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

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the registry is not cracking down on crime like the Liberals promised it would. It unfairly targets hard-working farmers and hunters, not criminals. It is time to put an end to this billion dollar Liberal boondoggle once and for all. There are all kinds of people who have opposed it. The leader of the Liberal Party said:

No sensible Canadian thinks the problem is the shotgun on the barn door. No sensible Canadian thinks the problem is the target shooter or the legitimate licensed gun owner. The problem is those handguns.

That was on CTV March 22, 2009.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just seen further proof that Conservative members from Quebec would rather kowtow to the Prime Minister than defend Quebec and the consensus of that nation.

Conservative members from Quebec claim they have recognized the Quebec nation, but in reality, it means absolutely nothing to them. They refuse to listen to the National Assembly, police forces, women's groups, advocacy groups for victims of crime, École Polytechnique victims, legal experts and public health experts, who all want the gun registry to be maintained in full.

Why do the Conservative members from Quebec so slavishly refuse to defend the consensus expressed by the Quebec nation?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, all our members are in favour of gun control. What we are not in favour of is a registry that does not work. It does not cut down on crime like the Liberals promised it would.

It is time to get rid of that wasteful tool which was implemented. If my colleague across the floor would like to come to the committee, he will hear a variety of views, not all of which fit his agenda.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am appalled to hear these token Quebeckers argue that requiring judges to be bilingual could prevent unilingual francophone candidates from sitting on the Supreme Court. We wonder what planet they are living on. I challenge them to name me one unilingual francophone judge who has sat on the Supreme Court.

How can the Conservative members from Quebec claim to represent Quebec when they are opposed to requiring that the nine Supreme Court judges have a basic knowledge of French?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, I acknowledge the insulting question by the hon. member. When those members are not attacking government for getting tough on crime, when they are not opposing us cracking down on people who traffic in children, now they are attacking the Supreme Court of Canada.

The court provides all its services and communications in English and French. It has done an outstanding job over the years in providing for both linguistic dualities. For once, this should have the support of the Bloc.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can see that he is unable to name me a single francophone Supreme Court judge who did not speak English.

Former justice Major, who says that translation is available for anglophone judges who have difficulty understanding French, is not very convincing. We wonder how this unilingual anglophone could judge translation quality when he cannot understand the original version.

How can the token Quebeckers in this government claim, like justice Major, that understanding French is not an essential competency for a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada?

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 and his party are now intent upon attacking the Supreme Court of Canada. This is very unfortunate.

I wonder, for once, if they could have a look at what they are and where they stand and start to support the Supreme Court of Canada, start to support our system and start to support our country for a change.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative claim of transparency in the Jaffer affair is a joke. Evidence unearthed by the government operations committee has exposed the truth. The extent of unregistered lobbying by Jaffer and company reveals privileged access to seven departments that we know of. One minister has arrogantly stonewalled all attempts to get to the truth about billions in green energy funds.

Why is the Minister of Natural Resources afraid of appearing before government operations? Why this attempt to dodge the truth?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, an independent officer of Parliament is looking into this issue, and we await her good judgment.

The reality is we have made an offer to open up the Lobbying Act to make it more open, to make it more transparent. The Liberal leader promised this morning to open up his appointment book, to put some light where there is darkness. He made that solemn promise before the television cameras this morning. Now his office has come out and has said, “No way, not going to happen, not going to do it”.

Is the Liberal leader afraid of opening up his records because it would show that every 10 minutes he is meeting with another Liberal lobbyist, lobbyists like former ministers Don Boudria, John Nunziata, Joe Jordan, or even David Dingwall?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, their little games will not work. Canadians have the right to know the truth about the billions in green energy funds to which Conservative lobbyists had privileged access. The committee had to order Natural Resources Canada to hand over all the documents connected with the Jaffer affair.

My question is simple. When will the Minister of Natural Resources comply with the committee's order?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is simply not being honest with Canadians. Let me be very clear. Lobbyists had no access to the green fund. In all the issues before the House, not a single dollar was given to any of the organizations in question. That is because we operate honestly and we operate ethically.

The Liberal leader made another big gaff this morning. CTV News reported, moments after the Liberal leader pledged to open up his appointment book, that one of his senior advisers told CTV privately that there was a bit of a collective gasp in the Liberal leader's office while watching it on TV. It turns out he is not prepared to do it. Another day and another major gaff by the leader—

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the Conflict of Interest Act, it is illegal to promote the interests of pals and give special treatment to people represented by pals. As many as seven ministers—ministers—clearly violated that act by giving Rahim Jaffer privileged access and fast-tracking his grant requests.

