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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. Is the member opposite actually suggesting that making a $1,000 campaign contribution would see someone get a $300 million contract with the government? That is absolutely outrageous.

This government has high ethical standards. We have no more of an ethical minister sitting in this government and no more better Canadian sitting in this government than the current Minister of Natural Resources.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the efforts made by Multivesco to get contracts are not limited to funding the Quebec Conservative lieutenant's election fund. In 2006 and 2007, as soon as the federal government suggested it might put more public servants in Gatineau, the head of Multivesco gave $3,000 to the member for Pontiac, who was then the political lieutenant for Quebec.

How can the Prime Minister condone such a system? Does one simply have to give money to the Conservatives to be awarded government contracts and rake in profits?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government has established some very strong rules with respect to the awarding of government contracts. We strengthened those in the Federal Accountability Act. Let us look at what the fairness monitor of just one of these contracts had to say, which is:

...decisions made objectively, free from personal favouritism and political influence, and encompasses the elements of openness, competitiveness, transparency and compliance.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are prepared to do anything to fill their party coffers. They pass the hat among government contractors, or they shamelessly accept contributions from those who are trying to get lucrative contracts. Over the past three weeks, the Bloc Quebecois has uncovered about ten of those cases while taking a close look at just two cocktail fundraisers.

How many more cases are needed before the Prime Minister puts an end to this scheme?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have only looked into one riding association of the Bloc Québécois and discovered that a $500 campaign contribution led to, five months later, the personal and political support for a government contract from the Minister of National Defence from the Bloc defence critic.

I have only looked at one Bloc riding association. Perhaps we had better look at a bit more.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister showed his immature approach when he claimed that a company that belongs to Canadians more than to anyone else was not a significant strategic issue.

Although the citizens of Saskatchewan are opposed, the Conservatives want to hand over the control of our potash industry to a foreign multinational.

Why will the government accept this foreign takeover rather than supporting the interests of Canadians?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have done no such thing. The Minister of Industry is currently reviewing the matter, as he is required to do so by law. He will only approve any takeover that is of net benefit to Canada.

The Prime Minister spoke yesterday in the House. I should remind the member that about 51% of the stock is held by foreigners and 38% of the stock is held by Americans.

However, we will always stand up and do the right thing for Canada, the right thing for Canadian jobs and the right thing for the Canadian economy. We will always do the right thing for the great country that Canada is.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the largest percentage of stock, the majority of the board of directors and the resources themselves are Canadian.

It was laughable yesterday and again today to hear the Liberal Party members standing up and raising questions about foreign takeovers after they refused to say no to a single one after having dealt with over 11,000 of them during their tenure. It is almost as laughable as the government's approach because under its watch only one was turned down.

There is only a handful of staff looking after these reviews. In fact, it looks like there is maybe one person studying the deal for a few hours. The rest are carrying around the rubber stamp.

After three decades of ineptitude on foreign investment, when will we have a policy that defends--

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me say two things.

One, 51% of the stock is currently held by foreigners and 38% of the stock is currently held by Americans.

I do, however, agree with the leader of the NDP when it comes to his comments about the Liberal Party. Eleven thousand different foreign takeovers took place over 13 long years and how many did it not approve? Absolutely none.

This government will do that when it is required. I can tell my friends in the NDP that they can count on the Minister of Industry and hard-working public servants to do the right thing for this great country.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

We will see, Mr. Speaker, because not only is the government being reckless with our strategic resources with approvals that have already been given to other takeovers, as we have seen, but once it approves a sellout it allows the financing of the deal to be on the backs of the Canadian taxpayers to the tune of huge amounts of money.

The Conference Board says that the corporate giants are deducting the cost of the purchases from their tax bills and Canadians are having to pay for it.

The minister of rubber stamps is out there talking about net benefit, meanwhile, who the heck is benefiting? The taxpayer who is paying the bill, the Saskatchewan folks who are losing their resources or workers their jobs?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me say once again that Canadians can count on this Prime Minister, this Minister of Industry and this government to always do the best thing for Canadians. The issue is currently being reviewed by the Minister of Industry. He has made no decision so it would be premature to come with speculations, which are somewhat wild that the leader of the NDP has made.

Prime Minister's CabinetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, although there have been three separate investigations and one scandal, the Minister of Natural Resources continues to enjoy the protection of his Prime Minister. The former Minister of Tourism did not enjoy this protection when she was demoted for daring to support a gay festival. The former Minister for Status of Women was fired without any explanation.

