House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader certainly has been trying very hard to spin Conservatives' record as something that is supporting Canadians.

We have seen him do this day after day in the House of Commons. I think he has become very familiar with it. Maybe in the most generous of moments I could give him an A for effort. There he is smiling. He could not even keep a straight face yesterday as he tried to ram through a whole bunch of government bills that he knew was impossible.

The fact is that the real record of the government is that it has the worst record on scandals in this country. It has the worst record of disclosure and of not providing information, not only to parliamentarians but to the people of Canada. It has the worst record on insider scams.

Day after day we have had to go through a litany of these issues and expose what the government refuses to disclose to the people of Canada. The fact that we are now, at this moment in this Parliament, finding contempt surely must be something that deeply disturbs even Conservative members.

We are talking about the institution of democracy. We are talking about the work that we are sent here to do—

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I am afraid the hon. member's time has expired. There is less than a minute left for the response from the government House leader.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have great regard and great respect for the member for Vancouver East.

However, if she wants to talk about the record of the government, let me be succinct, 19 months, 480,000 net new jobs. That is the priority of Canadians. That is what they sent us here to do. That is the job that we want to move forward with, with the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

We can start on that path. We can start on Monday, or we can start it in two months, but we are committed to jobs, the economy and economic growth.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to a motion put forward by the leader of the opposition. I must state at the outset that I find it strange that we are debating this motion when the Liberal member for Kings—Hants introduced a motion in the House two days ago relating to the same matter.

Why did he do that? He did it to avoid debate on the issues that matter to Canadians. He did it to avoid debate on the excellent budget that was introduced by the Minister of Finance and our government. He did it to avoid having a vote on the budget that is in the best interests of Canadians, including his own constituents. That is shameful.

The Liberals, Bloc Québécois and NDP coalition have been caught up in political and partisan games at the expense of the best interests of Canadians. We have seen them time and time again play these games both in the House and in committees. They are the ones who have contempt for this House and for Canadians by forcing an unwanted, unnecessary election. I suppose we should expect nothing less from them.

Let me address the report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. It is a report that in no way reflects the committee's hearings. Despite receiving all of the information requested and hearing clear, reasonable testimony from ministers, public servants and independent experts, opposition members were determined to rig the outcome of the committee hearings. It was a true kangaroo court.

However, they were not content with that alone. Now they want to act as judge and jury for the Minister of International Cooperation. They want to use their tyranny of the majority to find her guilty when the evidence from committee shows quite the opposite. There is nothing so blind as a closed mind.

Let me speak for a minute about the Liberals. The Liberal Party should not be speaking about ethics. This is the same party that stole $40 million from Canadians. While it paid back a measly amount, much of it remains unaccounted for. I understand that 13 ridings benefited from this scandal. That is a lot of envelopes filled with tainted money funnelled through back doors of the Liberal Party. I ask the Liberals, where is the $40 million?

When one is asked, “What first comes to your mind when you hear Liberal at the federal level?”, the answer certainly is not ethics. The answer is corruption.

The Liberal plan is tainted. This is the ad scam party that opposes laws that would prevent drug dealers from targeting children outside their schools. This is the ad scam party that opposes laws to end early parole for criminals who prey on seniors who have worked all their lives to comfortably retire. This is the ad scam party whose own members cannot even play by the rules. They want to talk about ethics.

When the Liberal immigration critic said that calling so-called honour killings barbaric went too far, what did the leader do? Nothing.

When one of its members was charged with a criminal offence, what did its leader do? Nothing.

That is some ethics.

Now I turn to the Bloc. Who do the Liberals want to form a coalition with? The Bloc Québécois, a party whose primary goal is to stand against Canada, a party whose members, like the member for Sherbrooke, have attended events and fundraisers organized by the RRQ, a group that includes neo-FLQ terrorists, a party whose policies are all about metropolitan Montreal, forgetting the regions of Quebec.

It is our Conservative government that has delivered for every part of Canada and every region of Quebec.

We gave Quebec a seat at the UNESCO table.

We recognized “les Québécois” as a nation within a united Canada.

We have delivered on the infrastructure priorities of Quebec's towns and cities.

We have celebrated Quebec's history and culture, including Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.

The Bloc Québécois is purely trying to distract Quebeckers from the fact they have done and can do nothing for the province of Quebec.

It voted against our world leading economic action plan.

It voted against opening trade with the world for Quebec businesses.

It also voted against legislation that would impose mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of child trafficking.

Bloc members sit in the House and collect their salaries. They sit in the House and will collect their pensions, yet they do nothing for Quebec. It is shameful.

