House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was literacy.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, first we had calls falsely attributed to Elections Canada and now we have harassing phone calls soliciting donations. Things are going from bad to worse.

The Conservatives say they have nothing to hide, yet they refuse to give Elections Canada the power to demand documents from political parties in order to ensure compliance with the Canada Elections Act.

Are the Conservatives afraid that their party's documents might contain embarrassing information?

Instead of going after Elections Canada, the Conservatives should give it the powers it needs to carry out a thorough investigation. What are they waiting for?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is the appropriate organization to carry out this investigation, and we respect that responsibility.

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, in late August 2011, the Minister of Industry said: “I made representations to the minister. We have a nice centre that is well situated and we received positive recommendations from the Department.” This justifies an inquiry by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Although the minister doth protest, will he finally admit that he personally intervened in this file, that he wants Rimouski families to move to Thetford Mines, and that his father's associate has interests in the building where the centre is located?

I want answers, as does the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. Will he give us the answers?

Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is outrageous, it is not at all true. The minister was not involved in the decision made five years ago regarding Thetford Mines. The decision was made by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

When we have to improve or consolidate other offices, the same process will be used to make the decision about their locations.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the OECD, Moody's, Fitch and the IMF are all warning that reckless cuts could throw Canada back into recession. The fragility of the economy has been acknowledged by private sector economists today. The Conservatives ignore this and move full speed ahead with their costly prisons agenda and with the F-35s, whose price tag continues to grow with every new problem.

Budgets are about choices. The Ontario government is cancelling the next round of corporate tax cuts. If even the Ontario Liberals are listening to the public and to the NDP, why will the Conservatives not listen and put families before prisons, fighter jets and corporate tax cuts?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is the party that is putting families ahead of everything else when it comes to Canadians.

To be clear, we are on track for modest growth in Canada. We are in relatively better shape than others. We are focused on implementing the next phase of Canada's economic action plan and are looking forward to March 29 when we will introduce the economic action plan for 2012.

What we have said repeatedly is that we have made the necessary decisions to stimulate the economy and we will do so if necessary. The AAA rating agencies, and Fitch in this case said recently:

Achieving fiscal consolidation and balanced budget targets are important to maintain credibility.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, if we look at the 2011 growth rate, the reality is that Canada, under this government, ranks 131st in the world. That does not give this government much credibility.

To us, in the NDP, seniors are more important than inadequate planes. To us, essential services are more important than prisons.

The Conservatives are making bad choices.

Why not make Canada's seniors and families the priority in the next budget? Why not use common sense?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, it is this party and this government that are making families a priority. It is this government that put another $3,000 in families' pockets through tax cuts. Last week—maybe my colleague has not heard—Statistics Canada announced that the Canadian economy grew by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011. That is progress. We are going to continue in the same vein and increase economic growth in Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Conservative campaign in Guelph had a non-disclosed commercial relationship with RackNine, the company Pierre Poutine used to defraud Canadian voters on election day. We know that fingers were initially pointed at a 23-year-old Conservative partisan involved in the Guelph campaign, and since having been thrown under the bus by the Minister of National Defence, he has come out and urged the guilty party to come forward.

If the Conservatives admit that an electoral fraud took place, and even the Minister of National Defence thinks it had to do with the Conservative Party, why will they not hand over the evidence?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, what is alleged to have happened in Guelph is unacceptable. We want to get to the bottom of this. The Conservative Party of Canada and, I understand, the member for Guelph are in fact assisting Elections Canada in this regard.

However, the member can do even more to assist. He can go to his leader and ask his leader to provide the call records from the Liberal Party in the last election, because the Liberals have made a lot of unsubstantiated allegations. We believe very firmly that when they make those records available, it will become very clear that the Liberal Party has in fact contacted hundreds of thousands of households. The Liberals made a lot of calls in the last election and they are the source of all these complaints.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, employees of the Conservative call centre in Thunder Bay have publicly confirmed that they were told to misdirect voters to the wrong polling stations. Some of them even reported this to the RCMP.

What is the government doing to ensure that the Conservative Party hands over all scripts, which these call centre employees were forced to use, to Elections Canada and the RCMP for investigation?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we know that Elections Canada made some 127 polling location changes, late changes, in the last election, affecting more than 1,000 polls. We contacted Conservative supporters to make sure they were aware of the changes and we contacted Conservative supporters to make sure they got out and voted on election day.

It is also clear that the Liberal Party spent millions of dollars to contact hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of homes right across this country. It appears it has given them some incorrect information. However, the Liberal leader is sitting on all of this information while he makes unsubstantiated smears.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all agree that the robocall scandal undermines the very foundations of democracy.

The body that regulates automated telephone calls is the CRTC, and it has the necessary authority to conduct a quick and effective investigation.

We know that the government wants to co-operate with Elections Canada in its investigation.

Will the government ask the CRTC to intervene?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is the appropriate agency to conduct this investigation.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, an emergency meeting about the F-35 jets was held in Washington, but we keep hearing the same old story from the Conservatives.

Almost all of Washington's partners have a plan B. The NDP has been asking about a plan B for months, but the Conservatives have ignored us.

I would like to know if the minister has finally listened to our allies' concerns about the problems with the F-35s.