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House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is refusing to be honest with Canadians about what it did during the last election while it campaigned on accountability. We need look no further than the parliamentary committee that was investigating this very issue which was shut down by the Conservative government, silenced.

Canadians deserve to know what the government did during the last election before they are plunged into another election.

When will the government end its appeal against Elections Canada and simply admit that it broke the law?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, our party will not plunge this country into an election. We want to govern and we want to govern until 2009. If we are to be plunged into an election, we know who will make that decision. It will be the folks right across the aisle.

I remind members that the people who shut down the investigation, the inquiry and the study at the procedure and House affairs committee were not members of the Conservative Party. It was the Liberal Party that voted against it. I have the minutes right here if members want to look at them.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives laundered over $1.2 million in national advertising expenses through local campaigns, which is against the law. Even worse, they tried to pad bank accounts of 66 Conservative riding associations with over $780,000 with taxpayer funded rebates, again against the law.

They have done everything they can to avoid coming clean: shutting down parliamentary hearings with prorogation and taking Elections Canada to court.

Why will the Conservative government not admit that it broke the law in the last election and finally be honest with Canadians?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, let me illuminate for Canadians how the Liberal Party has practised this. For years, its advertising, its promotional materials and even its lawn signs have been purchased by grouped purchases and grouped advertising buys, exactly the same thing they are complaining we did.

That is why so many of them had a picture of the member for LaSalle—Émard on their signs as they went down to defeat in that election after they were guilty of taking the public's money to fund their campaigns on the side, as condemned by the Auditor General and judged by Canadians quite harshly.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne, the government boasts, in one breath, about having an open federalism and respecting each level of government and then, in the next breath, it announces Canada-wide regulations to centralize the financial sector in Toronto. Yet, in Quebec, the National Assembly, the Autorité des marchés financiers, and the Montreal Stock Exchange stated that they were against the establishment of a centralized commission.

Does the Minister of Finance intend to respect the Quebec consensus and announce that he will not be going ahead with his project for a pan-Canadian securities commission which infringes on the exclusive jurisdictions of Quebec and runs counter to its interests?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question. He said that our government believes that the constitutional authority of each level of government must be respected.

Our intention is to act within the federal constitutional power with respect to all matters relating to trade and commerce in Canada. Certainly we intend to respect the constitutional authority, as it is, of the various provinces with respect to various issues.

I remind the member opposite that the call is not for a federal securities regulator but for a common securities regulator.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was this position that was denounced by the National Assembly of Quebec. The minister is speaking out of both sides of his mouth in the same Throne Speech. That is what we are condemning today.

In addition to the World Bank and the OECD, which have stated that the current system works very well, two professors from Laval University have added, in a study, that a single organization would be more expensive and less effective.

How can the minister continue to justify his project when all the facts are against it, when the Quebec minister of finance and the opposition parties in Quebec oppose his project? When will he understand that Quebec does not want his pan-Canadian commission?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I say, I certainly intend to respect the constitutional powers of Quebec and the other provinces but what is called for is a common securities regulator. When one deals with a common securities regulator we are not dealing with constitutional issues because the provinces and the federal government would agree.

I would remind the member opposite also that the Minister of Finance in Quebec has called for national enforcement with respect to securities which necessarily involves the Government of Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government says it wants to include mandatory targets to effectively deal with greenhouse gases, but what it is not saying is that what is has in mind are intensity targets, not absolute targets. This means that even if we pollute less with every barrel of oil, but we produce more oil, we end up with more pollution, not less.

Will the Prime Minister admit that such is the reality, the same approach as his friend George Bush?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. That is not the case at all. Our program will ensure an absolute reduction of greenhouse gases. In the 10 long years that the member was critic for his party, there was a 33% increase in greenhouse gases.

This government is getting a lot more done than the previous government did.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Conservatives' program will kill the Kyoto protocol. That is the reality.

The government is also promising to set up a carbon exchange. My question is simple. Can the Prime Minister tell us where, in Canada, he intends to set up this future exchange: Montreal, Toronto, or somewhere else?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I will be very clear. The directors of the Montreal and Toronto exchanges were very clear. They are saying that the market will determine this decision and that it is not a decision to be made in the halls here in Ottawa. That is what the director of the Montreal exchange said.

