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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fair.

Topics

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Parliament established this day so that Canada would never forget the tragic deaths of 14 young women who were killed at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989 because of their gender. Every year this day reminds Canadians that violence against women is a fact of life in our society. However, this tragedy gave us the courage and the strength to act to eliminate gender-based violence.

On December 6, I encourage all Canadians to observe a minute of silence, wear a white ribbon or attend one of the silent vigils that will be held across the country. Together we can make this a world without violence.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6, 2011 marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to offer a rose to every woman and girl who has been the victim of violence in Quebec, Canada and the world. Let us remember the 14 women who were murdered at École Polytechnique because of their gender. Let us remember the families. Let us remember the survivors.

On this sad day, I condemn the recklessness and irresponsibility demonstrated by this government, which chose to derail the gun control system rather than protecting women and children. This government not only chose to abolish a registry that saves lives but, worse, it also plans to destroy the data that cost so much to acquire.

The Quebec National Assembly is listening to those responsible for public health and safety and for mobilizing the people of Quebec to keep the memory of those killed by firearms alive. I look forward to the day when Quebec has a firearms registry.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6, 1989, is etched into our collective memory as the date of one of the most tragic events in Canada's history. Twenty-two years ago today, 14 young women at École Polytechnique who all had dreams of bright futures lost their lives in one of the darkest acts of misogyny we have ever seen.

We all swore that we would do what was necessary to ensure that this would never happen again. That is why we created the firearms registry at the time, to act as an additional measure to help prevent crime. Twenty-two years later, the Conservative government is adding to the tragedy. It plans on destroying the registry and the data it contains as part of a purely ideological and sectarian plan.

Our duty to remember the 14 victims and their families demands that we maintain this registry. Today, we must not only remember these women, but we must also fight to preserve what came out of that tragic event and we must keep fighting to better protect the rights of our sisters and daughters in the future.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

December 6th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, 22 years after the massacre, we continue to mourn the 14 students who were gunned down by a killer who did not think they had the right to live free and fulfilling lives. That day, Canada understood just how horrible violence against women can be. This violence destroys lives and shatters hope.

Let the House never forget these 14 lives, victims because they were women.

Let us together commit to do everything in our power to end violence against women in Canada.

We must fight for the thousands of women who must leave their own homes to escape violence. We must step up our efforts to solve the cases of nearly 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women, gone without a trace.

We must never give up the fight, because that is Canadian leadership.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991. Inspired by the tragic deaths of 14 young women on December 6, 1989 at Êcole Polytechnique in Montreal, this national day reminds us to first mourn, then work for change.

Canadians are doing just that. Across the country, Canadians honour those women who have been killed through vigils, memorial services or special projects that raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence. A quiet resolve to eradicate violence underpins the nature of events marking December 6. These events help to fuel the momentum for change that lasts throughout the year. As a result, Canadians are undertaking powerful initiatives to bring the vision of a peaceful society closer to reality.

Let us send a message to all Canadians. We must all be active partners if we are to achieve our shared vision of ending gender-based violence.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I understand there have been discussions and I now invite the House to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the tragic event that happened 22 years ago at École Polytechnique in Montreal.

[A moment of silence observed]

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time, there was a minister. He woke up one morning, went fishing to Gander, but he had to come back; he had to do a newser. To leave the fishing camp, he called a helicopter. In the basket he climbed, got up in the chopper. He made up a fairy tale to provide some cover. How will this story end, all Canadians wonder.

Perhaps now is the time for the Prime Minister to show some leadership and fire the minister.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course I have already answered this question. The minister said that his use of the government aircraft was for government business and that clearly was the case.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not realize that his minister is making things up: a bogus rescue mission, a bogus training mission to leave a fishing camp in order to announce a military contract out of the blue at the last minute. It is nonsense.

The minister is an embarrassment to the government, an embarrassment to the Prime Minister, and an embarrassment to the entire country. It is time to say goodbye and good riddance.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition claims that the aircraft was used for personal reasons, but it is clear that it was used for government business.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' ethical problems do not end with the fabrications of the Minister of National Defence.

Police are currently investigating a case of influence peddling and corruption at the Port of Montreal. The Prime Minister's entourage is in deep: Dimitri Soudas and Leo Housakos allegedly worked with Bernard Poulin and Tony Accurso to facilitate the appointment of Robert Abdallah to the Port of Montreal.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that members of his inner circle exerted political pressure and made threats?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that appointment is the responsibility of the Port of Montreal's board of directors, and the board made its own decision in this case.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately there are many more questions than answers about corruption at the Montreal Port Authority.

This is what Bernard Poulin had to say to Tony Accurso about Leo Housakos: “Leo Housakos is coming to see me...Leo is good not because of his association with Cannon, but with Soudas...If you want, I'll start talking to him if he's ready to get his buddy Soudas involved. His buddy Soudas can twist arms better than anyone else.”

The question is simple: what role did the Conservative party's friend, Leo Housakos, now a senator, play in the Montreal Port Authority appointments?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the answer is none. The chair of the board of directors is appointed by the members of the board. My colleague should know that the chair of a board of directors is appointed by the members of the board. The person named earlier was not appointed as a member or as chair of the board of directors. End of story.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the story of arm twisting and influence peddling continues. The Conservatives are not helping to shed light on the matter.

Here is another conversation between Mr. Poulin and Mr. Accurso:

Mr. Poulin: “...We'll get the information. Now, Soudas, if he can do something, well...”

Mr. Accurso: “What would you see him, Soudas, doing?”

Mr. Poulin: “Because Soudas is the boss in Quebec, the real boss in Quebec.”

What role was played by the Prime Minister's former communications director in the Montreal Port Authority appointments? We want to know.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition just said that it was to have Mr. Abdallah appointed as the chair of the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority. The member spoke about influence peddling in order to appoint Mr. Abdallah. And yet he was not appointed chair, end of story; there was no influence peddling. The chair of the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority is appointed by the board of directors. They did their job.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister.

Perhaps he misunderstood the problem with the answers given by his Minister of National Defence. The problem is that the minister said clearly, and I quote, “I cut the trip short to take part in a search and rescue demonstration.”

It is clear that it was not a search and rescue demonstration; it was to pick up the minister and take him from one place to another. Why did the minister tell the House things that clearly did not happen and were not true?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was the opposition that said that the aircraft was used for personal reasons, when it is clear that the minister used it on government business.

Phone Calls to Mount Royal ConstituencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear the government has a real problem with admitting it made a mistake and has a real problem with simply telling the truth.

In the case of the campaign against my colleague from Mount Royal, the government opposite allowed a campaign to take place when it knew things were being said, in directly attacking the member for Mount Royal, that were in fact false and completely untrue.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When will he stand in his place, take some responsibility for the things that are going on around here, and tell his ministers and his friends that morality and truth start right in this place?

Phone Calls to Mount Royal ConstituencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I utterly reject the premise and the so-called facts in that question.

Phone Calls to Mount Royal ConstituencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Phone Calls to Mount Royal ConstituencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Phone Calls to Mount Royal ConstituencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I utterly reject the facts and the allegations made in that question.

The truth of the matter is that the people of Canada have elected a Conservative government. They sent a very clear message to the Liberal Party.

I note that in a recent public opinion poll the people of Canada continue to believe that this country is moving in the right direction, that we are creating jobs and growth, and that is what we will continue to do.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, sometimes I think I am in the wrong place. The minister has--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!