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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forest.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Paul Sauvé, under oath with his hand on the Bible, said that it cost him $300,000 to have access to a system organized by the Conservatives and to obtain a contract. Every contract requires a 3% rebate and, if that was not enough, someone has to raise funds for the Conservatives as a thank you.

He also mentioned that he learned that Senator Nolin, his assistant Hubert Pichet and Bernard Côté, when he was former minister Fortier's assistant, were directly linked to the awarding of the contract. Why is this minister still in the government?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the public servants who are responsible for this have confirmed that the contracts were managed entirely by the public service and that there was absolutely no political interference. We have learned something about Mr. Sauvé, that he has met with one member of Parliament in this House, and it is the member for Bourassa. It appears that the member for Bourassa was trying to get him to be a Liberal candidate in what riding? Outremont. Why will he not leave Martin Cauchon alone?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member is as smooth as cashmere.

Yesterday in committee, Paul Sauvé, under oath with his hand on the Bible, said that a Conservative 3% kickback contract award system exists: “we paid, we received”.

Varin implied to him that Senator Nolin, Hubert Pichet, and Bernard Côté were involved. Further to the 3% kickback, contractors have to raise money for the Conservative Party.

The Prime Minister has called the RCMP and fired the member for Simcoe—Grey for less than that. Why will he not call in the RCMP this time, for this minister?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in recent months we learned that public servants in the Department of Public Works have ensured that the contracts were all handled by non-partisan public servants and that they were fair, open and transparent.

What is also fair, open and transparent is that Paul Sauvé is a major contributor to which party? The Liberal Party. Just a few short years ago, he donated $1,000 to a senior Liberal cabinet minister, and just last year he donated almost $1,000 to the Liberal Party. I wonder why.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

November 24th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list of those opposed to a single securities commission is growing. Now the head of the B.C. Securities Commission, Paul Bourque, is opposed to the minister's plan. According to Paul Bourque, “Canada's ability to finance small business, the lifeblood of economic growth and employment, will be put in serious jeopardy,” if the minister's plan goes through.

Will the minister finally understand that his plan, openly rejected by Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and now British Columbia, is headed for disaster?

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this initiative is optional and voluntary for the provinces. We are respecting provincial jurisdiction in this area.

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how wilfully ignorant the minister is. Yesterday, at the Standing Committee on Finance, he openly admitted to me that he had not heard about Pierre Lortie's study. Lortie is the former president and head of the Montreal Exchange.

This study clearly demonstrates the harmful nature of his plan and, notably, the false impression of voluntary membership. But he does not listen to or read anything unless it suits him, and he is not interested in differing opinions.

Does he not simply want to concentrate financial market power in Toronto, to the detriment of all the other financial markets and Montreal?

Securities IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the proposal with respect to a Canadian securities regulator is purely voluntary and purely optional. I am pleased that 10 provinces and territories are working with the Government of Canada on the initiative.

As the member knows, the Government of Quebec referred the matter to the Quebec Court of Appeal. We have referred the draft legislation, which was tabled in this House, to the Supreme Court of Canada for the opinion of the court on the jurisdiction of Parliament to legislate in this area. We anticipate hearing from the court next year.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have lost count of the number of times that the Prime Minister and his Justice minister have complained about the big, bad Liberal senators getting in their way. The member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup claims that it is legitimate for unelected senators to block bills passed by elected members of the House of Commons, as they did with respect to a bill on climate change. Does this not further demonstrate how hypocritical it is on the part of the Conservative government to have no qualms about taking advantage of the system, once it gained control of the Senate, even if it meant abandoning its so-called democratic principles?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is so concerned about democracy, it would be very helpful if she and her party would support our legislation to reduce Senate term limits from up to 45 years to 8 years, support our legislation to have Senate elections and support our legislation to bring accountability in political loans and expand voting opportunities.

We are being very aggressive with our democratic reform agenda. I ask her to please support us.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, now that the Conservatives control the Senate, they seem bound and determined to take advantage of that to quash those decisions made by the elected members of the House of Commons that do not suit them. Never mind democracy. After blocking the climate change bill, the unelected senators are set to go at it again by scuttling the legislation requiring Supreme Court judges to understand French.

Is the Prime Minister not ashamed of using the unelected Senate to overturn decisions made by the elected members of the House of Commons? How can he—

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.The hon. Minister of State.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for bringing up this important issue.

We do have a situation where the Senate of Canada is not consistent with the democratic values of the 21st century. That is why we are bringing forward our legislation for eight-year term limits. This is why we are bringing in Senate elections.

What we cannot have is a Senate that has appointments made three decades ago holding up government priorities, like a strong economy, and Bill C-311 was bad for the Canadian economy.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister wraps himself in the flag of austerity, but it is made of Cellophane.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. The hon. member for Wascana has the floor. Order, please.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the member's flag is made of Cellophane. The emperor has no clothes.

He rails against big, risky spending schemes, but what about a $1 billion for fake lakes, glow sticks and a wasted weekend on the G20? What about $16 billion for stealth fighters, $10 billion for jails and $6 billion every year for extra tax breaks for the wealthy?

Why are these big, risky Conservative schemes exempt from austerity?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the lowest deficits in the G7 and the best overall fiscal position.

Our deficit this year is lower than originally forecast. As we have said all along, once our recovery is assured we will return to a balanced budget.

The stimulus package was necessary to protect Canada and protect Canadians, and that meant running a deficit for a short period of time.

I know it was the right idea, because the member for Kings—Hants, my critic, said, “The Canadian stimulus package undoubtedly created economic activity and jobs”.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, look at the Minister of Finance's sorry record in Ontario.

While the federal government of that day moved transfers to provinces up and up to the highest level in Canadian history, including $43 billion for health care, the minister's Conservative government in Ontario borrowed billions for unaffordable tax cuts. The Conservatives drove up the deficit, left massive debt, closed 23 hospitals, fired 8,000 nurses, fired food inspectors and wrought the deadly Conservative disaster of Walkerton.

How can Canadians trust such an awful record?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, none of that is accurate, of course.

Our government will not reduce the transfer payments for health and social services to the provinces.

I was there in Ontario when the member's government back then cut the transfer payments. We had to close hospitals. Nurses were laid off. We could not educate doctors properly. Teachers were laid off. Schools were closed. It was all because of the Liberal government.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We do not need any more yelling. We are going to have a little peace and quiet.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the finance minister is lecturing Canadian families about risky spending schemes, he is letting the defence minister spend $16 billion on untendered fighter jets, throwing away $3 billion because the contract is sole-sourced. Even the Auditor General and the Pentagon are calling this risky.

I ask the finance minister on behalf of Canadians: Will he show some respect for taxpayers and stop the Conservative gravy train and just say no to the defence minister's risky spending schemes?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, no one knows how to spend like Liberals. How do I know this? I know this because it has confirmation from the finance critic, the member for Kings—Hants.

Here is what he thinks of Liberal spending. He says that neither the Liberal caucus nor the Liberal Party “has ever encountered a problem that they did not believe to be best solved by throwing copious quantities of taxpayers' money at. They are tax and spend-aholics”. He would know.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to risky spending, the Conservatives should practise what they preach. They originally promised that their prison bill would only cost $90 million; then they said it would cost $2 billion. Now the Parliamentary Budget Officer is telling Canadians it will cost between $10 billion and $13 billion.

Will the finance minister show some respect for taxpayers, stop the Conservative gravy train and just say no to his justice minister's risky new spending?