House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, those are outrageous statements that say a lot more about the member who made them than they say about anyone on this side of the House.

What I can say very clearly is that I can stand behind the ethical standards of this party, the people on these benches and the people who work hard on behalf of Canadians. Those allegations have nothing to do with the Conservative Party and that person has not been a member of the party for many years.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, once again we have another high-flying Conservative found guilty of wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

This time it is Loyola Sullivan, the former fisheries ambassador for Canada, who has been busted for spending nearly $600,000 on useless junkets. Mr. Sullivan served as ambassador at the same time as he was the Conservative candidate in waiting for the last election, racking up obscene amounts of expenses and delivering absolutely nothing.

I see the Minister of Foreign Affairs looking down the way. My question is to you. Why do you condone this extravagant lifestyle at—

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member should know to address his questions through the Speaker and not directly at other members or ministers.

The hon. government House leader.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government expects all public officials, including those who represent us diplomatically abroad, to live an appropriate lifestyle.

In fact, if members look at our measures in the current economic action plan 2012, they will see that we are taking steps to ensure that government business is done at an effective cost for taxpayers.

As for the individual in question, we are very proud of the work he has done, standing up for Canada on important critical fisheries issues, standing up for our sealing industry, our sealers and our first nations who engage in that industry against threats from abroad. We are proud of the work that he has done.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member wants to talk about seals so let us talk about seals.

While that ambassador was there he had 121 junkets, half of which were related to the sealing industry. What did we see? We saw seal markets in Europe shut out, seal markets in Russia shut out and seal markets in China shut out and no reduction in restrictive fishing terms, nothing to reduce foreign over-fishing, and the list goes on.

The high-flying Conservative fisheries ambassador wasted thousands of dollars and accomplished absolutely nothing.

If the minister is so confident that the ambassador did a great job for Canada and it is such an important position, why has this position not been filled—

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. government House leader.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is undoubtedly a big job standing up for Canada's sealing industry against threats abroad but the real problem is when one starts getting stabbed in the back by one's own Canadians.

Why does that member not talk to colleagues in his caucus? Maybe the ambassador should have gone to members of the Liberal caucus and told then to stop introducing bills on their side to shut down the seal hunt. That is what the Liberal Party has done. That is what we have been trying to combat.

They should get their own house in order and they should stand up for the sealing industry for a change.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau says that Canada's credit card companies have set up a perverse system that thwarts the normal rules of the marketplace. It has been estimated that Canadians pay $5 billion a year in hidden credit card fees, some of the highest in the world. This is infuriating to both consumers and small businesses.

Why is it the Conservatives are A-okay with credit card companies filling their coffers with the money of hard-working Canadians? What is the government doing to address the lack of regulation on credit card fees?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we developed the credit card code of conduct with the support of consumer associations and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the New Democratic Party voted against it. That is what we have done. The opposition, of course, has done nothing.

The case to which the hon. member refers is before the Competition Tribunal. It raises specific issues between various parties and the tribunal will deal with them in the normal course.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is rubbish.

The Competition Bureau has released a scathing report. The commissioner says that the Conservatives spent over $60 million in five years on government credit card fees. People are already paying unreasonable interest rates on their own credit cards, and they have to cover the fees on government cards on top of that. The government, which is in a good position to negotiate fair terms with the big credit companies, is getting ripped off. So imagine what is happening to small businesses.

How can the government justify wasting public funds like this when it is calling for austerity?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have worked hard for a long time to develop the credit card code of conduct. This involved consultations with consumer groups and small business groups. It has been very well received by the various business groups, particularly the small business groups. It is a way of regulating the market in a voluntary way.

We have made it clear that there must be compliance. I am happy to say there has been general compliance. We have had a couple of instances where we have stepped in but then we have had compliance to the credit card code of conduct.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, legitimate trade and travel passing through the Canada-U.S. border is incredibly important to the success of our economy. Throughout our mandate, our Conservative government has taken strong action to work with the Americans to ensure that our border is open to officially process legitimate travel and trade but that the door is slammed shut to criminals, terrorists and human smugglers.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please update this House on what our government is doing to make travel to and from the U.S. more efficient?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

May 8th, 2012 / 2:55 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The border action plan is designed to speed up legitimate trade and travel and improve security in North America.

Today the Minister of Public Safety announced enhancements to the NEXUS program, including increasing benefits to NEXUS members, streamlining the NEXUS membership renewal process and launching a plan to increase NEXUS membership.

This is good news for travellers and good news for the economy.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Community Groups Network is the main advocacy group for anglophone Quebeckers. Its representatives have made every effort to meet the Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages since his appointment a year ago but he keeps refusing to meet them. Why is he snubbing them? Is it arrogance, indifference, crass laziness or gross incompetence? Whatever it is, will he commit to meet the QCGN at the first opportunity?

Official Languages
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, I have met with the Quebec Community Groups Network a number of times. It is an important organization. We have met with a number of groups representing the rights and interests of anglophone communities in the province of Quebec.

However, my hon. colleague should know that my parliamentary secretary has been criticized unfairly and viciously because he is a unilingual francophone. I would hope that he would stand with me in opposition to those groups who are attacking him as he works to learn the English language, as he does a great job for Canadians, and stand with us and those who oppose those who stigmatize those who do not speak both official languages.