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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was animals.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not getting vaccinated fast enough. The minister says that she is right on plan but H1N1 sets its own timetable and, according to its timetable, it will peak about three weeks from now and there is no way the minister's timetable will meet H1N1's timetable.

What more, additional, different will the minister do now to deliver, not to her plan but to the pandemic's need, the people's needs?

HealthOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in regard to when the pandemic will peak, the Chief Public Health Officer's comments yesterday were taken out of context. We do not know when the peak will be.

However, we are encouraging all Canadians to get the vaccine when it becomes available. We are also encouraging Canadians to respect the sequencing of the vaccine approved by the provinces and territories.

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is pitch-in time. This is not about jurisdictions. It is about people.

When flood waters rise, it is about all of us doing whatever we can. That has never been the Prime Minister's approach. His approach is, “We will do this, and you will do that”, and that is the end of it. Except the government has not done its part, the provinces and territories are struggling and Canadians are not getting vaccinated fast enough.

What more, additional, different will the minister do now to deliver, not to her plan but to Canadians' needs?

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to provide support to the provinces and territories. We are producing vaccine on a weekly basis and that is being distributed across the country.

This plan was put together by the provinces and territories. Every province is doing its part to deliver the pandemic plan. I must also say that by next week some jurisdictions will have vaccinated their entire population. This is good news in terms of the rollout and in terms of support to the provinces and territories.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

November 6th, 2009 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the shady characters who contributed money to Senator Carignan's campaign when he was a Conservative candidate in the last election is Giulio Maturi. Members will recall that Mr. Maturi is a Conservative Party bagman, who became the executive director of Vision Montreal on the recommendation of Senator Housakos, and after entrepreneur Tony Accurso spoke to Benoît Labonté.

In light of this troubling information, will the Prime Minister stop sticking his head in the sand and demand an investigation into Senator Carignan's election funding?

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, we said we would do some housekeeping and we cleaned up election funding. We have the strictest laws this country has ever seen. The Bloc Québécois has been making these accusations for two weeks. I repeat, if they have allegations, if they have something to report, they should report it to the appropriate authorities outside this House.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of housekeeping, after the broadcast of Benoît Labonté's testimony alleging the existence of a corruption scheme in municipal politics, Mr. Maturi, a close friend of Conservative Senator Leo Housakos, suddenly disappeared as a Conservative Party official.

Does the Prime Minister understand that covertly disposing of a troublesome organizer will not solve the situation? There needs to be an in-depth investigation into these financing schemes.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, these are just words; this is all nonsense. What we want to know is whether there are allegations. There are no allegations here in the House. There are none on the other side.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Yes, there are allegations.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

If there are allegations, they should be made outside the House to the appropriate authorities. They should speak to the appropriate authorities to clear up this situation, this so-called scheme or whatever they are claiming.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Conservative bagman and Senator Leo Housakos is implicated in the questionable financing in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. His network backed Conservative candidate Claude Carignan. Housakos is also mixed up in the award of a major contract to the Bridge Corporation. Hon. members will recall that he organized a cocktail fundraiser that was attended by engineering firm representatives, ministers, including the minister of patronage, the Minister of Public Works, and managers of the Bridge Corporation who were responsible for awarding contracts.

Are Leo Housakos' shenanigans in these two cases not enough to warrant an investigation into financing practices?

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to fabrication, this takes the cake. It is shocking to hear such baseless insinuations. If these people have anything to report, let them make their allegations to the appropriate authorities. For two weeks, they have been yelling from the other side of the House that they are going to do just that. But they are not doing anything, because their allegations are baseless. If they have any proof, let them go to the appropriate authorities. That is what they should do.

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, in addition to Senator Housakos, Giulio Maturi, a Conservative Party bagman, was involved in financing Claude Carignan, who became a Conservative senator and, like Housakos, attended the Conservative Party fundraiser on May 20 that led to the awarding of a contract to a firm connected with Senator Housakos.

Are these facts not enough to warrant an investigation into financing practices in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles and the awarding of contracts to the Bridge Corporation?

Political Party FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc is starting to put people to sleep with its story. For two weeks, all sorts of crazy insinuations have been made in this House. All these people have to do is make allegations to the appropriate authorities. Are they trying to distract people from the fact that from the start, they have voted against measures that are producing results, such as the economic action plan and the measures to help the unemployed? Municipalities in Quebec are in the process of completely renewing their infrastructure. If we were to follow the Bloc's logic, we would be mired in insinuations and there would be no construction projects under way in Quebec.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again, today we see the results of failed Conservative economic policies.

