This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fraud.

Topics

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, in 1994, the previous Liberal government mandated the finance committee to spend each fall meeting with everyday Canadians and to report what they heard back to the House. This year, for the very first time since the process began, the Conservatives derailed the process when an employee in the office of the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar leaked a draft copy of the report to Conservative-friendly lobbyists.

What is the finance minister going to do, besides his online budget chat room, to ensure that the valuable input by stakeholders and individuals is not ignored?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 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, I expect what the finance minister will do is pull out the Hansard where every single person who appeared before the committee has a verbatim transcript. I am sure the Minister of Finance will then visit the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, who will fully brief him on the excellent input that was received for next year's budget.

I am sure that we will also listen to all members of Parliament who are fanning out right across the country to tell us what else we can do to create more jobs, more hope and more opportunity in this country.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the committee heard from 157 witnesses and received well over 400 briefs from individuals, charities, small businesses and others. All of that is now headed for the shredder because of a Conservative employee, all of this goodwill betrayed, millions of dollars wasted, and for what?

Is it not convenient that the finance minister now has the excuse he wanted in order to ignore the people of Canada as he drafts his fourth consecutive deficit budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 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 finance committee, which I can say is very ably chaired by the member for Edmonton—Leduc, as she said, held public hearings. All verbatim transcripts are available to the minister. It got 400 briefs and I know the Minister of Finance is going to spend the entire Christmas holiday reading each one of those 400 briefs, listening as he always does.

There is a pattern here. Whenever the Minister of Finance presents a budget, more jobs are created. Whenever the Minister of Finance talks economy, in fact he is named the best finance minister in the world.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is negotiating a “security perimeter” behind closed doors, and an agreement with the U.S. government seems imminent. And yet, the people's representatives in the House of Commons are being kept in the dark.

Since security perimeter negotiations are comparable in scope to treaty negotiations, will the Prime Minister promise to hold a debate and a vote on this matter before signing anything?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, since this government came to power, our priority has always been job creation and the economy. In that regard, we have always worked with the United States in order to keep our borders open all the while protecting our countries from terrorist threats. We take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our economy in order to create jobs for all Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, fighting terrorism, boosting trade and integrating immigration policies are matters that are too important to Quebec to give the Conservatives carte blanche. Parliamentarians must be consulted before commitments are made on behalf of the people.

Will the government promise to have a debate and a vote on this matter before making a formal commitment to the Americans?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, there is no agreement. I would remind my friend of the importance of trade with the U.S. We are an exporting country; Quebec exports to the U.S. are very significant. Daily trade with the U.S. totals $1.6 billion. Our priority is to protect Canadian jobs and to make progress in that regard.

Oil SandsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Society of Canada has just released a report on oil sands development, which criticizes the federal government's lack of action. The report states that the federal government is failing to demonstrate leadership and does not recognize the considerable risk this industry poses to the environment.

Does the government not think that a good place to start would be to stop subsidizing oil companies and their dirty oil and, instead, invest these billions of dollars in the development of green energy?

Oil SandsOral Questions

2:45 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, we appreciate the good work done by the Royal Society of Canada. We have read its report, which is approximately 500 pages long, and we completely agree that, with the expansion of the oil sands, we must protect the environment. It is our government that eliminated the subsidies that the Liberal Party had been granting for a number of years. Our Minister of Finance has done a great job once again.

Oil SandsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, per capita, the American government has invested 14 times more in renewable energy than Canada.

Rather than providing billions of dollars in subsidies to the oil companies, which are turning profits hand over fist, why does the Conservative government not invest more in the development of renewable energies that would eventually free us from our dependence on oil?

Oil SandsOral Questions

2:50 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, electricity generation in Canada is very green and this energy is one of the most renewable in the world. In Quebec, most of the energy is green energy.

Last week, I attended a United Nations meeting where I strongly supported the efforts of Quebec and other provinces, since energy falls under provincial jurisdiction. Our party respects that provincial jurisdiction. I hope that the Bloc member will follow our example.

HousingOral Questions

December 15th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is an urgent need in communities across this country for quality seniors' housing, yet Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is an obstacle to this necessary real estate market adjustment because it refuses mortgage guarantees to seniors' housing that has fewer than 50 units.

Why 50? What is so magical about that number? Why this arbitrary threshold on the part of this inflexible and short-sighted Conservative government?

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, CMHC is world renowned for the stability it has provided to our economy throughout the global recession. In fact, it is the envy of the world when it comes to that.

