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House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I inform you straightaway that I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Compton—Stanstead. It is an honour for me. She is a member I hold in great esteem. Not only does she do marvellous work here on Parliament Hill, but I know how devoted she is to her constituents, the people of her riding. I have had the opportunity to share responsibilities in human resources and social development with her for more than four or five years. I am mentioning this file first of all because it is most interesting to realize that the Conservatives are using this file, this responsibility, to engage in propaganda.

There are two things at issue today on this Bloc opposition day: the Conservatives’ hijacking of democracy and the propaganda they are spreading with the resources that the House makes available to the government and to ministers.

I shall not repeat the examples given by my colleagues, but I will use one very particular example, that of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. On February 26, 2011, the Canadian electoral authority formally charged the Prime Minister's Conservative Party with fraud, along with two senators from the party in power, namely the Conservatives. They allegedly concealed cost overruns during the 2006 election in an amount in excess of a million dollars. Two individuals have been targeted as respondents in this case: Mr. Irving Gerstein and Mr. Douglas Finley. The latter is not only a senator, but also the spouse of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

There are some rather troubling things. Since this morning, we have been highlighting all the methods and stratagems that this government is using in order to deprive Parliament of the means it has to oversee, however slightly, what goes on in government, or at least to acquire information, and also in order to engage in propaganda. Here is what I am getting at. For four years, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development, and the Status of Persons with Disabilities was engaged in a very thorough study. This committee went all around Canada. We went to the provincial capitals, and often as well to villages and towns, to study, on site, the issue of poverty, which was the topic of our study. We held 68 different meetings, I believe. We also heard over 200 organizations. This led us to make 58 recommendations proposing ways of combatting poverty. You will recall that in November 2009, this House unanimously reiterated its desire to see poverty eliminated, or at least reduced, within 10 years.

This report was therefore entirely appropriate and entirely relevant. The only response that the minister was able to give us, which I have here in my hand, is a propaganda document. We have had no response on the 58 recommendations made by the committee.

The minister responded to each of the problems we raised by mentioning existing programs and giving the Conservative government credit for having instituted them. But there is no new program to reduce poverty. What is even more infuriating, and even scandalous, is that the minister simply disregards all the testimony from all over Canada describing the poverty of aboriginal populations and single-parent families, the fate of seniors and of people who lose their jobs, and the plight of children living in poverty. If there are poor children, it is because there are poor parents. Rich families do not decide that some of their children will be poor and live in poverty. Some families simply do not have the means and have to deal with situations that they cannot control or that are forced upon them. Such is the case of native communities, for example.

There are some very specific recommendations highlighting the plight of women living in various places all over the country. This week we marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The minister’s answer coincided with this anniversary, making it all the more outrageous that she did not take the trouble to announce anything at all to reduce poverty.

The House has reiterated its unanimous motion from 1989, which was never implemented. The motion was brought forward again on November 22, 2009. The government and the House took it up, but the minister thumbed her nose at the opportunity given her by the Standing Committee on Human Resources to announce some measures. Her actions showed her contempt for all the work that has been done here.

I encourage my colleagues in the House to study this document sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. I have re-read it because I thought I must have made a mistake. It is 17 pages of coarse, outrageous remarks and propaganda. We have to connect the dots because there are political families. The senator who supervised the operation that the Conservatives are accused of using to circumvent the Canada Elections Act is the husband of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. People might wonder what the connection is. The answer to this question is just as serious as or even more serious than the misappropriation of funds because it involves all the people who are struggling in our society.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are many reasons to support this motion from our colleagues in the Bloc today.

However, I want to take advantage of my colleague from the human resources committee, the member for Chambly—Borduas who, along with myself and others, notably the member for Sault Ste. Marie and our chair from Niagara West—Glanbrook, who travelled across Canada and met with hundreds of witnesses representing thousands of people. He talked about poverty and homelessness, and really got a sense of just how desperate the lives are of so many Canadians who were helped so little by the stimulus package. Many of these people will now be asked to help repay, making their lives even worse.

