House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was investment.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly not Quebec's vision.

We are not asking the Prime Minister to sacrifice safety in the name of truth. We are asking him not to use safety as an excuse for hiding the truth. The Prime Minister was elected because he promised greater transparency and democracy.

Will he seize this opportunity and respect the will of the House?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader talked about what Quebec wants. Quebeckers have voted on this issue twice, and they have chosen to stay and to respect the vital role played by a united Canada. That makes the Bloc the only party to reject what the people of Quebec want.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, a fourth minister has admitted that he was contacted by unregistered lobbyist Rahim Jaffer. Following on the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Minister of the Environment, and the Minister of State for Science and Technology, now the Minister of Industry has remembered that his staff received an email from the former Conservative MP.

Instead of having them come forward one at a time, will the Prime Minister table a full list of his cabinet members and their staff who had contact with unregistered lobbyist Rahim Jaffer?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government expects all Canadians to follow the Lobbying Act and all the rules it contains. This is the government that strengthened that act. We put in place, as one of our first orders of business, an independent commissioner of lobbying who can make determinations based on issues that are brought to her attention.

I say to the member opposite that, if she has any evidence of anyone who has contradicted the act, she should follow the example of members of this government and turn it over to that independent commissioner.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has been established that Rahim Jaffer was lobbying his former Conservative colleagues without being registered. However the Prime Minister was informed by the private detective from the beginning that Rahim Jaffer was promising his business associates access to the Prime Minister's Office.

Why did the Prime Minister not immediately hand over this information to the lobbying commissioner? Who did he want to protect?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. When serious allegations were brought to the attention of the Prime Minister, he did the ethical thing. He did the honourable thing and he immediately referred the allegations to an independent third party.

If the member opposite has any information or any evidence with respect to a contradiction of the act, she should follow the Prime Minister's lead, do the right thing and turn it over to the relevant authorities.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 28th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, your ruling yesterday reminded everyone that the Prime Minister must be accountable to Parliament.

No one here wants to put our troops in danger. However, we need to shed some light on who knew what about the transfer of Afghan detainees.

After all the stalling tactics, secrecy and cover-ups, will the Prime Minister show some common sense? Will the Prime Minister let the members do their jobs to ensure that Canadians know the truth?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered this question. The answer is clear: we want to respect the rulings as well as our legal obligations that have been established by statutes passed by this House.

As always, the government depends on the confidence of the House.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's interpretation of your ruling, exemplified here today in the House, is wrong.

You have said that it is the view of the Chair that accepting an unconditional authority of the executive to censor the information provided to Parliament, as the Prime Minister is suggesting he is prepared to do by using other legislation as his cover, would in fact jeopardize the very separation of powers that is purported to lie at the heart of our parliamentary system.

Is the Prime Minister saying to us today that he is going to use other laws of Parliament in order to hide the truth that you have said has to be brought forward?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said no such thing. You have delivered a decision. Obviously, the government seeks to respect that decision. At the same time, it seeks to respect its obligations established by statute and passed by this Parliament. That is the position of the government. The leader of the NDP talks about confidence. Of course, the government's position always depends on the confidence of the House.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, your ruling was very clear. Let me quote it for the Prime Minister and others. You said:

No exceptions are made for any category of government documents, even those related to national security.

Is the Prime Minister telling us today that he is going to defy the ruling of the Speaker and the will of the House in order to go to an election? Is that what he is saying he is going to do? Is he going to defy the will of the House and go to the people on a vote? Is that what he is putting forward today?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I said any of those things. In fact, I think I said quite the contrary. The government seeks at all times to respect all of its obligations. To the extent that some of those obligations may be in conflict, there are reasonable ways to accommodate that, and we are open to reasonable suggestions in that regard.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the Minister of the Environment has forwarded to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates documents related to discussions that his political director of regional affairs had last spring with Rahim Jaffer regarding some of Mr. Jaffer's commercial interests.

Now that the minister has admitted that these meetings took place in the office of the former minister of state for the status of women, can he now confirm that some of these discussions and communications were related to the company RLP Energy Incorporated?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear at the outset. None of the allegations that have been made in this place in recent weeks have seen any government funding or contract go to Mr. Jaffer. Let us be very clear on that.

Let me also say that when it was brought to the attention of the Minister of the Environment that meetings had taken place, he did the right thing. He did the honourable thing. He collected that information and sent it to the independent authority who is responsible for ensuring high ethics.

That is the right thing to do. That is the honourable thing to do. If the member opposite has any allegations or any evidence of the same, he should follow the example of the Minister of the Environment.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has sent information to the committee, and he admits that his regional director met with Mr. Jaffer in the office of the former minister for the status of women. First, can he tell us what project was discussed? Second, what type of project was it? Third, how much money did Mr. Jaffer or his partner, Patrick Glémaud, ask for from the Government of Canada?