House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition requested certain financial information regarding these decisions. That information has been provided.

I would suggest to the opposition that it accept yes for an answer.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not how the system works. The Prime Minister does not make the rules. The House makes the rules.

Today the House is discussing a case of electoral fraud involving many members of the government's inner circle.

Those responsible for this fraud still hold positions within the government; but they have been charged with fraud, for heaven's sake!

Why are they still in office?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I already indicated, the information requested was provided to the House of Commons.

The real difficulty here is that the Liberal Party requested certain financial data and when that data did not match the numbers those members have been publicly making up, they cried foul.

The reality is the Liberals are just going to have to accept that the numbers are the numbers and they have to do with budgets of the House passed long ago.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I did not get an answer to the question. There are serious accusations of electoral fraud levelled against the closest members of the Conservative government. This is not just an accounting dispute because it involves the fraud of $800,000 of taxpayers' money. It is not an administrative matter, because it involves jail time.

The Prime Minister says he will not fire these people. The Prime Minister says he will not hand the money back. Will he at least assure the House that no member of the Prime Minister's Office was ever implicated in this scam?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member already knows that to be a fact.

The fact of the matter is that this involves a dispute with Elections Canada as to whether expenses are classified as local or national. We will continue to defend our position on that before the courts.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not an administrative dispute. Four Conservatives are charged with election fraud but a fifth person has been named in a sworn affidavit as the secretary of the Conservative fund when this election scam was concocted. His name is Nigel Wright. He is the chief of staff of the Prime Minister. Four of his accomplices face jail time.

Can the Prime Minister explain why Nigel Wright is still in the Prime Minister's Office?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the individual in question has not been accused of anything.

The fact of the matter, as I said, is that this is a dispute about whether certain election expenses that were fully reported are national or local. We will continue to defend our position before the courts.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

March 8th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is shocking about the scandal involving the minister of immigration is that not only did one of his staff members, during office hours, use parliamentary letterhead to solicit funds for his party, but, furthermore, it was the minister himself who told the employee to do it.

Will the minister of immigration admit that he told his employee to do political work, with public money to boot, and, therefore, he alone is solely responsible for this mess and must resign?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, there are procedures that my office must follow to ensure that we do not use government resources for partisan purposes. In this case, the procedures were not followed and, for that reason, the assistant in question submitted his resignation when I was travelling abroad, which I accepted. Naturally, political and parliamentary staff of all parties can work on political matters on their own time.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned the minister's office hours. As he said yesterday, the work was done during office hours. That is the second contradiction. If no mistake was made, why is the minister apologizing? What is he apologizing for? If he is apologizing for a mistake, then he is responsible. Otherwise, he should not apologize. As the minister, he has no choice but to resign if he is responsible. That is what ministerial responsibility looks like.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, my instructions were not followed by a member of my staff. He tendered his resignation and I accepted. The rules of my office to ensure that public resources are not used for partisan purposes were not followed. That is why we took corrective action. I must point out that we respect the principle of not using public resources for partisan purposes. That being said, we are proud of our government's record with new Canadians.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only did the office of the minister of immigration solicit money for the Conservative Party using House of Commons resources and was involved in a pre-electoral communication plan targeting certain ethnocultural groups, but we also learn that his office is resorting to partisan attacks against the Bloc Québécois. A letter issued by the minister's office uses, word for word, the Conservative Party's partisan ads.

Will the minister of immigration be relieved of his duties since he does not seem to know the difference between his role as minister and the partisan interests of the Conservative Party?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am guilty of criticizing the Bloc Québécois. I know that for the Bloc, that is unacceptable. I sent an email from my parliamentary office—and I would do it again—in which I criticized the fact that the Bloc was against imposing visas on Mexicans. The imposition of such visas resulted in almost $260 million in savings for Quebec's taxpayers. I am proud that this government is acting in the interest of Quebeckers. However, the Bloc Québécois is acting for—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Québec.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the director of the TCRI, an umbrella group for agencies that assist refugees and immigrants, said he does not remember ever seeing such a partisan and electioneering speech in the communications of an immigration minister. It is not right for letters about financing, communication plans for the Conservative Party and emails smearing opposition parties to come from the office of the Minister of Immigration.

Will the Prime Minister stop condoning his Minister of Immigration's racial profiling and partisanship and dismiss him?