House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the man who has disappeared in this House, who said yesterday in committee that it was factually incorrect to say that money was diverted. Page 37 in the Auditor General's report clearly contradicts him. If he wants to take that up with the cops, I am sure it is going to go very well for him.

I would like to say to this House that if he gets away with this $50 million scheme, then start counting the spoons and silverware dear public because they have just given this man the keys to the Treasury Board.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the comment made by the member opposite. I did not hear a question.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I once again asked the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka to explain the $50 million spending spree. Unfortunately, his critic was unable to tell us why documents explaining how projects were selected were unavailable.

The President of the Treasury Board still refuses to address this matter in the House. Today, we understand why: the RCMP is conducting an investigation.

Is the RCMP carrying out an investigation because, as the Auditor General has indicated, this spending is completely unjustifiable?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The member opposite said overspending. In fact, this fund was under spent by more than $5 million.

The money was spent on each of the 32 infrastructure projects. Every single penny was accounted for. Every construction project was on time. Costs came in under budget and all costs recorded were used for the purposes intended. In terms of documentation, there is an individual contribution agreement for each of the 32 projects.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board is attempting to spend $50 million without justification; however, this is so suspicious that it has sparked an RCMP investigation.

We are now realizing that this government’s actions look a lot like what the Liberals did during the sponsorship scandal. The same practices lead to the same outcomes, and that is why the RCMP is investigating this dubious spending.

Will the President of the Treasury Board co-operate with the RCMP and provide all relevant documents?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us be frank, there is a public relations stunt going forward. The interim Auditor General has spoken very strongly to this issue. I have read two specific quotes when he released his report. He came forward with some legitimate concerns about grants and contributions. He came forward with some legitimate observations on how we can report to Parliament in a more open and transparent way. We fully accepted the good advice of the Auditor General.

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, one year after the G20 summit in Toronto, we are learning new details about that monumental fiasco.

The charges laid against 100 or so students who were sleeping in the University of Toronto gymnasium have been dropped because the police had no warrant when they made the arrests. A warrant is a necessary prerequisite in our justice system.

When will this government commit itself to holding a public inquiry to shed light on the mismanagement and the record arrests at the G8 and G20 summits?

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada was responsible for the safety and security of all those involved in the summits, from world leaders, visitors, delegates, and those who lived in the surrounding areas. If the member has any specific concerns about police conduct, he should take those up concerns with the appropriate authorities.

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the G20 summit in Toronto. It was not only a mismanaged boondoggle, it was the largest mass arrest in Canada's history and Canadians are now shocked to learn that it was completely unnecessary. Well over half of those detained had their charges dropped. Only a handful have been convicted. Clearly something went wrong.

Can the minister explain why so many Canadians were arrested without cause?

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite is aware, specific bodies exist to handle complaints regarding the conduct of police. As I have said many times before, I encourage anyone who has a complaint in respect of any specific incident to bring it forward to the appropriate body. In this case, it would be a provincial body.

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the G20 summit is truly a blot on Canadian history. Many women were arrested and strip-searched, they were denied access to hygiene products and they were not even able to go to the toilet without being constantly within the sight of police officers. Many cases of sexual harassment have also been reported. Only a public inquiry into the mismanagement of the G20 summit will get to the bottom of things and restore public confidence.

My question is simple: When is the government going to announce a public inquiry? When is the government going to take action?

The G20 Summit
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, there are in fact processes in place to deal with these types of concerns. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on any disciplinary or criminal procedure, but I would encourage the member, if she has specific knowledge about any specific event, to take that to the appropriate provincial authority and allow the authorities who are designated to deal with these complaints to handle them appropriately.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now know there has been an outcome in the Muskoka scandal. In reply to a letter that our former colleague Marlene Jennings wrote to the director of public prosecutions, there is now an RCMP investigation into an apparent misappropriation of funds in the riding of the current President of the Treasury Board. Unlike the NDP, which is trying to get its 15 seconds, I want an answer.

Can the Prime Minister tell me whether his President of the Treasury Board and his Minister of Foreign Affairs have been contacted by the RCMP, and whether he is prepared to cooperate himself?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us just call this what it is. This is a defeated Liberal candidate in the last election who was pulling off a public relations stunt rather than focusing on the issues that really matter to Canadians.

Let me say this. The Auditor General, in releasing his report, said two things: one, that there was no evidence to suggest that it was a deliberate attempt to mislead and, two, he was not aware of any specific law that was broken. Obviously the Auditor General's report that was tabled in the House is substantially different from the one involved in the Liberal public relations stunt.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are now making cuts they knew about well before the recent election but chose to hide. On the chopping block are thousands of jobs, including the entire Audit Services Canada department, the auditors that serve all the other departments of government. This is a rather self-serving move for a government that was found in contempt due to secrecy and dishonesty, I would say. In fact, the Prime Minister just claimed auditors need to be fired to ensure Canada's dollars are well spent. That is incredible.

Why can the minister not tell us why he has been hiding the planned program cuts from—