House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.

Topics

Offshore Drilling
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think the member took a rather different position when she was minister of the environment in British Columbia, as most people in British Colombia will know.

The government has no plans to reopen the 1988 exclusion zone on tankers travelling between Alaska and Washington. That was put in by a Conservative government and we strongly support it.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance was so short of arguments regarding the hostile takeover of securities that, 10 days ago, he had reached the point of calling socialists those who condemn his project, including Power Corporation. However, the list of socialists is getting longer and now includes: Industrial Alliance, the Canam Group, Transcontinental, and the former president of Bombardier Transport.

When will the minister abandon his unspeakable plan of creating a federal securities commission?

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I always say, our intention is to move forward with the provincial and territorial governments that are prepared to cooperate on this issue. We will respect the provinces' jurisdiction in this regard. Participation is on a voluntary basis. It is a decision that rests with the government of Quebec and the other provinces.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, André Pratte, the editor-in-chief of La Presse, condemned the expulsion, the expropriation of Quebec and the provinces from a jurisdiction that they have held for decades. In his opinion, this is one the most centralist measures ever taken and a serious violation of the respect for provinces. He even talked about “predatory federalism”.

Will the minister drop his partisan plan, which would deprive the Quebec nation of a major financial leverage, at the benefit of Toronto?

Bunch of predators!

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one thing is clear. In the world of capital markets regulation, there are more and more complex products being sold or sought to be sold to investors.

We know that investors and ordinary Canadians need protection in Canada and they need better protection than is provided by 13 separate regulators with 13 separate sets of rules. That is one of the reasons that we are proposing a Canadian securities regulator.

Members should look at the Earl Jones situation in Quebec and listen to what Joey Davis said. He said, “We support the idea of a single national regulatory body overseeing financial organizations....”

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

May 25th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to prevent ministerial staffers from appearing before parliamentary committees, by using the pretext that ministers will testify themselves and account for their own actions.

The government is not credible, considering that several ministers have recently refused to appear before committees. For example, let us take the case of the Minister of Natural Resources, who refused to appear before the Standing Committee on Governmental Operations and Estimates.

Will the Prime Minister admit that this new scheme has only one purpose, which is to prevent Parliament from doing its work?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River
B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary. As the member ought to know, if he does not already know, in the cases that he cites, the ministers have already proactively provided all of the information that was requested and, in fact, they went beyond that.

This is really a question about ministerial responsibility and that is where this government stands. We have always stood for accountability and we will continue to do so. It is the responsibility of ministers to answer questions both in this chamber and at committee and that is what they will continue to do.

Rather than the opposition invoking the tyranny of the majority and attacking and demeaning our staff--

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, following the ruling issued on April 27 by the Speaker of the House, one would have expected the Prime Minister to understand the role of Parliament, which is to make the government accountable. By preventing political staffers from testifying, the government is creating a new category of citizens.

Will the government admit that this is tantamount to saying that Parliament will no longer have access to those people who are closest to power and who, oddly enough, will no longer be accountable to it?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River
B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, it is the responsibility of this government to be held to account and we and our ministers are held to account, and that is what we will continue to do. The ministers will appear at committee and answer the questions that are put to them.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the government announced that it will violate the power of parliamentary committees to call for witnesses. We are now told that ministers will appear instead of their staff.

However, the Minister of Natural Resources, his predecessor and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities have all refused to appear before the government operations committee.

Will the Prime Minister now instruct those ministers and PSs to appear before committee instead of their staffers on June 2 at 3:30 p.m. in room 237-C?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River
B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I wish my hon. colleague had listened to the answer to the question that was just put by the member from the Bloc Québécois. Quite clearly, the ministers are prepared to appear before committee.

With respect to the instances that she cites, those ministers had already proactively provided the information that was requested. In fact, they went beyond that and released all the correspondence that they had in relation to the issue that was under study at the committee.

Our ministers are prepared and will continue to be prepared to appear at committee and answer questions on behalf of their staff.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, is there anyone on the Conservative side who can give a straight answer. Just because they say so does not mean it is the truth.

Canadians are tired of the government's stonewalling.

Today at the ethics committee, the Minister of Transport tried to replace Dimitri Soudas, even though he is not his actual boss.

Will the Prime Minister, who actually is Mr. Soudas' boss and is supposedly accountable for Mr. Soudas' behaviour, appear before the ethics committee?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River
B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are giving straight answers. I just wish there would be a straight question.

The reality is that ministers will appear and answer the questions for staff who are responsible to them. The ministry as a whole, as members well know, is held accountable and therefore ministers will appear at committee as I have already indicated.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been more than a month and a half and Canadians still do not know what the allegations were concerning the former minister for the status of women, allegations that the Prime Minister called serious and credible, allegations that caused him to boot her from cabinet and caucus and call in the RCMP.

What are the Conservatives trying to hide? What is it about the former minister that is so much worse than what has already been made public?