House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wine.

Topics

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have made it very clear that we disagree with the ruling and that is why we are going to be appealing it on behalf of Canadian farmers in the west.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

December 7th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not receive an answer to the question, but I would like to ask another question of the government with respect to the events in Attawapiskat.

The Indian Act is a colonial relic. It has been in place for decades. It gives extraordinary powers to the minister and to the crown with respect to people who are described in the act as “Indians”. It stretches all the way from wills to the care of children, to defining this and that. It is an absolutely anachronistic piece of legislation.

I would like to ask the government, is it or is it not going to have the courage to put the question of the future of the Indian Act firmly in discussions and negotiations that are supposed to take place in January?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is January. Right now we are focusing on Attawapiskat. We are not trying to score cheap political points, as the Liberals are.

In fact, we have been working around the clock to develop a plan that will ensure that the residents there, children in particular, have a warm and dry place to sleep. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs will be presenting that plan this afternoon. We encourage the band council to work with us on this. It needs to be part of the solution.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has refused to take responsibility. He refuses to apologize or step down. He does nothing but make up new stories.

Will he at least answer Canadians' questions, when they know that he used search and rescue services a number of times? Will he tell us how much this little taxi helicopter expedition cost the taxpayers, who are being asked to tighten their belts?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one more time and as has been said many times before, the minister was called back from a personal vacation to go to work.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad we did not hear from the minister himself. I guess he is being airlifted to safety again.

Colonel Ploughman was pretty clear. Using search and rescue resources to get airlifted from a vacation was not about helping the Canadian Forces.

As for his decision to hop in a basket to get to London for a press conference on a new military contract, I have a few questions.

When exactly was this contract signed, when was the minister told, and when did he decide to travel to London?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat one more time. As has been said many times before, the minister was called back from a personal vacation to go to work.

Port of Montreal
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked yesterday about recordings that mentioned strong-arming, intimidation and financial kickbacks for political appointments for the Port of Montreal, the Minister of Transport said the person was not appointed, end of story. By this logic, does the minister believe that a robber who tries to hold up a bank but fails has committed no crime?

If Conservative insiders were plotting to install someone as head of the port authority, why would the minister say nothing wrong happened just because they failed?

Port of Montreal
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Port of Montreal is appointed by the board of directors. The board of directors named a person, who was not Mr. Abdallah, as I said before.

Port of Montreal
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is avoiding dealing with the scandal of political appointments by stating that the board of directors made the decision. The problem is that the Prime Minister's former director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, acknowledged that he had indicated the government preferred Mr. Abdallah for the Montreal Port Authority. Canadians have the right to know what role the government played in the appointments to the Montreal Port Authority.

When will the Prime Minister answer?

Port of Montreal
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority appoints the head of the Montreal Port Authority. At the time it was a man and now it is a woman. Mr. Abdallah was mentioned in the past but was not appointed chair of the board of directors. The board of directors assumed its responsibilities and made its choice.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is just another way of avoiding answering questions.

Conservatives deal with many scandals by denying the facts and hoping everyone will just forget. For example, the President of the Treasury Board testified at committee that the G8 port project was removed at the request of the municipality, but we have evidence this is simply not true. It was the Muskoka minister himself who had the project removed from the list.

Could he explain why he came to the committee and then misrepresented such a basic fact?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the House this is week two now where the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has not apologized to me after it was ruled by the Speaker that there were absolutely no facts to his accusations that I doctored Hansard.

In answer to the question, however, the hon. member should know that he is mixing up the facts yet again. The facts are that all of those documents were provided to the Auditor General and I answered all the questions at committee.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, just because the minister is wearing a Christmas tie, that does not mean that he could play Santa Claus in his riding with $50 million of taxpayers' money. The minister said that the city decided to remove the project. The same city sent two emails indicating that it was the minister who advised it to remove the project. Those are the facts.

Why did the President of the Treasury Board testify in committee if he was going to say things that he knew were false? He has lost all credibility. He no longer has the moral authority to make $4 billion in cuts to our public services. How can Canadians still trust him?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is once again mixing up facts, just as opposition members did at committee. I answered questions for two hours at committee. In fact, I answered 75 questions in total at two committee hearings. This matter, along with G8 and G20, has been at committee for 41 hours.

The Government of Canada has complied with all questions and has delivered all documents. Members opposite are making mountains out of molehills, just as they did at the very beginning of this exercise.