The NDP members support an opportunist election that would not only kill the government's legislation, but also the legislation they have introduced. They would stop a bill that would provide low-cost drugs to Africa, a bill the member for Ottawa Centre now sponsors. They clearly planned on campaigning on the introduction of their private members' bills, but not on the passage of these bills. How is that for ethics.

Why would they introduce legislation they do not care about? Probably for the same reason they invited media to tour their war room a few months ago. They have obviously been scheming with their coalition partners for this election for months. The same plan they revealed to Canadians in 2008, a coalition with Liberals in the driver's seat, the NDP spending taxpayers' money with abandon and the Bloc Québécois with a veto on every policy of the coalition.

When it comes to following up on promises, the NDP cannot be trusted. An example is the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore, who flip-flopped on his position on the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry when it came down to the final vote. The minute that his vote would make a real difference for law-abiding duck hunters and farmers in this country, what did he do? He jumped ship. He turned tail. He is not the only one. The members for Welland, Sudbury, Timmins—James Bay, Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing and Nickel Belt all flipped their votes. I hope their voters will flip them.

How can seniors and families in their ridings trust them to make the best decisions when they flip-flop on policy because parts of their caucus are worried about losing their seats? I do not want to hear them talk about misleading. What they have done is misleading their constituents.

I believe that we have accomplished a lot in this session. Just this week, 12 new laws have been granted royal assent. These new laws are repealing the faint hope clause, cracking down on crooked consultants and protecting children from online sexual exploitation. Unlike the other parties, our Conservative government is here to make Parliament work, and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

The motion before us makes a mockery of Parliament. Canadians expect and deserve better. For the last five years we have delivered. We have steered Canada through the great recession. We have cut all forms of taxes the government collects. We provided seniors with pension income splitting. We reduced the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. We introduced important tax credits: the Canada employment credit, the work income tax benefit, the child tax credit. The budget before the House goes even further while making targeted investments in people and our economy.

The other parties have no plans and no ideas to offer, so they resort to smear and slander. We have witnessed committees they control turned into kangaroo courts. We have seen them use the cover of privilege to try to convict the innocent. We are now seeing them force an unwanted election on Canadians and mislead them about their intent to form a coalition of the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

One last jarring thought: If the coalition were to come about following the election, picture the Bloc in charge of public security, the NDP in charge of finance and the Liberals in charge of accountability. God help Canada. But enough fiction. Canadians are smarter than that. They can count on a Conservative government to stand up for their priorities and stand up for Canada.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, so little time, so many floating targets from the former general for me to shoot at.

I want to ask him about income trusts. What happened to that promise? He talked in his speech about credibility, he talked about truth and about keeping his word. Let us go to the core of what the government has done and what its leader believes. He believes that for Atlantic Canada, where there is a culture of defeat, there should be $32 million taken from the budget of ACOA, and the Minister for ACOA sits there and get robbed and says nothing for Atlantic Canada.

I am from a party that was the party of Allan MacEachen, the party of Roméo LeBlanc when we had statesmen for Atlantic Canada. There is no one from Atlantic Canada speaking up because the Prime Minister does not believe in regional development. He does not believe that we have a place in this Confederation.

What about bilingualism? The Prime Minister said it was a god that failed. So now we have Service Canada all through Atlantic Canada who are administratively unilingual. Language of work, out the door. Legislation created by a great Canadian, out the door.

What we are doing with respect to this is saying we are calling the chips right now. We want an election so people will decide to get rid of the government that does not care about Atlantic Canadians, does not care about bilingualism and worst of all, which is the subject of the motion, Conservatives will not give information to the elected representatives of Canadians. They will not give information on jets, on the Youth Criminal Justice Act, on the cost of prisons. They did nothing about the death of a 16-year-old Moncton girl named Ashley Smith. They do not care.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to a recent poll, the Liberals are the fourth party in terms of trust in this Parliament. They are fourth.

Do members know why Canadians do not trust the Liberals? It is because their brand is tainted; it is a corrupt party.

When, during the election, the matter of ethics comes up, I would expect Liberal candidates to put bags on their heads.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must admit it has been a long time since I have heard such an arrogant speech.

I have a lesson in democracy for the Conservative government's whip. To attack the legitimacy of the Bloc is to attack the legitimacy of all the hon. members who sit in this House. If an hon. member is sitting in the House of Commons, it is because the people of his riding elected him. It should not matter what party he belongs to.

When I say the whip is arrogant, I mean that the Conservative Party seems to think it is the only party that matters in Parliament. What the minister did is totally unacceptable.

