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House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has now made it clear that he will ignore his constituents. He is going to allow his vote to be dictated to him by the Liberal leader, and he will be forced to support the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

What is even more confusing is that the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca said on Friday that witnesses had already appeared on the long gun registry bill. This is strange, because the public safety committee has yet to hear witnesses on Bill C-391.

If the member really wants to talk to police about the long gun registry, he should talk to Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson or Evan Bray from the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers or even the four Conservative members of Parliament who served their country as police officers themselves.

The member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has a choice. He can vote to keep the ineffective Liberal long gun registry or he can vote to scrap it. We know his constituents want him to scrap it.

International Workers' DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, May 1, is International Workers' Day.

Quebec has been celebrating this day since 1972, as a day for the union movement and workers to reaffirm their beliefs and to remember their contribution to our society.

This year's theme, “for a fair Quebec”, serves as a reminder of our values of fairness and social justice in Quebec. It is clear that we cannot count on the Conservative government for that.

This is the government that made pay equity a negotiable right, that is refusing anti-scab legislation, and that refuses to improve the employment insurance system. Fairness for workers is far from being a concern of this government.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I salute the workers of Quebec, and my party and I commit to continuing to work towards a fair Quebec, in spite of this government.

EthicsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, had it not been for media reports and a private investigator, Rahim Jaffer would still be lobbying his old cronies in the Conservative cabinet. He would still be using his wife's parliamentary email account, and senior Conservative ministers would still be taking his calls, bullying bureaucrats and never reporting any of it to anyone.

The Conservatives only handed over any documents after the lobbying commissioner and the RCMP were already investigating. Documents only started appearing after Liberals filed a complaint with the lobbying commissioner and after Liberals tabled motions at committee ordering ministers to come clean.

It is not transparency once one has been caught red-handed. What is more, we still cannot be sure that none of Mr. Jaffer's projects did not get funding because we still do not have all the documents. Why have we seen nothing from the natural resources minister, who was responsible for most of the green funds?

Canadians can see through these games. We have had enough of the catch-me-if-you-can Conservatives. It is time to end the Conservative culture of deceit.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party in its infinite wisdom has sent the member for Papineau into Lethbridge, Alberta, this weekend to teach Liberals how to win. You heard me right, Mr. Speaker. The son of Pierre Elliott, the creator of the national energy program, is off to Alberta to teach Liberals how to win. That is like sending Colonel Sanders to an animal rights convention to lecture about the rights of chickens.

Just what will the member for Papineau preach to Albertans? Will he tell us more about the Liberals' plan for a culture war? Will he promote the Liberals' support for the long gun registry? Will he preach the virtues of a Liberal carbon tax? Will he tell Albertans about the Liberals' shutting the door forever to unilingual Canadians from serving their country on the Supreme Court? We would not be surprised. The member for Papineau already thinks unilingual Canadians are lazy.

Albertans and Canadians know that the Liberal Party just does not speak for them. That is because Liberals are not in it for Canadians; they are just in it for themselves.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trying to distance themselves from Mr. Jaffer and his wife, the former minister. They are claiming that the government did nothing wrong. But I have this question for them.

Is it legal for a public office holder like a parliamentary secretary to discuss funding with a lobbyist and allow that lobbyist, a friend, to promote his personal interests? Is it legal, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, serious allegations were brought to the Prime Minister's attention. A number of allegations have been made since then. They are all in the hands of an independent Commissioner of Lobbying. That independent Commissioner of Lobbying was established by this government. She operates at arm's-length. She is currently reviewing the matter. I have a lot of confidence that she will follow the law and come to a good conclusion.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's evasiveness only serves to confirm its vulnerability.

The issue here is the legal onus on public office-holders, not lobbyists. Therefore, let us try again, and remember that handwritten note, “From Rahim, submit to department”.

When a parliamentary secretary gives preferential treatment to someone based on the identity of the person who represents that individual, is that an offence against Canadian law, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. No government money ever flowed as a result of these allegations. We brought forward a strong lobbyists registration act. We beefed it up. Every step of the way, when we were trying to toughen that law, the Liberal Party tried to stop us, tried to slow it down. We believe we have raised the bar. We have an independent Commissioner of Ethics, and she will adjudicate these matters as is appropriate.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is having difficulty with the facts. It talks about everything but the question. That means it has been caught red-handed.

Providing opportunities for buddies and friends to further their private interests, giving preferential treatment to certain people based on the buddies and friends who represent them, this behaviour is illegal, regardless of whether government money changed hands or not.

Why do Conservatives brag about the laws they do not enforce when other Conservatives are involved?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can see the difference in this fight. When Mr. Jaffer came forward and had meetings or sent emails and the like, no government money flowed.

When the Liberal Party was in power, bags of money went to Liberal insiders. The Liberal insiders then gave kickbacks to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party then was required to repay some of that money to Canadian taxpayers. It sent a cheque for $1 million back to the taxpayers. That is very true.

