House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government has successfully led Canada through the most serious global recession in recent memory.

We have cut taxes for families and small businesses. We have begun to rebuild our armed forces. We have toughened up our criminal justice system. We are strengthening our borders against terrorists and human smugglers.

Our government is now embarking on phase two of Canada's economic action plan. It is a plan for jobs and growth that keeps spending and taxes down. It is a world leading plan that will position Canada for the future as a strong, prosperous and united country, the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.

My constituents look forward to the upcoming budget. Now is not the time for an opportunistic election. It is a time to remain focused on what matters most, which is keeping Canada's economy growing and creating good jobs for Canadians. That is exactly what we intend to do.

Main Estimates
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board recently tabled the main estimates, which confirm two things: that the Conservatives lack financial management and that, at all costs, the Prime Minister will do as he said, “You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it”.

The estimates show that spending is still $11 billion more than it was in 2009. So much for fiscal restraint. Every year, spending by the Conservatives has well outpaced inflation. A media report this week said, “The...government has a poor track record when it comes to controlling spending”.

However, there are cuts to the CBC, to EI and to regional economic development. The estimates show that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is being cut by $64 million. These are all areas that the Prime Minister said he does not support.

The one area where there is a massive amount of increased spending, over half a billion dollars, is on Conservative crime policies, the same policies that failed in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and are being brought in when crime rates are actually falling in Canada.

It is about choice. Choices made by the Conservatives certainly are changing Canada, but not for the better.

Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, our government tabled the freezing assets of corrupt regimes act in order to freeze the Canadian assets of former dictators.

Canada took swift action to freeze the assets of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya. This act would ensure that we have the tools to act just as swiftly in all future cases.

The unrest in the Middle East and in North Africa has made it all too clear that Canadian laws do not allow us to react as quickly as our allies around the world.

The people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere are courageously voicing their legitimate democratic aspirations. Thousands have paid the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives in the fight for freedom.

In Canada, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not become a safe haven for murderous dictators to stash their cash.

I call upon all parties in both chambers to put partisan politics aside and urgently pass this important legislation.

Jim Travers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP caucus were shocked and profoundly saddened to learn today of the most untimely death of our friend and colleague on the Hill, Jim Travers.

Jim was a seasoned, veteran journalist and a consummate professional who was an inspiration and a mentor to many. “The kind of journalist I aspire to be”, one press gallery member said today. He was an old-school guy who would never burn a source, never pull a punch and never hesitate to speak truth to power in the finest tradition of his honourable craft, and he did so with a sense of humour and a turn of phrase that was always pithy, unique, clever and memorable. The man could really write.

In all of his many roles in an illustrious career, Jim represented the very best of journalistic integrity. His colleagues at The Toronto Star have lost a dear friend and an inspirational leader.

Our deepest heartfelt condolences go to Jim's family. His many friends on Parliament Hill will miss him profoundly, and I am proud to have been one of them.

Soccer
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, as a soccer mom, a soccer coach, a referee and an avid soccer player, I am thrilled to report that in Zurich this morning, FIFA awarded the hosting rights for the 2015 Women's World Cup to Canada.

In addition, Canada will host the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014.

It is a tremendous honour to host the single largest women's sporting event in the world. We know that cities from coast to coast will provide outstanding venues for these exciting games.

Soccer continues to grow in popularity in Canada and the Women's World Cup will build on that enthusiasm.

Our senior women's team, the reigning regional champions, is off to Germany this summer for the 2011 World Cup.

Our government is proud to be a key supporter of these tournaments. They are certain to be highly successful and we look forward to watching Canada's teams play the beautiful game with the world's best right here at home.

I say “go Canada go”.

Quebec Athletes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the history of sports, never before have we seen a nation with so many champions in sliding sports in the same year.

Érik Guay, winner of the super G crystal globe in 2010, was triumphant in December at the 2011 alpine world ski championships. Alexandre Bilodeau, who brought home the gold in the single moguls event at the Vancouver Olympic Games, was crowned the 2011 world champion in dual moguls. Jennifer Heil brought home the gold in single and dual moguls at the 2011 world championships. Alex Harvey won the 30-kilometre pursuit at the under-23 world cross-country championships and just yesterday became the world champion in the relay event. I should also point out that Jasey-Jay Anderson won gold in Vancouver in the snowboarding parallel giant slalom event.