The Prime Minister does not hesitate to kick women out of his cabinet, but tolerates the intolerable from his male ministers. Why?

Prime Minister's CabinetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, those allegations are just absolutely ridiculous.

This Prime Minister is the Prime Minister who appointed the largest number of women to a federal cabinet in Canadian history.

Whether it is the great contribution of the Minister of State for Seniors, whether it is the great contribution of the Minister of Labour, whether it is the great contribution of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, this government has a lot of powerful, strong women who do a great job for Canadians each and every day and they always stand up for Canada.

Prime Minister's CabinetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, despite three separate investigations, the Prime Minister continues to stand by his man at Natural Resources. It is a special protection that was not enjoyed by the former tourism minister. She got demoted for funding a gay pride festival. The former status of women minister got fired without getting a clear reason.

The Prime Minister always circles his wagons to protect his male cabinet ministers and always throws his female ministers to the wolves. Why?

Prime Minister's CabinetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal Party that smeared, maligned and said the most outrageous things about one of the members in question. Now, of course, it is the great defender.

We have many strong women who serve in this government. I neglected to mention the great contribution of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the phenomenal work of the Minister of Health and, of course, the great Minister of International Cooperation who has done a fantastic job over the last two months.

CensusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government operates under a cloak of secrecy.

Day in and day out, more backroom deals and more dark secrets are revealed, whether it is staff interfering with access to information or abolishing the long form census or secret winks and handshakes to obtain government contracts.

Why does the Conservative government not open up the doors and windows of democracy for all Canadians? When will the government implement the Liberal plan to reinstate the long form census, offer full access to information and adopt a principle of open government?

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we are always open and truthful to the Canadian public. With respect to the long form census, there has been a robust debate about that issue.

In fact, we have taken a fair and reasonable position, seeking to balance the user's inclination to want more and more data, and we want to ensure they get useful and usable data, but at the same time we want to balance that off with the fair and reasonable requests of some Canadians who do not want to see their government coercing them with threats of jail time or fines to reveal very personal information.

I think our positions are fair and reasonable.

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we celebrated the first world statistics day.

However, Canadian statisticians spent the day in mourning. Recent months have been difficult for the best statistical agency in the world after losing its best source of information and its chief statistician.

It is all part of this government's hidden and obscure plan to misinform Canadians, to base policies on ideology, and to keep citizens in the dark.

How can the Prime Minister justify choosing ignorance and lack of transparency over openness and respect for facts?

CensusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is important to strike a balance between the need for information and the rights of Canadians so that the government does not use power against its citizens.

We have a fair and balanced position. We think it is reasonable and right to have that balanced position. I encourage the hon. member to be in agreement with the Liberal member for Richmond Hill who had that position four and a half years ago.

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly of Quebec has adopted a motion calling for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence until 2012 so that the environmental and safety risks can be assessed. The best way for Quebec to protect itself is to have an agreement on the St. Lawrence seabed.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources promise to enter into such an agreement this fall, which is what the Government of Quebec has been calling for?

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is a bit behind the times. We have always promised to develop our natural resources in a responsible manner, in co-operation with the provinces. Now, Quebec has said it wants an agreement like the Canada—Newfoundland and Canada—Nova Scotia agreements.

Discussions are proceeding, as the minister has said repeatedly, and talks are under way.

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the safety of gas development in the St. Lawrence is uncertain. While Quebec has imposed a moratorium, Newfoundland is going full steam ahead.

Will the government admit that federalism is bad for Quebeckers, because if Quebec were a sovereign nation, it could take legal action in international court to require that Newfoundland comply with a moratorium so that the environmental risks associated with gas exploration could be assessed?

Oil and Gas ExplorationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois, which has always been dismissive of fossil fuels, is suddenly interested in this form of energy.

Why the sudden interest in developing this form of energy? Because the Bloc members see the potential for divisiveness and want to pick a fight with Newfoundland, once again, to serve their own purposes, their own cause and their own ideology, which most Quebeckers do not want to hear about anymore.

I repeat, talks are under way with Quebec, and we are going to take a positive approach. If Quebec wants an agreement, we will negotiate in good faith.

International TradeOral Questions

October 21st, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade made some very disturbing comments about the negotiations with the European Union. He said he was not terribly concerned about Latvian culture threatening Canadian culture. How shameful.

The Government of Quebec has always maintained a clear stance on cultural exemption: culture is not merchandise.

Since the federal government is speaking on behalf of Quebec in the negotiations with the European Union, will it defend the interests of Quebec's cultural community and demand a cultural exemption?