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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was democratic.

Topics

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what the statistics show is that the number of requests have grown significantly over the past year and it is because we have now included more institutions available to access to information, such as the Wheat Board. The members opposite do not want the Wheat Board to disclose its expenses. Our government wants openness in that respect.

In respect of other government funded foundations, the opposition did not want them. We are including them. That means that there is more work but we are getting the job done as the Information Commissioner has indicated.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, Aaron Hynes is an assistant to the environment minister. He is also the defeated Conservative candidate for Bonavista--Gander--Grand Falls--Windsor. He has been named by Elections Canada as a participant in the scheme to launder ad money to local campaigns in breach of election spending limits.

Was Mr. Hynes hired by the minister due to his willingness to shuffle thousands of dollars in and out of his campaign and hide advertising expenses for the Conservative Party? Did the minister approve of this scheme as Conservative campaign chair for Ontario?

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 know the hon. member is a decent man and, being a decent man, I know he will want to make that kind of allegation outside of this chamber where he will face the consequences for doing so. All of our activities are in accordance with the law.

We are certainly very pleased to have someone like the individual he mentioned on our staff.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Hynes is not the only Conservative government employee connected with this scandal who was hired by the Minister of the Environment.

When the minister was shepherding the accountability bill through Parliament, his press secretary was Patrick Robert, who was also named during the investigation into this systematic violation of the Canada Elections Act.

Could the minister confirm whether he decided to hire Mr. Robert because Mr. Robert agreed to engage in “in and out” money scams during the last election in Gatineau?

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 feel like it is last week again. The questions have not changed. I thought they would for a while, but the answers are the same. We have followed the law in every case.

I expect now that the next questions we will get will be something about not making a patronage appointment, then outrage about telling people about the throne speech, and finally, they will be very upset that we wish people a Happy New Year.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a letter from Quebec's minister of international relations to the leader of the Bloc Québécois indicates that, in the event of disagreement between the two governments, Quebec cannot make its opinion known to the public. The letter says, and I quote:

The Government of Canada will provide the Government of Quebec with an explanatory note regarding its decision.

Will the minister admit that Quebec's only gain since being granted a seat at UNESCO is that, from now on, Quebec will be given a little note explaining the federal government's unilateral decisions? Is this Quebec's so-called historical gain?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that this is the first government to recognize the important role that Quebec and Quebeckers play in our international relationships and in our global scheme. We have enabled Quebec to make representation at the United Nations and UNESCO because these things are important to all Canadians and we know these are things that Quebeckers take a special interest in.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a banal response.

On August 30, 2007, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages informed the International Centre of Films for Children and Young People that it would no longer be receiving federal government subsidies. Yet that centre, also known as CIFEJ, is a UNESCO associated organization.

How can the minister justify pushing a UNESCO organization out of Quebec, by cutting its funding, while her government pretends to facilitate Quebec's access to UNESCO?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, CIFEJ was funded under special ministerial authority. However, it was never subject to any formal application process, any specific Treasury Board authority or the slightest financial accountability.

Our government takes very seriously its obligation to use public funds responsibly. That being said, we support the recounting of Canada's history through the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the weekend the Minister of the Environment said that Canada would not officially withdraw from the Kyoto protocol. However, the government said in the Speech from the Throne that it does not intend to implement a plan for Canada to comply with the Kyoto targets. In the Speech from the Throne, the Conservative government again repudiated Canada's signature at the bottom of the Kyoto protocol.

Will the Minister of the Environment have the courage to be honest and tell the international community that he no longer believes in the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada and Canadians will continue to work very hard together with the United Nations and all international organizations and engage in new efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, in the past 10 years the previous government did absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For 10 long years we have seen the Bloc Québécois do absolutely nothing here in Ottawa.

