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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaties.

Topics

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Montreal's cultural community is in shock. No one understands why the Conservatives are attacking the FrancoFolies. Their funding has been cut one month before the start of the festival and the selection criteria were tinkered with after the fact. Quebeckers have had enough of this spiteful Prime Minister who is now taking aim at a festival that enhances Quebec's international reputation. The Conservatives have made cut after cut after cut to culture.

Why has the Prime Minister embarked on a demolition derby against culture, the French language and Quebec?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our funding has increased again and again and again. Festival funding has increased. For example, in the case of the FrancoFolies, we increased funding for 2010-11 and 2011-12. This is the first time that the FrancoFolies festival has had a multi-year agreement. It will receive $350,000 from my department as well as money from the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. The FrancoFolies will receive funding and we are proud of our commitment. During the election campaign, we promised to support artists. We have kept our promises once more.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister tinkered with the rules at the last minute to eliminate those organizations that do not serve his interests. Do we want deceit and intimidation? Well, there we go. That was his tactic with women's groups and with the FrancoFolies and now he is increasingly hostile in his attacks against the CBC. He is now accusing the CBC of waging a faith war. This is reminiscent of the dark ages.

Is there anyone in the party opposite who will rise and condemn this Prime Minister's arrogance, intransigence and abuse of power.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, as I stated, for the first time in its history the FrancoFolies festival has a $350,000 multi-year agreement.

During the election campaign, we promised to maintain or increase funding for the CBC. We kept our promise. The Liberal Party made the same promise, and then cut $414 million and 4,000 jobs, and is now accusing us of being the CBC's enemy? We kept our promise. We invested more than $1 billion in the CBC. Those are the results we promised in our election promises.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is perhaps a precedent-setting day in the history of a Westminster system of parliament.

This morning a minister of the Crown appeared at committee as an individual. According to our system of government, she is ultimately accountable for her ministry and yet the opposition, led by the chair of that committee, dismissed our system of ministerial accountability and would not let her answer for her department or for herself.

Having been silenced this morning, I wonder if the Minister of Human Resources will now be permitted to speak and to share with this House her reaction to this seemingly unprecedented event.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, today I voluntarily appeared before the ethics committee to answer questions about the department for which I am ultimately responsible. Shockingly, opposition members refused to allow me to speak.

This may be the first time in parliamentary history that a ministerial responsibility has been denied. Ministerial responsibility is a cornerstone of our parliamentary system.

This is proof that the opposition members are not in it for accountability or truth. They are just in it for themselves.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe—Grey was thrown to the wolves on the flimsiest of allegations by “Magnum B.S.”, yet when a big shot lobbyist buys 40 $250 tickets to a fundraiser for a minister and then successfully lobbies that cabinet minister at her own fundraiser, that is just business as usual for the Conservative lobbyist daisy chain.

How can the Prime Minister tolerate what amounts to a $10,000 bribe of one of his ministers? And whatever happened to the idea of getting big money out of politics?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is quite outrageous.

I can say this. The member for Simcoe—Grey will be pleased to learn she has a new best friend in Parliament. The member for Winnipeg Centre, having made serious allegations of improper conduct against the member for Simcoe--Grey and her husband, now seems to be standing in his place and suggesting she should be reinstated. It just does not get any more bizarre.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Calgary Southwest was the leader of the opposition, he condemned the Liberal's partisan appointments. He said, “Patronage must stop and when we form the government it will stop”.

This morning, the Chronicle Herald illustrated that, once in power, the Conservatives are no different than the Liberals.

They forced Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation to hire former employees of Conservative ministers.

People are sick of the Conservatives' political chicanery. When will the Conservative government stop its partisan practices?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite should know, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation provides an excellent level of service to Cape Bretoners and is highly regarded in the region.

The member also should know that ECB is an arm's length crown corporation. It is responsible for its own hiring and staffing decisions.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the private detective says he has no evidence of any wrongdoing by the former minister for the status of women. However, the Prime Minister relied on the detective's testimony to dismiss the minister. He even called the police and the Ethics Commissioner.

It remains a complete mystery. If the detective is not the Prime Minister's source, then what “serious and credible allegations” was he relying on and who provided him with that information?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me say this. There are serious allegations that are on the public record that have been stated in this place involving the member for Simcoe—Grey and Mr. Jaffer.

This issue has been handled with great care. The Prime Minister has sought legal counsel to ensure that it is dealt with well by the party's lawyer.

