House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regulation.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in the case of the senator in question, the Senate in fact took action yesterday. Of course, there are other matters in the hands of the courts and it is the courts that will take action.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this looks like a paid vacation.

Last spring senators promised to review their attendance rules. That was another big promise. Yet this has not stopped 19 members of that hallowed hall of shame from missing over one-quarter of the sittings in 2011-12, not to mention all of those whose expenses are currently under scrutiny. Pamela Wallin is the most recent addition to the list.

She spent over $25,000 on “other travel” during the quarter in which the last federal election was held.

I do not know what she was doing there. She was never elected or re-elected. So what was she doing with taxpayers' money?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, NDP members do seem to like to tar with a broad brush a wide number of good people, including Senator Wallin, and they are doing so using what they say is a non-partisan person.

We heard in an earlier statement by the member for Burnaby—New Westminster a reference to a professor and a call for his resignation. That professor, Mr. Leeson, is actually a former staff member of two NDP premiers and is currently on board the team Trent leadership campaign for the NDP. Not only is he not a non-partisan official, he is not even non-partisan within the NDP.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the growing Senate scandal now includes Pamela Wallin, who racked up massive travel bills, often to Toronto, when she claims to live in a cabin at Fishing Lake, Saskatchewan.

I looked at the land title for that cabin and it lists as its owner Ms. Pamela Wallin of Palmerston Avenue in Toronto. Is she the senator for Saskatchewan or for the Annex?

Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin. How many more? When will the Prime Minister start defending the taxpayer instead of the entitlements of his cronies, the Liberal and Conservative senators?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much time the member for Timmins—James Bay spends in Toronto, but I do know that Senator Wallin spent 168 days last year in the province of Saskatchewan, which she represents. The costs that are in question are related to her travel from Ottawa to Saskatchewan. As members know, we expect parliamentarians to maintain a residence in their home region and in Ottawa. That is exactly what Senator Wallin has done.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if it were all tickety-boo, they would not be doing an expense audit on her now would they?

First the Conservatives said there was no audit, but then the media found out that there was. We also found out that last year, during the Conservative election, Senator Wallin racked up $25,000 in “other travel”. Was she stumping for the Conservative election machine and then using the Senate to stick the bill to the taxpayer? That is just not right; not when they are telling average Canadians that the cupboard is bare.

What steps will the Conservatives take to get taxpayers' money back from their cronies in the Senate?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have been quite clear for quite some time that we have asked the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration to ensure that the Senate's policies are being followed, are being adhered to, and corrective being taken if they are not. That is exactly why reviews have been taking place. It is because we asked for these reviews to take place, because we want to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are protected.

We want to ensure that when Senator Wallin is in Saskatchewan 168 days a year that she is there, and that is exactly the case, doing her work and representing the people in the community she has been sent to Ottawa to represent.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

February 13th, 2013 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year the Conservatives voted for an NDP motion to clamp down on fraudulent calls. The motion called for more power to the Chief Electoral officer. That motion also said that legislation would be introduced in six months. However, here we are 11 months later, and while they drag their heels on making the law stronger, Conservatives are making thousands of deceitful robocalls. Is that why the government has delayed amending the Elections Act?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, as promised, we are looking at some reforms to our elections laws. A comprehensive proposal will be put forward in due course.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can we take them seriously when they are dragging their feet like that?

It has been nearly a year since the House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion to give more power to Elections Canada. Since that time, however, the Conservatives have been twiddling their thumbs.

Instead of following through, they have treated us to wonderfully creative tall tales about the NDP.

In short, they have done nothing to strengthen laws, and their party has even reoffended with more fraudulent calls.

What measures will the government put in place to end election fraud?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park
Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, as promised, we are looking at some reforms to our elections laws and they will be put forward in due course.

However, while we are talking about the laws, Canadians expect political parties to follow the law, unlike the NDP that took hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal donations from its big union bosses. Canadians expect political parties to follow those laws.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently officials were evasive when I asked how they were accounting for inflation in the shipbuilding contract. Now we learn that their assumed inflation rate is 2.7% versus an industry rate between 7% and 11%. This huge inflation gap shows gross financial incompetence by the government and would add at least $14 billion, or 56%, to the total cost of the ships.

Does this mean that we will get way fewer ships, a massive budget overrun, or both?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the government has allocated a budget for the procurement of new ships that, of course, will be built in Halifax and Vancouver by Canadian shipyards.

The cost estimates that the member is referring to come from military planners. Of course, they have the involvement of auditors and cost estimators and are overseen by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

However, let us not underestimate the importance of these projects moving forward. They will create 15,000 jobs across Canada and $2 billion in annual economic benefits for the next 30 years.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance misled the House when he said that budget cuts will only affect “back-office operations” of the federal government. The Parliamentary Budget Officer exposed this Conservative conceit.

The Conservatives have cut search and rescue, food safety and pensions. Canadians trying to reach the federal government cannot get through and have to spend hours waiting on a phone line. In the meantime, the Conservatives spend recklessly on advertising and limos and waste billions on botched procurement.

Why do Canadians have to pay the price for Conservative financial incompetence?

Finance
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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the hon. member. I invite her to read the public accounts that are tabled before the chamber. I invite her to read the government estimates that are tabled from time to time and with regularity. They will indeed confirm that our budget is concentrated on reducing overhead and back office operations. That is what we promised the people of Canada. That is what we delivered on because we believe in growth, jobs and opportunity.