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House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was panama.

Topics

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the NDP and the Liberals continue to make allegations without any evidence. If they have any evidence, they need to share that information. Otherwise, clearly, the NDP and the Liberals are simply trying to explain why Canadians rejected them so decisively in the election. They are behaving like sore losers, levelling false accusations and conducting a smear campaign for their own purposes.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the issue is very simple. The Chief Electoral Officer has the legal responsibility and mandate to ensure that all parties are in compliance with the law. The Chief Electoral Officer does not have the legal powers to demand documents that would prove said compliance. The Chief Electoral Officer came to procedure and House affairs committee seeking that power.

We in the NDP agreed. The Conservatives would not give them that power. Why?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada always provides all documents requested by Elections Canada. In fact, we provide Elections Canada with full reports on all our campaigns. The Conservative Party of Canada ran a clean and ethical campaign. That is what the evidence demonstrates.

Canadians from coast to coast to coast came out in huge numbers to support this party, to support its economic action plan, to support the leadership of this Prime Minister and to guide us over the next four years.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, a government should not begin a four year term by breaking the law. Breaking the law is a bad move.

It is not the only bad move by this government: cuts to food safety, $33 million; cuts to transportation safety for Canadian families, $29 million; cuts to veterans' services, $48 million.

A budget is about making choices. They are making very bad choices. Why throw tens of billions of dollars into prisons and inadequate planes instead of investing in essential services for Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, our priority is jobs and the economy.

Our priority is jobs and growth in a low tax jurisdiction. We are working hard to reduce wasteful and inefficient spending across the government. We want to pay down debt. We want to make sure that our efforts are focused on excellent government services for Canadians across the country, as well as a plan that will be continued in the next budget to make sure we have more jobs and more growth for our economy.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, 60,000 full-time jobs were lost in the last few months. The government's bad choices are hurting Canadian families. Even the government must know that cutting back on food safety, transportation safety and the environment hurts Canadians. There was a 43% cut to the Environmental Assessment Agency.

Will the government continue to further weaken the economy and further hurt Canadian families, or will it finally listen to this side of the House, to the OECD, to Moody's, to Fitch, to the IMF and to many others, and refrain from cuts that could drive Canada back into a recession and hurt Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we are not doing those things, of course. We have a low tax plan for jobs and growth in this economy. We have pursued it over the last few years. This economy has created over 600,000 net new jobs. We have led the way in the G7. We have led the way in the industrialized countries.

On the other side, of course, they believe in higher taxes. They believe in strangling the economy with red tape. We believe in the economy. We believe in Canadians being unleashed to create more jobs and opportunity. That is our goal. Unfortunately it is not the goal of the opposition.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government just does not care who it hurts with its reckless cuts.

It has lost all credibility by claiming there is not enough money to help seniors retire. Yesterday, we learned the government overestimated the cost of OAS in three of the past four years. It wants seniors to work two years longer because it cannot get the numbers right.

How can we trust the government's long-term bogus OAS claims when it does not even understand how much it costs this year?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, OAS and GIS payments were up 5% last year. Those are payments to seniors who have worked for those benefits and are entitled to them. That was just slightly off forecast by about 1%.

We do know that those costs continue to rise every year. That is why we must take action now to protect and preserve the old age security system for today's seniors and also for future generations. The NDP should support us in that if it really does care about helping seniors.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know this. An individual or individuals in Guelph bought a burner cellphone as “Pierre Poutine”. Elections Canada requested documents, having concluded that the Guelph Conservative campaign had a relationship with RackNine and did not disclose it on its return.

We know some 40 calls were made from Rebecca Rogers and Chris Rugé, Conservative election staff in Ottawa, to RackNine.

Will the Prime Minister confirm Ms. Rogers' employment with the trade minister and tell Elections Canada and the House where Chris Rugé works now?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party is aware of a single investigation being conducted by Elections Canada in the riding of Guelph and we will fully support and co-operate with that investigation.

What we also know is that in the last election Liberal campaigners were found to be stealing election signs. They were charged with that. We know that Liberals were found taking campaign literature directly out of people's mailboxes in the last campaign. We know just this week the Liberals had to cut loose a staffer in their own research bureau for sleazy, dirty politics. It is very unbecoming.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives spent over $2 million during the last election on call centres. Over a million of that went to RMG, whose employees blew the whistle on questionable scripts. Hundreds of thousands went to Campaign Research, whose activities are under investigation in Montreal. When we look at what is going on here and we look at RackNine, court records show they were repeatedly contacted by the offices of Conservative MPs.

Will the Prime Minister take this election fraud seriously, launch an investigation and get to the bottom of it?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party and our campaigns used legitimate funds to hire legitimate companies for legitimate purposes during an election. We do not deny that. However, we can say that we ran a clean and ethical campaign.