In the last year, Quebeckers have dominated the world stage in sliding sports, making our nation very proud.

Jim Travers
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise with sadness today to speak on the passing of a good friend, a fine Canadian and a great journalist, Jim Travers.

Jim was a true gentleman whose rumpled presence concealed a sharp mind, a lovely sense of fun and a great pen. He had a distinguished 40-year career in journalism, both at home and around the world. He was editor-in-chief of Canada's largest newspaper, The Toronto Star, as well as a mainstay of the Ottawa bureau.

Jim was rightly honoured by his colleagues, winning the Charles Lynch Award in 2005 and the National Newspaper Award in 2010.

We will all miss his keen mind and shrewd analysis, but even more, we will miss the warmth and kindness he showed to so many of us.

He had a deep love of our country and a profound respect for the importance of our democratic institutions and traditions, and he would have been annoyed with me for not being able to get through this without crying.

Jim's passing leaves so much behind, great friends on all sides of politics and journalism, but also a hole in our hearts. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Joan and children, Ben and Paddy, and his wider family.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Conservative election fraud has been investigated for four years. Police raided Conservative headquarters. The fraud was pursued by two chief electoral officers, the chief investigator at Elections Canada, and the independent director of public prosecutions. Four of the Prime Minister's top advisers are charged with serious illegal conduct for which there is voluminous evidence and the likelihood of conviction, triggering fines and jail terms. That is some administrative matter.

How is all of that not a character issue for the Prime Minister?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is referring to the typical back and forth that we could expect from a five-year-long administrative dispute of this kind.

Conservative candidates spent Conservative funds on Conservative advertising. The national party did, indeed, transfer funds to local campaigns, which is legal, ethical and commonplace among all political parties.

The reason that Elections Canada is aware that we made such transactions is that we told it, and we will continue to make our case in a court of law.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is about the public's trust. Nothing happens in the government that this all-controlling Prime Minister does not dictate. He is, after all, the boss. He makes the rules. The in and out scheme, the forged invoices, and the voluminous evidence of illegal conduct go right to the top.

At the National Citizens Coalition, in the Reform Party, and as Conservative leader, the Prime Minister has made a habit of trying to circumvent campaign spending laws to let big money rule, so how can he deny it now? Campaign spending violations have been his stock in trade.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, it appears the member is referring to a five-year-long administrative dispute and the ongoing back and forth that has flowed out of that dispute. Of course, Conservative candidates did spend Conservative funds on Conservative advertising, and the national party transferred funds to the local campaigns.

The reason Elections Canada knows that is because we told it. We had no reason not to tell it because it is legal, ethical, and common practice among all political parties. We will continue to make that case in a court of law.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, common practice it is not.

The Prime Minister is responsible for the people he gathers around him. He sets the standards. When local riding associations questioned the illegality of the Conservative in and out scheme, all the Prime Minister's men attacked them. They were called “undisciplined”, “turds”, and “idiots”. Those are Conservative words, not mine, but that is the mentality the Prime Minister fosters: the culture of deceit.

If he will not ask his senators now charged with offences to step out of the Conservative caucus, would he at least remove the taint of the plumbers being in the Auditor General's Office?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the kinds of personal slurs that the member is engaging in will not create a single job for Canadians. It will not allow Canadians to save for their future.

What will do those things is Canada's economic action plan. We have created 460,000 net new jobs, we have the smallest deficit in the G7, five million Canadians invested in tax-free savings accounts, and unemployment is two points lower than in the United States for the first time.

It is time that the opposition stopped trying to tear people down and join with us in building Canada.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, we will see whether the judge finds the two Conservative senators or the Prime Minister's cronies as funny as the parliamentary secretary. Apparently, the Chief Electoral Officer does not share the same sense of humour. The Director of Public Prosecutions does not share the same sense of humour either. And the three judges of the Federal Court of Appeal do not seem to have understood the parliamentary secretary's humour.

All of this is a joke. Is this the Conservatives' idea of accountability?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the kinds of personal slurs that the Liberal Party has been engaging in for some time now will not create a single job and will not help families save for their future. What will do those things is Canada's economic action plan. It has already created more than 500,000 jobs, helped five million Canadians open a tax-free savings account and helped create steady economic growth for a year and a half. We are building Canada, not tearing people down.