House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Burma
Statements By Members

May 2nd, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Aung San Suu Kyi fought tirelessly for over two decades in the name of freedom, peace, democracy and human rights for the people of Burma.

Even now, as a member of Parliament, she is working to make Burma a better country. In these times of change, the people, their elected representatives and their government must support democratic co-operation.

I know that our government and all Canadians are ready to support the Burmese people who are working to build a peaceful, democratic society.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, Canadians changed the face of Canadian politics forever. Of course there was the NDP's unprecedented rise to official opposition status, but there was also a change in mentality that was even more impressive.

Millions of Canadians decided to turn their backs on cynicism and the old way of doing politics. They did what they needed to do to make their voices heard. They said yes to hope and optimism.

A year ago today, millions of new voices flooded into the political landscape, voices that will resonate for decades to come, voices that are younger and more representative of the diversity of our regions, our cities, our provinces and our country.

I wish everyone a happy anniversary. Just three years to go before we replace this tired government.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, S&P has now downgraded government debt for nine euro currency countries. Greek and Portuguese debt is now rated at junk status. Even the EU bailout fund has been downgraded. Soon the bailout fund will need a bailout.

Yet amazingly the NDP leader said on Monday that the EU countries are not borrowing and spending enough. It shows that here at home the NDP would bury us in taxes, smother us in debt and, in the spirit of egalitarianism, evenly redistribute misery to all.

The Conservatives choose the Canada way, a low tax, low debt, pro-trade plan for jobs and growth.

The NDP leader should listen to Tommy Douglas who said, “The trouble with socialists is that they let their bleeding hearts go to their bloody heads.”

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after one year in power, the Conservatives' record shows that their friends and powerful people take priority over everyone else, even though they campaigned on a promise of accountability.

Their latest exploit? Thousands of people follow the rules and wait their turn to be allowed into Canada, yet the Conservative government gave preferential treatment to Conrad Black, a British criminal rotting in an American jail. This is an important matter that the Prime Minister must take seriously.

Why do the friends of those in power not have to follow the same rules as everyone else?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has made it clear that this decision was made by departmental officials in accordance with the law.

The leader of the NDP yesterday and again today is suggesting that public servants are taking decisions in these matters that are biased, prejudiced and even racist. He is making these intemperate allegations without any evidence whatsoever. It is entirely inappropriate.

Public servants administer the law, and we respect the law.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Just so, Mr. Speaker. The very foundation of our society is the rule of law, that all of us are equal under the law. Conrad Black is a British citizen. He is still in a U.S. jail. He was convicted of serious crimes in the United States. Why is he being given special treatment?

The fact of the matter is that no one else has ever been in the situation of being still in jail, having his dossier marched around all the offices of the minister, and getting his approval before even getting out of the slammer. The only exceptional circumstance in this case is he is a friend of the Conservatives.

Why is the Prime Minister affording special treatment to his insider friends? Why is he not tough on crime when it comes to his Conservative cronies?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again aspersions are being cast on public servants without any evidence. The leader of the NDP owes them an apology. There has been no involvement of anyone on the political side of government in this. It would be just as easy for us if Mr. Black were not allowed to come to Canada, but that is not the judgment of those who administer the law.

If the leader of the NDP is suggesting the law should be changed, I would be delighted to see what those changes would be. We on the government side have to administer, and have to let our public servants administer, the law as it is and not apply political criteria to admissibility or non-admissibility.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this matter is symptomatic of a government that is burnt out and tired. Their golden rule is friends first. A $16 glass of orange juice, an army helicopter used as a personal taxi to go fishing, partisan appointments—it is one scandal after another, just like in the good old Mulroney days. The Conservatives have been caught with both hands in the cookie jar.

Most recently, they have wasted $600,000 on overtime for their limousines. At a time when they are cutting services, when they are telling everyone else to tighten their belts, they cannot even manage their own limousines.

When will the government members finally realize that the party is over?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that our government was re-elected because the Canadian economy is the envy of the world. That was true last year and it is true now more than ever. There is no doubt that our economy is performing so well thanks to the hard work of our ministers, who are protecting the interests of hard-working, law-abiding Canadian families. Our government will continue to do so.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the life of Conservative cabinet ministers. They get to live like royalty and they only ever have to apologize once they have been caught.

What is with this predilection for limousines? The government is cutting border services and food inspection. It is shortchanging seniors. But cabinet ministers are not cutting back on limousines. Over $600,000 in standby in just one year.

How do the Conservatives have the nerve to tell Canadians that the cupboard is bare while ministers on the front benches are stuffing themselves on perks and entitlements?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that we are always looking for reasonable ways to make sure that government lives within its means and that we are reasonable to taxpayers. The hon. member and his party should know that we are living by the rules. We have collective agreements with workers and we apply those collective agreements, including overtime.

In this case our ministers are working long hours for the economy, long hours for jobs, long hours for the people of Canada. Sometimes that means a bit of overtime by the drivers.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians work long hours, but they do not expect to get personal chauffeurs. However, they do expect that cabinet ministers will treat their taxpayer dollars with respect. The Muskoka minister himself had a driver on standby for 360 days. How is that reasonable?

When is the government going to reign in this outrageous sense of entitlement, because, for crying out loud, even Batman drives his own car?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is mixing apples with oranges. My driver was not paid for 360 days of overtime. I can assure the House of that.

What we are doing is looking at the picture of drivers and their cars and ensuring that we can have a reasonable approach to this. If the hon. member has a suggestion, which would apply to his leader as well, I might add, and I am sure we would have no disagreement on that, then we would be prepared to look at it.

However, the hon. member time and again drags us through the mud. The last time he threw allegations at me, you, Mr. Speaker, found no cause for that. I am still waiting for his apology for that.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Works have all stated, as well as the government House leader, that they accept not only the recommendations of the Auditor General with respect to the fighter jet program, but they also accept the conclusions, his findings.

Could the Prime Minister comment on this? How does he expect us to take this seriously when his deputy minister yesterday testified that he thought the Auditor General had “got it wrong”? How do those two things compare and compute?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, they do not, which is why the deputy minister did not say any such thing. The deputy minister was very clear in his overall comments that, like the government, he accepts the conclusions of the report. The government is moving forward on that basis.

The leader of the Liberal party knows full well he is taking what the deputy minister said, on a very small matter, completely out of context.