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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is a national disgrace. Requiring people to use the term “Harper government” in all communications is more proof that the Conservatives—

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Members must not use the name of another member of Parliament in questions or comments. This is the second time today that this has happened. This cannot continue.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot say his name in this House, but they can use it in government advertisements. That is shameful. First we had party fundraising letters from the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Conservative Party logos on government cheques, and now the Conservatives are once again confusing the interests of the Conservative Party and the activities of the government.

When will the Conservatives stop using government resources to promote their party?

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this has been a long-standing practice across various governments. This terminology is widely used by journalists and the public. In fact, Mel Cappe, who was quoted in these stories, approved many of the releases when he was clerk, using the term, “Chrétien government”.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Let us continue, Mr. Speaker. It was the case, for example, with Dimitri Soudas's buddies. Even party organizers were put on the Senate payroll. I am thinking of Doug Finley, Leo Housakos, Michel Rivard and Claude Carignan. Furthermore, now we have learned that House resources and departmental press releases are being used to promote the Conservatives.

When will this government stop making taxpayers foot the bill for their election campaign?

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the member opposite's statement, it is well within all government policies to do this. In fact, it has been common practice across many governments. I would be pleased to give examples of previous Liberal government press releases to the member opposite so he can stop using those hypocritical statements.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding behind an administrative error to disguise their lack of ethics. But it simply proves that they are incapable of managing. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism ordered his director of multicultural affairs to raise money for the Conservative Party. He did not ask a party employee, but one of his office's directors. Parliamentary resources would be used, and the minister knew it.

Why is he not doing the honourable thing, since he is the one accountable for this decision? He must resign.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the use of parliamentary resources for partisan political purposes is completely wrong and completely unacceptable. The employee in question has offered the minister his resignation. The minister has done the right thing and accepted it. The minister has assumed responsibility for these actions. He has apologized for his former employee's actions and believes they were unacceptable.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, that director of multicultural affairs did not get fired for an ethical breach. He was fired because he was dumb enough to get caught. It is the minister's head that should roll for breaking faith with the Canadian people, for using his office and the weight of his title to orchestrate the Conservative Party's ethnic outreach strategy at the taxpayer's expense. Conservatives cannot pass this off on some overzealous flunky. The buck stops with the guy whose name is on the masthead.

Mulroney used to fire ministers who stepped in a cow-pie. Whatever happened to ministerial accountability for the current Conservative government?

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister has done the right thing. He accepted the resignation of his staff member. Let us see if New Democrats will live up to that same standard.

I have in my hand an email from the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona's office where she is seeking to have a federal election. It states:

--a federal election called in the next month or two. Help your Edmonton NDP candidates get ready! Re-elect the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona and for details on how to work on the campaign, you can contact Erica Bullwinkle at duncanl1@parl.gc.ca.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has done the right thing. Will the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona follow—

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where Conservatives are burying the bodies of all the political staffers they are throwing under the bus. It is a good thing Skippy is practising his mortician routine because the Conservative lobbyists like Tim Powers could only absorb so many of these guys.

The minister of immigration is abusing his office. He is exploiting the hopes and dreams of the very people he is sworn to serve. There is an implied quid pro quo when the minister of immigration is the one heading up the outreach to new Canadian voters and he knows it.

The minister of immigration—

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am afraid the hon. member's time has expired.

The hon. government House leader.

Political FinancingOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the facts. The facts are that the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona knows she cannot beat Ryan Hastman and she is trying to cheat to keep her seat. She should apologize and then she should demand this staffer resign.

Former Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's hand-picked integrity commissioner took no action on the 228 complaints received from public servants. Documents confirm her independence was compromised because she was taking orders from the Prime Minister's Office. The media are now reporting that Ms. Ouimet was paid half a million dollars to resign from her post.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that he paid Ms. Ouimet hush money to cover up the fact that her office was used to bury complaints from public servants?

Former Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the previous public sector integrity commissioner has resigned and we look forward to working with all opposition parties to find a new commissioner.

The government sought and followed legal advice as to the terms of her resignation based on her years of service. We understand that Madame Ouimet will be appearing before the standing committee next week, which is the appropriate place to raise these questions.

Former Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

This position has been a scam since day one. The Prime Minister campaigned on protecting whistleblowers, but as soon as he was elected, he abandoned public servants. He claimed to be squeaky clean, yet he wasted more than $11 million on keeping public servants quiet and sweeping 228 of their complaints under the carpet. And to top it off, the Prime Minister just gave the integrity commissioner more than half a million dollars to keep her quiet and make her disappear.

How can we believe a single word from this Prime Minister?

Former Public Sector Integrity CommissionerOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament, appointed with the approval of all the leaders of all the opposition parties and Parliament.

We are pleased that the interim commissioner has said that a third-party review will take place to ensure that no valid concerns were overlooked. A selection process will be launched shortly to identify and appoint a new Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.

We look forward to working with all opposition parties to find the right person for the job.

Government CommunicationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has now ordered that all federal departments, boards, agencies and commissions no longer use the phrase “Government of Canada”.

We are not just talking about press releases, but all sorts of documentation. Apparently the word “Canada” is too offensive to the Conservatives and they now think that the government does not belong to Canada but is somehow the Prime Minister's alone.

With the “H” word now to be used at all times instead of “Canada”, what is next? The Prime Minister's face on the $5 bill? It is blue after all.

Government CommunicationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this has been a longstanding practice across various governments. Do not take my word for it; let me read some quotes:

That is the direction in which the Chrétien government has concentrated its efforts--

That was said on March 6, 2001.

Let me give another one:

--during the Chrétien government's time in office....

That was said on December 5, 2003. Who said that? It was the Liberal member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.

Government CommunicationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board guidelines were actually changed since then.

I would ask, what rule is the Prime Minister not willing to break? Replacing “Government of Canada” with the Prime Minister's own name, suggesting it is his own personal fiefdom, violates Treasury Board communications policy, federal identity program policy, the Conflict of Interest Act and the conflict of interest code for members of Parliament.

We have heard more examples of rules being broken today alone. This is more rule-breaking—

Government CommunicationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board.

Government CommunicationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, as I repeated previously, this has been a longstanding practice across various governments. Let me give some more quotes so the member will not have to take my word for it:

--Jean Chrétien's government and Gordon Campbell's government in British Columbia.

Who said that? The Liberal member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.

Political FinancingOral Questions

March 4th, 2011 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, two former Conservative MPs have said they refused to participate in the party's fraudulent scheme during the 2005-06 election campaign. They suspected that it was an illegal scam meant to circumvent the Canada Elections Act and the spending limits.

How can the Prime Minister continue to claim that this a simple administrative dispute, when the Chief Electoral Officer, the elections commissioner, the director of public prosecutions and former Conservative candidates and MPs all maintain that the party deliberately—