House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the affair remains covered in a smokescreen of secrecy.

The Prime Minister did not ask the minister any questions for seven months and did not explain why. He acted on second-hand information from some gumshoe and will not say why. He forced his own minister's resignation and will not say why. Each time he is asked a question in the House he will not say why.

When with the Prime Minister stand in this House and tell Canadians the truth?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, it is not appropriate to comment on these things. When we received the serious information with some serious allegations, those were given to the RCMP, to the authorities, and it is up to them, obviously, to do with it what they will. We will await the outcomes of their actions.

Transportation
Oral Questions

April 20th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of Canadians have been stranded in Europe for a number of days because flights have been cancelled.

Other countries have provided consular assistance to their citizens. However, our Minister of Foreign Affairs has only provided a web site.

Why is the minister not helping Canadians stranded in Europe? Why is he letting them fend for themselves? What about our emergency plan?

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, naturally we empathize with all those in these circumstances because of this natural phenomenon.

As I mentioned yesterday, we are monitoring the situation very closely. As we speak, our embassies are on alert to provide assistance to those who truly need it. However, I am encouraged by signs that are emerging throughout Europe. At this time, about eight aircraft are bringing Canadians home.

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, stranded Canadians are not simply growing short on patience. They are growing short on money. Some require medical care. Families are coping with children, while others are having business concerns.

Hotels and rail companies are raising their prices. Flights need constant rebooking, with some requiring additional and costly charges. Seniors who may not be able to navigate through such circumstances are facing tough decisions.

Does the government have any contingency plan whatsoever to assist these Canadians in difficult times or are they just supposed to, as it were, fend for themselves?

Transportation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, clearly we sympathize with all the travellers who have been inconvenienced by this volcanic eruption but, as members know, it is a natural phenomenon that nobody could have predicted.

Canadian officials are closely monitoring the ash cloud and I have directed officials at Canada's embassies overseas to help Canadians in practical ways. We are encouraged by signs that the situation might be improving. As we speak, eight aircraft are flying Canadians home from Europe.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of his business partners said that Rahim Jaffer acted as a lobbyist. Yet, the Prime Minister stubbornly insists that this matter is no concern of the government. However, the fact is that, if Mr. Jaffer did act as a lobbyist, he had to lobby a minister or a secretary of State, which makes sense to me.

Could the Prime Minister tell this House whether Mr. Jaffer acted lobbied a minister or a secretary of State in his government?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have no information about any contract having been awarded to Mr. Jaffer. Naturally, there are rules in place governing lobbyists, and we expect lobbyists to adhere to these rules.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, lobbying does not mean one will automatically get a contract. One can act as a lobbyist without getting a contract. When the Prime Minister says that he expects people to adhere to the rules, I imagine that he expected his former status of women minister to adhere to the rules. It would appear, on the face of things, that she did not, given that she was fired.

Instead of merely stating generalities, could the Prime Minister stand up and tell me whether Mr. Jaffer lobbied one of his ministers or secretaries of State? That he should know.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, ordinary citizens have to adhere to the lobbying rules. As for the government, it is responsible for making contract decisions. In this instance, I have no evidence of the existence of a contract, and certainly not of an improperly awarded one.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the private investigator who alerted the Prime Minister seems to indicate that the Conservative couple are involved in a scheme to artificially inflate the value of a company with promises of government contracts and grants. Rahim Jaffer was supposed to get federal grants, and the former Conservative minister was contributing to the operation by encouraging a municipality to acquire the technology offered by her spouse's business partner.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that these are the allegations that he referred to the RCMP?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, about ten days ago, the Prime Minister was informed of disturbing allegations that he referred to the proper authorities. The RCMP is now investigating and will draw its own conclusions.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same private investigator showed the CBC a list of businesses established overseas to launder money. According to this list, two companies registered in Panama, a notorious tax haven, carried the initials “RJ”, the same as Rahim Jaffer. Meanwhile, the Conservative government wishes to implement a free trade agreement with Panama.

Why does the government want to implement an agreement that will be to the benefit of those who want to avoid the tax man?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, allegations were referred to the proper authorities. The RCMP is investigating and will draw its own conclusions. However, one thing is clear: these allegations do not concern government affairs, nor do they have anything to do with ministers, other members or senators. I want to emphasize that this is this party, on this side of the House, that set the toughest legislation on political party financing.

Grant Forest Products
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a company named Georgia-Pacific announced that it had taken control and that the government had approved its control of Grant Forest Products.

Even before it took over control, the new owner was already firing staff. People with up to 30 years of experience in one of our key industries were being told they would not be needed anymore.

Georgia-Pacific clearly had heard loud and clear the message sent out by the government when it approved the takeovers of Xstrata and Vale Inco, which is buy Canadian, fire the workers, no strings attached.

When will the Prime Minister protect Canadian jobs?