House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, despite the dramatic performance the hon. member has rendered in this chamber, I regret to inform him that the Oscars have already been awarded and it is too late for him to be nominated. Nor do I think he would have secured a nomination if that chronological fact were not in the way.

Conservative candidates spent Conservative funds on Conservative advertising. The party transferred funds to local campaigns. The reason Elections Canada knows that is because we told it, and why not? It is legal, ethical and common practice. We will defend our position in court.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism knowingly broke the rules of the House of Commons by using his letterhead to raise money to fund an ad campaign for the Conservative Party. The departure of his assistant does not change the minister's responsibility in all this, especially since the letter clearly indicates that this partisan fundraising was being done at the minister's request.

Does the minister understand that he bears responsibility for this illegal use of House resources and that he must step down?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this is truly a very serious matter. This practice is absolutely unacceptable. The minister's assistant tendered his resignation to the minister and the minister did the right thing by accepting it.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

March 4th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation has been telling us for weeks that ministers are the ones who make the decisions. It was his decision, his responsibility, his mistake. The mistake is even more serious considering that as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, he was asking for money from his Conservative colleagues so that he could then use that money as a Conservative Party organizer to try and attract certain ethnocultural communities.

Are this gender confusion and his voter targeting not further proof that he does not have what it takes to be the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and that he must step down?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the case cited in example by the House leader of the Bloc Québécois is totally unacceptable. The minister took responsibility for the actions of his assistant and immediately accepted his resignation. He apologized for the actions of his employees. He did the right thing.

Let me be clear: this Minister of Immigration is one of the best ministers of immigration. He is one of the best ministers in cabinet. He is doing a good job for new Canadians and for all Canadians in every province.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is a national disgrace. Requiring people to use the term “Harper government” in all communications is more proof that the Conservatives—

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. Members must not use the name of another member of Parliament in questions or comments. This is the second time today that this has happened. This cannot continue.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot say his name in this House, but they can use it in government advertisements. That is shameful. First we had party fundraising letters from the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Conservative Party logos on government cheques, and now the Conservatives are once again confusing the interests of the Conservative Party and the activities of the government.

When will the Conservatives stop using government resources to promote their party?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this has been a long-standing practice across various governments. This terminology is widely used by journalists and the public. In fact, Mel Cappe, who was quoted in these stories, approved many of the releases when he was clerk, using the term, “Chrétien government”.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Let us continue, Mr. Speaker. It was the case, for example, with Dimitri Soudas's buddies. Even party organizers were put on the Senate payroll. I am thinking of Doug Finley, Leo Housakos, Michel Rivard and Claude Carignan. Furthermore, now we have learned that House resources and departmental press releases are being used to promote the Conservatives.

When will this government stop making taxpayers foot the bill for their election campaign?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the member opposite's statement, it is well within all government policies to do this. In fact, it has been common practice across many governments. I would be pleased to give examples of previous Liberal government press releases to the member opposite so he can stop using those hypocritical statements.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding behind an administrative error to disguise their lack of ethics. But it simply proves that they are incapable of managing. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism ordered his director of multicultural affairs to raise money for the Conservative Party. He did not ask a party employee, but one of his office's directors. Parliamentary resources would be used, and the minister knew it.

Why is he not doing the honourable thing, since he is the one accountable for this decision? He must resign.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the use of parliamentary resources for partisan political purposes is completely wrong and completely unacceptable. The employee in question has offered the minister his resignation. The minister has done the right thing and accepted it. The minister has assumed responsibility for these actions. He has apologized for his former employee's actions and believes they were unacceptable.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, that director of multicultural affairs did not get fired for an ethical breach. He was fired because he was dumb enough to get caught. It is the minister's head that should roll for breaking faith with the Canadian people, for using his office and the weight of his title to orchestrate the Conservative Party's ethnic outreach strategy at the taxpayer's expense. Conservatives cannot pass this off on some overzealous flunky. The buck stops with the guy whose name is on the masthead.

Mulroney used to fire ministers who stepped in a cow-pie. Whatever happened to ministerial accountability for the current Conservative government?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister has done the right thing. He accepted the resignation of his staff member. Let us see if New Democrats will live up to that same standard.

I have in my hand an email from the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona's office where she is seeking to have a federal election. It states:

--a federal election called in the next month or two. Help your Edmonton NDP candidates get ready! Re-elect the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona and for details on how to work on the campaign, you can contact Erica Bullwinkle at duncanl1@parl.gc.ca.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has done the right thing. Will the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona follow—