House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we obviously do not live on the same planet. There are more and more Canadian seniors who have too much debt and not enough income.

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the number of poor seniors is increasing. The Conservatives have a simple answer: let the financial markets provide guaranteed pension plans for Canadians. That is their answer. We know what happened during the recession. That strategy resulted in lost income because of the downturn in the financial markets.

When will the government finally support Canadians and double Canada and Quebec pension plan benefits? It should do so immediately.

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we strive continually to help our seniors. We introduced several bills and the NDP voted against them. We are continuing, as are the provincial governments, to work on reforming the Canada pension plan, but, like many of the provinces, we share the concerns of small businesses and others with respect to any increase in costs at a time when the global economy is barely recovering.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in committee, the President of the Public Service Commission of Canada, Mrs. Barrados, had this to say:

The way we operate in the Public Service is that the language requirement is an essential requirement.... If you don't meet the language requirement, you don't get the job.

Since a mastery of both official languages was clearly indicated as essential for the position of Auditor General and the person appointed by the Prime Minister is not bilingual, does the government realize what it is doing to the public service? Does it realize it is opening a Pandora's box?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, the government looked for bilingual candidates. After an extensive process, a candidate was chosen because he was by far the most qualified.

Mr. Ferguson is in the process of becoming comfortable in both of Canada's official languages, like many members here in the House. Mr. Ferguson has a proven track record within the provincial public service in New Brunswick.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the only member of the government's selection committee for the position of Auditor General outside of government circles was a registered lobbyist by the name of Kevin Dancey, the head of the CICA.

The purpose of lobbying is to benefit the organization being lobbied for. While he was advancing a position on who the Auditor General should be, Mr. Dancey was also actively lobbying every organization on the selection committee, including the Office of the Auditor General. In future, the same individual will likely be lobbying the very same Auditor General he helped select.

Does the government understand and realize the apparent and obvious conflict?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, the qualifications of our candidate for Auditor General are unparalleled. As an example, the former Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, says, “He will be a very good auditor general. He is very capable, a very nice person and I think once Parliamentarians get to know him, they will appreciate him”.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Maikel Nabil is a young Egyptian blogger, one of the early voices of the Tahrir Square revolution. He became the first political prisoner in the post-Mubarak era.

He was sentenced by a military tribunal in March to three years in jail on a bogus charge of insulting the Egyptian army and was further compromised by his pro-Israeli views. He is now in the 66th day of a hunger strike and has become, like the Christian Coptic community under assault, a symbol of the betrayal of the Tahrir revolution. His life hangs in the balance.

Will the government immediately seek his release from prison?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about this situation. We take it very seriously. I can advise the House that we are in consultation, not just with authorities in the country but with like-minded partners, to address this situation. It is a very high priority for our government.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

October 28th, 2011 / 11:40 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us see if the record is still broken. Yesterday, in response to a question from my colleague about the decision to appoint a unilingual anglophone Auditor General, the President of the Treasury Board said, “Upon completion of a rigorous process, the most qualified candidate was chosen.”

Now, we all agree that the President of the Treasury Board has zero credibility when it comes to undertaking a rigorous process. However, we would still like to know what is so rigorous about choosing a unilingual anglophone for a position that requires proficiency in both official languages.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, Mr. Ferguson is learning French, as are many members of this House and of the public service. If the member opposite doubts Mr. Ferguson's commitment, then perhaps he would like to come to the public accounts committee on Monday and ask him directly, as I am sure he will.

As far as Mr. Ferguson's qualifications are concerned, he comes with excellent references. However, the member need not take my word for it. Let me share one reference with you. The reference states, “He will be a very good auditor general. He is very capable, a very nice person and I think once Parliamentarians get to know him, they will appreciate him”.

Who said that? The former Auditor General herself, Sheila Fraser.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously still the same broken record. If, after months of searching, they were not able to find an auditor general who, as the job poster indicated, was proficient in both languages at the time of hiring, it shows what kind of employers the Conservatives are.

When a private company requires comprehension of both official languages, it means that it is a critical competence for undertaking the required work. Why are the Conservatives treating this requirement as a minor detail that can be set aside if it becomes an inconvenience?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, the government sought bilingual candidates. After a thorough process, the successful candidate was determined to be by far the most qualified. Mr. Ferguson has undertaken to become proficient in both of Canada's official languages and he has already begun training. Mr. Ferguson has a proven track record of public service in the province of New Brunswick, but do not take my word for it, here is a quote:

--what Mike Ferguson will face in Ottawa as opposed to Fredericton will be simply a few extra zeroes at the end of the numbers. The same skills and the same types of experience will count in both jobs.

Who said that? It was the Liberal leader, Victor Boudreau.