We are very busy working on this file. For the first time, Canada will have an exchange. That is something we never had in the first 10 years of that member's mandate.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives pretend that they are interested in accountability. Some joke.

The police are now investigating allegations that a mayoralty candidate was bribed to drop out of the race in exchange for a federal appointment. Conservative campaign chair John Reynolds and the Prime Minister's campaign director Doug Finley have also been named by Conservative staff in court documents.

Will the Prime Minister tell his officials to step aside from any role within the Conservative government or the party until the conclusion of the police investigation?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, absolutely nothing improper took place on the part of this government or the Conservative Party. No appointment was made; no offer was ever made. In fact, when the minister was approached with the suggestion of an offer, he said it was crazy and he would never consider it.

I have no idea why this is the best those members can come up with. It is a big difference from the days when appointments were made.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the mayor of Ottawa has admitted to police that he and Mr. Reynolds discussed giving his political rival a Parole Board appointment. An aide to the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board told police that the offer was in the works through Doug Finley.

It is time that the Prime Minister stop hiding and tell the truth. Why is he defending these two men? Why are they still working for him while they are under police investigation?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the facts are pretty simple. From this government's side, no offer was ever made, no appointment ever given.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

October 17th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, a number of my constituents were recipients of mysterious Rosh Hashanah greetings from the Prime Minister. It was a mystery because they had no idea they were on such a government mailing list. One constituent, Michelle Kofman, was one of those Canadians. She wants to know two things: how does the Prime Minister know her religious affiliation and how did his office get her personal information?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, all members of this House I suspect, certainly all party leaders, send holiday greetings around the time of Christmas to millions of Canadians on publicly available lists. We make no apology for doing the same thing with Canada's Jewish community to celebrate their important high holidays as well.

We believe, unlike the Liberals, in multiculturalism and celebrating all of our cultural communities' holidays and important dates.

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Kofman and Canadians deserve a full and complete answer from the government. The Privacy Commissioner has been asked to investigate, one of three investigations involving the Prime Minister and the Conservative government.

Why is the government compiling lists of Canadians according to their religious and ethnic affiliation?

Holiday GreetingsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I promise the member opposite that if she sends me a Christmas card, I am not going to launch an investigation.

The fact of the matter is that Canada is a beautiful mosaic made up of people of different cultural and religious backgrounds. This government believes in sharing greetings with Canadians from all of those backgrounds at important times in different cultural and religious communities. We make no apology for doing so.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, fighting crime is a priority of all governments because safer communities are a priority for Canadians. I know this because I hear concerns from my constituents about violent criminals, auto theft and drug dealers.

According to a recent survey two-thirds of Canadians support our government's approach to criminal justice. Could the Minister of Justice tell the House how our justice agenda will help make our communities safer?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for all her efforts to fight crime in this country.

My colleagues and I have been right across the country this summer explaining and discussing with Canadians our crime fighting agenda. This is in contrast to the Liberal Party. It has been talking about fighting this summer, but that is just within the Liberal Party. That is not the same thing as fighting crime.

We will be introducing the tackling violent crime bill. We will be making improvements to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. As I said to some of my colleagues when they asked me about this, we are just getting started.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, anyone fortunate enough to buy a $100,000 luxury car receives a $1,000 gift, thanks to the 1% cut in the GST.

On the other hand, the average family, which might struggle to spend $100 on clothing for their children, receives $1.

Can the Minister of Finance tell us why he refuses to take simple, concrete action in the interest of the middle class, particularly, by removing the exorbitant fees charged at ATMs?

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

I knew, Mr. Speaker, that the Liberals are against reducing the GST. I did not know that the NDP is also against reducing the GST, which after all is a tax cut that benefits every Canadian who makes purchases across Canada, including Canadians who do not pay income tax.

Goods and Services TaxOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know it was my first question, but I was actually expecting a response, so I will be a little bit more direct.