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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

Madeleine ParentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec lost a great woman yesterday. Madeleine Parent, a leading advocate for workers' and women's rights, died at the age of 93.

Ms. Parent campaigned for women's right to vote, fought to unionize textile workers, and helped liberate Canadian unions. She worked tirelessly to build bridges among Quebec society, aboriginals and immigrants.

Ms. Parent's legacy is great and precious. We must continue her work to create a more egalitarian society.

Thank you for everything, Ms. Parent.

Nick ZoricicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in great sadness today to recognize and pay tribute to a great Canadian skiing athlete we lost over the weekend, Nick Zoricic.

Nick trained at the Craigleith Ski Club in my riding of Simcoe—Grey. He was a beloved athlete and local hero in our community. He was a mentor to many young skiers. He truly set the bar high for himself and for all those who looked up to him.

Nick made his mark on the international skiing stage by competing hard, but also by demonstrating, as his colleagues have mentioned, his gentle and unassuming personality. He represented the very best in Canadian athleticism. While he was international skiing star around the world, he will always be remembered as a homegrown talent who got his start on the hills in the Blue Mountains.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Zoricic family in this difficult time. I would ask all the members of this House to join me in recognizing and paying tribute to this fantastic Canadian athlete.

Brand India ExpoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the 2012 Brand India Expo is taking place today and tomorrow at the Ottawa Convention Centre. I welcome the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Nabam Tuki for leading the high-level delegation and other participants.

I just returned from the grand opening. Our hard-working Minister of International Trade spoke about the tremendous economic opportunity Canada has in India. We all know that one in five Canadian jobs are trade-related, and that Canada's economy depends on our success as a trading nation.

India is one of the largest and fastest growing emerging economies in the world. I encourage all my colleagues on both sides of the House to visit the Brand India Expo. As we move forward towards our ambitious trade agreement with India, the ties between our countries, both economically and culturally, are becoming even stronger. This can only benefit Canadian jobs and economic growth.

Eddy ProulxStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Saint-Jean-Valleyfield branch of the Fédération de l'UPA has lost one of its great trade unionists, Eddy Proulx, an agricultural producer in the municipality of Cèdres.

Mr. Proulx was active in the UPA for some 40 years. Fair weather or foul, he attended all of the regional federation's union meetings. He never hesitated to stand up for the interests of agricultural producers in every possible forum. Everyone knows that the UPA was very dear to his heart.

Co-founder of the Table agroalimentaire de la CRÉ de la Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent and the Réseau Agriconseils Montérégie-Ouest, he earned recognition outside our region too. He spoke at a conference in Benin, Africa, on behalf of the international development arm of the UPA.

Despite illness, Mr. Proulx was involved in the UPA until his death. Agricultural producers will not soon forget him.

2012 Arctic Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of State for Sport, the minister responsible for CanNor and myself, I am pleased to rise in the House to congratulate and thank Yukon athletes, dedicated organizers, the league of volunteers and sponsors of this year's 2012 Arctic Winter Games.

These games welcomed Arctic communities from across Canada and four other nations. The games are an international celebration of northern sport, culture and friendship.

The game's organizers achieved their mission to stage an exceptional Arctic Winter Games that focused on athletic experience, community involvement and highlighted the uniqueness of the north. They should be proud of their contributions to young participants and to the people of the north.

I would like to congratulate Team Nunavut for winning the Hodgson Sportsmanship Trophy for its demonstration of respect for the rules, officials and opponents.

I invite all members of the House to join me in congratulating everyone involved in the 2012 Arctic Winter Games. A commitment to sport is a commitment to our country and these games exemplified that over the past few weeks.

Aboriginal PeopleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake, located in the northern part of the Pontiac riding, was put under third party management by the Conservative government, and since then the community's funds have been being managed by two administrators instead of just one, which makes consultation with the community even more difficult.

Unfortunately, this third party management has not improved the living conditions of the residents. On the contrary, the conditions continue to get worse. Children and seniors are the primary victims of this situation that fails to meet their basic needs, such as access to healthy housing and high-quality health care services.

