House of Commons Hansard #198 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

2:40 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

No, Mr. Speaker. As I have already said, the Parliamentary Budget Officer took into account only the reductions included in the “internal services” category, which excludes the substantial savings achieved in the area of administrative services. As I said, and it is important to repeat this, there are other reasons why we support this credible office, and we will continue to do so in the future.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the litany of the Conservatives' broken promises, their position on the Senate holds a special place. The Prime Minister once called this institution a dumping ground for favoured cronies. But he has now appointed more senators than Brian Mulroney.

On Friday, there were five new lucky winners of the Conservative $132,000 a year “cash for life” lottery, who will blindly obey the Prime Minister.

Based on the list of names, it is obvious that cheques payable to the Conservative Party are the ticket to having one's golden years funded by taxpayers.

Why have the Conservatives abandoned their principles? Why are they acting like Liberals?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, we are following through on our long-term commitment to reform the Senate. I am pleased to welcome the appointment of our government's third elected senator who was selected democratically by the people of Alberta.

All of our new appointed senators support our government's plan to have an elected Senate. The NDP and the Liberals are opposed to Senate reform measures. They only have themselves to blame for stalling Senate reform.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' Senate reforms are as useless as the Senate itself. There is only one thing to do: abolish it. It is simple.

The Conservatives' metamorphosis is complete. The Conservatives have become what they detested and spoke out against when they were in opposition. We have lost count of the number of Conservatives who have had their knuckles rapped by the ethics commissioner.

The Minister of Finance is the most recent addition to the list. He tried to use his position to influence a CRTC decision. That is just not right. When a minister does not obey the rules, there must be consequences.

What will the Prime Minister do to discipline his Minister of Finance?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member talks about abolishing the Senate. The only thing he has ever wanted to abolish is he gave money to a party that wanted to abolish Canada.

I would like to welcome him back and wish him a happy new year. Of course, it brought a lot of wonder. New Yorkers brought in the new year with Gangnam Style. The world realized that the Mayan apocalypse was a hoax. Let us top off the new year wonder by having the member rise right now and make a new federalist for a new year.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, even when he does have his clown nose on, he still does not really make any sense. I would like to ask--

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I would ask the hon. member to refrain from making those types of comments in his questions. I do not think it does anything to elevate the tone of debate.

The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, certainly we believe in elevating the tone here, which is why I will refer to the Minister of Finance, who used his cabinet position to try and influence the CRTC on a coveted radio licence. He either did not understand the rules or did not care when he broke them, but he is not alone. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health also intervened with his own letter.

I would like to ask either of those gentlemen a simple question. Did either the minister or the parliamentary secretary receive any financial considerations from the people they wrote to support? It is a simple question. Yes or no?

Ethics
Oral Questions

January 28th, 2013 / 2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conflict of Interest Act actually permits members of Parliament to write in their capacity as members, and that was, of course, the intention of all the members in question with regard to this.

I think all Canadians expect their members of Parliament to stand up for them and their community's interests. Of course, we also want them to respect those rules, and that is why the members reached out proactively to the Ethics Commissioner on this issue for clarity.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to school my hon. colleague, but he missed out the important part, that ministers and parliamentary secretaries are not supposed to do that. That is the simple fact. I would also point out that the parliamentary secretary did receive financial contributions from the guy that they wrote the letter on behalf of. These are more broken promises.

This is what the Prime Minister's own rule book says, and I will quote it for him: “Ministers must not intervene, or appear to intervene, with tribunals...”.

They breached the act. They broke the rules. I am asking the Prime Minister, is there any sense of accountability over there for ministers who flagrantly disregard the rules as they are trying to gut the Conflict of Interest Act?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner offered a ruling on this and the minister accepted it.

That being said, I should enlighten the member for Timmins—James Bay. He should actually read the act. Section 64 of the Conflict of Interest Act states, “...nothing in this Act prohibits a member of the Senate or the House of Commons who is a public office holder”--as a minister--“or former public office holder from engaging in those activities that he or she would normally carry out as a member of the Senate or the House of Commons.”

That is what it says. That is what members were relying on. It is important that we now have this clarity added to it, and we appreciate that from the Ethics Commissioner.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is not immune to global economic challenges from beyond our borders. That is why in 2013 we will continue our commitment to grow the economy and create jobs by keeping taxes low and through measures like major new investments in research and development. However, while we are focused on helping the economy grow, the NDP wants a $21 billion carbon tax which would cripple our economy and put Canadians out of work.

Could the Minister of Finance please give this House an update on our government's action to grow the economy and create jobs for hard-working Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in 2013 our Conservative government will remain squarely focused on our priorities which are issues that matter to Canadians: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. With over 900,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, including nearly 40,000 in December, and over 90% of those are full-time, we are on the right track.

Canada, of course, is not immune to global challenges from beyond our borders. That is why we are working hard now on economic action plan 2013 to build on our government's pro-growth initiatives.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the KPMG report tabled in December highlighted the Conservatives’ mismanagement, just as the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Auditor General and the NDP have done.

The cost of the F-35s has skyrocketed and the Conservatives have no plan B because they chose a sole source. Last week, they sent out a questionnaire to the F-35 competitors to obtain information about the other fighter jets available.

Why was this questionnaire not sent out at the beginning of the process?