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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was product.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, that question started off so much better than it ended. In any event, she asked how people can trust the Prime Minister.

I have a quote from the website of the member for Vancouver Quadra under the heading “My Vision for Quadra”. It reads:

Quadra residents deserve solutions to the problems that affect our community's safety. My goal is to increase affordable housing and reduce homelessness in Vancouver.

How is asking a question about an offer that did not take place three years ago standing up for the people of Vancouver Quadra?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked to learn that the Liberal's platform committee co-chair, the member for Kings—Hants, suggested last week that the Liberal Party opposes developing biofuels.

The Liberals are turning their backs on Canadian farmers and the biofuel industry. Two canola crushing plants have been developed in my constituency and the resulting oil could be used to produce diesel fuel.

Biofuels will help provide the boost our farmers need.

Could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food reassure Canadians that despite the Liberals' latest flip-flop, the government still supports Canadian farmers and the biofuel industry?

AgricultureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing. One day the Liberals are calling for double our mandate on ethanol in gasoline and the next day the member for Kings—Hants says that the Liberals are against biofuels altogether.

On this side we take a principled approach. Ninety-five per cent of our crop land continues to supply the world with nutritious food, which means that only 5% is dedicated to ethanol. At the same time, we are investing $500 million in technologies that will use waste products to develop next generation biofuels.

We are getting the job done.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is spring again and once more we are seeing emergency planes having to be used to take people from the flood plain at Kashechewan and Fort Albany.

The people of Kashechewan had a signed agreement with the Government of Canada to relocate them. The government ripped up that agreement and it also walked away on two studies that it commissioned that said that the families had to be moved off the flood plain.

What is it now, four emergencies in three years? Would the minister tell the Canadian people how many floods and evacuations it will take before the government finally moves these families to safe ground?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, during the weekend, I was in contact with the chiefs from Kashechewan, Fort Albany and Attawapiskat. All of them and their communities are doing yeoman service to protect the people in those communities, as is the Minister of National Defence who has made aircraft available for the evacuations.

I want to thank all of those communities for their efforts and the receiving communities that have looked after these people who have been taken out.

We are continuing to follow through on the memorandum of understanding signed with the chief and council at Kashechewan last year to ensure, as they requested, they stay in the community. We are working on the dikes to make it safe in the years to come.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the minister is misinforming the House. The people did not say that they were going to stay in the community. They were told by the government.

What the James Bay Cree are being left with are underfunded schools, third world infrastructure and no coherent plan for flood plains. We now have Kashechewan and Fort Albany under evacuation and Attawapiskat has moved to stage one evacuation.

The minister cancelled the emergency evacuation centre in Attawapiskat last December because he did not want to fund the school that was going to be built.

Why does the minister continue to roll the dice with the families of the James Bay coast?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. We have been working closely with first nations in the development of these evacuation plans. I talked with each of the chiefs this weekend, as well as with emergency workers from Ontario. The evacuation has gone well. Lessons were learned from the past of course and we have incorporated those into the new evacuation plans.

The important thing is that we are keeping people safe. We are working with the communities as we put forward a comprehensive plan based on the memorandum of understanding signed by chief and council about what we could do in that community. We are proceeding with that plan and will continue to do so in the future.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Mr. Justice Harry S. LaForme, Chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period, in response to a question, the member for Nepean—Carleton made an offhand and disagreeable insinuation that was unworthy of Parliament, suggesting that I had done something contrary to the Canada Elections Act.

I have been a member of this House for 13 years and I have always tried and done my best, in my remarks, behaviour and actions, to respect the law, of course, but also to respect Parliament. All my reports to Elections Canada are in order; they have been produced in accordance with the law, and all my expenditures scrupulously submitted for authorization and verification.

When I was first elected in 1995, and then in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006—and hopefully again in 2008 or 2009—I have never asked the Liberal Party of Canada for money and never received any from the Liberal Party of Canada. Any media expenditure was for local and regional advertising. To insinuate otherwise is an attack on the truth and my reputation as well as that of my official agent and everyone who has contributed to my campaign.

No wonder that even his Conservative colleagues in the Senate reject his remarks, as lacking politeness and accuracy. His own colleagues in the Senate are criticizing him for his inappropriate remarks in this House. That says a lot.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that you will take this question of privilege under consideration and urge the member for Nepean—Carleton to stop making untrue statements, withdraw his remarks and apologize.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I have before me a sworn affidavit from which I will read about the facts of the case to which the member refers. It refers to Ottawa area regional media buys of Liberal candidates, of which he was one, in the last election.

Election Canada records indicate as follows with respect to regional media buys of Ottawa area Liberal candidates in the last election:

The documents contained in [our exhibits] appear to indicate that there were RMBs [regional media buys] involving at least the following Ottawa-area Liberal candidates in the 2006 Election:

a. [the member for Vanier]

b. Lee Farnworth

c. Michael Gaffney

d. Richard Mahoney

e. Elizabeth Metcalfe

Notably, documentation for the Mahoney campaign referred to the Astral media buy as “the Party's regional media buy”, requested by Don Moors—LPC.

In the federal political context, the Liberal Party of Canada, normally indicated through LPC, is referred to in these documents. It goes on to state:

Other emails to and from Mr. Moors relating to the regional media buy transactions in the records of the Mahoney campaign and other campaigns identify Mr. Moors as being at Temple Scott Associates, a national public relations firm.

The invoicing for this grouped media—

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Show us the difference. He's misleading the House.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

An hon. member

He will table the documents.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

I will be tabling these documents, Mr. Speaker, much to the dismay of those members. It goes on to state:

The invoice numbers from each of these broadcasters to all the candidates are the same, indicating that it was a pooled or common buy. One of the email addresses appearing several times in the chain of email correspondence concerning the RMBs is “LPCO”.

