House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was air.

Topics

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is why we made the commitment to this organization to protect our heritage. I know that the opposition has a number of questions on the table. I am pleased that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act has passed, because the Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist is going to appear before the committee to answer these questions in detail and to underscore the fact that our government has made an unprecedented investment in a new building and programming in order to protect our heritage in the way that my colleague is talking about.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the banking ombudsman offers Canadians fair and independent dispute resolution when they have a complaint against their bank. However, the government's inaction has allowed two of the big banks to walk away from accountability. By allowing the banks to hire their own dispute resolution agency over the banking ombudsman, the government tilts the playing field in favour of the big banks.

How can the Conservative government claim to be on the side of consumers and small businesses when time after time it favours big banks and corporate interests?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, let me repeat that currently all banks are required to have a consumer complaints procedure in place and have a third-party dispute-handling body. However, there is variation in procedures used. This is a concern to us and consumers.

To better protect consumers, we are forcing banks to belong to government-approved independent third-party bodies, we are establishing uniform regulatory standards for internal complaints procedures and we are giving the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada the authority to monitor and enforce compliance. We have passed legislation for this and are now finalizing regulations.

Unfortunately, the NDP voted against all of that.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, last night, the Liberals voted against our government's actions to keep our streets and communities safe. In particular, the Newfoundland MPs, once again, turned their backs on the island. When the Liberals from that province vote in this House, they either stand against important beneficial measures or they flip-flop on their commitments to their constituents.

Would the regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador please tell the House how our government is making sure that we keep delivering results for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Labrador
Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Peter Penashue Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government has taken real steps for my home province. We scrapped the wasteful, ineffective long gun registry, we are keeping streets safe, we are providing the historic loan guarantee and we are proceeding to realize the Mealy Mountains national park.

The Liberals flip-flop or vote against these measures. But who can blame them for being misguided? Their leader cannot even put the province on the map.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, after an unexplained transfer of $15,000 from his campaign budget to RMG and harassing calls asking for donations, former Conservative MP Bernard Généreux is in hot water once again. Le Soleil reports that he may have either tried to transfer money from a riding budget to the Conservative Party through the purchase of 200,000 sheets of paper or illegally contributed to party's funding by paying the bill himself months after his defeat. And yet, he was appointed to the Quebec Port Authority. Accordingly, is the propensity to transfer donations from a riding to the Conservative Party the type of skill the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was talking about yesterday to justify these partisan appointments?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, those are false allegations. Those were legitimate expenses of the hon. member. In this case, the former MP paid much of the cost out of his own pocket.

I have here on hand an ad that proves that the hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup takes himself for Columbo. Instead of using the House of Commons budget to do his own work, he is using it to do the work of Elections Canada, despite the guidelines sent out by Elections Canada.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. In order to gain a $3 billion deal of sale of uranium yellow cake to China, we had to relax our regulatory requirements and reporting requirements.

As a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, we are required to verifiably ensure that no Canadian uranium ends up in nuclear weapons.

My question is: How will we do this, what reporting requirements exist and what was relaxed?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the House that Canada strongly supports the international convention and all of our legal obligations on nuclear non-proliferation.

The agreement we have with China is consistent with all of those agreements and ensures that appropriate safeguards are in place. This agreement will also help create badly needed jobs in Canada, and just as importantly will help China generate non-emission electricity, which will lead to less pollution and better air quality for people in China. We are very proud to play a part in that.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order in hopes that you can shed some light on an issue arising out of committee proceedings today.

At this morning's meeting of Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, the committee went in camera to deal with an amendment and a motion that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister had moved during the public portion of today's meeting. My understanding of the rules is that all in camera meeting proceedings are deemed secret and that only decisions of the committee are printed in those minutes.

My party has sought advice from a committee clerk in the past and we have been clearly told that decisions taken by a committee during in camera sessions can only be publicly disclosed once the clerk of the committee has published the minutes. This is the explicit advice that we have received from a senior clerk of the most senior committee of the House of Commons.

I was alarmed today when I read a tweet from Kady O'Malley in which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister disclosed a decision of the committee prior to the minutes being published. The tweet appeared at 11:53 a.m., while the minutes were not posted until 1:10 p.m. today.

I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, given the clear advice that we have received from the senior clerk on the most senior committee of the House of Commons, if you could clarify the rules of in camera committee proceedings and if there is a breach, I would ask you to address it.

The Conservative party likes to use in camera to block Canadians from seeing what their elected representatives are doing. Conservatives use this tactic to kill studies and motions that are embarrassing to them. The use of in camera meetings by the Conservatives is a stain on our democracy. In typical fashion, the Conservatives are trying to have it both ways. They cannot on one hand use in camera to block Canadians from seeing what their elected representatives are doing, while at the same time breaking in camera rules when they see fit.

This is typical behaviour from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and shows how he lacks credibility. He accuses members of making unnamed robocalls, yet he has done worse. He sent out calls that were somewhat to impersonate the local MPP to cynically try to convince voters to vote for him.

I look forward to your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the matters of which the hon. member is complaining, but I do know that it is a well-established practice that issues of this nature are dealt with at the committee and by the committee.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at the end of the statement just made by the member, he made an allegation which is fundamentally false. In fact, it is absolutely untrue what he indicated. I ask that he withdraw that, because he knows what he just said to be absolutely untrue.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I thank hon. members for their interventions. I will draw their attention to page 149 of O'Brien and Bosc when dealing with issues that may arise from committee. It says:

Speakers have consistently ruled that, except in the most extreme situations, they will only hear questions of privilege arising from committee proceedings upon presentation of a report which directly deals with the matter and not as a question of privilege raised by an individual Member.

In the absence of a report from that committee, I do not know what the Speaker can do about what is alleged to have happened. However, if such a report does end up coming to the House then the Speaker will consider it then.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your clarification. I would like to inform the House that given your ruling, the Liberals will be scrumming after all in camera meetings to lift the veil of secrecy the Conservatives continue to drape over committees of this Parliament.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, as one of those who pledges to uphold the rules of the House, as do other House officers and all members pledge, I find the statement of the hon. member of his intention to violate the rules of the House, and to make that statement on behalf of his entire party that this is their intention in practice in future at all committees, to be one that is very alarming. It may well come close to drawing the attention that you require, as Speaker, to intervene.