House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libya.

Topics

Harriet Tubman
Statements By Members

March 21st, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, after meeting with stakeholders from the Salem Chapel in St. Catharines, one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad, over the disputed date of Harriet Tubman's date of birth, the issue has been resolved. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada will honour Harriet Tubman with a plaque to commemorate her heroism for future generations of Canadians.

The plaque will now read: Born on a Maryland plantation, Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become one of the great heroes of the 19th century. The most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, she courageously led many of the people she rescued from American slavery on dangerous, clandestine journeys to safety and freedom in Canada. Tubman helped these black refugees settle after their arrival and played an active role in the fight to end slavery.

On May 27, I will proudly be joined by the members of the BME Church and my community to celebrate Harriet Tubman as one of Canada's leading abolitionists and a person of national historic significance.

Government of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government's ethical tailspin continues to spiral out of control.

Let us look at it by the numbers: two RCMP investigations in one week; two contempt of Parliament rulings in one day; four ATIP investigations into government members or their staff; four top prime ministerial insiders charged with breaking election laws; one half million dollar gag order for the Integrity Commissioner; two ministers who, amazingly, are still ministers even though one used public resources to fundraise for the Conservative Party and one misled Parliament; and one Prime Minister hijacking the Government of Canada name plate with his order to the public service to replace it with his own personal moniker.

However, the most important number is the millions, the millions of Canadians who are now beginning to realize just how bad this government is. They are tired of the scandals, the abuse and reckless waste. They know it is time we had a government that is there to serve Canadians, not the other way around.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is again attempting to mislead Canadians about his job-killing, high tax agenda. Last week he inaccurately stated, when asked about the corporate income tax rate, “We have to maintain it at 18%”. As of January 1, Canada's business tax rate is 16.5%, cut from 18%. The Liberal leader knows this, but this is not the only instance of him making inaccurate statements.

Why is the Liberal leader misleading Canadians? The answer is obvious: he wants to hide the fact that his Liberal Party will raise taxes. He would much prefer if Canadians believe he will only freeze taxes “where they are now”.

The Liberal leader is misleading Canadians for his own political gain. This is clear evidence that the Liberal leader is a political opportunist. Indeed, the very definition of a liberal is someone who raises opportunism to the level of a principle.

The Liberal leader's high tax agenda will stall our recovery, kill jobs and set families back.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government faces two RCMP investigations at once, one of them about Bruce Carson's influence peddling right in the Prime Minister's Office, and four members of the Prime Minister's inner circle face accusations of election fraud that could result in jail time. As if that were not enough, a committee of the House has found the government in contempt of Parliament. This is an unprecedented cascade of abuse. The issue here is one of trust.

How can Canadians remain trusting of a government guilty of such flagrant abuse of power?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to the leader of the Liberal Party that I completely reject all of the misleading premises in his question.

There is no member of the government who is under investigation for a criminal offence. Let me be very clear that this government is the government that acted very expeditiously to bring in the Federal Accountability Act, to clean up the ethical mess that we inherited from the previous Liberal government.

He was not in Canada to know exactly how bad the Liberal ethics policies were. Maybe he should look at the Federal Accountability Act and look at the great changes, especially, that the Prime Minister has ushered in.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Bruce Carson was at the centre of the government's inner circle and there he remains. This is a question of the judgment of the Prime Minister, who is guilty. The government is facing charges of election fraud, influence peddling and a scheme related to access to information. As if that were not enough, a committee of this House has found the government in contempt of Parliament.

How can Canadians trust a government that treats them, and the country's institutions, with such contempt?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I guess the Liberal leader believes we do not need to have police to conduct an investigation. We do not need to have a court system. He will simply assign guilt as he sees it on the floor of the House of Commons.

Immediately after serious allegations were brought to our attention about a former member of the office, the matter was immediately referred to the RCMP, immediately referred to the Ethics Commissioner and immediately referred to the Commissioner of Lobbying. That was the right thing to do.

Let me be very clear that this government has brought in tough penalties for people who break the law. Anyone convicted of breaking the law will face the full force of Canadian law.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives cannot deny the RCMP is crawling all over the government at the moment.

Conservatives also expect us to vote tomorrow for a budget without telling Canadians what their waste is going to cost: waste on corporate tax giveaways; waste on prisons; waste on jets, which they do not have accurate costing on for Canadians. Instead of telling Canadians the truth, they went out last week and spent millions of taxpayer dollars on government partisan advertising.

When is the government going to show some respect for taxpayers and a little respect for democracy?

Government Accountability
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 do not agree with the Leader of the Opposition at all.

The Liberal Party can try to attack the government with political smears. It has become very good at it.

This government is focused on the priority of Canadians, on jobs, on the economy and on economic growth. That focus has helped create 480,000 net new jobs.

The Liberal leader has recently become a convert. Last week we learned he wanted to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to billionaires who owned hockey teams. He is going to have to explain that to Canadians.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, Bruce Carson was illicitly using his government connections to finance the purchase of $400 million worth of water filtration units.

According to the contract witnessed by Mr. Carson, his fiancé stood to gain $80 million from the scam. Carson had inside information that could only have come from the Prime Minister's office, like, for example, who would be the next minister of Indian affairs.

Who in the Prime Minister's office was funnelling information to Mr. Carson? Have they, too, been referred to the RCMP?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear at the outset that there is no information whatsoever to suggest that any individual or company obtained any contract from the government in any of these matters.

Any individual who breaks the law should face the full force of the law. Rather than assigning the job of enforcing Canadian law to the member for Beauséjour, we have referred the matter to the RCMP. We will let it take it from here.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, we know that last fall Bruce Carson introduced his fiancée to the then environment minister, Jim Prentice; to the former human resources minister, Monte Solberg; and even to the Premier of Alberta.

What other ministers or government members have spoken with Mr. Carson and Ms. McPherson over the past year and a half? Has the government determined what information was given to Mr. Carson and Ms. McPherson? Did they provide this information to the RCMP as well?

Government Accountability
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 think it is a matter of public record that the political staff in one office did have a meeting. It provided publicly available information. Let me be absolutely clear that no government funds and no government contract were awarded as a result of that meeting.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's finance minister, Raymond Bachand, said that negotiations between Quebec and Ottawa regarding harmonizing GST with sales tax are far enough along to conclude an agreement. He even sent a draft agreement to his federal counterpart on February 22. The ball is in the Conservative government's court.

Will the minister finally resolve the sales tax harmonization issue and include in the budget the $2.2 billion the federal government has owed Quebec for years now?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we continue to negotiate in good faith with the Government of Quebec and things are on track. Major progress has been made over the past few days, but once again, it is not over yet. Discussions continue and our budget will be brought down tomorrow.