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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

International Women's WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I encourage all Canadians to celebrate International Women's Week, which includes the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on March 8, 2011. Canada's theme this year, “Girls' Rights Matter / Les droits des filles comptent”, highlights the importance of human rights, equality and access for girls and women of all ages.

In many countries, girls are subject to injustice and violence. We will never accept such treatment for our own girls and we must not accept such treatment for others.

Canada continues to work on changing the situation by introducing stricter legislation and strengthening awareness and victims' support programs. We recently announced the very first federal strategy to combat the problem of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

I hope that this celebration, which—

International Women's WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Victoria.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we mark 100 years of International Women's Day.

I was overwhelmed with hope this weekend when my annual IWD event filled the Belfry Theatre to capacity with women from across our community. Five of these women spoke about the issues that drive them and their experience in making change on literacy inequalities, clean energy, the environment and getting life-saving drugs to the world's poor.

These women are among countless others who are taking action where our governments and corporations have failed. As a society, we will do better when more women take a rightful place at the tables of decision-making.

Today, in honour of those who broke down the doors before us, we re-commit to breaking down many more doors for our daughters and granddaughters in the next 100 years.

100th Birthday CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, there are many coincidences in life. Today, March 8, is the 100th anniversary of the first International Women's Day, as well as the 100th birthday of a very special woman, Florence Rice, née Belliveau, of Edmundston, New Brunswick.

Florence was born in Scoudouc and, at the age of 17, travelled to Montreal for nurse's training. After working in private home care in Montreal and New York City, she returned to Moncton during World War II. As doctors were few, Florence delivered many local babies. In the late 1940s, she moved to Edmundston where she was head nurse of surgery, lived with her husband Martin and raised three children.

Nearly 70 years later, she is still referred to as “Garde Rice” by former colleagues and patients.

On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, this House joins with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to wish Florence a happy birthday.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, while International Women's Day offers us an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, I would like to draw the attention of the members to a more sobering topic: violence against women.

Since 2002, an estimated 12 young women in Canada have lost their lives in so-called honour killings. They were killed for supposedly having brought disgrace upon their families.

In 2007, spousal violence represented 94% of Canada's crime.

In 61% of cases reported to police, more than one violent incident had occurred.

In addition to being more likely to experience spousal violence, 54% of aboriginal women will be victims of the most severe forms of violence compared with 37% of non-aboriginal women.

Let us also recall that more than 600 aboriginal women have been declared missing, and the Conservatives refuse to launch an inquiry.

We need to put an end to this scourge.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. I would like to congratulate the women of my riding, Laval—Les Îles, the women of Canada and women around the world who fight for equality, peace and liberty. The world has witnessed the strength of their vision and their tenacity. Women are standing up, side by side, against authoritarian governments in places like Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and now Libya.

The message is clear: one century later, women are fed up. They are demanding that governments meet their millennium development goals immediately.

Here in Canada, a century later, this is what women are telling the Conservative government: stop cutting funding to NGOs that provide assistance to women and children; advance the rights of women and girls by approving safe reproductive rights; protect women and enable them to retain their dignity by supporting safe abortion practices, especially in cases of violence and rape.

Equality means dignity.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government is focused on keeping taxes low for families and businesses, the Liberal leader and Liberal MPs want to raise taxes to pay for bigger governments and bigger government bureaucracies.

In recent years, Liberal MPs have constantly complained that Canadians are not paying enough taxes and are looking at new ways to increase our tax bill. The Liberals have talked about increasing the GST, imposing a new carbon tax on energy and even a tax on iPods. Now the Liberals are targeting job-creating businesses. As businesses try to rebuild and recover from the recession, Liberal MPs want to slap a huge $6 billion tax hike on them and are threatening to drag Canada into a costly election if we do not immediately hike taxes.

Our Conservative government will not stand for higher taxes. We do not think families and businesses should be forced to send more of their hard-earned money to Ottawa, especially as they try to recover from the global recession. We know that higher taxes mean less money in our pockets, less economic growth for business and even fewer jobs for Canadians.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

March 8th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is facing a litany of scandals: misleading the House, committing electoral fraud and many more.

Yesterday, the government ignored a clear order from the House to produce important documents. The government's refusal demonstrates its disdain for democracy.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he is once again in contempt of Parliament?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our priorities are the economy and the well-being of Canadians.

The information requested by the opposition has already been provided to the House of Commons.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is not up to the Prime Minister to decide whether his response was sufficient. It is up to us to decide whether such was the case.