As noted, applicants for counsel, that is lawyers for the Conservative Party, provided with the original email apparently containing a set of audio files of the Liberal Party in this region. This was in turn provided to the Conservative Party. The icons did not work so we could not listen. It is interesting they did not actually provide the ad itself to Elections Canada. The link in the email with which they provided it did not work.

However, what we do find, and this is the interesting part so far, is that they pooled their resources to run a single ad, all those ads being the same, all the invoices being the same for those ads. The only thing that changed on them were the tag lines, so there was nothing one would need from riding to riding.

Documents included in this exhibit indicate that Richard Mahoney's campaign was paid a significant transfer from the Liberal Party on or about the same day that his campaign paid for a share of these regional media buys. This is set out further in the Liberal in and out transfer section of our document, which I could read at length, but I am not sure you would be interested, Mr. Speaker.

What we have are Liberal candidates running the same ad through the same invoice and at the same time they were doing this, the national Liberal Party was transferring funds in to one of those ridings, Ottawa Centre, with the explicit purpose of financing those ads. That is precisely the same kind of in and out transaction that the member and his party have condemned time and time again.

The member for Ottawa—Vanier has not broken any laws. His only crime is hypocrisy.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, very briefly, on the same question of privilege, the member for Nepean—Carleton refers to a sworn affidavit. Might he tell the House if that is the same sworn affidavit by Geoff Donald, which the Federal Court prothonotary, on February 27, refused to admit in its civil case because it was determined to be irrelevant?

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, he has not challenged any of the accuracy of my remarks, but I will answer his question directly. This affidavit is entirely relevant in your court, Mr. Speaker.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in response to a question, the member for Nepean—Carleton accused me of using a Conservative scheme, whereby money from the national party is sent to local ridings which then send it back to the national party.

I have stated in this House that I never asked for nor received any money from the national party, be it in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 or 2006. Will the member for Nepean—Carleton state otherwise, or will he apologize?

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 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 do not think there was any suggestion made at any point that he had done that. What was difficult was the suggestions that there had been a misleading of the House and misstatements. He simply indicated that the hon. member had participated in a regional ad buy that involved transfers, if not to him, to other candidates in that ad buy from the central party that went back and that the invoice involved had exactly the same characteristics as the invoices of our party, of which those members complain. This is the nature of the difficulty of this.

We can stand up to every question the Liberals have asked on this issue since it arose and make the exact same questions of privilege they are attempting to make now. That is the difficulty in this matter, that there are different treatments for different parties, yet when their behaviour is exposed, there is furious indignation. This is the double standard that has characterized this entire issue from the start and this is the double standard which caused us to take Elections Canada to court.

There is no question of privilege here. He asked the question. He wanted a response. He asked for more details. He got them. He has not disputed a single fact in that affidavit.

Oral QuestionsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair will look at the material. I assume this affidavit is going to be made available either by tabling or sent to the Clerk, so I will have a chance to look at it. I will examine the answer that was given to the question that was asked and the material and determine whether there is a prima facie question of privilege here.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants on a point of order.

Alleged remarks attributed to Member for Kings—HantsPoints of OrderOral Questions

April 28th, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to clarify something. In the House today it was alleged that I spoke out against biofuels. In fact, I sourced the article from which the citation was presented. In fact, the article did not have a direct quote. It did say, however, that the hon. member for Kings—Hants said, “There is a lot of enthusiasm for biofuel but he doesn't see it as being environmentally beneficial... except for cellulosic ethanol...and it's having an inflationary effect on food prices. It could lead to offshoring of food production, not in the best interest of the farming community”.

To say that I was speaking against biofuels would require a truly bio-fool.

Alleged remarks attributed to Member for Kings—HantsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure that is a point of order, but we will move on.

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord is also rising on a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I went to the trouble of going to the table to indicate that I wanted to be the first to raise a point of order.

I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, who is presently listening in the lobby, to enter the Chamber as he is directly involved because of an answer he gave in oral question period.

He offered to table a document from Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Chief Electoral Officer at the time, regarding an opinion on election expenses prior to the June 1997 election.

Therefore, I request the unanimous consent of this House to have the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board table, in this House, a document from Jean-Pierre Kingsley, as he offered to do in his reply.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 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 was actually awaiting an opportunity to table the same document, under tabling of documents. It is an official government document. It is the report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 36th general election, which has been tabled in this House previously, but there is an extract. It was addressing broadcast rules and blackout rules in particular, because there was a court decision that resulted in a distinction between the blackout rules applying to national advertising and local advertising.

What he said in it was that as a result of the Somerville decision, candidates and all others were able to advertise on June 1 and 2. The criteria applied to determine whether specific advertisements were to be accepted for broadcast were the identity of the sponsor and that of the body or person invoiced. The content of the advertisement accepted was subject only to freedom of expression guaranteed by the charter.

As a result, a number of individual candidates purchased time on the day before polling and on the actual day of the election. Since the time purchased was often used to run a national advertisement with the local tag line, this rendered the prohibition, that is the blackout line in section 48, ineffectual.

Here he made it quite clear that the only thing that applied was the tag line to determine whether or not it was national or local in content. It is an interpretation on which our party has relied, and all parties have relied ever since. I have it in French and English, and I am happy to table that extract.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, obviously, we will be happy to see that document tabled in the House. But I think it bears repeating at this point that the advertising practices of the Conservative Party in the last election have been reviewed by the Chief Electoral Officer, both Mr. Kingsley and Mr. Mayrand, and the Chief Electoral Officer, past and present, has determined that the flaw rests with the Conservative Party, the Conservative Party alone, and no other party in this House.