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House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vehicles.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is conducting an investigation into corruption in the award of a contract worth nearly $10 million to renovate one of the Parliament buildings.

An influential Conservative organizer pocketed $140,000.

He says that in exchange, all he did was pass along a CV. For $140,000 bucks. It makes no sense.

Who in the Conservative government had their palms greased?

How long have the Conservatives known about the RCMP investigation into this construction contract?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in fact, no members of this government are part of the inquiry. If the RCMP finds any wrongdoings with individual contractors, we expect they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the Parliament of Canada here.

If Conservative organizers take a $140,000 cut on the renovations of our most cherished political institution, then I guess it confirms that the Prime Minister has no respect whatsoever for Parliament.

The Minister of Natural Resources is under investigation by the Information Commissioner, the Ethics Commissioner and now by the RCMP. Is it not time he took a little time off to clean up his act?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the now Minister of Natural Resources has made an outstanding contribution to Canada, an outstanding contribution to Quebec, an outstanding contribution to his constituency. It is unfortunate that the member opposite would make such reckless comments.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the Liberal sponsorship scandal, the Conservatives promised to clean house. Now we learn that Gilles Varin, a Conservative Party organizer and supporter, allegedly lobbied the government on behalf of a contractor even though he was not a registered lobbyist. Mr. Varin bragged to the contractor that he had friends at Public Works and that he could help the contractor land the $9 million contract to renovate Parliament, which the contractor did go on to win.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he is perpetuating the same system and the same practices the Liberals used?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, as the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has already said, no member of this government is under investigation by the RCMP. We have rules in place, and if some contractors broke the law, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I remember correctly, the Prime Minister did not need an RCMP investigation to dismiss a minister a few months ago. Today, he is taking a different tack.

One of the Conservatives' many promises was that they would require ministers and senior officials to record all meetings with lobbyists, which the government has not done. Once again, does the Prime Minister realize that he is perpetuating an old system he roundly condemned when he was in opposition?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is quite the opposite, as I just said. No member of this government is under investigation by the RCMP. That is completely false. Our government is providing full information, and if an individual has broken the law, we have rules in place and that individual will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the contractor who was awarded the contract to repair the West Block paid $140,000 to Gilles Varin, an unregistered Conservative lobbyist. Right in the middle of the bidding process, that same contractor had lunch with Bernard Côté, the assistant to former public works minister Michael Fortier. This is the same Bernard Côté who was fired because of a secret relationship he had with lobbyist Julie Couillard.

How can the government ignore such revelations?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, no member of this government is part of this investigation. If the RCMP believes that it has proof that a crime took place, the individuals will be subject to the Federal Accountability Act and the taxpayers' money will be recovered.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the contractor, Paul Sauvé, acknowledged that he hired unregistered lobbyist Gilles Varin because, and I quote, “...he had close friends who worked in the system...”.

According to media findings, at least two Conservative assistants were approached by Paul Sauvé or his lobbyist. Unless the Prime Minister thinks it is normal for contractors to try to get preferential treatment from his government's staffers, has the Prime Minister himself, in addition to the investigation, looked into the comings and goings of Gilles Varin?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, no members of this government are part of this inquiry. If the RCMP does find any wrongdoing with any individual contractors, we expect it to prosecute to the full extent of the law.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, forget thousands of complaints, the government now says that it will make major policy decisions based on one complaint like it did with the census.

Here is one for you, Mr. Speaker. On Monday I told this House about Frank Rainville, a senior from Sturgeon Falls, who as a result of the federal tax that has been added to his essentials, is having to pay $20 more per month for his utilities. He does not know how he is going to cover the heating bills now that the thermostat has to be turned on.

My question is very simple. Will the Prime Minister finally act now for Frank Rainville and all Canadian families and take the federal tax off—

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is very interesting coming from the leader of the NDP who demands a tax cut on a very small percentage of items, but when we brought in the same tax cut across all goods and services that consumers purchase, he voted against that tax cut.

The truth is he favours higher sales taxes. That is the big difference between all three parties of the coalition and this government.

SeniorsOral Questions

October 6th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of Industry, a single complaint was enough to justify scrapping the mandatory long form census. In the meantime, thousands of seniors across the country are asking that their old age pension cheques increase by more than just $1.50. The cost of living is on the rise, and food prices are increasing. Our seniors deserve better.

Why is there such urgency when it comes to the census but virtually nothing for our seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was this government that cut the sales tax by 2% for seniors and the entire population. It is the coalition parties—the NDP, Liberals and Bloc Québécois—that want to increase the federal GST by 2%. That is their position, but ours is the exact opposite.

Consumer Product SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess these complaints from Canadians about the issues they are facing are not enough for the government to act.

Evidence is mounting in the same vein that we cannot trust tests on the safety of imported toys. We have heard from many parents, not just one, who are concerned about protecting their kids. They are worried about whether or not the toys are safe or unsafe. The government will not even tell them which ones might be harmful because it does not seem to care enough, I guess.

If one complaint is enough, think of all of the moms and dads who are worried about their kids. After delaying their own law to protect kids against toys, why will the government not act now?

Consumer Product SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has brought in a number of measures in terms of consumer protection precisely because we are very concerned about the toys and other items that our families purchase.

If the NDP or anyone else in the House of Commons has useful suggestions on how we can improve that, we are very open to that.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, a Conservative operator taking $140,000 to rig a bid is a very serious matter. Former minister Michael Fortier oversaw the awarding of this contract.

How long has the Prime Minister been aware that the RCMP is investigating one of his departments, his former minister and his current Minister of Natural Resources?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, no members of this government are part of this inquiry.

As I have stated, if the RCMP does find any wrongdoing with individual contractors, we expect it to prosecute to the full extent of the law.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are seeing a pattern of well-connected Conservative insiders accessing ministers' offices and influencing contracts.

Is this why the Prime Minister had to send a letter this weekend to his ministers telling them to stop taking money from people who do business with the government? Is he content to sweep this latest evidence of abuse under the rug, or will he do the honourable thing and fire his Minister of Natural Resources?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. It is the Prime Minister and this government that took action to clean up the ethical mess that existed in Ottawa.

The Federal Accountability Act took the influence of big money right out of politics. That serves the Government of Canada well, and it serves Canadians very well.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources, the Quebec lieutenant and former Minister of Public Works.

On January 22, 2009, did the minister attend the same fundraising party that Mr. Varin and Mr. Sauvé attended?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, indeed, the Bourassa riding association organized a fundraiser and I had the pleasure of attending as the political minister.