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House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I could have read the very same speech 20 years ago because the situation has not changed. Quebec was isolated then and Quebec still is isolated today. That is the reality.

Now he is talking about UNESCO. Quebec is standing up at UNESCO for one reason: it has no seat. It has no choice but to stand. That is the situation. That shows how much respect the government has for democracy. When people say that Quebeckers have elected members who have done nothing for them for 20 years, those people are saying that Quebeckers are ignorant and that they do not have the right to elect the people who are speaking for them, who are defending them and who are defending their interests and values.

A senator said that federalist parties will not succeed in Quebec because they have nothing to offer Quebeckers. I will take responsibility for many things in life, but I will not take responsibility for the Conservatives' powerlessness.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I have just one question for the Bloc Québécois leader. The Conservative government told us that it was a transparent government that wanted to change Parliament, be open to democracy and get rid of the Liberals because of scandal. I would like to hear his comments on that and hear what he thinks about the wonderful things the Conservatives said in 2006 when they sought the confidence of Canadians. What is the situation today?

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

March 25th, 2011 / 1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I would reply to my Acadian friend that perhaps he is mistaken. This government is very transparent. When we look at the Conservatives, we know exactly what they are thinking. We can see right through them. Quite apart from the image they like to project, if you look closely, you can see right through them. The Minister of State for Science and Technology is a creationist and believes that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. He thinks that The Flintstones was a documentary and Dino was the star. We can see their old Reform roots, which are likely what inspired the Tea Party.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Madam Speaker, I am really curious to know why the Bloc Québécois would join forces with a Liberal-led coalition when the Liberals are the guys who stole $40 million and pumped it into Quebec ridings? How can the member morally stand up and join hands with those guys to defeat this government when his party has not helped to get the money back?

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the choices are very limited here and the Conservatives are as bad as the Liberals were. It is as simple as that.

In 2004, when the current Prime Minister was the opposition leader, he called a meeting in Montreal at the Delta hotel. He presented us with a plan indicating that the Governor General at the time, Adrienne Clarkson, had no other choice, if the Martin government was defeated on the fiscal imbalance—which was 30 seconds away from happening—and Mr. Harper would become prime minister. For that to happen, it is easy to understand that he had to have the support of the Bloc and the NDP on a throne speech or a budget, otherwise he himself would have been defeated. It was as simple as that.

We in the Bloc Québécois always vote in favour of the best interests of Quebec, because we are the voice of Quebeckers. We do not vote according to labels, as the members across the floor do. In fact, I heard them say they would not vote for a proposal because it came from the Bloc. They are spreading lies.

We supported the first two budgets. We had asked for $3.9 billion for Quebec and we managed to get $3.3 billion. We are proud of that. We stood up; we did not stay on our knees. Some members here, some of the Conservative members from Quebec, must have sore kneecaps. We stand up and speak out for Quebec, and we will continue to do so.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, if the Bloc has been saying something for 20 years—and that is true—then the other side has been doing the same since the age of dinosaurs. So, they do not have any lessons to learn. However, I find it sad that the hon. member, whom I know well, given that we have been sitting across from each other since 1990, says that he is the only one who is speaking for Quebec. The Quebec members of the Liberal Party, myself included, also defend the interests of Quebec. I recognize the legitimacy of the Bloc but it is not a question of preventing the Conservatives from winning. We want to see no more of the Conservative Party. I therefore ask Quebeckers to vote for a real alternative government: the Liberal Party of Canada.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the hon. member for Bourassa, whom I recognize as being just as legitimate as I am. That is democracy. When I said that we are the only ones who speak for Quebec, I was quoting Senator Rivest, who was the chief of staff for Robert Bourassa, a Quebec minister. He is the one who wrote that. For once, I quoted a Liberal. The hon. member for Bourassa should be happy.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this House to speak to the non-confidence motion moved by the Liberals regarding the Conservative government.

People know that I have been sitting in the House of Commons for about 14 years. The House of Commons is the place where laws are passed and where we determine a direction and a vision for our country.

The Conservative government was elected in 2006 because it claimed to want to be a transparent government, a fair government, a government that believes in democracy, a government that does not believe in the Senate. I remind members that this is the same government that refused to hand over the documents we asked for on Afghanistan. We had to turn to the Speaker of the House, who forced us to hold meetings. Even there, the Conservatives refused, forcing the meetings to be held in camera. The NDP refused to participate in these discussions with the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Bloc. Today, we do not know what happened with that issue. There are only three individuals in Parliament who know; the rest do not know. That is not transparency and that does not respect a member of Parliament's right to have access to information, as the Speaker of the House said. We did not have that right.

Later, the Conservatives introduced some crime bills. For four months, the hon. members on the Standing Committee on Finance kept asking for information on the cost of these bills. How much would the megaprisons cost? How much would all this cost the provinces? The Conservatives introduced bills on young offenders. Rather than give us information, the government waited until it was forced by the Speaker of the House to come before the committee. The first day in committee, the government presented a large document, which was tabled yesterday by the Conservative leader in the House of Commons. Even Professor Franks, from Queen's University in Toronto, said it would take until July to get through all this information. That is truly contempt of Parliament and contempt of parliamentarians.

It was this same government who said that the Liberals were corrupt. During the 2006 election campaign, the Conservatives exceeded the electoral spending ceiling by $1.5 million. They cheated the democratic system. Am I making this up? No. The RCMP had to search the Conservatives' offices for documents. Is that the type of government Canadians need? No.

People do not care a fig about what is going on in Parliament right now. They do not care whatsoever about corruption. I have more faith in Canadians than that. In the next 35 days, we will show them there is an alternative in Canada. This government told us it believed in bilingualism, but last week, on March 8, it announced that the Atlantic administrative region would be unilingual English. Is this the same government that said it would respect both of our country's official languages?

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages just told us that the government house leader has announced that he is very proud that he voted against forcing Supreme Court justices to be bilingual. That is true: it is in a newspaper, in an ad paid for by the Conservatives.

The government is saying that it does not want an election, yet it has just spent $26 million. It knows that Elections Canada cannot do anything about that. It has spent money for an election campaign before an election has been called. These things need to change in Parliament, in our democracy. This government said that senators should not vote on Parliament's bills. These are the same Conservatives who asked the senators to vote against the NDP's environment bill, Bill C-311. That bill would have helped our country's environment, but the Prime Minister's unelected senators voted against it.

That is outrageous.

In today's democracy, here, we have senators who are not even elected and who vote down bills introduced by elected members. My people sent me here. They voted for me. All of the members in the House of Commons were elected by the public. When the House of Commons passes a bill, the only thing the Senate can do, as has always been said, is study it to make it better, protect the regions and protect minorities. That is not what they are doing. The senators are listening to the Prime Minister of Canada.

We will see you on the road during the next 35 days. We will show you the door.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

It being 1:48 p.m. and the last allotted day for the supply period ending March 26, 2011, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith all questions necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

The chief government whip is rising on a point of order.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Madam Speaker, I believe you will find unanimous consent of the House that the previous question moved earlier today be withdrawn.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Does the chief government whip have unanimous consent?

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

There is no consent.

The question is on the motion in the name of the hon. member for Etobicoke--Lakeshore. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

All those opposed will please say nay.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Opposition Motion—Confidence in the governmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

In my opinion, the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

2:10 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I will try this again. I believe you will find unanimous consent of the House that the previous question moved earlier today be withdrawn.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the chief government whip have unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion that this question be now put withdrawn)

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.