House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, taking liberties with the electoral laws that govern our democracy is very serious. The Prime Minister could force an election in the coming weeks. He just promised not to reuse the in and out scheme to exceed spending limits during the next election.

In doing so, did he not admit that he made a mistake in 2006?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, we always followed the rules as they were interpreted at the time. When the interpretations changed, we changed our practices. Even during the 2008 election we did not use in and out financing, as Elections Canada determined after the 2006 election. We will always follow the rules in place. I hope that all of the parties that used in and out financing will also comply with the new interpretations.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, with Conservative senators and officials up on election charges and with a cabinet minister facing the scandal of doctoring documents before the House of Commons and misleading Parliament, no wonder so many Canadians feel that something is broken in Ottawa.

The Prime Minister could do something about this by supporting New Democrats' practical plan for making Parliament work better for Canadians. Let us finally ask Canadians about abolishing the Senate and about reforming our electoral system. Will he support our doable proposals on this front?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I must admit that we do not always associate a practical plan and the NDP in the same sentence, but what the leader of the NDP suggests is the abolition of the Senate. I know there is much sympathy in the country for that. The reality is that would involve reopening the Constitution and getting a unanimous resolution, which is unlikely.

We do have a practical plan to allow for Senate elections and the limitation of senators' terms. I would encourage the NDP and all those others with practical plans to support that practical plan.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

March 1st, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now obvious the Prime Minister never believed in the accountability he once preached. In 2008 he told his ministers that they must, “be present in Parliament to answer honestly and accurately about their areas of responsibility”. Yet day after day, question after question, the minister responsible for CIDA sits there, refusing to tell the House and Canadians who told her to cut funding for KAIROS.

How can she remain in her position as minister when, by her silence, she refuses to be accountable to Parliament?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister has spoken to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, where, 11 times, she was very clear that she was the one who made the decision with respect to not giving the $7 million grant. She also made it very clear just last month that it was her decision.

I would encourage the member opposite from Vancouver Centre to look at that.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, what kind of lesson are Canadians to draw from this obfuscation, that if ministers do whatever the Prime Minister says, the consequences simply do not matter, that the Prime Minister can break his word on accountability of ministers with impunity?

The Minister of International Cooperation sits behind the Prime Minister dutifully, day after day, and is not allowed to answer.

Is it the Prime Minister's position that women in his cabinet should only be seen and not heard?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the member wants to talk about integrity. That specific member, who was a minister, wants to talk about misleading the House. That is the member who said, “As we speak, crosses are burning in Prince George”. She has a lot of chutzpah.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that, at that point, this minister had the ministerial responsibility to resign.

The Minister of International Cooperation is so proud of her decision—which was very courageous as far as her colleague the House leader is concerned—that she continues to remain silent on the issue. She was so brave in making this decision that she wanted to have us believe that it was actually bureaucrats who made it.

Has the Minister of International Cooperation become a woman without a voice who does not have the right to respond to questions in this Parliament?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister said no such thing. What she did say last year before a standing committee of Parliament was that she was the one who made the decision not to provide a $7 million grant to a particular non-governmental organization. This is something she repeated just last month in this place.

The minister has always made the right decisions. The member has always stood up for international causes around the world, whether it is in Haiti, or in Afghanistan or in Africa. She is doing a heck of a good job.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would love to hear her speak in the House now. Day after day, the Minister of International Cooperation remains silent, sitting behind the Prime Minister, leaving the responsibility of defending her decisions to others.

Did she give up the extra $70,000 that comes with her so-called ministerial responsibilities? Is she still part of cabinet? Did she turn in the keys to her limousine?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the member what the Minister of International Cooperation works so hard at. She has worked tremendously hard at rebuilding earthquake-damaged Haiti. She has worked tremendously hard on dealing with the challenges that women in Afghanistan face. The minister has—

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The government House leader has the floor. We will have some order.

The hon. government House leader.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has not just played an important role, but this minister has played an instrumental role in the maternal and child initiative brought forward at the last G8. This initiative will save literally millions of lives, and it is because of the great leadership of the Minister of International Cooperation.