House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are rules in place governing lobbyists. If the Bloc leader thinks that someone broke those rules, he can pass his information on to the independent lobbying commissioner appointed by this government.

This matter has nothing to do with government affairs or a government contract.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives attacked the Liberals on ethics, they promised to ensure that ministers would register their contacts with lobbyists. They have never made good on their promise. Only the lobbyists are required to register such contacts. Therefore, it is impossible to compare the lists and determine who is telling the truth.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that, had he kept his election promise, we would at least know how many ministers met with Rahim Jaffer, the Conservative lobbyist?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this government passed a clear law with which lobbyists must comply. A commissioner is responsible for compliance with the act. The serious allegations that have been brought to the attention of the Prime Minister have been forwarded to the appropriate authorities who will draw their own conclusions. There is no connection to the business of government.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who supports transparency, must shed light on the number of contacts his government had with the unregistered Conservative lobbyist, Rahim Jaffer.

Is the Prime Minister willing to provide the list of all meetings that he, his ministers, his parliamentary secretaries and their staff had with Rahim Jaffer?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it was this government that enacted legislation to monitor lobbyists' activities and they must comply with the law or be subject to the sanctions contained therein. A commissioner is responsible for enforcement of the act. If the opposition has allegations to make, it should address them to the appropriate authorities.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the industry minister said in this House that Georgia-Pacific had committed to maintaining employment levels. Now, how many times have we heard him say that before, only to watch companies that were approved throw people out of work. But here we have a new gall being demonstrated by the company. Georgia-Pacific already started firing staff before the government gave approval for the takeover. The Timmins mill is closed. The Calgary operation is shut down.

Could the Prime Minister tell us how this takeover could possibly be to the net benefit of Canada?

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I spoke to the minister regarding this. I understand the Timmins mill has been closed for four years. It does not have anything to do with this transaction.

As members know, transactions have to go through a process to ensure they are for the net benefit of Canada. I gather that, in this case, there is a commitment to retain staffing levels. I am also told that, in fact, all unionized staff have received offers of employment.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course, it would be helpful if the entire agreement could simply be tabled here so we would know exactly what has been committed to. But instead, what we get is the rubber-stamping by the current government of foreign takeovers, one after the other.

Look at what happened with Xstrata and Vale Inco. Thousands of jobs were lost on that approval. Yet, Vale Inco made twice the profit in two years that Inco made in the previous ten. It has doubled the salaries of its executives over there at that company. Why? Probably because it is taking a hard line against the workers, who have now been out 10 months on a strike to get fairness.

When will the Prime Minister learn a lesson and stop rubber-stamping--

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no rubber stamp. There is a process. Often there are conditions attached to a foreign takeover. In this case, as I have said to the Leader of the Opposition, my understanding is that it has committed to not only retain staffing levels but, in fact, has already sent out offers to unionized staff to that effect.

So, the issue is not the government providing more information to the NDP. The issue is the NDP having the facts right before it poses the questions.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the stamp may not be rubber, but there is a stamp, we can be sure of that. Because it has been used thousands of times to sell out our resources and companies without getting guarantees.

The reality is that the workers were fired by Georgia-Pacific even before the government gave its approval. Furthermore, employees who worked there for decades now have no guarantee of receiving what they are owed.

Since the government has failed to protect them, what guarantee do these workers have of receiving the benefits to which they are entitled?

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP asked me a question about a specific company. According to my information, this company has said that it will maintain staffing levels. Furthermore, this company has already sent work schedules to its unionized employees.

Ethics
Oral Questions

April 21st, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. Two past Conservative candidates start a business that they proudly proclaim offers access to government grants and loans. MP business cards are handed out, the Conservative Party logo is used, and they meet with ministers, parliamentary secretaries and ministerial staff.

Does the Prime Minister actually think that it is acceptable for his cabinet, his caucus, and Conservative staffers to provide privileged access to unregistered Conservative lobbyists?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, every Canadian is equal under the law.

Let me be very clear. The allegations that the Prime Minister referred to the relevant authorities had nothing to do with government business. In fact, no government money was given under the green fund for the projects that she speaks about.

If she has any evidence of a contravention of the Lobbyists Registration Act, I encourage her to bring those forward to the independent authorities that this government established.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, only within a Conservative culture of deceit can a government think that is acceptable.

A former Conservative MP sends emails across government, including to the industry minister's office, but the government will not release the emails. He meets with the minister of infrastructure, the man in charge of the billion dollar fund he is trying to access, but the government will not say what they discussed.

How long does the government really think that it can get away with stonewalling Canadians about the truth?