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House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was self-employed.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to tell my Bloc Québécois colleague that we are working closely with the Government of Quebec. Of course we are respecting Quebec's laws regarding Quebec's areas of jurisdiction. We accept that as an important part of our work.

We are working closely with the municipalities and with the minister, Laurent Lessard. We will continue working hard to ensure that every dollar invested in Quebec creates jobs in Quebec as quickly as possible.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Leo Housakos already had access to the Prime Minister's office in August 2006, through press secretary Dimitri Soudas.

Mr. Housakos asked Mr. Soudas to pitch Rosdev to Public Works officials for L'Esplanade Laurier, and Mr. Soudas did that.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services admitted that an investigation was underway in his department. Is it looking into the interventions by Mr. Soudas and Mr. Housakos involving government buildings?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, no.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister appointed Leo Housakos to the Senate, he knew that Mr. Housakos had approached Mr. Soudas to promote Rosdev to the public servants. He also knew that Mr. Soudas was, indeed, personally involved.

Was an investigation carried out into Mr. Housakos before he was appointed to the Senate, yes or no? If yes, did the Prime Minister take into account the fact that Mr. Housakos represented Rosdev without being registered as a lobbyist?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member for Hull—Aylmer is once again on one of his fishing expeditions. He presents a fact-free question.

If he has any specific allegations that he wants to make against the senator in question, I would encourage him to table them before the House or do it outside this place if he has the courage of his convictions.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, why is the Conservative government trying to shut down debate on the HST?

During the provincial election the Liberal government said it would not harmonize the provincial sales tax with the GST, and then months later did just that. Now the Conservative government wants to ram through its HST legislation.

The people of British Columbia are tired of being shut out of the debate on the HST.

If the HST is such a good idea, why is the government trying to limit debate on it? What is it trying to hide?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this Parliament always has had strong, robust debates on taxes.

Every single time that British Columbians have had a choice, they have always voted for lower taxes not higher taxes. That is why British Columbians understand that if they want members of Parliament who are going to advocate for lower taxes, they will always vote for the Conservative Party. When it comes to lowering the GST, lowering income taxes, lowering the cost of living for seniors, it is always the Conservatives who have stood up for the right side when it comes to consumers.

That member should know better, because after all, when he was a city councillor in Coquitlam he voted time and time again to increase taxes on homeowners.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is not saying is that the government is running scared from the HST. In fact, the Prime Minister has flown halfway around the world in order to distance himself from his own legislation.

Just as much as they hate this tax shift, the people of B.C. are also tired of the government playing fast and loose with the HST. They are tired of the procedural games and the ducking of responsibility.

If the government is so certain of the positive effects of the HST, why is it running from this debate?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we do not run from our record on taxes. We are proud to stand up as the party that always lowers taxes.

This government ran on a very clear and precise platform that we would lower taxes for Canadians, and we have delivered every single time.

There was a time, when we dealt with sales taxes, that the Liberals said they were going to scrap, kill and abolish the GST. We said we would lower the GST, and we delivered.

We were elected because Canadians know that the opposition cannot be trusted on taxes. We were re-elected because we deliver low taxes for Canadians.

World Conference against RacismOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party continues to mislead Canadians about its disgraceful attendance at the Durban conference in 2001.

I have a letter that the member for Eglinton—Lawrence sent to one of his constituents where he says, “We stayed at the request of the Israeli government”.

Yet Ambassador Alan Baker, who the National Post reports led the Israeli delegation at Durban, said:

We tried to get the Canadians to walk out

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister explain how our government is standing up for Israel?

World Conference against RacismOral Questions

3 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the facts are in. Alan Baker confirms that Israel asked Canada to leave Durban, and the Liberals stayed.

The Conservative government has reversed the Liberal policy on the Middle East. The Prime Minister was the first in the world to cut aid to the Hamas regime in Gaza, the first to walk out on the Durban hate-fest, the first to walk out on Ahmadinejad at the UN, and the only one to oppose anti-Israel resolutions at the Francophonie.

The Prime Minister stands for what is right, even if it means standing alone.

Pickering LandsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, drive around north Pickering and you will see the government erasing an entire community. On the Pickering airport lands, it conjures reasons to evict people from their homes and board the homes up, waiting for nature to destroy them. The entire community of Brougham has nearly been wiped out, beautiful heritage homes ripped from families living in them for generations and then left to rot.

Even if it builds an unneeded, wasteful airport, this destruction is unnecessary. When will the government reinstate the Liberal moratorium on evictions, stop attacking our heritage, and come clean on its plans for our lands?

Pickering LandsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, from time to time, some of the government-owned lands and properties are unsafe for humans to live there. There are serious health and safety issues. We take those responsibilities very seriously and have to find alternative accommodation for others.

I can say that this government has no goal or objective to eject anyone from north Pickering. The only objective of those of us on this side of the House is to eject that member from this House.

DemocracyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister intends to create a new government agency to promote democracy in the world. There already is an agency, Rights and Democracy, which was created in 1988 by an act of Parliament with a mandate to “promote, develop and strengthen democratic and human rights institutions and programs”.

Will the Prime Minister agree that his plan is intended to undermine Rights and Democracy and create an agency devoted to spreading his ultra- conservative ideology?

DemocracyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk about a non-partisan agency to promote democracy abroad. This is a commitment the government made in its platform. We are looking forward to implementing it.

In regard to human rights, I am glad the member raised it, because it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the fact that it was the Prime Minister who set up the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, including operational expenses in perpetuity. Our government is getting the job done on human rights and democracy.

