House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Employment
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, just like its jobs plan, that answer does not cut it.

The 72,000 Canadians who lost their jobs last month know that the government has abandoned them. There are almost 300,000 more unemployed Canadians today than in July 2008, and that was just before the recession that the government could not even see coming.

What is the Conservatives' message for those out-of-work Canadians and their families? Is it, “Just wait for the next corporate tax cuts and all will be well”? It has not worked and it will not work. People need to go back to work now.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, job creation and economic growth are the centrepiece of the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

Right now before the House, we have an important measure to help protect and create jobs such as the hiring credit for small business. What we need is for the New Democratic Party to stand up and support that initiative, to support small business, to support the economic engine of our economy.

We will remain focused on job creation. When will the NDP stand up and support that initiative to help our small businesses?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative numbers are clearly bogus. The government can play with statistics as much as it wants in order to mask its failure, but the reality is that the unemployment rate rose in October: 72,000 full-time jobs were lost.

Can the Conservatives stop pretending? The government's economic inaction plan is not creating jobs; it is creating victims. What will the government do about the 72,000 full-time jobs that were lost? Will it replace them with 18,000 part-time jobs and declare a victory?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our priority is job creation and economic growth. We will continue to work on our economic action plan. We have created 600,000 jobs in the past two years, but we will continue to work harder to grow the economy and create jobs. That is the real priority for Canadians and for our government.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the number of troubling revelations about the Canada Revenue Agency is growing. We are talking about an extortion scheme and bribes paid by entrepreneurs in exchange for substantial tax reductions. The RCMP's investigation into this corruption, which was focusing on the Montreal office, has now been expanded to include other Quebec offices.

Can the government confirm the news and tell us what measures it has taken to tighten controls at the Canada Revenue Agency?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government appreciates that these are very serious allegations. An RCMP investigation into this matter is ongoing, and CRA officials are co-operating fully. Many of these allegations date back more than a decade, and some of these cases are currently making their way through the courts.

The integrity of our tax system is very important to all Canadians and we will take all steps necessary to ensure it is protected.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the corruption investigation started in the Montreal office and now has spread. Other Quebec offices are under investigation. The growing scope of this investigation is raising questions about the state of the CRA as a whole. Canadians expect this agency to operate with impeccable integrity.

Conservatives need to clear the air about these troubling corruption allegations. Can the government tell us if it has asked for an investigation all across Canada? What is it doing to restore the confidence of Canadians?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely agree that the integrity of our tax system is important to all Canadians. Our government will take any steps necessary to ensure it is protected. An RCMP investigation into these matters is ongoing, and CRA officials are co-operating fully.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Conservatives, by toying with the process and appointing an anglophone auditor general, have violated one of our country's basic values. When the job posting states that proficiency in French and English is an essential hiring condition for the position of Auditor General, it does not meant that bilingualism is an asset qualification; it is an immutable condition. It is part of the qualifications. If the candidate is not bilingual, then the candidate should not be offered the job.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that the government erred in its flawed process and that the only thing left to do is to start from square one and appoint a bilingual auditor general?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we chose the best candidate who applied for the position of Auditor General. This candidate is highly qualified. He will do a good job.

What is increasingly clear is that the Liberal Party wants to use this issue to divide Canadians. This individual has committed to learning our second language, and we should be very proud of that fact.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, this tainted process is now affecting the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. I have just learned that Michel Dorais, who is one of the independent members of the audit committee and has been a senior public servant for over 30 years, has just resigned, stating that he cannot “continue to serve...while accepting that the incoming auditor general does not meet an essential requirement for the position.” Michel Dorais has spent his entire career fighting for bilingualism in the public service.

What are the Conservatives waiting for to show respect for all Canadians and for Michel Dorais as a bilingual individual?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government strongly supports the official languages of this great country. We are pleased that the best candidate for the job has agreed to learn French.

What is interesting is the double standard of the Liberal Party. When the last Liberal prime minister, Paul Martin, appointed a unilingual anglophone as his finance minister, was that member standing to complain? No. He was standing right behind that decision. If it is good enough for a minister of finance to be unilingually English, why is it not good enough for the best candidate to be appointed as Auditor General and who has committed to learning French?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we do not want an auditor general for the government; we want an auditor general for Parliament and for all Canadians.

Now we learn that one of the two independent members of the AG internal audit committee, a distinguished ex-deputy minister of over 30 years, Michel Dorais, submitted his resignation this morning. Why? It is because for him bilingualism was no longer an issue of convenience or communication but a question of competency.

I have his letter in my hand. Let us have no more excuses. What must be done is to make the Prime Minister come to his senses and launch a new selection process. Canadians want that. What will he do about it?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have a new Auditor General, someone who embraces our official languages, someone who has committed to learning French, which is tremendously important.

Eighty per cent of Canadians do not have bilingual qualifications. There is a role for them. This individual has committed to learning French, but, again, this is one rule for the public service and another rule for the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party was quite happy to have a unilingual anglophone who did not speak French, despite serving in Parliament for 30 years, and yet it puts another rule on everyone else. Is there one rule for the Liberal Party and another rule for Canadians?

Ethics
Oral Questions

November 4th, 2011 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, Michael Chamas, who is currently facing international drug trafficking charges, attended a Conservative fundraising event in 2008. The former foreign affairs minister and current Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism introduced this person, saying that what the party needed was support from people like him who believe in themselves, because in the end, they are the ones who will create wealth and jobs and really make something of themselves.

Will the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism admit that his comments were completely inappropriate coming from a minister?