House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Integrity Commissioner's office, $11 million was spent, 228 cases reported, but none pursued. There was a scathing report by the Auditor General and the Conservatives washed their hands of the commissioner. She is an independent agent who reports to Parliament they say.

However, email traffic between the Prime Minister's department and Madam Ouimet's office show detailed communication on cases. In one such exchange, the deputy clerk of the PCO asks whether it was true that a whistleblower had been told that Ouimet “did not have the resources to investigate the disclosure”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he never intended to have an independent commissioner's office?

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about intention, we hear often from the Liberals that after 13 years the reason for their never doing anything on this was the fact that they were just sort of getting around to it.

We are the ones who put these officers in place. We are the ones who came up with the legislation. This officer reports to the committee and reports to all parliamentarians. We expect that the non-partisan committee would look at ways to improve the legislation. We have an interim commissioner in place who is aggressively pursuing the files. That is what we are pleased to see.

It is up to Parliament to deal with these and we encourage it to do that.

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the pattern of interference did not end with the resignation of Madam Ouimet. Email traffic indicates that even the new interim commissioner is taking orders. Last month, in an email to the Prime Minister's department, he said, “There is one issue that your office is currently not privy to and that the clerk must be briefed on. I will be pleased to provide details to ensure Wayne is not blindsided”.

So much for whistleblower protection. How many more issues have been discussed with the Prime Minister's department and the Integrity Commissioner? Is not that office nothing but a sham?

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, by my colleague's own admission many of these issues are entirely in the office and in the hands of that particular independent officer.

If this email is accurate, then what that officer is saying is he is informing others about things of which he knows. He is also pursuing virtually all of the cases, as he should be, of employees who did not have their concerns addressed. I have met with many of the people in various departments, because every department has its own pursuit channel for whistleblower protection, and in many cases employees are finding satisfaction there.

The Economy
Oral Questions

February 28th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on building a stronger economy for Londoners and all Canadian families with low taxes. That is called Canada's economic action plan and it is getting results.

Since July 2009, over 460,000 jobs have been created. This is by far the strongest job creation growth in the G7 and it matters. It matters for Canadians' sake. The world is taking notice. In fact, The Economist magazine has labelled Canada an economic star.

Would the Minister of State for Finance update Parliament on the latest economic news?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, indeed, in today's announcement Canada was shown to have grown for the sixth straight quarter in a row. Indeed, the latest quarter in Canada's economic growth shows that Canada is leading the entire growth of the G7 countries. This is great news for Canadian families.

However, as we have said before, the recovery is fragile and the last thing we want is a $6 billion Liberal increase in taxes that will kill jobs in this country and will slow growth. We do not want to see that happen.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the major oil companies are laughing: they are raking in record profits that show no sign of slowing down, thanks to skyrocketing gas and heating oil prices. In the meantime, here in Canada it is wintertime and seniors who live below the poverty line are having to turn off their heat. The budget is an opportunity to set priorities by making choices.

Will the Conservatives finally understand that it is time to give priority to green and renewable energies and energy-efficient homes? Is this part of their budget priorities or will they continue to help the wealthiest and most polluting corporations at the expense of our seniors who are living in poverty?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, we actually recognized a long time ago that heating costs were expensive not only for seniors but for all Canadians. That is why we reduced the GST on all fuels and on all products from 7% to 6% to 5%. That did not go real well for the NDP. It voted against it every time.

We recognize there are challenges with the increased costs of fuel. However, we actually think that the right way to provide support to those people is to reduce their overall tax costs.

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is called living on another planet. They increased the GST in regions like Ontario and British Columbia.

Gas prices are rising dramatically and families are feeling the strain. While Conservatives' friends sitting in oil company boardrooms benefit from government handouts, consumers are paying the price. Where is the economic logic in that?

Seniors need help. Pensions are at risk. Millions are without family doctors and energy prices are stretching family budgets to the breaking point.

New Democrats are proposing concrete action to help Canadians now. Will the Conservatives include these practical ideas in their upcoming budget, yes or no?

Seniors
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only concrete proposals we have seen from the NDP were to increase taxes. That is not what Canadians need right now.

I refer to the answer previously given about the economy growing once again for the sixth quarter in a row. We lead the G7 countries in economic growth. That is not because we are increasing taxes. That is because we are reducing taxes and creating jobs for Canadians. They are back to work and they can afford these great supports we are giving to them.

Oil Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the price of gas is reaching new highs. Yet when the price of crude oil declines on the stock market, the major oil companies tell us that they cannot reduce the price at the pumps right away, because the gas we have in Quebec was purchased a few months ago. But when the price of crude oil increases suddenly, we see immediate increases at the pumps.

Could the minister responsible for the Competition Bureau explain this paradox, which means that consumers always end up getting hosed by the oil companies?

Oil Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, there is a whole process that is independent of government where the Competition Bureau does research and investigates charges of collusion, for instance.

It was tough on the collusion that occurred among Quebec gas stations a couple of years ago. We have actually given the Competition Bureau more powers to do so and I have a fairness at the pumps act before Parliament to make sure there is no chiselling at the gas pumps as well.

Oil Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Competition Act has no teeth. The Competition Commissioner cannot even launch an investigation of her own accord into fluctuating gas prices. The Bloc Québécois introduced a bill to fix this problem.

Will the Conservative government stop protecting oil companies and support our bill to rein them in?

Oil Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau has very extensive investigative powers. I tend to find, as a member of Parliament, that when there are price fluctuations, people do bring that to the attention of their MPs and to the Competition Bureau.

I will not stand in this place directing the Competition Bureau to do something. It has the power to do so and we have given it more powers to do so. We have given it the power to add penalties that were not in place before we took office.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2006 Conservative campaign in Lac-Saint-Louis was among those implicated in the in and out scandal that has led to criminal charges against two of the Prime Minister's Senate cronies and two other Conservative Party operatives.

When it comes to Lac-Saint-Louis, this is how it goes: First, the party re-channels money through an elaborate scheme, then the Prime Minister funds a candidate's campaign through a half-million dollar a year Senate package.

Why does the Prime Minister show such contempt for the people of Lac-Saint-Louis?