Despite government assertions that the economic crisis is behind us, 43,000 more Canadians were thrown out of work in October. There are 43,000 more Canadians now facing a grim winter, many of them women and young people. Sadly, most of them will not qualify for EI.

When will the government realize that its economic action plan is failing? When will it figure out that it needs to change the direction it has taken?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in answer to that question, our economic action plan is working. Canadians have been telling us that what we have put into this economy, the economic action plan is making sure that the jobs we have remain secure. We are creating new jobs.

It is always unfortunate when we see the number of lost jobs, like we did today, but I would remind the House that in the last two months we actually had an increase in jobs. Did we hear a question? Did we hear any concern from those hon. members? No, but as soon as we hear some sad news, they seem to be all over it.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is proud to have forced the government to give an extra $1 billion for the unemployed, but it is far from enough. In the last 12 months, the Conservatives have presided over the net loss of 400,000 jobs in Canada.

Yet, the government keeps repeating that the economy is doing better, but the facts speak for themselves. The Conservative economic recovery is a jobless recovery. When will the government realize that an advertising campaign is not an economic plan?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, all hon. members in the House have heard our Prime Minister and our finance minister remind us day after day that this will be difficult. There will be job losses. There will be gains. We will see positive numbers and negative numbers. Unfortunately, today we saw negative numbers.

We need a clear, entrenched economic recovery in Canada and abroad, mostly in the United States, our largest partner, before we will see a true and strong recovery.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives keep claiming that we are supposed to be over the worst of the economic crisis, yet the job losses are mounting.

The largest losses were in Alberta, with 15,000 jobs and B.C., with 13,000 jobs. What does the government do to help these new 13,000 unemployed British Columbians? The Conservatives reward them with the HST, a higher sales tax on the most vital goods, like home heating.

People are losing their jobs. They are facing a tough winter and the Conservatives are increasing their home heating bills. What kind of help is that?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me answer that with a question. What kind of help is it when the NDP votes against every tax cut that we provide for Canadians?

We tried to give a tax cut to those who provide service through guide dogs for the blind. The NDP voted against that. We tried to put forth tax reductions that would leave more money in Canadians' pockets so they could help recover from this worldwide economic recession. The NDP members continued to vote against that. I do not think they have any credibility standing up and talking about taxes in this House.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal Toronto Port Authority has been exposed as being dysfunctional and mismanaged. Yet, the Minister of Transport says everything is in accordance with policy, but today we find out that the current board chair, who was recently appointed by that minister, altered the board minutes of last year to cover up political interference and gross mismanagement.

Since the auditors have advised the minister of these ethical and legal breaches, will the minister now ask the Auditor General to conduct a thorough investigation?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Toronto Port Authority is an independent and arm's-length organization. The TPA has said many times that all expense and hospitality claims, for example, had been followed. The board has since stated that management and staff clearly followed all of these policies. The chairman of the audit committee stated that there was nothing unusual in these expenses for a business of this size.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, not true. The former CEO, the current Minister of Natural Resources, reimbursed herself for two expense reports which were not signed by the chair of the board. The chair refused to sign these reports.

The member has just misled the House. There is fiscal mismanagement on hospitality and other expenses; doctoring board minutes to cover up political interference and gross mismanagement; a feuding, dysfunctional board; unauthorized use of government offices for political fundraisers; and the list goes on.

This is not accountability. This is a cover-up. This is not just unethical; it is fraud. When will the government call in the RCMP?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest if that member wishes to make those kinds of allegations that he have the courage to say them outside of the House of Commons.

In the meantime, the Toronto Port Authority is an arm's-length organization. The TPA has said many times that all expenses and hospitality policies were followed. The chairman of the audit committee stated that there was nothing unusual in these expenses for a business of this size.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the loss of over 43,000 Canadian jobs last month drove the country's unemployment rate up to 8.6%. With the $100 million the Conservatives are spending on political propaganda, they could have been helping small and medium size businesses.

The average small business loan is $100,000. That $100 million could have helped over 1,000 businesses, directly creating thousands of jobs and saving countless more.

Why is the government so concerned about its own image rather than the livelihoods of Canadians?