He joined me earlier this week when we met with a number of faith leaders from Canada. Every faith community in the country is saying that it needs action on poverty. The faith leaders were as disappointed as we were in the minister's response to the poverty report that took three years to complete. My view of the response is that seldom has so much been written about so many things while saying so little.

It was not so much the response as it was the way the minister snuck it into the House. Usually when the government announces something, it announces it eight times. She did not even have a press conference or say a word. She snuck it into the desk in the House of Commons. What does that say about the government's approach to those Canadians who are truly vulnerable and need assistance from their government?

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for the tremendous work he is doing. We have been working together for some years now, and I know how concerned he is with justice.

His question allows me to go back to something. There is a sort of contempt here for parliamentary authorities. When someone responds that way to a job as exceptional as the one that we did, it is contemptuous. The work was done in the context of Canada's parliamentary institutions. Even though we have different opinions on the status of Quebec, we, the Bloc members, are respectful of Canadian institutions because we know that a country needs democratic institutions like these. When someone responds that way to such an exceptional job, done by members from all parties, it is contemptuous of the democratic institutions and the work that we have done.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member talked a lot about how he cares for people. I wonder if the member could outline for the House how he voted when we brought in a budget that reduced the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%.

He talked about caring for people who are having difficulties. I was in the riding of Markham—Unionville the other day cutting the ribbon for a new social housing project that was funded by this government for 245 low-income families.

The member from Nova Scotia talked about the economic stimulus program not helping families and individuals. I wonder if he could explain how he voted when we cut taxes by $3,000 for the average family, how the member's party voted when we brought in a tax credit for tradespeople, when we brought in a tax credit for people with disabilities, when we brought in a tax credit for people who use transit, when we brought in a tax credit for people--

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my Conservative colleague for his question because it allows me to illustrate the reason why we voted against this budget.

We see that this is an opportunity for them, even as we speak, to make huge cuts in social housing, renovation and improvement of social housing units, housing units for low-income seniors and disabled persons, housing units in the north and renovation of housing units for members of the first nations. The cuts add up to $912 million. The Conservatives need to explain to us why they are continuing to slash social housing, when we know that the two biggest factors that make people poverty-stricken are the absence of housing—or of affordable housing—and employment insurance. Instead of him giving a big speech or showing off as he just did, I would have preferred to hear what he had to say about that. That would have been more practical.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time there has been mention of the cynicism that reigns within society. People are disillusioned and are increasingly abandoning politics.

In the last federal election, the voter turnout was only 58.8%, according to the Chief Electoral Officer. Thus, less than one-quarter of all voters elected the government. This is a very sad record, since we would need to go back to the 19th century to find a turnout so low.

This sad situation might be explained by a number of reasons. People may have the impression that politicians believe they are above the law, that politicians show a lot of partisanship and that they make misleading statements. Do you not find that this describes the Conservative government's actions very well?

The Bloc Québécois finds that this government's ideology is an affront to democracy. For the Conservative Party, the House of Commons is the equivalent of a monkey wrench stuck in the gears of the Conservative strategy, which aims only to keep the party in power. This shows its entire lack of respect for the principles that form the basis of our democracy.

Sine the Conservatives came to power in 2006, a number of ministers have found themselves in embarrassing situations. Their exaggerated partisanship and their attempts to control information are the reasons for that.

On March 3, 2011, an employee of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism used the public resources of his office. The minister's director of multicultural affairs mistakenly sent a member of the NDP a fundraising letter for a Conservative advertising campaign. The letter provided a detailed outline of the Conservatives' strategy, and we learned that only certain cultural communities were being targeted. The minister's government letterhead was used, which violates the rules.

