Mr. Speaker, with respect to the previous question, I used to sit on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and I could easily talk about the fact that we did not obtain the documents and that the documents we have are new ones. However, that is not the question that I want to raise this evening. In fact, I asked a question on November 4 about a troubling and problematic situation at the Canada Revenue Agency.
This has been known for a while, and other revelations have added to the questions we have about the Canada Revenue Agency. This is a problem for all Canadians, not only because the Canada Revenue Agency is an essential part of the government, since it is the main agency that collects money and enables the government to function, but also because Canadians must view the agency as neutral, efficient and above reproach.
Reports we obtained from the media, for instance, show that a situation is developing in some of the agency's offices in Quebec, particularly in Montreal. We are hearing about an extortion scheme and bribes paid to rather senior CRA employees in exchange for substantial income tax reductions. In one particular case, we heard about a Montreal business that owed CRA $3,500,000. Through this bribe and extortion scheme, that company managed to reduce that amount to $50,000.
All of this was uncovered in 2007 and we know that it has been going on for about 10 years. It was uncovered during an investigation into organized crime in Montreal as part of Operation Colisée. That investigation revealed that senior CRA employees in Montreal had some questionable ties to construction companies that were suspected of having links to organized crime.
Everyone agrees that the Canada Revenue Agency has to be above reproach. Obviously, the question that was asked did not apply to all employees, or to the employees in general, but to the few people who tried to use their positions in the Canada Revenue Agency for their own personal gains and to allow their friends to end up with a clean tax record. The investigation has not come up with much so far. Only nine employees may have been suspended or dismissed and many questions remain about the integrity of the process. That is why I asked the Minister of National Revenue the question.
There is one last thing I want to emphasize and it has to do with my second question on the fact that, during the investigation into one business in particular, the file, which had been in the office when the internal auditor mandated by the Auditor General was there, disappeared. This also causes certain problems and raises suspicions about the way in which the office operates.
The question was for the Minister of National Revenue and I would like to have an answer with regard to the investigation and what the government intends to do to reassure Canadians about the integrity of the Canada Revenue Agency.