The Liberal Party has conducted and has led an unsubstantiated smear campaign for which it has no evidence other than defeated Liberal candidates who are coming forward and suggesting that they lost for any reason other than what they stood for and what they ran on.

Canadians came out and voted for this party because we work for them.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley says that this current investigation of election fraud is absolutely unprecedented.

The Conservative sacrificial lamb, Michael Sona, has confirmed that there was indeed illegal behaviour.

Conservatives spent over $2 million on at least five robocall companies, and the Prime Minister surely knows what they were doing.

Will he stop starving Elections Canada and table the logs that show what Conservative calls were made and what Conservative scripts were used in those calls? He has that information. Will he produce it?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is what we know. We know that the Liberal Party has provided no evidence to substantiate its claims. What it has conducted is an entirely unsubstantiated smear campaign.

We also know that Liberal campaign operatives were charged with stealing election campaign signs. We know that Liberal campaign operatives were actually found to be taking campaign literature out of people's mailboxes. We know that the Liberal Party, through its Liberal research bureau, conducted a dirty, sleazy operation targeted at the Minister of Public Safety. It was unbecoming.

Transportation SafetyOral Questions

February 29th, 2012 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, after Sunday's tragic train crash, Canadians are worried about their travel safety. The Transportation Safety Board has previously called on the minister to increase training and improve the safety management system on rail services. What are the Conservatives doing? They are cutting $29 million on transport safety programs, drastic cuts on programs that keep Canadians safe when travelling.

Instead of protecting Canadians, why are the Conservatives cutting transport safety programs?

Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are speaking about a tragic accident that happened last weekend, and now our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the men who lost their lives on Sunday.

Since 2007, passenger train accidents have decreased by 19%, train accidents have decreased by 23% and train derailments by 26%. We are delivering the job.

Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Conservatives are making cuts in the area of transport safety. More than $29 million will be cut from air and marine safety. That is one-quarter of the price tag for a single F-35 fighter jet and half the bill that the Conservatives want to pass on to Quebec for their law and order agenda. In the meantime, big corporations continue to receive gifts.

Why are the Conservatives endangering the lives of Canadians by cutting tens of millions of dollars from transport safety programs?

Transportation SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the NDP believes that money grows on trees. The truth is that the NDP voted against a $1 billion budget over five years to continue enhancing CATSA, our air security authority.

We will continue to work hard to keep Canada's entire transportation system safe.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Conservatives have food safety on the chopping block. The lastest federal estimates include tens of millions of cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. That means cuts to food inspectors who helped and will help prevent a listeriosis crisis from happening in the country again.

Families need to know that the lunch meat they feed their children will be safe for them to eat and to take to school. If the Conservatives agree with that statement, why are they cutting inspectors who ensure the safety of children's lunches?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The government has put 733 net new front-line inspectors on the job. We voted through hundreds of millions of dollars for food safety in our great country. At the same time, the NDP voted against every one of those initiatives. If anyone should explain why they are cutting food safety, it should be the members of that party.

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, that answer is not reassuring in the least. If the Conservatives go ahead with these cuts, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will have fewer inspectors than it did in 2008, at the height of the listeriosis crisis, which resulted in 23 deaths. That is very serious.

Do the Conservatives understand the importance of the CFIA's work and its inspectors? Why risk reducing the quality of food inspection by reducing the number of inspectors? Why put Canadians' health at risk? After transport safety and freedom of expression, is the health of Canadians going to take a hit?

Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the only new item in that question was the member using the word “if”. The reality is we put 733 net new inspectors on the front lines on food inspection and food safety in the country and we have added hundreds of millions of dollars to CFIA's budget to ensure it has the ability to move forward and ensure our food is safe in Canada. We have that assurance.

Food in Canada is some of the safest in the world, in spite of the NDP constantly voting against those initiatives.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting strong and healthy first nations communities through significant investments that are producing tangible and lasting results.

While provinces and territories each have their own safe drinking water standards, there are currently no legally enforceable protections for first nations communities.

Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House how our government is taking action to address this gap and to ensure first nations have access to safe and reliable drinking water?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kenora Ontario

Conservative

Greg Rickford ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that first nations communities should have access to safe drinking water, as all Canadians do. That is why we reintroduced the safe drinking water for first nations act today in the Senate. This legislation builds on our significant investments in water and waste water infrastructure, including improving capacity for first nations in managing their systems on reserve.

I urge all members of the opposition to join with us, the Alberta chiefs and the Atlantic Policy Congress in supporting the bill and help ensuring that first nations have access to safe drinking water on reserves.