The minister also adopts a client-centric approach although he is responsible for all newcomers. It is absolutely unacceptable. The Minister of Immigration has been mixed up in a number of cases that highlight this government's questionable strategy. A government certificate bearing the immense logo of the Conservative Party and sending an ultra-partisan email to a refugee defence agency can be added to the list of the minister's ideological actions. But the minister does not even have the courage to assume his responsibilities. He refuses to leave office and places the blame on his former employee.

In December 2010, the minister responsible for CIDA was asked a question in committee about who had altered a document coming from the agency. By adding the word “not”, someone had cancelled the decision made by officials to grant financing in the amount of $7 million to the KAIROS organization. However, the minister admitted in February that she herself had altered the document in order to cancel the KAIROS financing.

This action reflects the Conservatives’ lack of sensitivity towards the causes defended by this organization. But, more importantly, the minister lied to the committee and misled the representatives of the people. Since then, she has not been allowed by her one and only big boss, the Prime Minister, to answer any questions from the opposition. When she answers a question relating to this matter, she simply reads a memo from one of her assistants about the situation in another country. So she is just deflecting questions.

The Speaker of the House said yesterday that the minister has violated parliamentary privilege. She may be declared to be in contempt of Parliament. This depends on the actions of the opposition in the coming days.

Regardless of how this case ends, it is the duty of every parliamentarian to denounce this reactionary behaviour. When members of the cabinet violate the rules of the House as she did, it only increases the cynicism felt towards politicians.

Late in 2010, public servants received a directive ordering them to replace “Government of Canada” with “Preparation H Government”. The Prime Minister is thus trying to show that he is the government and that he is the master of Parliament. How can we avoid comparing him to Big Brother, the omnipresent fictional character who rules the state? You might also feel that you are living in a storybook world of wizards, in which the state is run by a Government Who Must Not Be Named.

Some public administration experts make a parallel with King Louis XIV, who said “I am the State”. I should point out that Louis XIV reigned over France during the 17th and 18th centuries. This is what we call a regressive ideology.

While we are on the issue information monitoring and control, I must mention the obstruction by the Minister of Natural Resources and his lack of transparency. Back in October, one of the minister's assistants resigned—another one—when the media revealed that he had tried on three occasions to prevent the disclosure of government information. Around the middle of December 2010, we learned that two other assistants of the minister had also tried to block an authorized access to information request. While he was the Minister of Public Works, the minister's office impeded the disclosure of information on the asbestos issue and on the preparations for the U.S. president's visit, in 2009.

With these numerous cases of obstruction and lack of transparency, we can no longer talk about isolated incidents but, rather, a true culture of secrecy. The minister gives a lot of work to the Information Commissioner's investigators. We also have doubts about the minister's defence, who pleaded ignorance. This is yet another cabinet member who refused to resign despite those wrongdoings.

The circumvention of election campaign rules by the Conservatives is certainly the best example of the Conservative government's behaviour. This government will do anything to remain in office and to promote its partisan interests. A few days ago, the Federal Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the Federal Court, which supported the Conservatives' view on their election financing scheme. This issue dates back to 2006. To better understand its impact, I am going to mention the facts surrounding this controversy.

During the 2006 election campaign, the Conservative Party exceeded the spending limit by one million dollars. Four major Conservative organizers were involved in that illegal scheme, including two who are now senators. That is probably a prerequisite. I am referring to the in and out scheme used by the party's strategists. The Conservatives tried to circumvent the rules by involving local organizations in their calculations of election expenses to pay for national ads. In 2007, the Conservative Party took Elections Canada to court. That takes some nerve. The arm's length body refused to pay back the election expenses claimed by 67 candidates, of which more than one third are Quebec candidates.

Last Tuesday's ruling supports Elections Canada's stand. The organization says that the Conservatives divided over $1 million among candidates who had not yet reached their individual spending limit.