Let me be very clear. The Prime Minister did the right thing. He referred this matter to an independent authority to make the determination as how best to deal with it.

The Prime Minister did the right thing.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the detective says he never made the allegations reported by the Prime Minister's Office to the Ethics Commissioner. The “serious and credible allegations” the Prime Minister received about the former minister for the status of women came from another source.

If the detective is not his source, then what “serious and credible allegations” did the Prime Minister rely on to dismiss his minister and who provided him with that information?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in our parliamentary system of government, the Prime Minister makes the determination as to who has the privilege to serve the Canadian people as a member of the cabinet. This Prime Minister has set a high standard, both ethically and in terms of the professionalism, for the conduct of his ministers.

It is a great privilege to serve as a minister of the Crown and I think the Prime Minister reminded us all of this when he made recent changes to his ministry.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said he acted based on “serious” and “credible” allegations of a criminal nature when he fired his minister, kicked her out of his caucus and called the RCMP.

Nonetheless, the private detective that the Prime Minister's Office used as justification denies ever making such allegations.

This casts doubt on the Prime Minister's judgment. Is a criminal investigation under way? Why did he dismiss his minister? Who is his source?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there are so many falsehoods in that question by the member opposite that I do not even know where to begin to answer it.

What I can say is that serious allegations were brought forward to the Prime Minister. He did the right thing. He immediately referred those allegations to the relevant authorities so that they could determine the best way to handle them. That is an open and transparent and high ethical standard. The Prime Minister did the right thing.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives keep changing their story.

Yesterday Derrick Snowdy accused the Prime Minister of misrepresenting information he provided them, so they countered by insisting the Prime Minister acted on information from more than one source. But the Ethics Commissioner has confirmed that Snowdy was the sole source of the Prime Minister's allegations.

There is a really easy way to clear this matter up and establish the truth. The Prime Minister could simply release the letter he wrote to the Ethics Commissioner. Will he do it, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the best way to handle this is to turn the matter over to an independent authority to be able to look into these allegations and make the best determination. That is the right thing to do. That is the appropriate thing to do. That is the ethical thing to do. As usual, the Prime Minister did the right thing.

HealthOral Questions

May 13th, 2010 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can all agree that the victims of Canada's hepatitis C tainted blood disaster deserve, at the very least, to be treated with respect and to be given their court-ordered compensation as quickly as possible. But now we are hearing that payments are being cut and in some cases stopped altogether. These are claims that are approved, not claims that are pending.

What is the government doing to ensure that victims receive the compensation they are owed as quickly as possible?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is an independent organization that oversees the applications for these victims and each application is reviewed.

If the member's constituent has concerns, the member should be directing the individual to the independent organization that was established to respond to this situation.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is not about the application. The application has already been approved.

The government should have been prepared for this. Victims deserve nothing less.

What do I tell the person in my riding whose claim has been approved but who has been waiting to get a cheque for years? The individual has been told that payments have been put on hold because funds have run out. The government is shortchanging victims who have already suffered too much.

When will the government drop the excuses, stop re-victimizing claimants, and pay the money that is owed?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, there is an independent organization that has the resources to pay the victims. Each application is reviewed and responded to accordingly.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader was not in Canada during the former Liberal government and is confused about its fiscal record. He needs to talk to Liberal MPs, like the MP for Kings—Hants, who noted “The Chrétien-Martin cuts sent the health and education systems into crisis in every Canadian province”. Or he should talk to the Liberal MP for Toronto Centre, who said, “When the federal [Liberal] government decided in its wisdom that it would cut...it had a major and devastating effect on the people of [Ontario]”.

Could the finance minister please speak further to the Liberal record?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals like to talk about the 1990s. I understand the Liberal leader was not in the country in the 1990s but he should speak to some Canadians who were actually in Canada at the time, for example, the Liberal member for Toronto Centre who, when he was premier in the mid-1990s, had this to say, “When the federal [Liberal] government decided in its wisdom that it would cut back unilaterally, particularly in the area of social assistance, it had a major and devastating effect on the people of [Ontario]”, and the nurses and the students and all the others.

The people of Ontario remember well.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, while we celebrate the navy's 100th anniversary, the government is gutting our navy.

According to Admiral McFadden, half of his combat systems are going to be cut. Anti-submarine capabilities are going to be cut. Worst of all, key weapons systems to protect our sailors are going to be cut.

Why is the government choosing to gut our navy and put the lives of our brave men and women sailors at risk?