House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Regional Development
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Conservatives never miss an opportunity to let Quebec and all its regions down.

They are the ones who centralized the Canada Economic Development offices to downtown Montreal thereby depriving the regions of significant economic spinoffs. They are the ones who refused to support Bill C-288 so that our young graduates could return to the regions and actively contribute to their social and economic development. They are the ones who are still refusing to provide the forestry industry and its workers with any meaningful assistance to weather the crisis. They are the ones who voted against an employment insurance reform that would have allowed our seasonal workers and others to make a decent living year round. I could go on.

Unlike the Quebec Conservatives, the Bloc Québécois is acting in the interests of Quebec and all its regions, without distinction.

International Co-operation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is the timeline of events that got the Minister of International Cooperation all tied up in “nots”:

On October 28, 2010 in the House of Commons, the minister claimed that KAIROS had lost its funding because its work no longer fitted CIDA's objectives and strongly suggested that she acted on the recommendation of her department.

On December 9, 2010, CIDA president, Margaret Biggs, told the House of Commons foreign affairs committee that the agency did recommend the project to the minister. At the same meeting, the minister testified at the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that she did not insert the word “not” in the funding document.

On December 13, 2010, the Liberal member for Scarborough—Guildwood raised a question of privilege in the House of Commons, concerning allegations that the Minister of International Cooperation had made misleading statements. On February 14, 2011, the minister admitted that she had given the order to write the word not on a financial document. On February 15, 2011, the Prime Minister defended the minister's behaviour, commended her on her decision and ignored the calls for her resignation.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is launching a pre-election tax hike tour this week, and the Toronto Star is reporting that the Liberals are angling for a May election. A needless election would distract our national efforts from creating jobs and sustaining our fragile economic recovery.

The Liberal leader's plan is a high tax agenda that will stall our recovery, kill jobs and set hard-working families back. He is calling for a tax hike to be included in the budget or he will vote against the budget and force an unnecessary election. The last thing we need is the disruption of a needless election or the uncertainty of a reckless coalition that would jeopardize our economic recovery just as we enter the home stretch.

As the Liberal leader travels Canada calling for an unnecessary election and advancing his high tax agenda, our Conservative government will keep its focus on our low tax plan for jobs and growth in the best interests of all Canadians.

Merchant Navy Veterans
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize John Stapleton, a constituent and tireless advocate of the merchant navy veterans.

John is a past president of the Allied Merchant Marine Association, a member of the Jewish War Veterans of Canada and an honorary member of the British Merchant Navy Association. He is also a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and was one of 15 veterans recognized by the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Award in October 2010.

John is a champion of veteran's issues and is persistent in his campaign for fair compensation and recognition for World War II merchant navy veterans. He and his wife, Wanita, and former MP, Paul Bonwick, were relentless in their crusade to establish Merchant Navy Day. Thanks to their perseverance, people across the country join to recognize the sacrifices made by World War II merchant navy veterans every year on September 3.

Every year, during the week of Valentine's Day, I recognize seniors and veterans. Today I pay special tribute to John Stapleton for his inspiration, his wisdom and his leadership.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

February 17th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the facts in the case are clear. The minister deceived Parliament and then someone altered a document so she could pretend that her officials supported a decision when in fact they did not.

In our democracy, the rules are clear. When a minister misleads Parliament, that minister resigns. Why is she still in cabinet?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation has been very clear that she is the one who made the decision not to provide a $7 million grant to this Canadian non-governmental organization.

This is the kind of responsibility that ministers are expected to take each and every day. When we spend money on foreign aid, we expect it to make the very best for success in the developing world.

The minister made the right decision. She made the correct decision. I believe she made a courageous decision and did the right thing.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this minister misled the House. She altered a document and claimed that her officials supported her decision, when they did not. In a democracy, a minister who misleads the House must resign.

Why is this minister still a member of cabinet ?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, last year in committee and this year in the House of Commons, the minister was very clear that she, and she alone, made the decision not to provide the $7 million grant. She has always been very clear. The minister made the right decision.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a wider pattern here. It is the government that prorogued Parliament, that shut Parliament down, that silences whistleblowers, that intimidates public servants and now stands behind a minister who will not tell the truth.

The Prime Minister seems to think he makes the rules. He is wrong; Canadians make the rules. When will the government start showing some respect for democracy and fire that minister?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the minister is the one who made the decision. She appeared last year before committee and said so 11 times. She repeated that again this year. She made a courageous decision. The minister did the right thing. Only in our country would a minister get in trouble for not making a $7 million grant.

When we think about grants and contributions, we still wonder what happened to the $40 million that went missing in the sponsorship scandal.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is sinking ever deeper and has reached a new low. Earlier this week, the Minister of International Cooperation was caught red-handed. She misled Parliament, and not just by a little bit. Yesterday, in an attempt to defend her, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism told a journalist that it was not serious, that everyone lies, and that Radio-Canada lies all the time.

Is that the Conservatives' new motto: lie and lie again, and if you are a cabinet minister, you will get away with it?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

That is not at all the case. The minister was very clear. Last year before a House committee and this year in the House, she said 11 times that she made the decision to not fund this organization.

The minister made the right decision, that is, to focus our international aid on supporting the most vulnerable people in the world. She made the right decision.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trivializing lying. Suddenly, lying is not a big deal. By refusing to discipline the Minister of International Cooperation, the Prime Minister is signalling a free-for-all; there is not a problem, and just about anything goes. According to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, it is not serious because Radio-Canada lies all the time.

One person is responsible for creating this mess and that is the Prime Minister. Does he understand that, or “not”?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I did note the CBC had a very interesting story about our friend from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin that turned out not to be true this morning.

The minister made the decision not to provide a $7 million grant to the organization in question because she strongly believed that money would be better spent to help some of the most vulnerable people in the world on the ground, and to get better value for taxpayers. The minister made a difficult decision. The minister made the right decision. The government supports that decision.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation initially signed a document to grant funding to KAIROS only to then falsify that document to deny the funding. Since we know how the Prime Minister works, we have to wonder whether he was directly involved in this file. If that is the case, this means that the minister, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the Prime Minister are telling us the opposite of the truth.

To be clear, we would like to know, yes or no, whether the Prime Minister intervened and told his minister to change her mind, falsify the document and deny funding to KAIROS.