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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government took control of Rights & Democracy on the pretext that it was poorly managed.

By refusing to release the forensic management audit of the previous administration and by refusing to seriously address the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, is the minister not confirming that the financial issue was only a pretext to impose an ideological shift on Rights & Democracy?

Rights & DemocracyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as this House well knows, Rights & Democracy is an arm's-length organization.

The Deloitte & Touche audit was requested by Rights & Democracy and it has recently delivered the final report. That report is under review by both the president and the board.

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada is paralyzed. The federal organization responsible for investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the public service has not identified any abuses in the public sector in three years. How can that be, particularly since very few investigations have been undertaken? The Auditor General, concerned by this state of affairs, is investigating.

Will the government admit that the current commissioner was chosen precisely for her ability to suppress allegations of wrongdoing?

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Auditor General has received complaints about the organization mentioned. She has started an investigation, and we will wait for the results.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

October 20th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are starting to understand why the government is refusing to ratify the Cartagena protocol on biosafety. The first report on Canadian biodiversity paints a disastrous picture of the state of the ecosystems in 2010. The government is so ashamed of its record that the report was quietly released on Environment Canada's website on a Friday. The government is making all the wrong moves on the world stage when it comes to the environment.

Does the government understand now why it did not get a seat on the Security Council?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member knows what he said is not true. He also knows that Canada is not a party to the Cartagena protocol. As a non-party, Canada is not in a position to, nor would it be expected to, sign or ratify the supplementary protocol. Even though Canada is a non-party, we ensure the protection of biological diversity by having a strong regulatory framework for living modified organisms.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is not the only one making all the wrong moves when it comes to the environment. Canadian mining companies have also been singled out by MiningWatch Canada. According to this organization, one-third of the mining companies involved in problems related to environmental degradation and human rights violations in the mining industry are Canadian.

The government has an obligation to regulate the operations of these companies. Will it do so, or will it continue to let them destroy the environment and violate fundamental human rights?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have a proud record on biodiversity in Canada. We have taken action to protect more than 100 million hectares of land, nearly 10% of Canada's land mass and three million hectares of ocean. We will continue to do the good work on the environment. The Bloc needs to remember, it was the Bloc's coalition partners that created the mess on the environment, according to the Liberal leader.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister fired his Minister for Status of Women without even giving her a chance to explain herself. However, he keeps supporting the Minister of Natural Resources even though he is being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner, the Information Commissioner and the Lobbying Commissioner. His former department is being investigated by the RCMP.

Why get rid of a female minister so cavalierly yet tolerate the intolerable from a male minister? Why is there a double standard?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely ridiculous. Let us look at the facts. The Minister of Natural Resources, throughout his time in politics, has always conducted himself with great integrity. He is an outstanding constituency representative, a strong voice for Quebec, and a great public servant for Canada.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister received an erroneous tip from a discredited gumshoe, he kicked the former status of women minister out of cabinet and out of caucus permanently, yet he turns a blind eye while the former minister of public works is under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner, the Information Commissioner, and the Commissioner of Lobbying. And the RCMP is investigating that same department. He threw his women's minister under the bus, but will not do the same with his male Quebec lieutenant. Why the double standard?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it would be funny if it were not so sad. When we look at the outrageous comments made by so many of the members in the Liberal Party about the former minister for the status of women, we wonder how they can even get up and ask such a question.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, after four months of scrambling to bury $1 billion in summit spending, the government has a new excuse for hiding the cost: it is still waiting for the bill. The minister even said, “We actually wait for the bills to come in before we determine what the costs are”.

So let us get this straight. The Conservatives hand out blank cheques, send contractors out to go wild, and sit around with fingers crossed, waiting months to find out how much money they have blown. That is like giving Paris Hilton one's credit card and telling her to send the bill when she gets around to it.

To the minister, is this incompetence, or are you in some kind of secret wasting competition we should know about?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the question was directed at you, and I am unaware of any incompetent accusations that you are involved in.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, at least that was an honest denial in answering a question.

The government blows through more than a billion in taxpayers' dollars for a weekend photo-op. That is offensive enough, but the government goes even further.

Rather than being sorry for its outrageous waste, it celebrates it. It has its officials call the fake lake with its giant inflatable horses and two-storey jumbotron “a wild success”.

While the government is celebrating its lake-making skills, does it realize how many Canadians are struggling and without work, how many are worried how they will pay for heat this winter? Can the minister tell these Canadians how proud he is of his fake lake?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our accomplishments at the G8 and G20 summits.

Canada is leading the global economic recovery as well as international efforts to aid developing countries.

Our government is focused on ensuring that Canadians have jobs, and that we meet our international responsibilities. In this way, we are ensuring that we have a vibrant world economy in which Canadians benefit.

That is a member who consistently speaks out against this policy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, Liberal foreign policy proposals have been criticized as gimmicky and bumper-sticker-sounding, while our government has consistently exhibited principled foreign policy praised by many around the world. Even former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin has praised our leadership on child and maternal health.

Now the Wall Street Journal has added its voice to the chorus, stating that under the Prime Minister's leadership, “Canada has avoided the worst of the global recession and...the courage of its soldiers in Afghanistan, and in other missions, is testament to a nation that honors its commitments”.

Can the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas please comment on this most recent praise?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our principled foreign policy positions.

Our record on the world stage is clear. We have doubled aid to Africa. Canada has made tremendous sacrifices in Afghanistan. Canada has led the way on child and maternal health. We are proud of Canada's support and friendship with democratic Israel.

Our government makes foreign policy decisions based on what is right and the principles Canadians hold dear. Those positions may not always be popular with some members of the UN, but we will not apologize for doing what is right.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and I want her to pay close attention to this.

We have learned that her predecessor Michael Fortier apparently manipulated the request for proposals on the largest real estate government deal in decades. If true, this is a violation of government rules. He ensured that the contract went to two banks, not one. The deal generated $12 million and the former minister is currently working for one of those banks.

Will the minister conduct a forensic audit of this contract to ensure accountability to Canadians?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that what he is speaking about is not based in fact, but I will get back to him with more details if he needs them.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gets worse. The key players in the deal had close connections to the Conservative Party and Mr. Fortier himself.

Rick Byers was a Tory candidate and Michael Norris was a bagman for a leadership candidate in the Conservative Party.

I am sure even the Prime Minister agrees that if it walks like a conflict of interest, and it quacks like a conflict of interest, then a forensic audit is necessary. Will the minister suspend the planned sale of public assets until a study and oversight of this deal is done?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the former minister always conducted himself according to the highest of ethical standards, and I am sure that he followed all government contracting regulations.

Again, I am happy to get back to the member with further details.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the recovery of undeclared income hidden by Canadians in Swiss bank accounts is picking up speed. Recovering the money is all well and good, but charges need to be brought against these tax evaders.

Will the Minister of National Revenue be satisfied with merely recovering the money owing in taxes, or will he also commit to laying criminal charges against anyone who uses foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes here?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that the majority of Canadians pay their taxes, but there are some who are intent on investing or placing their money in foreign countries. Our government is taking aggressive action to recover money owed to honest, hard-working Canadians. Just last year, over $1 billion was recovered in unpaid taxes.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Finance is announcing a record deficit, there are fears that this government will sacrifice justice and not bother recovering millions of dollars in much needed revenue. Someone who is caught stealing a litre of milk from a corner store has to pay for it and face criminal charges. The same should apply to white collar criminals.

Can the government assure us that anyone who uses foreign bank accounts to evade taxes will face criminal charges?