Since they refuse to appear before the committee and answer questions, will they at least acknowledge in the House that this sort of behaviour is illegal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in Parliament we have two independent watchdogs who report to the House collectively to make these types of determinations. I would encourage the member opposite to follow the example of the Prime Minister, to follow suit. If she has any allegation or any evidence, she should forward it to those independent authorities for examination.

The government has said today that we are prepared to open the Lobbying Act to make it more accountable, to make it more transparent. The Liberal Party supports that as long as it does not affect it. One rule for everyone else and another rule for itself. This sounds like a culture of secrecy. It sounds like the old culture of Liberal entitlement.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

I am not quite sure what those members are afraid of, Mr. Speaker.

The Conflict of Interest Act prohibits public office holders from using their positions to further the private interest of a friend, regardless of whether public money changed hands. The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and others gave special attention to funding applications for their friend, Rahim Jaffer. The minister's parliamentary secretary is now dodging committee this afternoon.

Will the minister explain, since compliance is a precondition to employment, what consequences will face those who violate the Conflict of Interest Act?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite has any allegations or any evidence that she wants to forward on to the independent Ethics Commissioner, I would encourage her to do so.

We are trying to get the Liberals to bring more openness and transparency. Maybe we are going to have to go to the NDP. Will the member for Winnipeg Centre join us and make the leader of the Liberal Party's office registerable under the Lobbying Act and bring some light where there is darkness? Will the NDP help us bring more transparency over there?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, speaking about full transparency, the members on this side understand that it is not something we just simply talk about. It is something we live every day.

Yesterday, while the executive director of the Liberal Party was out soliciting secret campaign donations, the Liberals were in the House arguing that Canadians had no right to know which Liberal lobbyists they were meeting with, what they were talking about and who exactly the Liberal Party represented.

Could the President of the Treasury Board please share with the House why we believe it is so important that Canadians have full transparency?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, it is important to recall it was after a series of devastating Liberal scandals that we brought in the toughest anti-corruption laws that had ever been applied in the House of Commons. Among that, we are saying that the requirement to register lobbyists should apply to all MPs, to senators and to the offices of the Liberal opposition leader.

As soon as the opposition leader heard that, he panicked and said, “Whoa, whoa, that's going too far”. He said not his office. Is he proposing two laws, one for him and one for the rest of Canadians?

Status of WomenOral Questions

May 5th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that in the last two weeks alone, 12 women's organizations have had their funding cut by the Conservative government for the first time in their histories. The newest organization on the chopping block is MATCH International. While the government claims to be the champion of the issue of maternal health, it continues to try to silence and neutralize women's organizations in Canada.

Will the government end its ideological tirade or will it continue to cut funding to any women's organization with the courage to speak out against its agenda?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the member that our government has increased the funding for women's programs to the highest level in the history of Canada. We are now supporting women through projects in every province and territory across the country. In fact, more women's groups are applying than ever before. Why? It is because our programs are working. They are achieving results. In fact, we have funding right in the hon. member's riding. I am sure she will support that as well.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a Conservative senator warned women's groups to “shut the F up” or else they would be punished.

Today, Conservative Senator Benoît Bouchard wondered whether the government equated opposition with punishment.

The Domestic Workers Center, which helps women who work as domestics, has lost all of its $60,000 annual funding.

Apart from providing assistance for women in need, what did this organization do to make the Conservative government cut its funding?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I am proud again to reiterate that our government has now invested record amounts of funding in women's programming. One of the things I hear a lot about across the country from women is that they want to feel safe in their communities and homes.

This is why I am proud that our government has done more than any other government in the history of our country to keep women safe. We have introduced new laws to ensure we keep rapists and murderers off the street and to ensure we protect children from sexual predators. That is what women want and I hope the member opposite will support us.

Renewable EnergyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Pembina Institute estimates that Canada, through its economic action plan, has allocated 14 times less per capita to renewable energy initiatives than the United States. As a result, Canada's expertise in solar and wind energies is at a standstill and the delay is becoming almost insurmountable.

Why is the minister investing billions of dollars in greenwashing technologies like nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage and refusing to invest in the future, in other words, in renewable energies?

Renewable EnergyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, it is very nice to see the Bloc members so concerned about Canadian national programs. They seem to be defending them left, right and centre. We are proud to defend what we have done on renewable energy.

Our programs have helped families across the country increase their energy efficiency. They have put money into pilot projects on geothermal, solar and those kinds of things. They have subsidized biofuels. We are proud of what we have done in the eco-energy field and we look forward to doing more for Canadians in the future.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, knowing where this government stands on the oil industry, the comments by the Minister of Natural Resources on the risks of offshore drilling are not reassuring.

Why do the minister and the Conservatives' political lieutenant not commit instead to concluding an agreement allowing the Government of Quebec to develop its energy resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence according to its own environmental standards?