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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hunting.

Topics

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated that as soon as we received this information, we immediately gave clear instructions that we want all the details of this matter. I contacted the commissioner's office right away. The Treasury Board President has done the same.

This is a serious matter and we take these information items seriously, unlike the previous government, where it was always delay, delay, delay. We are on to these things right away.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's Director of Communications and other members of his staff got the name of an individual who made a Department of Public Safety access to information request.

Disclosing the name of a person requesting access to information is unacceptable. It is against the law. Does the minority Conservative government understand that? Will the Prime Minister finally send a clear message that the law must be obeyed?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously the law must be obeyed. That said, I can assure the members that I have just received confirmation that nobody on the Prime Minister's political staff asked for such information. The information was actually given to them.

The President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Public Safety will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again.

JusticeOral Questions

September 20th, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken on the important role of tackling crime to make our communities safer places to raise our families. Many organizations that begged previous governments to stop the revolving door of our justice system are now applauding our government's initiatives.

Could the justice minister please explain some of the important steps the government is taking to ensure that people who commit serious crimes will serve serious time in jail?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this week MADD Canada distributed a press release supporting Bill C-9, this government's initiative to eliminate house arrest for serious crime. The national president said:

In the case of violent crimes, where a person has been killed or seriously injured, conditional sentences such as house arrest and community service are totally inadequate.

I would like to join with MADD in calling upon opposition parties to support Bill C-9, and not play politics but to act expeditiously and pass this bill.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the new Conservative Party is acting more and more like the old Conservative Party of the 1980s. It promised it would clean up election financing laws, yet its own actions make the Liberals look like Quakers when it comes to sleaze.

Will this new Conservative government force the old Conservative Party to release the books of its donations for its 2005 convention and come clean with these millions of dollars of illegal political donations?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the party will obviously comply with any requests from the Chief Electoral Officer. We will comply with any law.

The political leader of another political party did testify before the Senate committee, saying that advice was given that these delegate fees, these contributions to the party, were not attainable, so there have been inconsistent regulations. We think they should be cleaned up.

We also think that the federal accountability act should be passed by the Liberal Senate. We think that campaign donations by corporations and unions should be banned. We should reduce the amount for individuals down to $1,000 and the Liberal Senate said stop fighting--

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have heard all kinds of sanctimonious bluster from the President of the Treasury Board over this already.

The fact is it was the NDP that filed the complaint with the elections commission on June 29. Three months later, the commission cannot get the Conservatives to cooperate and show their books, to open their political contribution books. I was shocked to learn the elections commissioner does not even have the authority to audit a political party's books.

The Conservatives turned down every amendment we put forward on election financing in Bill C-2. How can they stand here and say they are committed to openness and transparency if they will not cooperate with the elections commissioner?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we obviously believe in greater transparency in the donations to political parties. That is why we want to eliminate campaign contributions from corporations and unions. We want to lower it from $5,000 down to $1,000.

The member from the NDP will acknowledge one thing. In trying to reform Canada's election financing laws, we have one big obstacle, and the name of that obstacle is the Liberal Party of Canada.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, $1.7 million for a Conservative convention went secretly unreported in 2005, and that is not all. More than 150 Conservatives gave their party the legal maximum that year before any convention fees, but some of them, including candidates, MPs and the Prime Minister, were also convention delegates. Their fees put them over the individual limit, so the party contravened the law and individual donors did too.

How will the government investigate the Chief Electoral Officer's obvious concerns?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we will obviously cooperate completely with the Chief Electoral Officer. We will also work to reform Canada's finance system. We will also seek to bring greater clarity.

However, when it comes to greater clarity, maybe the member for Wascana could tell us why, on April 30, 2004, he took a $67,000 flight on the Challenger by himself; then on August 9, another $67,000 flight; on August 22, another $67,000 flight; on January 29, another $67,000--

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Wascana.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as we saw yesterday, the gutter becomes that hon. minister.

