to call for the carbon tax that Canadians rejected in the last election. Let us not forget that to end his spenders' conference, the Liberal leader proposed job-killing business taxes.

One year ago the Liberal leader set out to raise Canadian taxes and he has stayed true to his tired message, but Canadians know higher taxes kill jobs. It is as true today as it was a year ago.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for more than seven months the Prime Minister has stood by and watched while Mr. and Mrs. Jaffer attached their tentacles to the neck of the government and slowly dragged it down. The question now is not about Mr. and Mrs. Jaffer, it is about the Prime Minister.

Will he finally explain why he called in the police? Will he finally admit that in the confidence he placed in this couple, he displayed a poor lack of judgment?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the minister offered to resign and I accepted her resignation.

I have also made it very clear that I had received information concerning some serious allegations of which I have no direct knowledge, but I did the appropriate thing and forwarded those to the authorities for them to take what action is appropriate.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, by letting the rumours swirl, the cloud over the government continues.

There is a pattern here. When Parliament gets in the Prime Minister's way, he shuts it down. When MPs ask for documents, they are blacked out. When ordinary citizens ask for access to information, they are turned down. When Parliament asks a simple question, why did he fire a minister, he will not even deign to answer.

There is a pattern of arrogance here. When will it stop?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we received information which is obviously of serious concern. I have no direct knowledge to add to this information. The appropriate thing to do was to turn that over to the authorities.

The consistent pattern here is the government does what is the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a consistent pattern of obstruction with this government. Ministerial staff block requests for access to information. Entire pages of information and documents on torture are censored.

Now the Prime Minister is refusing to tell us why he called in the police against his minister.

All of this amounts to contempt for the institutions involved and for Canadians.

When will the Prime Minister tell us why he trusted the minister last week, but no longer trusts her this week?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I reject the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition.

In this case, the minister tendered her resignation. I received information about her conduct. I have no direct knowledge of the allegations made. It was appropriate to forward these allegations to the authorities and that is what I did.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, when Rahim Jaffer met with some of his more questionable clients, he said, “I have access to a green fund”. It was no idle boast.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities delegated authority to review projects for the billion dollar green fund to his parliamentary secretary, a parliamentary secretary who now confirms he did meet with Mr. Jaffer and his partner last June for government cash for three specific projects.

What are the details of these projects? Which of Mr. Jaffer's clients were involved? Why were these unregistered lobbyists not reported to the lobbyist commissioner?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary did have meetings with Mr. Jaffer and no funding was recommended to any of the projects that were discussed. That has been very clearly stated by the parliamentary secretary.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, a parliamentary secretary meets with Mr. Jaffer and his business partner to discuss cash for their clients. It is the very definition of lobbying. None of it was reported; none of it was registered.

We now know the parliamentary secretary met with them again, this time on September 3, the same day Mr. Jaffer had a personal dinner with the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and eight days before Mr. Jaffer boasted of access.

How can we believe the lobbying efforts did not continue with the minister over dinner? Why were these unregistered lobbyists given this kind of access and not reported as required by law?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the law in this case is very, very clear. It imposes obligations on those who lobby government. They are very specifically prescribed in the act and all lobbyists are expected to follow that important legislation.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is refusing to investigate the affair involving the former minister for the status of women and Rahim Jaffer. She says that it is not up to her to look into this matter. We are forced to conclude that the allegations forwarded to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner are of a criminal nature.

Will the Prime Minister finally agree to show some transparency and explain what the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner does and does not have the authority to do?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I received serious allegations, which I forwarded to the RCMP and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

It is up to the authorities to take the appropriate action.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner said she did not have the authority to conduct an inquiry into the matter. But the commissioner reports to Parliament. We are therefore entitled to know why she does not have the authority to look into the affair involving the former minister for the status of women and her husband, Rahim Jaffer.

Will the Prime Minister finally disclose the exact nature of the allegations that forced him to put the matter in the hands of the RCMP?