I want to know whether he thinks that the voters in Saint-Jean and those in the other 50 Bloc-held ridings are all morons who understand absolutely nothing. I have news for him: the Bloc is going to come back with a majority in Quebec for the seventh time, and the government whip is going to eat his words.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, we do live in a democracy. Anyone legitimately elected from Quebec is legitimately here.

However, I am questioning the Bloc. Its members have been here for 20 years. They have been here, gaining their pensions, et cetera. What have they achieved? Nothing.

They basically have no function. They have no purpose. They are nothing. I would hope the voters of Quebec make better choices.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of talk today. It is funny to hear the NDP members talk about ethics because when they had an opportunity in 2004 to throw out one of the most corrupt governments in Canadian history, they went and signed a deal with it.

We have a Liberal Party that, of course, campaigns constantly on things. It campaigned for child care. Did it do it? No. It said it would cut the GST. Did it do it? No. It said it would kill free trade. Did it do it? No.

It said that it would not cut health care and social spending. Did it? Yes. It cut $25 billion from the provinces in health care and social services. That is the legacy of the Liberal Party--

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Chief Government Whip will have 15 seconds to respond.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a few comments about the NDP.

With the NDP, there is drama, screaming, yelling and outrage. It voted against seniors. It voted against students. It voted against medical care. It voted against trade bills. It voted against crime bills. It worked to obstruct the progress in Parliament.

All I ever hear from its members is talk, talk, talk.

Bruce Campbell
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the passing of a great Canadian and a pillar of the Edmonton community, Mr. Bruce Campbell.

Bruce was born in Cadomin, Alberta, in 1923 and he moved to Edmonton as a teenager. During World War II he served honourably as a telegraphist in the Royal Canadian Navy. After the war, Mr. Campbell returned to Alberta and started his own construction company, Camwil Construction, helping to build northern Alberta's communities for 40 years.

He represented Edmontonians on city council for almost a decade, served on many boards and committees, including as president of the Edmonton and Alberta Construction Associations, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Club.

He received numerous awards for his service. In 2001, Bruce was honoured to open the Bruce Campbell Youth Centre in the West Edmonton Mall, where he was a frequent visitor. He will be remembered for his kind and generous nature, his gentle laugh and his love of life.

I ask all parliamentarians to join me in recognizing his contributions and send our best wishes to his family and friends.

A. Frank Willis
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, the town of Dover in my riding is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. Recently, however, Dover had to say goodbye to one of its own. I rise today to pay tribute to a Newfoundlander and an east coast music legend, A. Frank Willis, who passed away at the age of 60.

He was born into a musical family and started playing the guitar and button accordion at an early age and played with his brothers in a band that performed locally. He went on to become an accomplished folk and country musician and was known as a one-man band. He entertained audiences all across our great country, bringing with him a sincere love and admiration of his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

He was a master showman and an accomplished writer who could paint a picture and tell a story in every song. In 1981, he won the People's Choice Award for the best country solo artist. He was also voted Newfoundland's entertainer of the year.

A. Frank Willis, known as one of Newfoundland's greatest exports to the mainland, will be sadly missed by his many friends, family, fellow musicians and audiences around the world.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the Conservative government presented a budget that ignores the needs of Quebeckers from the Quebec City area. The budget states in black and white that the Conservative government will not be providing funding for the Quebec multi-purpose arena.

Therefore, and bearing in mind that the 2011 budget contains mere crumbs for the Quebec City area, it is obvious that the Conservative members from the area have no say when it comes to this government's decision-making process and have no influence in cabinet. It is paradoxical that our region has the largest number of Conservative members and that they are unable to get anything for our region.

Once again, they are saying no to Quebec City. The Conservative members can rest assured that the Bloc Québécois will hound them on this issue in the coming election campaign.

Air Canada
Statements By Members

March 25th, 2011 / 11 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago I joined hundreds of machinists at a rally in Vancouver. These highly skilled workers are fighting to keep their jobs in Canada. Similar rallies were held on the same day in Montreal and other parts of the country.

These machinists are simply asking the government to make sure that Air Canada actively obeys the law passed in Parliament, the Air Canada Public Participation Act. They need the support of this government to pressure Air Canada management to keep heavy maintenance facilities across Canada. While these workers represent decades of expert commitment to serving the Canadian aviation industry and ensuring safety, Air Canada management is preparing to export well-paying full-time jobs to low-paying countries. This has clear safety implications.

The government is in defiance of the laws of the land and ignoring critical safety concerns, as well as the strategic interest of Canada to maintain and grow highly skilled jobs. This is clearly not acceptable. We call upon the government today to oblige Air Canada to respect the law and make sure that these highly skilled jobs are maintained here in Canada.