I refer to intimidation and retribution in the access to information process, improper contracts to Conservative insiders not cancelled or repaid as promised, lobbyists using Conservative connections as stepping stones to private profit, and now countless failures to properly report political donations.

Will the government launch an independent forensic audit of all financing submissions to Elections Canada and all party conventions by the Reform Party, the Alliance Party and the Conservative Party of Canada?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that wants to make lobbying more transparent and more accountable. The first piece of legislation that Canada's new government brought forward to Parliament was to require every single contact between a registered lobbyist and a public office holder to be made public and put on the Internet, and the Liberal Party has stalled it and held it up at every step of the way.

Maybe the member for Wascana could explain why David Dingwall wrote him as minister of agriculture and said that under his tenure, “Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials have demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance and avoidance” of Treasury Board policies when it accepts a contract. Maybe--

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Honoré-Mercier.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked in June about the millions of dollars his party pocketed during the 2005 Conservative Party convention, the charming and smiling President of the Treasury Board said that these astronomical sums did not need to be declared.

Today, the director of Elections Canada confirmed what everyone already knows and that is that the Conservative Party breached the Canada Elections Act—not once, not twice, but 2,900 times, which is once for every Conservative Party delegate.

Will the Conservative government make amends and agree to respect the Act?

Political FinancingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what the Liberal Party of Canada is doing. Not only did it finance its party directly, not only does it get cash from Elections Canada after an election, but now the Liberal Party of Canada is asking hard-working middle class families to dig into their pockets just a little bit deeper to fund the Liberal Party's own political operations and its own political conventions.

Those of us on this side of the House believe that Canadian families should not have to pay for partisan Liberal Party conventions, and that is the basis of this whole disagreement.

Political FinancingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a nice guy. Let us be clear. The Conservatives got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. They got caught trying to do indirectly what they are not allowed to do directly. I am talking about close to $2 million in secret contributions.

Will the government try to shed light on this scandal? Will it investigate the role played by Ian Brodie and Michael Donison? Will it ensure that such actions do not remain unpunished?

Political FinancingOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this was hardly something secret when it was shared by 2,900 Canadians from every single part of this country. It was hardly something secret when it was openly discussed at a Senate committee. That is the reality.

This party will obey every single election financing law, unlike the Liberal Party opposite that was forced to return over $1 million that it stole from hard-working taxpayers. The member opposite should stand in his place and he should apologize for the egregious violation of the taxpayers' trust.

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the matter of conservative lobbyists, the President of Treasury Board stated earlier this week, and I quote: “... I will say very clearly that not a single person who worked for any member of this government is operating as a lobbyist.” This statement is not true.

Does the President of Treasury Board acknowledge that Kevin McIntosh, who was an advisor to the current Leader of the Government in the House of Commons until March 2006, is now Vice-President of the lobbying firm Fleishman-Hilliard, and that David Salvatore, who was the legislative assistant to the current Minister of Citizenship and Immigration until March 2006, is today working for Prospectus?

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I said earlier this week: no minister's assistant who has worked in a minister's office, on the government side, is working as a lobbyist.

I can also add that in the case of the three individuals mentioned by my Quebec colleague, I have a letter signed by Mr. Bernard J. Shapiro, Ethics Commissioner of Canada, clearly stating that these individuals did not hold government positions.

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of Treasury Board can play with words as much as he likes but can he confirm that neither Kevin MacIntosh nor David Salvatore, two former Conservative advisors to the government, have not or been or are not now working to lobby the government?

LobbyistsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what I can say and what the Ethics Commissioner stated very clearly is that these two individuals worked for Parliament, but not for government. That is very important. It is very clearly stated that if you have access to the trust of cabinet ministers, if you have access to government information, if you have contacts with the government while working in a minister's office, you cannot be employed as a lobbyist for five years. This is one of the reasons for implementing Bill C-2 before looking for a better bill to—

LobbyistsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for West Nova.