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 #44 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member says that he does not want to answer that question. Maybe he will get up and apologize.

I want the member to know how offended I was by his attack on my Quebec colleagues last week. I want him to know that my Quebec colleagues and their families have been good and loyal supporters of Quebec for 400 years.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, initial reports suggested that the RCMP would not be investigating the biggest mortgage fraud in Canadian history. Now we know that RCMP investigators have been inundated with tens of thousands of documents, so it may take months before they can wade through them to decide if an investigation is warranted.

Why is the government not giving the RCMP the resources it needs to get to the bottom of this right away?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, nobody has been more supportive of law enforcement agencies in this country than this particular government.

If the member wants to talk about mortgage fraud, he should have a look at our bill on white collar crime. It zeroes in on the individuals who commit this kind of fraud and would ensure they get mandatory sentencing and, for a change, we have made it user friendly for the victims of those frauds. That should have the support of the hon. member and all hon. members of this House.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all about enforcement.

This unprecedented fraud shows the government's upside-down thinking and its pattern of superficial responses to white collar crime. The Conservatives brag like gunslingers about being tough on crime but their white collar crime policies are mere sleight of hand; ephemeral pronouncements with no effective action.

It is the biggest mortgage fraud in Canadian history and the RCMP does not even have the wherewithal to begin sifting through piles of documents to determine if there was illegal activity.

When will the Conservatives give the police what they really need to fight white collar crime and spare us the incessant public relations?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure why the hon. member is now attacking the RCMP, but if he is serious about attacking mortgage fraud and white collar crime, for a change they on that side of the House should start making it a priority.

At their recent spenders conference, we never heard one word from the Liberals about fighting crime in this country. That is why I am so proud to be a part of a party that will always stand up for victims and law-abiding Canadians.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is nothing but more rhetoric. In fact, the only action the government has taken on white collar crime is to starve the RCMP and the Department of Justice of resources they desperately need to do their jobs. Underfunding of the RCMP commercial crime unit is crippling the department. Federal prosecutors are being driven out the door by cuts and the scant resources left are totally inadequate.

Why is the government undercutting the people and departments that fight white collar crime? Why is there such a massive gap between its words and its actions?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the answer that the Minister of Justice gave to the prior questioner and I agree with that position.

What I do not understand is why that individual simply refuses to stand up for the victims of white collar crime. I remember when that party voted against Bill C-9 to stop house arrest for people involved in fraud. Those members voted against it and now they have flipped sides. Why is that? Why are they not consistently on the side of victims?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, that minister should stop abusing victims and actually stand up for them.

The reality is that the Conservatives cut 41% from the victims of crime initiative. They tossed the victims ombudsman out the door when he said that their plan was unbalanced and would not work. Now they are chasing failed Republican policies to build prison cities. The government starves departments that catch large scale fraud and cripples them from going after scams like what happened with BMO in Alberta.

Why does the government undermine those who stop serious white collar crime?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the kind of prison cities that the Liberals build are for ordinary citizens to be barred in their own homes because they are scared to be out on the streets. Our government believes that it is criminals who should be behind bars and ordinary citizens entitled to walk the streets when they feel like it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged that serious crimes are excused through pardons. Under the current system, pardons are granted almost immediately. This Conservative government believes that no matter how much time passes, a serious crime is a serious crime.

Today, legislation was tabled to ensure that those convicted of sexual offences against minors would be ineligible for a pardon.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update this House on how this important piece of legislation would further ensure that the rights of law-abiding citizens always come before the rights of criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his very hard work on this important file.

The current system of pardon applies that the crimes committed by offenders are somehow forgiven or that the harm they have done has somehow disappeared. The vast majority of Canadians disagree and so does our Conservative government.

We are taking the steps needed to eliminate pardons for those convicted of sexual assault against children. The changes we are proposing are tough, yet fair. I urge all members to support our bill.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, when one member of the Conservative caucus is implicated in a massive real estate fraud there is not a peep from the PMO and yet the member for Simcoe—Grey, who was accused of absolutely nothing, is dumped from the party, kicked out of caucus and turned in to the RCMP. It is a fundamental principle of natural justice that a person has a right to know what they are accused of.

What could the member for Simcoe—Grey possibly have done that is more embarrassing to the Conservative government than being implicated in a massive real estate fraud scheme?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have referred allegations of a serious nature, which came from a third party, regarding the member for Simcoe—Grey, to the relevant authorities and to the member for Simcoe--Grey. These authorities will come to their own conclusions.

We believe that it is important to underline the fact that none of these allegations involved any government business, any member of Parliament, any senator or any government employee.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the relevant authorities, the RCMP, the Ethics Commissioner and the Conservative Party's own lawyer, now say that no documents were ever given to them. Surely the Prime Minister had some concrete proof before he crucified his minister for the status of women.

