House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is obviously on some sort of a fishing expedition. Let me say this. When serious allegations were brought to the attention of the Prime Minister some weeks ago, he did the right thing, he did the honourable thing, he did the ethical thing and he immediately referred all those matters to the relevant authorities. That is leadership. That is a high standard of ethics and that is in such stark contrast to the actions of the Liberal government.

Tomorrow is the day where Canadians have to pay their taxes. Tomorrow is also the day where Liberals should pay back taxpayers the $39 million of missing money.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, we now know that Mr. Jaffer or his partner made representations to seven departments and agencies. We know that Natural Resources Canada provided over $342 million to the Keephills project last October. The Prime Minister is aware of this because he personally announced the funding at the Keephills site on October 14.

In the interests of transparency, will the Prime Minister release all communications between Mr. Jaffer, Mr. Glémaud and any government official or elected official related to the Natural Resources Department?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government has been very transparent. We have forwarded a significant amount of information to the relevant authorities, the independent agents of Parliament who are tasked with enforcing the law. Anyone who breaks the law should be fully held accountable.

Appointment of Judges
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government never stops boasting about being tough on crime. We have recently learned that Jacques Léger, a judge appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal by the Conservative government, represented the business interests of the Hells Angels for many years. Jacques Léger is a former president of the Conservative Party of Canada.

How can this government, which says it supports law and order, be so partisan as to appoint a judge who represented the Hells Angels to the Quebec Court of Appeal ?

Appointment of Judges
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that judicial appointments are based on merit. Our selection process is one of the most rigorous in the world. It is shameful that the member is attacking the credibility of a judge who was duly appointed according to the rules of the system.

Appointment of Judges
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the rules of the system are not the same as Quebec's. Here, the Minister of Justice can appoint whoever he wants, regardless of recommendations that are made.

Whether it is a sign of incompetence or lack of judgment, or both, Justice Léger did not find it appropriate to make his past relationship with the Hells Angels public and was preparing to preside in a case in which they are involved.

How can the Prime Minister accept that his justice minister did not make inquiries before appointing Judge Léger to the Quebec Court of Appeal? And if he did, how does the Prime Minister explain that his justice minister was so blinded by partisanship that he decided to ignore Justice Léger's past?

Appointment of Judges
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. I hope my colleague is aware that there is a rigorous selection process. There is a list of candidates who are evaluated on merit. Our aim is excellence and the Minister of Justice chooses from this list. The public must not be misled any more. A transparent and rigorous process was followed in this case, just as it is with any other appointment.

Ethics
Oral Questions

April 29th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Rahim Jaffer used the email and name of his wife, a former Conservative minister, enabling him to get preferential treatment. Emails also show that the office of the former public works and government services minister promoted the interests of Rahim Jaffer by putting pressure on public officials to give priority to his proposals.

Why did the Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant, who has told us many times that the government wants to clean house, not mention earlier that he was helping move Rahim Jaffer's files forward?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we provided all the appropriate documents to the committee clerk and to the Commissioner of Lobbying. Lobbyists must follow all the rules that regulate this activity. The documents related to the Jaffer affair are now public. The government released them in the name of transparency and accountability.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is more proof that the token Quebecker is once again playing the role of doormat.

Rahim Jaffer's lobbying of the former public works and government services minister was successful, since he got a meeting with her officials. The minister's political assistant, the same one who blocked the publication of incriminating documents, put so much pressure on the officials that they gave in.

Will the political lieutenant for Quebec lay the blame on his employee, who simply carried out the lieutenant's dirty work? Will the doormat take responsibility?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I must say that Mr. Jaffer did not receive any taxpayer money, and did not obtain any contracts or projects that were discussed in these meetings. That is something the government wants the public to know. We created the position of the independent lobbying commissioner. This issue is before the commissioner, and we believe that she will assure all members of Parliament and all Canadians that no one is above the law.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, La Presse revealed yesterday that a former lawyer for the Hells Angels, Jacques Léger, was named judge by the law and order Conservatives right after they were elected in 2006. His main client in the Hells Angels, Robert Bonomo, a founding member, was arrested last year and charged with 22 murders. Yesterday Quebec's chief justice had to remove Judge Léger from a case he was about to hear because it involved the Hells Angels. Judge Léger apparently did not see the problem.

Could the justice minister explain what qualifications led the Conservatives to name Jacques Léger a judge?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government has followed standard practices. We have a group of men and women that does reviews of candidates for the judiciary. This committee has representatives from a wide range of stakeholders.

Let me assure the member opposite that we look for high calibre, competent individuals who can administrate the public business and for our courts.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only did the Conservatives appoint Mr. Léger to the Superior Court, but they recently promoted him to the highest court in Quebec. His real qualification in their eyes is that he is a former president of the Conservative Party.

Considering this notorious Conservative's ties to the Hells Angels, the ties a girlfriend of a former Conservative minister has to the Hells Angels, the alleged ties between Rahim Jaffer's business partner and the Hells Angels, are we to deduce that they are the Hells Angels farm team over there?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government solicits advice from the judicial advisory committee, a group that is a multi-stakeholder body. Our bottom line is we want people who are qualified to serve on the bench. We want people who will be able to adjudicate in a fair and responsible manner. This has always been the approach that this government takes with respect to judicial appointments.