When it comes to spending limits, the Canada Elections Act is essential to the health of our democracy. It ensures a level playing field among candidates, so that money is not the overriding factor in an election campaign. However, as we know, the Conservatives are a little too fond of the American model. They would like to see the day when spending limits are abolished. Remember their attempts to abolish public financing for political parties, so as to muzzle opposition parties. In its decision, the Federal Court of Appeal points out on a number of occasions the Conservative Party's wrongdoings.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that this government has no intention of respecting the will of the people's representatives who are gathered in this House. There are a number of reasons to denounce the conduct of the government, namely: the unacceptable actions of several of its ministers; its self-promotion through government communications; the circumvention of the election rules by its party; and its blatant lack of transparency, despite putting its hand on its heart.

For these reasons, I am asking all members of this House to support the Bloc Québécois' motion.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I want to congratulate my colleague on her excellent speech. I think she made a clear assessment of the Conservative government: its attitude and behaviour are anti-democratic and wrong and it stops at nothing to pursue this system of significant control that is centralist and bends the truth, as my colleague put it so well.

With regard to the lack of transparency and ethics, this government has shown that it is tops; it has been the Canadian champion for many years. If we go back in time a bit, we have the Liberals of course, but today we see to what extent this government tells lies. It is terrible to see how the privileges of duly elected members of the House are being limited. We are asking for simple documents, on Afghanistan or the F-35s, and the government refuses to produce those documents.

I would like my colleague to say a little more about the outrageous in and out electoral financing scheme.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his brilliant question.

During the 2006 election, a Conservative candidate ran against me. He was the first one to testify because of his conscience and values. I congratulated him on his honesty. Today, Mr. Caldwell can walk with his head held high.

The most disgusting aspect of all this is that in 2005-06, we saw a Prime Minister promise, with his hand on his heart, that his government would be transparent, that it would be a government of the people, that it would be honest and would not do what the Liberals did. It was indeed different. Instead of taking 13 years to resort to propaganda and ideology, the Conservatives needed just two years. They are a bit cleverer than the Liberals but not cleverer than many citizens.

This government is not any better than the previous one.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, part of the contempt the government shows in the House of Commons is the attempt to keep documents not just from the members of Parliament but, by extension, keeping evidence and information that belongs to the people of Canada. We see that in the secret deal to buy jet fighters. Now we know that the real cost of this single-sourced jet fighter contract is $30 billion for 65 planes. No wonder the Conservatives want to keep it secret, because the folks back home are saying that they are blowing $30 billion on 65 planes and asking how did this group ever get to power. What are their priorities? Thirty billion dollars is more than the war in Afghanistan cost. It is more than the federal government gives to all the provinces for health care and it is going to blow that on 65 planes.

Why does my hon. colleague think that the government shows such contempt for the people of Canada by keeping this information secret and refusing to be accountable to the people of this country?

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Good grief, Mr. Speaker, I would have a hard time putting myself in the mind of a Conservative. I do not think I could do it.

If they are afraid to give this information, it is because they are lying. They fear the truth. They are afraid to tell it the way it is. When I watch them, I have the feeling I am in Texas where cowboys walk around pretending they are the greatest. That is their attitude. They despise democracy. They despise the Access to Information Act. It is obvious. They have been in government for five years and they have become champions of underhand dealings. Why are they not revealing this information? Because that is part of their culture. They need to conceal everything. I think lack of transparency is part of their DNA.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

I am rising today to address the motion moved by the hon. member for Joliette. Given the wide-ranging and far-fetched scope of this ridiculous motion, let me begin by addressing the first item.

As the Prime Minister and his parliamentary secretary have recently said in the House regarding election spending, this is an administrative dispute with Elections Canada that has been going on for five years. The dispute is whether certain expenses should be counted as local or national. There is a difference of opinion on this.

