House of Commons Hansard #212 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we have to look too far down the list of things the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has committed to on a weekly basis. Every single weekend he is out and meeting with people in communities at all ends of this country. If a meeting is required and it needs to happen, there is no other minister who is prepared to sit down, listen and work with those in need and who in fact need to sit down with him.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Syria is worsening every day.

Many Syrians have even risked their lives to escape Syria and are now spending the winter in overcrowded refugee camps. Canadians of Syrian origin are concerned that members of their family are caught up in this conflict.

The government agreed to expedite the reunification of Syrian families weeks ago.

Why have no real measures yet been taken to address this matter?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

St. Catharines
Ontario

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if we are going to talk about the file in respect to immigration, let us look at Bill C-31 in terms of the refugee reforms in this country, or Bill C-43, the faster removal of foreign criminals act. We can look at the work that has been done within this ministry time and time again to get backlogs down to ensure that those who have high skills and need to work in this country are going to get here on a much faster basis. All of those backlogs are down. We are doing what is right for the Canadian economy in terms of how we are focused on immigration and we are going to continue to do that.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trying to downplay the Senate expenses scandal, but Senator Wallin's $350,000 in travel expenses would be enough to pay old age security for some 50 Canadians.

Of the entire group of unelected and illegitimate senators, she is the one who wastes the most money on travel “other” than between her pseudo-residence and Ottawa.

Will the Conservatives continue to defend the $25,000 she took from taxpayers to campaign in 2011?

Do they know what they are? They are just a bunch of Liberals.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk about elections because we have a bill that provides for elections to select senators.

Unfortunately, the NDP is opposed to this plan. At every opportunity, it tries to stop our plan to democratize the Senate. If the NDP is serious about reform, let it support our bill for real Senate reform.

The Senate
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Tarik Brahmi Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may continue defending their senator friends and their indecent privileges. We in the NDP will continue defending Canadians.

The situation has become so serious that even a Conservative senator is calling for a referendum on the future of the Senate. Senator Segal says he has too much power and no legitimacy.

It is hard not to come around to the NDP's arguments when you see the repeated abuses.

What will the government do to stop this annual waste of $90 million?

The Senate
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member says the NDP is on the side of Canadians. However, it will not even let Canadians have a say in who represents them in the Senate.

We have legislation before this House that it has opposed at every opportunity, to let Canadians pick who represents them in the Senate. Yet, the NDP has ensured it does not pass and does not get adopted.

I call upon the NDP, if it is serious about respecting Canadians, if it is serious about reforms, if it is serious about seeing a better Senate, to support our reform proposals to democratize and deliver a truly accountable Senate, one that Canadians choose.

Ethics
Oral Questions

February 15th, 2013 / 11:30 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the Conservatives will continue to defend their privileged Senate friends, and we will continue to defend all Canadian taxpayers.

A few days ago, Conservative senators stated categorically that they would not make public reports on the excessive expenses of some senators in the so-called upper house. However, they have ultimately changed their minds to avoid disaster.

Will the government ensure that the Senate tables all previous reports on spending abuses, particularly those of Senator Wallin?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the government expects that the results of the reviews that are taking place, and the audits, will of course be disclosed publicly.

However, the question is why the NDP stands here and postures that it is defending Canadians when it does not even trust Canadians to have a say in who represents them in the Senate. It has a bogus plan that it knows it cannot pass. The last time it had an opportunity, when it was in coalition discussions, it was planning who to appoint to the Senate.

We have been appointing people who have been elected. We have legislation to get more people elected to the Senate, to give Canadians a say in who represents them and to deliver a truly accountable Senate, but the NDP stands against it every step of the way.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives defend the privileges of their unelected and unaccountable senators, we in the NDP will defend taxpayers.

The most recent senator to abuse the system is Senator Patterson, who is supposed to represent Nunavut. According to media reports, he in fact appears to live in Vancouver. He explained the situation by saying, and I quote, “This is a complex matter with many facets.”

Did the Conservatives know this senator was not living in Nunavut? Will they make public the previous expense review reports on their senators? A little accountability and transparency, please.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, apparently the NDP does not know too much about Nunavut. If they did, they would know that Senator Patterson is actually a former territorial premier; that he fought to establish the creation of Nunavut; that he represented, as an MLA, the constituency of Iqaluit and that he has a residence in Iqaluit. This is what the NDP thinks is unacceptable.

What we think is unacceptable is the NDP effort to resist reform that would deliver a truly democratized, accountable and reformed Senate. It has resisted every step of the way. It should instead support our reasonable practical reforms to let Canadians choose who is representing them in the Senate so that they are truly accountable to Canadians.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, to quote Senator Hugh Segal, “The reason you get collective judgment about all senators is because...the body itself does not have core legitimacy”.

Four out of five senators under investigation were appointed by the current Prime Minister. Four out of five dentists will tell us that rinsing will not get that bad taste out of our mouth.

Why are Conservatives defending a $90 million institution that even senators are calling illegitimate? When will they get our money back?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is right now only one proposal before this House of Commons to reform the Senate. In fact, in the last three Parliaments there has only been one proposal, a proposal from the Conservative Party of Canada.

The NDP has simply resisted that effort to democratize the Senate, every step of the way. If it wants to know why we have an unelected Senate that is not as accountable as it should be, they are the reason. They have blocked an elected Senate. They have blocked an accountable Senate.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has appointed more senators than Brian Mulroney. That is the Conservatives' record.

I guess senator Dennis Patterson forgot to read Mike Duffy's book, “A Quick Exit Through Kitchens for Dummies”, because he was cornered in a room with no exits. When asked point blank where he lived, he replied, “It is a complex matter with many facets”.

How many more complex senators is the Prime Minister hiding and when will he get our money back?