House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister cannot deny that there is a problem. At the end of April, Canadians disclosed their financial information to the Canada Revenue Agency. They expect the agency to be impartial and they expect that the information will not be used for political purposes.

Why is the Prime Minister allowing his minister to make personal and political attacks against charities that the minister singles out for the Canada Revenue Agency to attack?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Canada Revenue Agency operates independently and is responsible for enforcing the tax laws. There are very clear rules for charities that engage in political activities. There are clear parameters, and the agency is responsible for enforcing the rules.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is ignoring this by not clearly indicating that the remarks made by the Minister of the Environment are simply unacceptable.

He has a Conservative-dominated committee in the Senate that is going after particular environmental charities. It is not going after the Fraser Institute. It is not going after the Manning Institute. It is not mentioning the fact that the Fraser Institute got $0.5 million from the Koch brothers in the United States. It is not doing that.

However, it is going after environmental charities which are attempting to protect the lifeblood of Canadians. That is what it is doing.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party suggests that we should pick and choose certain charities. The reality—

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in terms of our own giving and our own political preferences, it is our absolute right to do so.

What is incumbent upon all charities is that they respect the laws regarding political activities. Those laws are clear. We will make them even clearer. The Canada Revenue Agency has an excellent record of the non-partisan enforcement of these rules.

The Environment
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Commissioner of the Environment gave Canadians a serious warning.

The Conservatives have failed on every count when it comes to managing climate change and cleaning up contaminated sites. Their short-term vision includes cuts that will have disastrous consequences for our economy and future generations.

Why does the minister believe that our children should pay for his mistakes?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

I would suggest, though, that close reading of the environment commissioner's report indicates he is under-informed on the federal contaminated sites program. The report fails to grasp that the program addresses only the most contaminated sites. Hundreds of lower level sites are the responsibility of 16 custodial departments and agencies. The good news is that the commissioner acknowledged we had cleaned up almost 50 of the tar—

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Halifax.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would argue that the Conservatives are under-informed about what the environment commissioner had to say.

Yesterday at the committee the Conservatives blocked the environment commissioner from talking about environmental assessments and their impact on future contaminated sites. They blocked the environment commissioner from talking about the environment.

Will the minister find his backbone and put a stop to this environmental train wreck?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we received the report of the environment commissioner with interest. We also received his compliments on the achievements and progress we have made in a number of areas.

It is clear, with regard to climate change, that the commissioner had points of reference that were at least a year out of date. With regard to contaminated sites, as I said, he clearly misunderstands the federal program.

We are working to address our environmental challenges in our country, and we will get that done.

Conservative Party of Canada
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are also trying to muzzle critics by attacking organizations such as Tides Canada, which just won a national award for its leadership, transparency and good governance.

The Conservatives also received an award this week, the Code of Silence Award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for the least transparent government in all of Canada.

Why are the Conservatives constantly attacking well-managed, transparent organizations? The Conservatives are poor managers. Are they jealous of these organizations?

Conservative Party of Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, section 241 prevents me from commenting directly on any specific case. It also protects the privacy of Canadian taxpayers, and that includes charities as well.

Our government does understand that registered Canadian charities are very important to our society. We encourage Canadians to donate very generously.

We must also ensure that those donations used for the purpose for which they were intended.

Conservative Party of Canada
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Tides Canada has been targeted and attacked by Conservative ministers, and that is wrong. It was recognized yesterday for showing leadership, transparency and accountability. It is one of the best run NGOs in all of the country.

The Conservatives won the code of silence award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for being the worst government in Canada for secrecy. The government should be learning from NGOs like Tides Canada and not attacking them.

When will the government stop attacking Canadians who disagree with its policies?