Could he please tell us what, if any, documents were actually passed to the relevant authorities regarding the member for Simcoe—Grey, or did he decide to ruin her life based on the unsubstantiated allegations of one discredited and dubious gumshoe?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this certainly was not the attitude from members of the New Democratic Party when we were last in session and that minister was on her feet answering questions.

Here is the bottom line. Serious allegations were brought to the attention of the government. We cannot take a position as to whether they are true or untrue. The Prime Minister did the right thing. He immediately forwarded those allegations to the relevant authorities and ensured that the member was made aware.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

May 11th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, EDC's vice-president contradicted the Minister of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec when he recognized that EDC does not really offer direct assistance to forestry companies. Indeed, instead of the $22 billion mentioned by the government, EDC may have provided at most $500 million annually to forestry companies across Canada. This is far from the $10 billion given to the automotive industry.

When will the minister stop playing with words, and when will he provide loan guarantees, as requested by Quebec's forestry sector?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reply to the member and to clarify things once again. EDC's vice-president responded to a question on loan guarantees. We have always talked about the financial services provided, which include accounts receivable insurance. As I already mentioned, that insurance accounts for 90% of EDC's support.

One should listen carefully. I have EDC's numbers before me. In 2008, it was $13.9 billion. We are talking about financial services provided to the Canadian forestry industry, including $8.9 billion in Quebec. We are not talking about loan guarantees.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Quebec Forest Industry Council is exasperated by the government's attitude. He is asking to stop saying that help is being provided, because that is not the case. The fact is that forestry companies do not have access to EDC's help.

Instead of covering the Conservative government's inaction, why do the ministers from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean not focus their efforts on getting loan guarantees for the forestry industry?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, last week, in Abitibi, the regional director of Emploi-Québec and the director of the sectoral manpower centre said that the industry needed to diversify the products that it processes, improve marketing strategies and develop new markets.

Last week, in the Lower St. Lawrence region, they said, following a seminar, that the U.S. housing market recovery was a sign of better things to come and that the resurgence of markets would be beneficial. Bloc members are the only ones who do not understand. The problem with the forestry industry is that it sells less products. We are hoping that a new window of opportunity will help us sell more products.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, last month when the Prime Minister fired his minister, kicked her out of caucus and called in the RCMP, his spokesperson told the media that she was informed of the allegations. He said that the Conservative Party lawyers spoke to her last Friday and informed her of the allegations. However, last night the former minister stated that she has been kept in the dark.

Not the Prime Minister, not the party lawyer, no one has provided her with any information. Did the Prime Minister's spokesperson misspeak?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I think I addressed that question when I responded to the member for Winnipeg Centre. I can say this. We are tremendously concerned that a Liberal member of Parliament, a sitting member of the Liberal caucus, was advertising services as a paid lobbyist on the World Wide Web.

Instead of full disclosure, the website was altered before the Ethics Commissioner was called in and altered after the Ethics Commissioner was informed. Now it has been completely removed from the Internet. Is this an example of another Liberal cover-up of a scandal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should provide a better answer.

It has now been over a month since the Prime Minister was seemingly informed of such serious allegations that he had to refer his minister's case to the RCMP, which is a first since the Mulroney years.

However, neither the former minister nor Canadians know whether the RCMP is investigating.

It is the government's integrity that is at stake here. When will the Prime Minister tell Canadians whether or not an investigation is underway. If so, what is the object of that investigation?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to speak for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. What I can do is speak as a member of the House of Commons.

Why did the Liberal leader appoint a senior member of his caucus to the most important regulatory oversight committee, a man who is advertising himself as a paid lobbyist for foreign interests, specifically saying that he could get regulations changed?

Why would the Liberal leader make this appointment? Why will he not explain just who the member's clients were and what conflict of interest could have taken place on this matter?

Broadband AccessOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives came to power, Canada was the world leader in broadband access. Under this government we have fallen to the back of the pack of OECD countries. No wonder, because after ragging the puck for four years, the Minister of Industry kicked off a digital consultation by announcing that two, count them, just two projects in northern Ontario would receive funding for broadband upgrades. No wonder we have fallen off the digital map.

The government had four years to upgrade our rural broadband infrastructure. Why has it been missing in action?

Broadband AccessOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

It is quite the opposite in fact, Mr. Speaker. I was happy to announce on Mother's Day the first 52 projects as part of our $200 million broadband strategy, the first 52. Two are in northern Ontario, as the hon. member said. There are projects throughout nine other provinces and territories. That is just a start, because other announcements will be coming forward in the next few weeks.

I do not know why the hon. member is asking the question. He voted against that. He voted against our budget. Why is he standing here saying he is the king of broadband now?