House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was products.

Topics

Poverty
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to its credit, the Hamilton Spectator is currently running a 10-part series on poverty called “Code Red”, written by award-winning reporter Steve Buist. According to the statistics, the level of poverty that exists in parts of Hamilton is what one might expect in third world countries.

With a groundbreaking health mapping project, the research shows there is a 21-year gap in life expectancy between wealthy and poor neighbourhoods within the city. This represents the loss of an entire generation. However, no MPs should think their ridings are immune. Similar situations exist in communities from coast to coast to coast. The “Code Red” series has revealed that, more than anything else, social determinants of health, such as education, housing, social supports and income do affect overall health.

No Hamiltonian enjoys seeing our community reflected this way, but we need to face the truth. The truth is that, until we have a federal government with the political will to provide national leadership to eradicate poverty, the whole truth is that this is a code red for Canada.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past year, we have seen the leader of the Liberal Party flip flop repeatedly. He has changed his mind a number of times on a number of things. But the opposition leader has never changed his mind about wanting to increase taxes.

Quebeckers and Canadians are well aware of the consequences of tax hikes. They kill jobs and hinder economic recovery.

Once again, the leader of the Liberal Party is proving that he is not interested in Quebeckers and Canadians.

The leader of the Liberal Party only thinks of himself, but our government understands the priorities of Quebeckers and Canadians and is working to stimulate the economy. Quebeckers and Canadians can benefit from the strong and steady economic leadership that our Conservative government has to offer.

Federal Spending Power
Statements By Members

April 16th, 2010 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, another broken promise has been added to the Conservative government's list: limiting the federal spending pseudo-power. This is further proof that, for the government, recognition of the Quebec nation is nothing but an empty gesture.

To date, Ottawa has meddled in all of Quebec's exclusive jurisdictions. In fiscal 2008-09 alone, more than $60 billion was spent in areas under Quebec's and the provinces' jurisdiction.

For that reason the Bloc Québécois introduced a bill to eliminate the presumed federal power to spend in Quebec's jurisdictions that would give Quebec the automatic and unconditional right to opt out with full compensation.

If this Conservative government was truly serious when it says it recognizes the Quebec nation, it would stop meddling in our jurisdictions and support this bill.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada to celebrate one of our great achievements. Tomorrow, April 17, marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of section 15, the equality section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This section states:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

We have come a long way since section 15 was enacted, but we still have far to go. Fortunately, we have organizations like the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund that works to ensure that the law guarantees substantive equality for all women in Canada. Everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is time to update the list of tax increases supported by the Liberal leader and his party.

Earlier this week, the Liberal Party voted in favour of creating a levy on digital music devices, also known as the iPod tax. This is on top of a recent pledge to hike job-killing business taxes, a move businesses have said will immediately stop Canada's steady job creation.

Also on the Liberal tax hike list is a plan to raise the GST and, of course, no one can forget the Liberal leader's boasts that he was the first to tout a carbon tax on everything. No wonder the Liberal leader calls himself a tax and spend Liberal.

The Liberal leader needs to tax more so he can spend more. He is already on the record promising billions of dollars in unaffordable and reckless spending. Higher taxes and reckless spending do not create jobs, nor do they promote economic growth.

Simply put, Canadians just cannot afford the Liberal leader's tax and spend agenda.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that on September 9 the former minister for the status of women sent a letter to the most senior municipal officials in Simcoe county, her cousin, no less, urging that he and his council hire Wright Tech Systems and adopt its bio-dryer technology.

What the letter failed to mention was that her husband, Rahim Jaffer, and his business partner were in a position to personally profit from a company whose business plan had a projected value of more than $1 billion.

Has the government obtained this letter and provided it to the RCMP? What other letters written by that former minister pumping this company is the government aware of?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member in question is no longer a member of the ministry. If the member opposite has any concerns he would like to forward to the Ethics Commissioner for her to look into, I would urge him to do so.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has to do better than that. That member was a sitting member of cabinet.

The government has further documents that must be provided to the RCMP. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has admitted to the media that he met with Mr. Jaffer and his business partner and that last August they sent him three funding proposals for the green infrastructure fund. One of these proposals was for a biomass drying system, the exact same technology provided by Wright Tech Systems.

Has the parliamentary secretary handed over the proposals he received from Mr. Jaffer to the RCMP and, if not, why not?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when this issue arose, the Prime Minister referred the matter to the relevant authorities. We are certainly prepared to co-operate in any way possible, if asked.

I do know that the letter the member mentioned is on the front page of the Toronto Star, which is why I suspect it would not be terribly difficult to get.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us review what the Prime Minister actually did in this case.

The Prime Minister claimed that his government did three things when he received the allegations last week. He claimed that he had referred the matter to the Ethics Commissioner. She now says that she received no formal request and is only monitoring media reports. He claimed that his officials briefed the former minister on the nature of the serious allegation. The former minister said that they had not. Finally, he claimed that he was referring the matter to the RCMP.

My question is for the minister responsible for the RCMP directly. Has the RCMP launched a formal criminal investigation into these allegations, yes or no?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did the right thing. When serious allegations were brought forward against one of his ministers, he immediately referred the issue to the relevant authorities. It is not our place to direct them to do or not to do anything. We have confidence in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to do the right thing. The matter has been referred to them.

The most important thing is that the Prime Minister acted expeditiously and ethically. The Prime Minister did the right thing.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have now learned that the former status of women minister was promoting a firm that her husband and Mr. Gillani wanted to buy and then take public in a $1 billion deal. She even wrote a letter to the senior municipal official of Simcoe County, her cousin, suggesting he use this company.

A proposal that Mr. Jaffer submitted to the green fund looks an awful lot like this company's business plan. Will this information be provided to the RCMP?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Let us be very clear, Mr. Speaker. No funding was recommended and no funding was given with respect to this project. The government acted ethically, properly and expeditiously. When these concerns were raised with the Prime Minister, he did the right thing. He referred them to the relevant authorities and we have confidence that they will do the right thing.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he referred the allegations to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, but the commissioner said that she has not received a formal request and that she is getting her information from the newspaper. He said that his team informed the former minister about the allegations, but she says this is not true. He also said that he referred the issue to the RCMP.

Can the Minister of Public Safety tell us if the RCMP has launched a formal criminal investigation? Yes or no?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was made aware of these serious allegations, he did the right thing. He forwarded them to the relevant authorities so they could make a determination as to what to do.

Obviously, those authorities will make those determinations, as is appropriate. It is not the place of the government, it is not the place of a political actor to stand on the floor of the House of Commons and announce a criminal investigation. Maybe that was the way the previous government operated but it is not the way this government operates.