Vote on Opposition Motion—Speaker's RulingPoint of OrderOral Questions

December 2nd, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

After yesterday's deferred recorded division yesterday on the opposition motion, a point of order was raised regarding the vote by the hon. member for Guelph.

On October 28, 2003, while addressing a similar issue, I stated:

I would urge hon. members that if they want to have their vote count, they must remain in their seats from the time the vote begins until the result of the vote is announced.

The member admitted that he had left his seat during the vote yesterday. Accordingly, the vote cast by the hon. member for Guelph is struck from the record and I have directed the table to correct the Journals accordingly.

Standing Order 31 Statement by MemberPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the statements pursuant to Standing Order 31, the member for Portage—Lisgar stood and attempted to mislead the House by suggesting that the Liberals attending the Montreal massacre ceremony yesterday disrupted it. That was nothing more than an attempt to mislead the House and to slur the Liberals. We did not disrupt any ceremony whatsoever yesterday.

Mr. Speaker, you were there and are well aware of that.

The fact that the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar was able to stand there when she was the mover of the motion that dismantled the long gun registry is a shame.

Standing Order 31 Statement by MemberPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It sounds like a disagreement on facts. As I have said before, I do not think that constitutes a point of order.

Economic Update AnnouncementPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I feel that it is totally inappropriate for the Prime Minister to have released to the media, in a plane somewhere over Siberia, at approximately 35,000 feet, the contents of the country's latest report on our collective finances.

While it is true that the Minister of Finance tabled such a report very late yesterday, quietly with our Journals branch, it is unacceptable that the state of our finances would be kept from parliamentarians and through them to Canadians.

I am going to be quoting in a moment one of the Speaker's previous decisions on this matter, because governments used to have lockups and power point presentations and vast security surrounding economic updates so that people could not know about it in any other way.

Mr. Speaker, your rulings have made it made clear that the government should make accessible to members such information before the media are told. The member for Outremont raised the same problem last June of this year when the government had forgotten to even table a report through the back door. So here we are with the Speaker having ruled that the government is under the obligation to present legislation in this place before releasing details to the public. This has been done on several occasions.

Standing Order 32(2) states:

A Minister of the Crown, or a Parliamentary Secretary acting on behalf of a Minister, may, in his or her place in the House, state that he or she proposes to lay upon the Table of the House, any report or other paper dealing with a matter coming within the administrative responsibilities of the government, and, thereupon, the same shall be deemed for all purposes to have been laid before the House.

Mr. Speaker, on May 5, 2005, you ruled that this Standing Order requires that these documents not be tabled by the back door but in the House. This normally takes place during routine proceedings under tabling of documents.

I call on the government to properly table yesterday's economic statement in this House and to immediately stop their insulting practice of releasing information to everybody but members of Parliament. I would ask the Speaker to rule accordingly.

Economic Update AnnouncementPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if the member would check the Journals of yesterday, under the heading, Returns and Reports Deposited with the Clerk of the House, there is an entry that reads:

— by...(Minister of Finance) — Document entitled “Canada's Economic Action Plan — A Fourth Report to Canadians”, pursuant to Order made Tuesday, February 3, 2009. — Sessional Paper No. 8525-402-35.

The report was tabled with the clerk at 5:20 p.m. yesterday. The Prime Minister made his statement today at 5:50 a.m. Ottawa time. That is more than 12 hours after the report was tabled with the House.

As a courtesy, the Minister of Finance also sent an email around to all members of Parliament's offices with the document attached early this morning. Obviously, there is no contempt here.

Economic Update AnnouncementPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I will take that under advisement and come back to the House.

LabourPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, during question period the Minister of Labour confirmed that the industrial dispute between CN and its engineers has been resolved.

I appreciate the acknowledgement by the minister that all sides of the House played a very constructive role in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion. For our part, I would want to particularly acknowledge our transport and labour critics, and especially the member for Beaches—East York, who was particularly active in trying to be helpful.

I wonder if the government House leader would be so kind as to confirm that, in light of these fortunate events, in fact there will be no further requirement for procedures in relation to Bill C-61 this afternoon. I wonder if he could indicate formally for the benefit of all members of the House what the government would intend to call when we get to the matter of orders of the day.

LabourPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this is not actually a point of order, but I do welcome the opportunity to also congratulate the Minister of Labour and indeed all members of Parliament, perhaps with the exception of a few.

I think we all know the parties that were actively involved in trying to ensure that the back-to-work legislation that was introduced in this House and that I intended to call later today is now unnecessary.

I think that is great news for the country. I congratulate both sides of this dispute for coming to this common sense resolution so that we did not have to occupy the time of the House and the time of members from all parties in a debate in this place.

It would be my intention following routine proceedings to call Bill C-56 for debate this afternoon.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, during question period, I answered a question about self-employed workers and I gave the wrong percentage. When comparing amounts deducted by the government, $1.36 per $100 of earned income, and amounts deducted by the private sector, the latter amount is 19 times greater. It is not the 30% figure that I used.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the member for Kitchener Centre made a reference to a communication that I sent to some of my constituents, wherein he referenced a statement by a representative of the Israeli delegation to Durban I.

Today, for example, there is an item in the National Post where the reporter contacted Rabbi Melchior, who led that delegation and directed it, with respect to what Canada's role at Durban I might have been, and I quote from that article:

[Rabbi Melchior said] it was important for us that the Canadians led the battle in Durban against any anti-Semitic resolution. “This doesn't seem to square with Alan Baker's version of events?”, [asked the reporter, and Rabbi Melchior said,] “I'm not sure. I haven't talked to him but I think he doesn't recall the order of things”.

The order of things is that Canada and the Liberal Party at the time, and currently, have always stood up for Israel and against anti-Semitism.