Part of that process is making sure that we have policies in place that prevent speculation, that will prevent a housing bubble, whether it is in the residential area or in the commercial market.

That is what CMHC is doing. It is protecting Canadians and the Canadian economy.

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

You are right, Mr. Speaker. This is not answer period.

These residences are perfectly acceptable to the Government of Quebec.

Quebec is prepared to sign sub-contracting agreements with these smaller residences to offer intermediate health care to residents and free up hospital waiting rooms.

Why do these smaller residences not deserve the support of this Conservative government? Does it think that only large residences, sometimes belonging to anonymous corporations, are better able to provide good care?

HousingOral Questions

2:50 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, obviously we are concerned about the infrastructure needs and the important contribution that seniors have made to our community. We believe that more can be done. That is why we have taken a good number of efforts and measures.

No other government has done more to support seniors than this government, particularly the efforts of the Minister of Finance and particularly the efforts of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, fraud costs Canadians $30 billion annually, hitting seniors the hardest. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police recognizes the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as critical of the fight on fraud.

On November 10, the Minister of Public Safety commended the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, stating, “Fraud has a devastating impact on individuals, families, businesses and damages Canada's economic integrity”. Days later, the Minister of Industry cut the funding.

Why is the Prime Minister allowing his ministers' egos to get in the way of protecting seniors?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government is of course working very closely with law enforcement officials across the country and with the provinces.

Under our government, we have increased resources available to the police and we intend to ensure that they also have the appropriate tools in respect of legislation to ensure that individuals who are in fact breaking the law are punished.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, cases of identity theft and mass marketing fraud are increasing in number and complexity, but funding for the Canadian anti-fraud call centre has been cut by the Minister of Industry. This means that more and more Canadians cannot get the help they need.

Why did the Minister of Industry choose to ignore the recommendations of the Minister of Public Safety?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is quite amazing that the party opposite continually stands in the House to object to legislation that in fact holds criminals accountable. For example, we have bills before committee in respect to the pardon legislation, and who is filibustering and stopping it? The Liberal Party and the coalition partners.

If they were truly serious about fighting crime, they would support the legislation that we have before the House and hold criminals accountable.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Conservative Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Senate passed our bill to eliminate pension entitlements for prisoners.

Our Conservative government stands beside victims and law-abiding Canadians in supporting this important reform, but we know much more needs to be done. We have introduced legislation to get tough on crime, but thanks to the Liberal-led coalition, victims continue to wait.

Can the Minister of Public Safety update the House on the proposed pardon reforms that would put the rights of victims over the rights of criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to welcome the member, and I am happy that the people of Vaughan will be represented by a member who, unlike the Liberal-led coalition, knows what it really means to get tough on crime.

We introduced a bill that would deny child sex offenders the right to ever receive a pardon. The member for Ajax—Pickering says he supports the bill. Yet so far all he has done is stall its progress and advocate on behalf of who? Criminals.

Again I call on the opposition to stop playing politics with victims and support our pardons reforms.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Oliphant commission of inquiry published its report, Canadians learned that former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney did have a relationship with lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, contrary to what Mr. Mulroney had claimed.

The Minister of Justice asked us to be patient, saying that he needed to be able to read the report before he could tell us whether he would ask Mr. Mulroney to reimburse the $2 million that the government had paid him.

He has had time to read the report. Will the government ask Brian Mulroney to reimburse the millions of dollars he was paid under false pretences, or will it not?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, we read all the reports that are presented to Parliament. I have to tell the House that many of those reports are in support of the legislation that we have before Parliament.

I want to tell the member how disappointed I was yesterday when we brought in the bill on faint hope that would reduce victimization in Canada, and the NDP members were the first ones on their feet applauding opposing that. They should be ashamed of themselves.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, like everything else, the Conservatives are all talk and no action when it comes to victims. Canadians are the victims here. They lost their two million bucks.

The Conservatives are following in Liberal footsteps and they have thrown open the doors of the government to lobbyists: “Are you from big tobacco here to shut down tough new labelling laws? Come on in, the health minister will see you right now”; “Are you from big oil and don't want to pay your environmental costs? No problem. We've got an environment minister that's all yours”; ”Are you from a credit card company that wants another billion dollar handout while fleecing Canadians? The Minister of Finance is in your pocket”.

Canadians are saying enough is enough. When will Conservatives finally close the lobbyists' revolving door access to our government?