Last week the House ordered the government to produce important documents relating to the F-35 and relating to megaprisons. These involve the expenditure of billions of dollars of public money. A decent government would have complied, but the Conservative government is not a decent government. It is a government with contempt for democracy and a flagrant abuse of power. When is this pattern going to stop?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition requested certain financial information regarding these decisions. That information has been provided.

I would suggest to the opposition that it accept yes for an answer.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not how the system works. The Prime Minister does not make the rules. The House makes the rules.

Today the House is discussing a case of electoral fraud involving many members of the government's inner circle.

Those responsible for this fraud still hold positions within the government; but they have been charged with fraud, for heaven's sake!

Why are they still in office?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I already indicated, the information requested was provided to the House of Commons.

The real difficulty here is that the Liberal Party requested certain financial data and when that data did not match the numbers those members have been publicly making up, they cried foul.

The reality is the Liberals are just going to have to accept that the numbers are the numbers and they have to do with budgets of the House passed long ago.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I did not get an answer to the question. There are serious accusations of electoral fraud levelled against the closest members of the Conservative government. This is not just an accounting dispute because it involves the fraud of $800,000 of taxpayers' money. It is not an administrative matter, because it involves jail time.

The Prime Minister says he will not fire these people. The Prime Minister says he will not hand the money back. Will he at least assure the House that no member of the Prime Minister's Office was ever implicated in this scam?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member already knows that to be a fact.

The fact of the matter is that this involves a dispute with Elections Canada as to whether expenses are classified as local or national. We will continue to defend our position on that before the courts.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not an administrative dispute. Four Conservatives are charged with election fraud but a fifth person has been named in a sworn affidavit as the secretary of the Conservative fund when this election scam was concocted. His name is Nigel Wright. He is the chief of staff of the Prime Minister. Four of his accomplices face jail time.

Can the Prime Minister explain why Nigel Wright is still in the Prime Minister's Office?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the individual in question has not been accused of anything.

The fact of the matter, as I said, is that this is a dispute about whether certain election expenses that were fully reported are national or local. We will continue to defend our position before the courts.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is shocking about the scandal involving the minister of immigration is that not only did one of his staff members, during office hours, use parliamentary letterhead to solicit funds for his party, but, furthermore, it was the minister himself who told the employee to do it.

Will the minister of immigration admit that he told his employee to do political work, with public money to boot, and, therefore, he alone is solely responsible for this mess and must resign?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, there are procedures that my office must follow to ensure that we do not use government resources for partisan purposes. In this case, the procedures were not followed and, for that reason, the assistant in question submitted his resignation when I was travelling abroad, which I accepted. Naturally, political and parliamentary staff of all parties can work on political matters on their own time.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned the minister's office hours. As he said yesterday, the work was done during office hours. That is the second contradiction. If no mistake was made, why is the minister apologizing? What is he apologizing for? If he is apologizing for a mistake, then he is responsible. Otherwise, he should not apologize. As the minister, he has no choice but to resign if he is responsible. That is what ministerial responsibility looks like.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, my instructions were not followed by a member of my staff. He tendered his resignation and I accepted. The rules of my office to ensure that public resources are not used for partisan purposes were not followed. That is why we took corrective action. I must point out that we respect the principle of not using public resources for partisan purposes. That being said, we are proud of our government's record with new Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only did the office of the minister of immigration solicit money for the Conservative Party using House of Commons resources and was involved in a pre-electoral communication plan targeting certain ethnocultural groups, but we also learn that his office is resorting to partisan attacks against the Bloc Québécois. A letter issued by the minister's office uses, word for word, the Conservative Party's partisan ads.

Will the minister of immigration be relieved of his duties since he does not seem to know the difference between his role as minister and the partisan interests of the Conservative Party?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am guilty of criticizing the Bloc Québécois. I know that for the Bloc, that is unacceptable. I sent an email from my parliamentary office—and I would do it again—in which I criticized the fact that the Bloc was against imposing visas on Mexicans. The imposition of such visas resulted in almost $260 million in savings for Quebec's taxpayers. I am proud that this government is acting in the interest of Quebeckers. However, the Bloc Québécois is acting for—

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Québec.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the director of the TCRI, an umbrella group for agencies that assist refugees and immigrants, said he does not remember ever seeing such a partisan and electioneering speech in the communications of an immigration minister. It is not right for letters about financing, communication plans for the Conservative Party and emails smearing opposition parties to come from the office of the Minister of Immigration.

Will the Prime Minister stop condoning his Minister of Immigration's racial profiling and partisanship and dismiss him?