Mr. Speaker, on April 12, I rose in the House to get some clarification on the Jaffer affair, more specifically the subsidies from a certain green fund.
The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities avoided the question, which is what this Conservative government does when it has something to hide from Canadians. There is something fishy going on. Why else are we missing some of the documents?
Why did the former Minister for the Status of Women, the former Minister of Natural Resources and the current Minister of Natural Resources not testify before the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates? This is a serious situation since a minister was stripped of her responsibilities and dismissed. The Prime Minister also kicked her out of the Conservative caucus. She is even being dropped as the candidate for her own riding.
This former minister maintains that she does not know the nature of the allegations that prompted the Prime Minister to call in the RCMP to investigate her conduct. All these actions suggest that some serious misdeeds were committed and the public has the right to know what happened.
Since the Conservatives took office, we have all noticed that their leader revels in a culture of secrecy. However, Canadians have a right to know what all these omissions and this sidestepping are hiding. Even the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is said to have used a large fund for green energy, of which a significant amount may have been given to a business of which her son-in-law is the vice-president.
What funds are we talking about? We are all referring to the green infrastructure fund, which is managed by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and which is a $1 billion program.
Rahim Jaffer, who is a former member of this honourable House and the husband of the expelled minister and political caucus orphan, is said to have told a group of business people that his company could help clients get public funds. He said, in the April 8 edition of the Toronto Star, that he could easily get money and that he also had access to a green fund.
Mr. Jaffer and Patrick Glémaud, his partner in Green Power Generation Corporation, are said to have met the parliamentary secretary responsible for approving projects for the green infrastructure fund. These two individuals seemingly presented three projects to the parliamentary secretary, who had the authority to approve or deny funding to the corporations that Mr. Jaffer was representing, no doubt as a lobbyist.
The Conservatives used a loophole in the Lobbying Act that allowed parliamentary secretaries to meet lobbyists in secret. The Liberals helped correct that flaw by supporting a motion putting an end to the powers that the Conservatives were using to help their friends.
The current Minister of Natural Resources and the former Minister of Natural Resources, who are the primary managers of the government's green energy fund, refuse to testify before the House of Commons regarding their involvement in the Jaffer case. Mr. Jaffer's partner, Patrick Glémaud, has cooperated fully with the Department of Natural Resources.