Today is the day when Canadians have to pay their taxes. It is time the Liberal Party paid up the $39 million that are still missing.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, four weeks ago today the former minister for the status of women was kicked out of cabinet and the Conservative caucus. Since then, there are allegations of illegal lobbying and influence peddling, confirmation of questionable personal side trips while on official government business in Belize, airport security regulations broken, denial of cocaine use while in possession of the illegal drug and so much more. Yet we are told none of this was the reason for the minister being fired. Therefore, what was it?

Why did the Prime Minister fire her? What could possibly be worse than all of this?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, serious allegations were brought to the Prime Minister's attention. What did he do? He immediately referred it to independent authorities so they could look into the matter and make a determination. This is something that is tremendously important. That shows a high ethical standard.

We want to see the Liberals exercise a high ethical standard. Is there a single member in the Liberal caucus who will stand and apologize right now for the Liberal sponsorship scandal? Just one member stand up right now.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister's routine is wearing thin, and he knows it. However, he is after all the leader of the magnificent seven, or is it eight or nine?

The minister of transport claims to have not discussed over dinner with his good buddy Rahim Jaffer the very proposals under consideration at the very same time by his department. That is no surprise. The minister has a pattern of involving himself in secret dinners where political favours seem to be on the menu.

Will the Prime Minister now order his ministers to reveal all of their dealings with Rahim Jaffer?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite seems confident in what he is saying. If he has any allegations he wishes to make, I would encourage him to step outside of the House and make those allegations.

The reality is the member for Ottawa South will not do that because he does not have any evidence. He does not have any facts. He is just plain wrong.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant exerted such strong pressure when he was Minister of Public Works and Government Services that it made senior officials extremely uncomfortable, especially since the emails they were receiving came from the office of Rahim Jaffer's wife, the former minister for the status of women.

Will the government admit that it did everything it could to help Rahim Jaffer gain access to officials in order to promote his interests?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We have provided the committee clerk and the lobbying commissioner with all the appropriate documents. If the member has any proof or allegations, he should refer them to the lobbying commissioner. That is exactly what the government has done, and I encourage the Bloc to follow our lead.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out to the minister that they did not send the lobbying commissioner the documents the Prime Minister sent the RCMP.

The Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant pushed officials so hard to give priority to Rahim Jaffer's projects that the deputy minister was concerned about the impact on the work of the department and officials even considered implementing a policy to manage such requests. That shows the extent of the harassment.

Will the government admit that it did everything it could to promote the interests of Rahim Jaffer, an unregistered lobbyist?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. No money went to Mr. Jaffer or his projects. We cannot be any clearer than that. That is why we created the position of independent lobbying commissioner. She is going to investigate. If the member has any evidence, he should forward it to the independent commissioner.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's defence does not hold water. Just because Rahim Jaffer was not able to secure a contract does not mean that he is not a lobbyist. Thanks to Quebec's godfather, he was able to make his sales pitch directly to top civil servants. These civil servants were so tired of the constant pressure and never-ending follow-ups from the office of the Quebec lieutenant that they complained numerous times.

When will the Quebec lieutenant admit that his staff were instructed to look out for the interests of former Conservative member Rahim Jaffer?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. If Mr. Jaffer tried to sell something, the government did not buy it.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we never said that he was good, just that he was an unregistered lobbyist. Just because he did not get a contract does not mean that he was not a lobbyist. Had it not been for the hard, honest work of civil servants, Rahim Jaffer would have hit the jackpot with help from the Quebec lieutenant.

Will the Conservatives' Quebec lieutenant admit that he, like Alfonso Gagliano, is more concerned with the interests of his party's friends than the interests of taxpayers?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is not at all the case. Serious allegations have been forwarded to independent authorities and we will let them make a determination. It is this government that established an independent commissioner of lobbying. We will wait for her determination.

International Co-operationOral Questions

April 30th, 2010 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the topic of maternal health and the upcoming G8 and G20 meetings, the Conservative government has been vocal on issues where it should not have been and silent on issues where Canada needs to take a strong stand. Let us start out with what it should not have said.

Ignoring advice from the WHO to provide funding for access to safe abortion, the government decided instead to dictate its Conservative ideology to women in developing countries.

Does the government really believe it knows better than the WHO? Could it possibly be that arrogant?

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to inform the House that this week the G8 ministers expressed their support for Canada's maternal health initiative. The government wants to save the lives of mothers and children in the developing world in a way that unites, rather than divides Canadians.

International Co-operationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is the government is taking a stand that puts us at odds with our international partners and aid organizations, yet it is silent on issues where Canada's voice is desperately needed.

Why has the government said nothing on mother-to-child transmission of HIV? Four hundred thousand babies are born annually with HIV. The international goal is to eliminate mother-to-child transmission by 2015.

Will the government commit today to support initiatives to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV?