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House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was application.

Topics

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker,--

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

More, more!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The Chair has already recognized the hon. member for Vancouver South. He has the floor. We will hear more, but we will have to have some order so we can hear.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is hot on the Conservatives' heels. What the parliamentary secretary does not seem to understand is that it is perfectly legal for a party to transfer funds to a candidate to pay for his or her own local expenses. It is another thing to hide national expenses--

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Vancouver South has the floor.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is another thing to hide national expenses on local books and order candidates to hit the taxpayers up for a rebate on a bill they never paid, on an expense they never incurred. That is called fraud.

Now that they have been caught, why do they not admit they committed elections fraud in the last election?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, he is beginning to make our case to Elections Canada.

The Liberals have now conceded that it is perfectly legal for national parties to transfer money to local campaigns, for local campaigns to purchase services from the national campaign, for national content to appear in local advertising and for local advertising in some cases to be broadcast outside of the constituency in which it is paid for, because of course radio signals do not stop at constituency borders.

With the Liberals having admitted all of that, what is it in essence that they accuse us of having done?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, despite what the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who was the political lieutenant for Quebec during the last election, has told us, he was very aware of how advertising expenses were distributed among various Conservative candidates. The party was rerouting large invoices to candidates who had room to manoeuvre.

Does that not explain why the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was able to put only $6,100 into the strategy while two other Conservative candidates in the Outaouais each put in $45,000?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, according to Elections Canada, on May 17, 2006, the Bloc transferred $17,800 to its candidate in Pontiac, the very riding the hon. member talked about. On May 25, a week later, the candidate transferred $17,700 back. So $17,000 went in, and $17,000 went back out.

When did the father of the in and out method find out about that?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member that the candidate for Pontiac was reimbursed. Elections Canada agreed to that method, but it did not agree to the Conservatives' scheme. It is easy to see that the ministers from Quebec are afraid of defending their honour.

My question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the member for Beauport—Limoilou. Can she tell us if the same logic applied when she paid $37,000 for advertising for the Minister of Canadian Heritage when she herself spent—

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December 2001, the Bloc whip had this to say to Le Soleil:

Advertising campaigns are national expenses, just like planes and buses made available to reporters. It is very expensive. The Bloc advances the money, but technically, the candidates are each responsible for their share.

The Bloc agrees that purely national expenses, such as planes, were paid for by Bloc candidates. That is why we call the Bloc leader the father of the in and out method.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the devastation continues in the manufacturing sector. In my riding, Shermag and Sherwood-Drolet have obtained creditor protection. Difficult market conditions, strong competition and the strong dollar are behind this decision. This government is sticking with its laissez-faire approach despite the crisis in the manufacturing sector.

When will the Minister of Industry realize that tax cuts are of no help to the manufacturing sector, which is not turning a profit and where many owners are faced with bankruptcy?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I might point out for the benefit of the hon. member that just last week I was in Quebec and I find a stark contrast between the feelings of the hon. member and what industry and workers in Quebec are actually feeling.

In the pharmaceutical industry and the aerospace industry things are going very well. That, at the end of the day, is because this government moved early to stimulate the economy, cutting the GST, reducing income tax, and it has worked. Our economy is strong. It is stronger than that of our American neighbours. We will continue to succeed in this country.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should get out more.

With more than 150,000 jobs lost in the manufacturing sector over five years, the Conservatives must understand that targeted measures for troubled companies are necessary.

Does the government realize that systematically refusing to implement the safeguards in trade agreements and legislation—as the United States and Europe are doing—is harmful to companies such as Shermag and Sherwood-Drolet?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is clear. After 18 years in Ottawa, more than 6,000 days of eternal opposition, more than 4,000 questions posed in the House, five election campaigns, four platforms and more than 700 empty promises, it is clear that the Bloc is batting zero.

EthicsOral Questions

May 6th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister made a budget decision in favour of private schools. Can he not acknowledge that holding a financial interest in private schools creates a potential conflict of interest when he was the one in charge of making those scholarships tax free?

Does he, or did he or any member of his family have a financial interest in a private school, and if so, did he fully recuse himself from this file?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has been a long-time active supporter of people with developmental disabilities. He does not own a school. The school in question does not even offer scholarships.

What is outrageous is that a seasoned political parliamentary veteran would do fact checking on the floor of the House of Commons after the drive-by smear. It is absolutely disgraceful.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the apology we need is from the finance minister to the one million income trust investors whose savings were devastated by that Prime Minister's broken promise.

This issue is not about special needs Canadians. All parliamentarians want to help special needs Canadians. This issue is about conflict of interest rules. These rules are in place for very good reasons. Canadians have every right to know if the finance minister has followed these rules to the letter. Has he?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, thank goodness that in this country we have people like the Minister of Finance who are interested in helping people with developmental disabilities. The Minister of Finance has made a huge contribution in supporting people with developmental disabilities throughout his entire life.

What is outrageous is that the member opposite would besmirch not only the Minister of Finance and not only his wife, but his children. It is absolutely disgraceful. He should stand in his place and apologize. Frankly, I am starting to think he should resign himself.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec has been getting his knife out and draining the lifeblood of not-for-profit organizations, including Montreal International, which does a tremendous job of attracting investment to build the Quebec economy. The minister says it is because he wants so-called projects that produce specific, measurable results but he gets his calculator out for Montreal International.

En 2007, the government invested $2 million that in return generated some $670 million. He should put that into his calculator and tell us whether it is measurable and profitable enough for him.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, it was the previous government that allowed a situation to develop that was very seriously limiting the Economic Development Agency of Canada’s room to manoeuvre. When that government agreed to pay the constantly rising operating costs of a host of organizations, it put the agency in a straitjacket.

We are going to continue supporting various economic organizations, but on a selective basis. We will continue to help both Montreal and the other regions of Quebec.

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have some more figures for the cheapskate. Over the last 10 years, the federal government has given Montreal International $66 million and the return on that investment has been nearly $6 billion. For his information, a billion has three more zeros than a million. That means that the economic spin-offs of this investment were 100 times greater.

This decision is totally unjustifiable financially and on the basis of the figures. Was this stupid decision made strictly for ideological reasons?

Montreal InternationalOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, out of a budget of $200 million, at least $50 million went to the operating costs of various organizations. We are going to redirect these moneys toward specific projects in all regions of Quebec, including Montreal. The moneys that are redirected will remain in the same region.

I will provide an example. Recently, the Montreal Grand Prix appealed to us for an important project to ensure its survival. Using moneys that we had freed up, we were able to give a positive response to the Montreal Grand Prix.