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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is playing fast and loose with the facts. This is not a debate. The party opposite is facing criminal charges and jail time if it is convicted.

It forms part of a pattern. When the government faces tough questions, it shuts Parliament down. When a minister misleads the House, the Prime Minister actually gets up and applauds her. When Conservative Party operatives are faced with serious criminal charges, the government turns it into an argument with Elections Canada.

It is not an argument; this is an accusation of fraud. Why does the government not understand that this is undermining Canadian democracy?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, allow me to correct my hon. friend. In fact, this is an administrative dispute that dates back five years. Fortunately, I would inform the Leader of the Opposition that the Federal Court has ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada in this dispute.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what has happened to openness, transparency and accountability? This is unprecedented in Canada's history: criminal charges have been laid against two senators appointed by the Prime Minister himself. If these senators are convicted of election fraud, they could be thrown into jail.

How can the Prime Minister condone such schemes?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, allow me to begin my correcting the hon. member. This is an administrative matter. This is a dispute between the Conservative Party and Elections Canada that has lasted for five years. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada in this matter.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, is this an example of the Prime Minister making the rules?

The RCMP has even searched the Conservatives' offices. Unfortunately, taxpayers will have to pay a fortune to prove what we already know: the Conservatives cheated by committing election fraud.

Why is the Prime Minister allowing this money to be wasted? What exactly does the Prime Minister mean when he says that he is accountable?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows very well that this is an administrative dispute that has been going on for five years.

In addition, I can tell the hon. member that the Federal Court has fortunately ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada in this matter.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate the Prime Minister for having acted quickly in freezing the assets of Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. However, we would like to know why he has not yet frozen the assets belonging to Tunisia's former dictator, Ben Ali, and his family, as we have been calling for for over a month now.

What is the government waiting for before it freezes the assets of the Ben Ali family, as it has just done for Gadhafi?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, members of the Ben Ali regime are not welcome in Canada. Canada is ready and willing to use all the tools at its disposal, including working with the international community, to support democracy in Tunisia.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government tells us that it is waiting and that steps have been taken to obtain documents from Tunisia. I still cannot believe that Gadhafi sent documents to the government to have his assets frozen.

How can it be that the government took action so quickly in the case of Gadhafi and Libya, but that it is complicit in the case of Ben Ali, Tunisia's former dictator? He will have had time to move his assets to tax havens. Why has the government not taken action and why is it still not taking action today?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, no orders have been given, but the Canadian authorities are working closely with their international counterparts. Once the request is made, we will co-operate. We are more ready than ever to work with the Tunisian government to take all legal measures available to us concerning this issue.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the evacuation of Quebeckers and Canadians stuck in Libya was characterized by the utmost amateurism and confusion. A full 24 hours after the United Kingdom and Turkey began evacuating their citizens, the Conservative government finally woke up and decided to provide assistance to its citizens. The government was so disorganized that the first plane came back empty.

How can the Minister of Foreign Affairs possibly justify this confusion and Canada's remarkable inability to provide assistance to its citizens?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the efforts of our diplomats and Canadian Forces members during this evacuation.

To date we have facilitated the evacuation of over 255 Canadians from the country. I want to commend the diplomats, the Canadian Forces members, particularly those in consular affairs, who worked around the clock in this effort.

In fact, we have deployed a C-17 Globemaster aircraft as well as two of our new C-130J Hercules aircraft. A team of Canadian Forces is now on the ground in Malta.

We continue to provide assistance to those who need it. We encourage Canadians who need further assistance to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister not find it worrisome that at the precise moment when Canada was chartering a plane to evacuate Canadian citizens stuck in Libya, his department was advising those same citizens not to go to the airport?

How does the Minister of Foreign Affairs explain such disorganization? Does he realize that his wavering and incompetence put hundreds of citizens in danger?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, sadly there were a number of Canadians who found themselves in the midst of a very terrifying and dangerous situation. We knew that violence was flaring up. That is why we had officials doing everything possible and working diligently and tirelessly to secure their evacuation.

As I mentioned, over 255 Canadians have made their way safely on aircraft and ships to Malta. We continue to work with the international community and our partners, particularly the British.

I spoke with the foreign minister of Malta this morning. They continue to co-operate fully. This is an international effort that will continue, and our efforts will continue as well.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have been caught red-handed. The in and out scandal is a perfect example of one of the government's broken promises: the promise to do things differently and to put an end to partisan scandals in which money is slipped questionably from hand to hand.

The Prime Minister should do some housecleaning and he should begin by removing all the bagmen from the Senate. When will this major cleanup be done?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking the honourable member for his question. This issue, an administrative dispute, has been going on for five years. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada on this issue.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this in and out business is the epitome of the Conservative Party's hypocrisy when it comes to the whole issue of accountability, open government and broken promises.

It is time for the Prime Minister to take some responsibility. He cannot pretend to be tough on crime when he has his own minions out there wilfully breaking the very laws that are the underpinning of our democracy, which speak about fairness in election campaigns. It is another example of why so many Canadians think that Ottawa is broken.

When is the Prime Minister going to show some leadership and tell the senators who are fundraisers to get out of the Senate and get out of--

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Allow me to start, Mr. Speaker, by thanking my hon. colleague for his question.

This is a five-year-old accounting dispute. Fortunately, the Federal Court has already ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and against Elections Canada on this very question.

International Co-operationOral Questions

February 28th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a question of passing the buck and debating responsibility. That is what the Prime Minister is all about.

We have the case of a minister misleading the House, but for the Prime Minister, evading the truth and doctoring a document is a job well done. How about that? I do not think anybody is buying the government's feeble excuses.

Where is the accountability? Where is the leadership? When is the Prime Minister going to take some responsibility for the mistakes that are being made and replace the minister and restore KAIROS' funding?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as a surprise to the House or the member opposite that I do not share the characterizations that he made in his preamble.

The minister had a decision to make on whether she wanted to award a $7 million grant to a particular non-governmental organization. She made a decision not to provide that funding, as she is entitled to properly do.

The minister has done an outstanding job in Africa. She has done an outstanding job in promoting the rights of women and children in Afghanistan. When the people of Haiti needed a friend, they certainly had one in the minister.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, we know that not one minister in the government is allowed to make a decision without the Prime Minister's approval. The Prime Minister and his office pull the strings and his cabinet members are the puppets.

The minister responsible for CIDA has misled the House and misled Canadians about why she cut funding for KAIROS, and we all know why. She was ordered to do so.

Why can she not simply tell the truth and admit she was just following orders?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe it was a former leader of the Liberal Party who said that MPs were a bunch of nobodies only 100 metres from this place.

The minister made a decision not to provide funding to a particular non-governmental organization, as is her right. She made a difficult decision. It was the right decision. She has made a great contribution to international development right around the world and she has a record all Canadians can be proud of.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, for months we have heard different excuses. First the funding did not meet CIDA's priorities. Soon after the Minister of Immigration went to Israel and said it was because KAIROS was anti-Semitic. Now we have seen the handwriting. We know that CIDA recommended the funding, but the decision was later reversed.

Who told the minister to cut the funding for KAIROS?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, last December the minister appeared before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. At that committee she said, I think some 11 times, that she was the one who made the decision not to provide the funding to this non-governmental organization.

I know it is a bit interesting for Liberals. Only Liberals would charge that someone got into a scandal by not giving a grant.