House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was system.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary's list of fantasy investigations cannot hide the fact that he refuses to answer questions about the actual Elections Canada investigation into his party for electoral fraud. Conservatives are the one-stop shop for voter suppression and illegal election financing.

In response to questions, the parliamentary secretary claimed that the Conservatives deny “any involvement whatsoever in the matter pertaining to Guelph”. How can that be when they are also saying that they found the Conservative from Guelph who is responsible?

When will the Conservatives stop the doublespeak and call a public inquiry?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure where that NDP member has been, but we have said no such thing. She just made an allegation that the Conservative Party is under investigation. That is factually false. I am sure she would want to be accurate.

We do know that the NDP is apologizing and backtracking for its baseless smears. It has had to apologize for these things. We have seen just recently on the public broadcaster, the CBC, some other allegations brought against the NDP. We are very interested in these. We hope that Elections Canada investigates these matters and that the NDP assists it in that regard.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, three-quarters of Canadians agree that there should be an independent inquiry into the electoral fraud scandal. Instead of taking action, the Conservatives are sounding a lot like the Liberals did 10 years ago. Back then, Stan Keyes called questions about the sponsorship scandal a “typical opposition slur with no proof”. He, of course, had to eat his words in the end.

Is that why the Conservatives are afraid of an inquiry? Will they listen to Canadians who want an independent public inquiry?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, some words have been eaten, but unfortunately the buffet has been occurring on the NDP side. It is like a virtual word-eating buffet in the NDP. Those members have had to apologize for the baseless smears they have made. It is a smorgasbord of apologies from the NDP for the allegations that it makes.

A number of things have been alleged by the CBC with respect to the NDP's conduct in a whole range of ways in the last election. We hope Elections Canada investigates all these matters as it is the body that has the authority to do so. We hope the NDP participates.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government announced its intentions with regard to foreign ownership in the telecommunications sector and the upcoming auction of wireless spectrum.

Clearly, this announcement was designed to try to please everyone, yet, in the end, almost no one is satisfied.

By lifting foreign ownership restrictions completely for companies with a less than 10% market share, the government is on the verge of creating a two-tiered industry, which could cause serious problems in the future.

The Minister of Industry needs to go back to the drawing board. Does he even see the distortions he risks creating in the industry in the future if he goes ahead with this measure?

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's decision was historic. We are acting for Canadian families, and we are going to support them.

I would also like to point out that the NDP critic said that his party heard the government's intention to cover 90% of the Canadian territory within five years and that they liked the idea. The critic also said that he comes from a rural riding where there are major problems with coverage and that this is an issue that is very dear to him.

If he is saying that no one likes this announcement—and I disagree—at least he said he liked it.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also said that I would reserve judgment until I see the details. The minister will hear from me this afternoon.

The Minister of Industry is trying to please everybody and, ultimately, is pleasing virtually nobody.

The decision to place a cap on the auction rather than opting for the concept of set-aside will hamper the proper development of next-generation cellular technology, LTE.

With LTE technology, companies will be offering the equivalent of a Ferrari to consumers, but the motor that the government will provide will be that of a conventional car. The upshot of this is that the Canadian cellular network is going to stagnate. WIND Mobile has already announced its decision to boycott this auction.

Will the minister review his plan, so that new entrants can provide genuine competition?

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we have presented a balanced approach that takes into account the complexity of this issue. We have done this for Canadian families. We want to support sustainable competition. We want to promote investment and innovation. We want all Canadians to have access to new technologies wherever they reside in Canada. This means better prices, more choice, and greater quality for all Canadian families. That is what this tremendous announcement means.

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, as our economy and society increasingly move into a wireless world, rural Canadians have watched from across a digital divide suffering from poor Internet and cellphone service. The spectrum auction was a golden opportunity to fix the problem but the minister dropped the call. Weak rural build-up requirements will once again see most people outside urban centres waiting years for high-speed service and even then costs will be higher.

Why is the minister choosing to exclude rural Canadians from the digital economy?

Telecommunications
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is the opposite. This is a great announcement for rural areas. Let me quote the NDP industry critic. He said, “We heard the intention of the government to cover 90% of the Canadian territory within five years. We like the idea. I come from a rural riding. There are major problems of coverage in my riding so this is something that is very dear to me”.

What a great announcement.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the RCMP have dedicated their lives to serving Canadians. Unfortunately, some members face mental health issues and PTSD as a result. RCMP members have been allowed to access mental health services from the Canadian Forces, but the RCMP has no program of its own. A pilot program for members was cancelled by the government. This is disgraceful. When will the Conservatives establish mental health services for the RCMP members?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong. We recognize the courage of RCMP officers and we are ensuring that they have the tools they need to do their job. The RCMP continues to offer services to treat members with operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. We will continue to rely on the experts to ensure that the mental health of our RCMP officers is taken care of.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is troubling that the Conservatives are cutting a key program during its trial period.

Last year alone, over 1,900 RCMP officers received a pension for post-traumatic stress disorder. That is not normal. If nothing is done, members of the RCMP and their families are going to continue to suffer.

RCMP officers deserve our respect, and it is high time that the Conservatives realized this.

Why do the Conservatives fund bad priorities and refuse to support RCMP officers who need assistance?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, every time our government brings forward proposals to take better care of our RCMP officers, that member votes against them. The RCMP continues to offer services to treat members with operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. We will continue to rely on experts to ensure that the mental health of our RCMP officers is taken care of.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the allegations of systemic Conservative election fraud in the last election continue to grow.

Now there are reports from at least two Scarborough ridings of scores of ineligible voters who not only cast ballots but voted twice. The government dismisses sworn affidavits about a secret bank account in Vaughan, but refuses to say where that money went. Meanwhile, Conservative officials in Guelph are hiding from Elections Canada investigators.

What will it take for the government to call a royal commission? Just how bad does this have to get?