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House of Commons Hansard #3 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

2:20 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, all our activities are entirely legal. I have said that repeatedly.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I am sure the government House leader appreciates this help with his answer, but he has the floor and so he has the right to speak, and others perhaps can allow him to continue so we can all hear the answer.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, all our activities are entirely legal. We have nothing to apologize for.

When it came to questions of ethics, the electorate rendered a strong verdict in the last election. They said that they had had it with the Liberals' ways on ethics.

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a speech given in Quebec City in December 2005, the Prime Minister promised to respect Quebec's jurisdictions. However, in his throne speech, the Prime Minister promised to limit the use of federal spending power only for new cost-shared programs.

Does this mean that the Prime Minister will continue to interfere as much as he likes in Quebec's jurisdictions, as long as the costs are not shared, as he did by creating the Mental Health Commission?

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the activities of the Mental Health Commission fall under federal jurisdiction. We are working with several provinces on this activity and the people who work in the field have welcomed this federal government initiative.

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec does not share that opinion. There are hardly any cost-shared agreements left. This therefore allows the federal government to interfere whenever and however it pleases.

Furthermore, the social union, unanimously denounced by the National Assembly, allowed for the right to opt out with 100% of the funds, although the throne speech referred instead to “reasonable compensation”.

Are we to understand that the social union, unanimously rejected by Quebec, offered more than the Prime Minister's Speech from the Throne, even though he has promised to correct the fiscal imbalance, limit the use of federal spending power and respect Quebec's jurisdictions?

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec welcomes the federal government's intention to limit the use of federal spending power in shared jurisdictions. This is a historic triumph for Quebec. The Bloc Québécois is simply unable to recognize this, because of its separatist ideology.

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government claims that its plan to limit federal spending power is better than the social union. In the throne speech, as in the social union, the federal government imposes conditions for Quebec's opting out if it meddles in its areas of jurisdiction. According to the social union, Quebec must invest in related areas if it is to be compensated. According to the Conservatives' plan, it must invest in compatible programs.

Can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs explain the difference between the terms “compatible” and “related” in this context, if not that the Conservative plan is much more restrictive than the social union, which was unanimously rejected by the National Assembly?

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would ask our Bloc Québécois friends to be patient. This government will table a bill and, at that time, they will learn the details. After we have shared the bill with all members, they will be in a position to ask appropriate questions.

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister realize that not only does his plan fall short of the social union rejected by Quebec but also, that if he does not eliminate federal spending power, he will have definitely broken the promise made to Quebec in December 2005 to correct the fiscal imbalance?

Speech from the ThroneOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have two things to say. First, we will recall that the Bloc Québécois voted with the government to solve the fiscal imbalance.

Second, once again, Quebeckers know very well that when this government gives its word and promises to do something, it will happen.

Senate of CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, far too often the Prime Minister says one thing and does another.

I will give an example. On January 12, 2006, the Prime Minister said on CBC that cabinet should consist only of elected members. Just a few days later he appointed Michael Fortier to the Senate and to the government's cabinet. Yesterday he said he thinks that, perhaps, the Senate should be abolished. We agree.

Why should we believe the Prime Minister this time?

Senate of CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I very clearly said that this party's preference is to see a reformed and elected Senate, but the Senate must change; if the Senate cannot be elected, then it should be abolished. Those are the choices. The New Democratic Party has made its choice.

It cannot reject the idea of having an election and then ask that senators be elected. That is a contradiction.

Senate of CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it looks as though the only way that we are going to get Michael Fortier to face the voters is to abolish the Senate.

Let me quote the Prime Minister once again when he said, “An appointed Senate is a relic of the 19th century.”

Many provincial leaders in this country support the abolition of the Senate. So, let me ask the Prime Minister seriously, is he willing to open up a dialogue with provincial leaders regarding the steps that would need to be taken to abolish the Senate? If it is broken, let us abolish it now.

Senate of CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, this party's preference has always been to see a reformed and elected Senate, but if the Senate cannot be reformed, the only other alternative would be to abolish it. I think we recognize that.

Once again the leader of the New Democratic Party is in a bit of a contradiction. He cannot blame the Senate for having unelected senators when he himself refuses to pass legislation to allow senators to be elected.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada investigated this $1.2 million Conservative Party laundering scam.

There is no evidence these expenses were incurred by their candidates. Some of their candidates said they did not even know about them. Others said they were pressured to contribute to the national advertising.

Elections Canada says that the Conservative Party used local campaigns to hide the fact that they spent more than they were allowed to and then they had the gall to claim bogus rebates.

When will the government admit that it knowingly broke the law?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, all of the suggestions of the hon. member are in fact incorrect. The reality is that all of our activities are lawful. We follow the law very carefully and we will continue to do that in the future.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that is not the opinion of Elections Canada.

The Prime Minister has to explain himself. Ann O'Grady, the official agent of the Conservative Party, knew that. His campaign manager, Tom Flanagan, knew that. He even wrote about it in his book.

These people get their mandate from the Prime Minister. He is the one who tells them what to do. Why did the Prime Minister tell them to violate the election financing legislation?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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 hon. member has made some very serious accusations of illegal activity by particular individuals. I have not heard her make those accusations outside the House. I would invite her to do so and bear the consequences of doing so.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, even Conservative candidates feel the need to admit that they cheated during the last election.

Gary Caldwell, the candidate for Compton—Stanstead admitted, and I quote, “It was not a legitimate expense in our riding”.

Jean Landry, the candidate for Richmond—Arthabaska, said that a Conservative organizer, and I quote, “did not stop bugging him about it. He said he had to take it and that was that.”

Why does the Prime Minister not come forward, as his candidates have done? Why is he hiding the truth?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, there is absolutely nothing hidden. All of our activities are legal. All of them follow the letter of the law and all of them are similar to the practices of other parties.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Gary Caldwell, who was the Conservative candidate in Compton—Stanstead, said that this “was not a legitimate expense in our riding”. Jean Landry, another Conservative candidate said that a party organizer, and I quote, “did not stop harassing me with that. He said we had to do it, that it was obligatory”.

Who is telling the truth, the Prime Minister or his candidates?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, I heard the hon. member the first time. I do not think he heard me the 12th time.

All of our activities were legal. They followed the letter of the law and were similar to the practices of other parties.

Forest IndustryOral Questions

October 18th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec is not Quebec without its regions. But these regions are losing their families, who are in search of work and decent wages. Jobs are being lost by the thousands. Today yet another factory, Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd., shut down. More than 200 people lost their jobs in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, in Lanaudière.

Will the government finally implement the measures suggested by the Bloc Québécois, which is proposing a tax credit equal to 30% of the increase in payroll for companies doing value-added processing, and a tax break equal to 50% of the income tax of SME manufacturers in resource regions?