House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, order. The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

I will just ignore that, Mr. Speaker.

The Conservatives' imprisonment plan is the wrong approach. It ignores the concerns of local stakeholders who, for decades, have been fighting crime, working to rehabilitate young people and keeping our communities safe. The Government of Quebec was very clear: if Ottawa passes this bill, it should not count on Quebec to pay the bill.

When will the Conservatives finally work with Quebec to combat crime?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the NDP will continue to ignore the victims of crime.

For example, the New Brunswick Attorney General said that her government supports, without hesitation, the efforts to strengthen these legislative provisions in order to protect victims of crime, protect our children and give victims a voice.

However, the hon. member cannot ignore his attack on the credibility of a member of the Supreme Court of Canada. Will the hon. member apologize and retract his irresponsible remarks with regard to the integrity of Mr. Justice Rothstein?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will continue to ignore that.

It is not just the province of Quebec that is opposed to these costs.

Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island have also made it clear that they oppose the government's expectation that they will bear the costs related to this program. In all, that is over 75% of the country's population.

Why is this government ignoring the opinions of these provinces? What does the government plan to do if the provinces simply refuse to pay the bill?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, this government will continue to act in the interest of crime victims and Canadians, just as it is acting in the interest of the 77% of Quebeckers who said that they were in favour of tougher sentences for criminals.

However, for the third time, I will give the hon. member the opportunity to retract his irresponsible remarks that attack the integrity of a member of the Supreme Court. We must respond to this member's false statements.

When will he apologize for attacking the integrity and credibility of a justice of the Supreme Court?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, after hearing yesterday's scandalous personal attack on my New Democratic colleague by the Minister of Public Safety, I would hate to hear what names he is calling the five premiers of the provinces who are saying no to this bill. These provinces know how to keep communities safe.

Newfoundland and Labrador's justice minister said he has never seen a study favouring more jail time as a way to improve public safety.

Why will the out of touch government not support the provinces' efforts to invest in crime prevention and more police officers? Why is it burdening them with billions more in costs for a failed approach?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, today we heard from the mayor of Winnipeg who indicated that naysayers of Bill C-10 are sitting idly by while more innocent people are being murdered. He said that the rights of citizens need to trump the rights of criminals in our country.

I want to repeat the challenge of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to the member across the way who slighted the reputation of a Supreme Court of Canada judge when he breached a written confidential undertaking that he made to the people of Canada. Will he apologize?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the provinces are not buying what the minister says about costs. Newfoundland and Labrador's justice minister said that past social transfers are not sufficient to cover the costs of these megaprisons. Premier Ghiz in P.E.I. said that if the federal government wants to increase costs for the provinces, it should pay the bill.

Provinces are refusing to write a blank cheque for the government's prisons agenda. Will the government help the provinces pay for crime prevention, or will it bully them into paying for a plan that has been a proven failure elsewhere?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear with respect to the NDP. Even spending a dollar on fighting crime would be too much for the members of the NDP.

That being said, with respect to the provinces, I see the province of Manitoba, through its attorney general, said, “Because we called for many of the things that are in there”, he is talking about the bill, “we're hoping that the law gets passed and we can get on with it". Marie-Claude Blais, the attorney general of New Brunswick, said, “This bill will help to better protect our children”.

Why will the New Democrats not get with it and start helping us to fight crime in this country for a change? When are they going to get—

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

November 3rd, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a serious flaw in the process that was used to appoint the Auditor General. The government announced that the position was a bilingual one and that official bilingualism was an essential qualification for the position. The Canada Gazette used the phrase “proficiency in both official languages”.

Why does the government keep insisting that there are no problems with the basic process used in this appointment?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the process encouraged bilingual Canadians to apply and all candidates were considered. It was determined that the person selected had the best skills of all the candidates. And that is why Sheila Fraser, the former Auditor General, said, “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.”

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not about the agreeability of the person in question; that really is not the issue. The issue is that the government set out in a written announcement with respect to the posting of a public position, an officer of Parliament, that the position required official bilingualism. It required a capacity in our two official languages in order to be able to hold the job. That was set out as a fundamental characteristic of the post.

The Conservatives then changed the rules at the end of the game. Since when is it fair or reasonable to do that? It is not. It is whimsical, arbitrary, capricious, and it is wrong. It is illegitimate, and the government should know it.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate to see the leader of the third party attacking an officer of Parliament who has been a faithful public servant, whose candidacy has been supported even by Mr. Victor Boudreau, the interim leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick.

I would remind the leader of the Liberal Party that when he was here as a member of Parliament for the NDP, Pierre Trudeau appointed Ken Dye as one of our greatest auditors general in modern Canadian history. Mr. Dye was a unilingual Canadian.

We do not believe that Canadians who do not have perfect fluency in both languages should be excluded from serving their country.