House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rehabilitation.

Topics

Turkey and Armenia
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, historic differences based on enormous suffering have been plaguing Turkey and Armenia for years now. This is reflected in the fact that the border they share remains closed and in their poor diplomatic relations.

In October 2009, the two countries met to negotiate a protocol that would allow them to normalize their diplomatic relations. Thus, Turkey and Armenia could set aside their differences and begin a new era of economic, cultural, social and political cooperation.

We learned today that the peace deal will not be ratified. The Bloc Québécois hopes both sides will increase their efforts to ratify that agreement, especially since peace is within reach.

Earth Day
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Celebrated each year on April 22, Earth Day is the most popular ecological event in the world.

More than 6 million Canadians are joining 1 billion people in over 170 countries to organize activities and projects about local environmental issues. Almost all schoolchildren in this country will participate in an Earth Day activity.

This yearly celebration increases our environmental awareness at a time when Canadians want much more national leadership on the environment.

The phenomenal success of local environmental programs such as One Change, launched in my riding of Ottawa South, which has now gone international, demonstrates that Canadians want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment.

On this 40th Earth Day, I want to encourage and congratulate all Canadians taking part in Earth Day activities, and encourage the government to show leadership on the environment.

Firearms Registry
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Liberal leader turned his back on rural Canada.

Many Canadians will be hurt by the Liberal leader's decision to whip his members on Bill C-391, but it will not just be farmers and duck hunters who will be hurt. His eight MPs who voted to scrap the long gun registry before must tell their constituents what they are going to do now.

Those eight Liberal MPs, who have previously supported scrapping the ineffective long gun registry, must explain why their leader wants to make them keep it.

However, what they should do is tell their constituents that they will ignore the Liberal leader's direction and vote with their constituents. They should keep the promises they have made and vote to scrap the ineffective Liberal long gun registry.

Canadians know, when it comes to the ineffective Liberal long gun registry, there are only two ways to vote. They either vote to scrap it or they vote to keep it.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

We now know that Mr. Jaffer and his partner had several meetings with the parliamentary secretary. We know that Mr. Jaffer had dinner with the minister. We know there were proposals made worth at least $800 million that were not only discussed but were considered directly by the department, and that there were answers from the department for the proposals.

I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. If all of this does not amount to lobbying and does not amount to special access for those who are friends of and close to the Conservative Party, what exactly would the Prime Minister--

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us be absolutely clear, there are no government contracts of any kind involved here. That is because ministers and parliamentary secretaries have conducted themselves properly at all times.

The government has put in place important laws to regulate the affairs of lobbyists. Those laws are enforced by an independent lobbying commissioner. If Mr. Jaffer or any other individual have violated those laws, I am confident they will be held accountable.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not a bad rule in life that if it swims like a duck, it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. In this case it looks like lobbying, it swims like lobbying, it walks like lobbying, it talks like lobbying, and it smells a lot like lobbying, so it must be lobbying.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, does he not realize that he bears some responsibility for the culture of deceit that envelopes the Conservative government, that gives special access to some and denies others the same kind of treatment?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Again, Mr. Speaker, there are no government contracts, there is no government business involved here. That is a strange definition of special access in anybody's books.

The fact of the matter is that there is an independent lobbying commissioner who is responsible for enforcing the rules. We are very confident that the commissioner will do her job.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, not only is it the responsibility of commissioners, commissioners and more commissioners, but it is also the responsibility of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is responsible for the conduct of his ministers and his parliamentary secretaries. It is a responsibility that cannot be denied. He cannot deny his personal responsibility in the Conservative culture of deceit that envelops the Government of Canada at this time.

Will the Prime Minister take responsibility for the problem he has created in his government?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are no government contracts involved here because my ministers and my parliamentary secretaries have followed the rules at all times. It is clear. What is more, we have taken responsibility by putting people with authority in place to enforce the rules. If Mr. Jaffer or any other individual has violated the rules, I am confident they will be held accountable for their actions.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Talk about special access, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday the minister of infrastructure circulated copies of proposals from Mr. Jaffer that the minister said he had not spoken to him about. These proposals, asking for millions of taxpayers' dollars, were sent for review to the parliamentary secretary to the minister. They were not submitted using regular channels. They were given special attention by the parliamentary secretary.

Could the minister confirm that he knew of these proposals and gave Mr. Jaffer, the former Conservative caucus chair, special access?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in direct answer to the member opposite, at no time did Mr. Jaffer ever discuss any of these issues with me.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

However, Mr. Speaker, he did have copies of the proposal to circulate and he did have dinner with him.

After weeks of stonewalling and denying, and only minutes after the testimony of Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud, the panicked Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities widely released several different versions of these three proposals that GPG gave to him.

Given the Conservative culture of deceit, we all know there is more. When can the House expect the government to table all meetings that ministers, parliamentary secretaries and the Conservative caucus have had with the principals of GPG, and all submitted documents? When?