The Conservative Party of Canada acted under the law as it understood it at the time. When it was clear that Elections Canada had changed its interpretation of the law, the Conservative Party had already adjusted its practices in the 2008 election campaign. These were Conservative-raised dollars used for Conservative ads by Conservative candidates.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister also read into the record an email from the Ottawa Citizen of July 18, 2008 and I would like to read it into the record again. It stated:

Hi Phyllis, We are told by communications folks in BC that these were radio ads with the Candidate's personal tag on the end—therefore a local expense to be reported under the Candidate's expense ceiling, regardless of who pays. For rebate purposes, we were asked to bill each campaign—in the case of VanEast, $2,612.00. The good news is that the Federal Party will transfer $2,600 to the Federal Riding Association as we agreed to pay for the ads. We hope that you are able to squeeze this in under the ceiling. Some expenses are not considered election expenses subject to spending limits, such as fundraising costs. Please have a look at the totals and get back to us if you think we have a problem.

That was signed by the federal party bookkeeper. That was not an email from the Conservative Party, but an internal email from the New Democratic Party. The Phyllis referred to in the email was Phyllis Loke, the official agent to the NDP MP for Vancouver East. They were both involved in a transfer of funds that mirrored the practice in question that the Conservative Party engaged in for advertising purposes.

The email I read is one from the NDP national party bookkeeper, one Lucy Ladouceur. She sent it. It meets all the same characteristics that the Conservative transactions did. It was in fact filed with Elections Canada and we obtained it from Elections Canada through the Access to Information Act.

As John Robson from the Ottawa Citizen said at the time:

The more I watch this stuff...the more convinced I am that if there's a scandal here, it doesn't involve the Tories. But nobody seems to care. The opposition want a scandal, the press want a scandal...let's not bore ourselves with details...

Let us also see what another supporter of the opposition said. Robin Sears, a long-time adviser to the Liberal MP for Toronto Centre, also a long-time New Democrat, had this to say on CTV News Channel on February 25:

It's a load of nonsense--the guys at Elections Canada have a few bricks short of a load. Every party plays games with moving money around, have always done, will always do. What's a national ad, what's a local ad? It's nonsense. It's time we got back to things Canadians care about.

I am surprised to find myself in agreement with a staunch NDPer like Robin Sears, but he has hit the nail on the head with his comments and it is proof that this motion by the Bloc Québécois is absolutely ridiculous. This government is prioritizing the interests of Canadians while the Bloc is playing partisan politics on the taxpayers' dime.

While the Bloc is using its precious time in the House to launch partisan attacks on the government, we remain focused on the priorities of Canadians.

Even though there are many encouraging signs that the global economy is recovering, that recovery remains very fragile. That is why our government continues to focus on employment and various other measures to ensure that our economy comes out of the recession stronger than ever. This is not the time to trigger a useless, opportunistic and expensive election.

Canadians expect and deserve to have us focus on their priorities, the economy. The economic upturn in Canada is driven by growth in consumer spending and residential investment which is primarily stimulated by fiscal and monetary policies as well as an improved labour market with a strong revival in consumer confidence. This means sound fiscal management and creating high-quality jobs.

As announced in budget 2010, which I note the Bloc Québécois did not support, our government has a three point strategy designed to return to a budgetary balance. First, we are committed to following through on the second year of the economic action plan. Second, we will build jobs and growth for tomorrow's economy through targeted measures. Finally, we will bring Canada's finances back to balance over the medium term.

This government is getting the job done for Canadians. We are creating jobs and encouraging growth by successfully completing the second year of our economic action plan. The 2010 budget offers more than $19 billion to stimulate the economy during the second year of our economic action plan. Of that amount, approximately $1.6 billion will improve benefits to unemployed Canadians, including long-tenured workers who are unemployed. We also invested $1 billion to increase training opportunities for all Canadian workers because we believe in creating highly skilled jobs.

We are making sure unemployed workers have benefits for them and their families until they find jobs again. We are investing time and money into creating jobs for these workers. We are helping them develop skills so they can latch onto future career opportunities.

We are not making up outrageous, misleading, partisan motions like the Bloc Québécois is, which wants to ignore the priority of Canadians and Quebeckers, which is, of course, the economy. The Bloc's goal is a costly, unnecessary and opportunistic election. We will not be sidetracked by its games.