The Conservative team is getting things done for our environment and for Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that this government's environmental policy is a lie. Quebec's environment minister, Line Beauchamp, is worried about possible retaliation against Quebec companies as a result of the Conservative government giving up on the Kyoto protocol.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by giving up on the Kyoto protocol he may be penalizing Quebec companies who, in good faith, have already made efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Kyoto protocol targets?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are taking real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This government has granted $350 million to the Government of Quebec. For the first time, the Government of Canada is working together with the Government of Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That has never happened since the Bloc arrived here in Ottawa.

This government is pushing the provinces and the private sector to achieve absolute reduction of greenhouse gases. We are also working very hard with other countries on a real plan for the future.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, last year, Robert Cooling was appointed to the Moncton board of referees for employment Insurance. What was his qualification? He was the official agent for the defeated Conservative candidate in Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

Would the minister confirm, or will he hide behind the skirt of the government House leader, whether Mr. Cooling was appointed because of his willingness to shovel thousands of dollars in and out of the national campaign to help with advertising expenses for a local riding?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 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, this is getting tedious and I apologize for being tedious but of course all our campaign financing activities are legal. They follow the intent of the law. In fact, they are quite similar to the practices of other political parties in this country. However, most important, the appointments this government makes are all qualified.

I know there are some appointments that we did not make that have upset opposition members and they like to ask questions about that, but no, we do not engage in patronage appointments that are not really qualified.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, when will the Prime Minister answer for the Conservative Party's in and out financing scheme that broke the Elections Act? Three investigations and still no word from the Prime Minister.

In the riding of Malpeque, $8,000 was ill-gotten by this in and out scheme. Was my opponent, George Noble, informed by the Prime Minister's inner circle of this scheme to abuse election spending? Malpeque constituents do not take kindly to this intentional, illegal scheme by the national Conservative Party.

Will the Prime Minister at least stand in his place and apologize to Canadians for this illegal spending?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I could not hear the first part of the question the hon. member asked. I am not sure that the question concerns the administrative responsibility of the government but, as I say, I could not hear the first part. In the circumstances, we will move on.

The hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada and the Conservatives are having a serious dispute over a Conservative scheme to circumvent spending rules in the last election. For example, the Conservative candidate in my northern Ontario riding flipped nearly $20,000 in and out of his campaign account to participate in this scheme and was apparently rewarded with a plumb job in the labour minister's office.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the appointment of this candidate was his reward for breaking election spending rules?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 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 could not be more wrong on every count. Our campaign financing activities are entirely legal. We follow the letter and the spirit of the law and we will continue to do that in the future. The difference is there is one party in the House that dipped into the public taxpayers' money to fund its campaign activities. It even paid part of it back, but what it forgot to pay back was the $40 million left on the table.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, how can we get an honest answer from the government House leader when the person writing his lines for question period is Mike Donison, whose last job was as the chief architect of the Conservative Party's money laundering scam?

When will the government House leader do the right thing and ask his senior policy adviser, Mike Donison, to step aside while Elections Canada completes its investigation into the scam that he organized?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 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 know those members like to engage in smear when people do entirely legal activities. I invite the member to make the same kinds of comments outside the House.

Security CertificatesOral Questions

October 22nd, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year the Supreme Court confirmed the use of security certificates and recognized that one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a government is to ensure the security of its citizens.

The court did, however, ask the government to bring forward legislation to strengthen this important public safety tool. Can the Minister of Public Safety update the House on when the legislation will be introduced?

Security CertificatesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court did uphold the principles of the security certificate process. It recommended something which we now have followed, and we will be tabling that legislation today at three o'clock.

The Supreme Court recommended two things and we have incorporated them in our bill: to provide a special advocate for the persons accused and to have regular appeal processes in place.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, our intrepid Minister of Finance is set for a repeat of last year, when he asked banks to reduce ATM fees and was met with a resounding refusal.

Now, his focus is on the retail sector. It is hard to make an argument for the benefits of a free market when it is clear that consumers are getting swindled.

Aside from his missionary work, when will the Minister of Finance start to act like a responsible parliamentarian, to put an end to this mistreatment and help Canadian consumers?