This government understands the difficult economic times that Canadians are facing and we are standing by, ready to help. We are doing all this while those in the Liberal-led coalition are worrying about their own jobs and trying to force an election.

Let us not forget that early in the recession we provided an extra five weeks of EI regular benefits to all workers across the country and in regions with high unemployment we increased the maximum number of weeks of benefits from 45 to 50 weeks.

Our government also allows long-tenured workers who are unemployed to receive additional regular employment insurance benefits. Since these men and women often only held one type of employment for many years, they now need more time to transition to a new job during this period of economic recovery. The payment of regular employment insurance benefits to long-tenured workers has been extended from 5 to 20 weeks. This additional support gives long-tenured workers more time to find employment during this period of economic recovery.

Our government also put in place the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, which extends special employment insurance benefits to the self-employed on a voluntary basis. In January 2011, 2.6 million self-employed Canadians became eligible for special employment insurance benefits. Increasing access to these benefits is a good sound family policy that shows our government's commitment to helping families and making their needs a priority.

The government is also helping older workers who have been laid off to transition to new jobs. We have allocated an additional $60 million to the targeted initiative for older workers, which is designed to help unemployed workers between the ages of 55 and 64.

With regard to young Canadians, we have invested $60 million for the year ahead to help them during this period of economic recovery.

While the Bloc Québécois wishes that we would just forget about all of these Quebec needs, it is wasting valuable time in this place putting forward this ridiculous motion.

The Bloc has used today as an opportunistic occasion to make reckless, irresponsible and unsubstantiated partisan attacks toward a government that has done nothing but successfully respond to the needs of everyday Canadians over the past five years.

Employment and economic growth remain this government's main priority and we want to stay on course. Our economic action plan is achieving positive results and providing support measures that are key to our economy. As we said before, the economic action plan has allowed us to create close to 460,000 new jobs since July 2009.

We are focused on jobs for Canadians while the opposition is focused on their own jobs and calling an unnecessary costly election.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, concerned about the astonishing number of 80,000 seniors living under the poverty line in Quebec, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Quebec Federation of Labour—the FTQ—have launched their worry-free retirement campaign, aimed at providing a secure retirement for everyone. The elderly are in a vulnerable position and are too often left to their fate. The government should take some real measures to help them.

The government should make it a priority to help the elderly, increase old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits, and provide better protection for pensioners in order to improve the conditions in which seniors live.

The hon. member who spoke before me delivered a fine speech. She spoke about several classes in society, but she forgot the elderly. They were our builders, our pioneers. On the north shore, whether in Sept-Îles, Baie-Comeau, Havre-Saint-Pierre or communities all over the lower north shore, government assistance is needed to increase old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from the Bloc Québécois was not listening to my speech. I spoke a lot about the seniors we have helped with our economic action plan. I also wonder whether he is really up to date on what the Conservative government has done for Quebec.

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity, therefore, to tell him about some good things that have happened thanks to our commitment to Canadian and Quebec families. We gave Quebec a seat at UNESCO. We recognized that Quebeckers form a nation within a united Canada. We have been supportive of the infrastructure priorities of the towns and cities of Quebec and have celebrated its history and culture, including the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh!

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, you can see she is speaking quite loudly. I hope she will keep quiet—

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Questions and comments.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, when a member of another party says that someone is lying in this House, I would expect that the member would be given an opportunity to correct what he or she said and that the member would apologize.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh!

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

This is just dishonourable behaviour. I would ask that the Speaker ask the member--

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There is a lot of discussion and comments going back and forth.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

An. hon. member

I never heard it.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There is a lot of talking and heckling both when the parliamentary secretary is speaking and when the Speaker is speaking.

I will give the floor briefly to the hon. member for Terrebonne-Blainville to clarify what she said, because the hon. parliamentary secretary heard something. I did not hear anything.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the GovernmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

March 10th, 2011 / 4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary said that the government had created 400,000 jobs with its recovery plan, while the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the government had protected 135,000 jobs. That is not the same thing.