As a Canadian and a member of Parliament, I am ashamed of this government's inaction on the Barriere Lake situation. Our fellow citizens are living in third world conditions. The Algonquin of Barriere Lake are demanding real solutions to the problems of unsanitary housing, the distribution of electricity to infrastructure, health care, the restructuring of educational services, the building of new schools, and the territorial delineation of the reserve.

How much longer should the Barriere Lake community have to wait before—

Aboriginal PeopleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening was an historic evening for Canadians. The Safe Streets and Communities Bill passed in this House and will soon receive royal assent.

Victims, police officers and honest citizens have long been asking for criminals to receive sentences that fit the severity of their crimes.

For too long, under the revolving door justice system we inherited from the previous Liberal government, victims would be shocked when those who were victimized were given house arrest. We promised that we would fix such injustices, and we have delivered.

A major component of the safe streets and communities act targets criminals who sexually exploit children. Because of this government, every such offender is guaranteed to serve time in jail. Our children deserve no less. In addition, the safe streets and communities act ended house arrest for serious crimes like sexual assault, kidnapping and human trafficking.

Canadians deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities and that means keeping dangerous criminals off our streets. We will continue to fight crime and protect Canadians so their communities will be safe places to live, raise their families and do business.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, at a time when we are celebrating la Francophonie, we are also face to face with the bilingualism controversy in the community hospital in Cornwall.

A slogan like “One country, one flag, one language” is a denial of Canada. Hearing such things in 2012 is unthinkable. That is not my Canada, it is not your Canada, and it is certainly not the Canada of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Next week, we are going to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the great day when 10,000 proud Canadians stood in opposition to the closing of the Montfort Hospital.

On the front benches of the government are three ministers who were in the Harris government at the time. I hope they have learned and that they will stand up for the francophones of Cornwall.

The anglophone community must be well informed so that it is able to avoid similar situations. Those same ministers, and the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry must do their duty as members of the Parliament of Canada and do what is necessary to convince their fellow citizens of the validity of linguistic duality all across Canada, and certainly in Cornwall, during Francophonie Week.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, mere days before election day last year, the Liberal Party national campaign held secret training, teaching Liberal volunteers how to make robocalls through their Liberalist database. Just hours later, Guelph phones were ringing off their hooks because of this Liberal dirty trick.

Under the assumed name Laurie MacDonald, the Liberal campaign was anonymously and misleadingly calling residents with a message. These were Liberal calls from a fake phone number, from a Liberal volunteer using a fake name.

Now the member for Guelph has admitted that he and his campaign paid for these illegal and unethical phone calls to fight off an NDP surge. If these calls were just an oversight, as the member claims, why did he wait until he was almost caught to come forward?

Something smells rotten. Millions of dollars were spent by the Liberals on hundreds of thousands of phone calls. Where else did the Liberals target Canadian households with this illegal campaign?

New Democratic PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last May, millions of Quebeckers and Canadians were fed up with the old ways of doing politics. That is why they voted for the NDP—so that we would clean up Ottawa. Unlike the Liberals and the Conservatives, the NDP works relentlessly to get results that address Canadians' concerns.

To this end, over the past few weeks, the NDP has won passage of several motions in the House of Commons: one on employment, one on first nations education, and one that was passed unanimously yesterday in order to give Elections Canada more power to investigate election fraud. Tomorrow, we are going to propose a new motion that seeks to resolve the drug shortage crisis in Quebec and in Canada.

We are not going to let the Conservatives stand in the way of Canadians' priorities. The NDP is not only an opposition party, but also a party that makes proposals. Quebeckers and Canadians can count on us to take action.

41st General ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal interim leader denied having centralized calling capabilities. Let us look at the facts.

The Liberals purchased their Liberalist software from the U.S. for that exact purpose. They used it last election. They spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls during the last election. Now we have that heard voters in Guelph were targeted by robocalls from the member for Guelph's Liberal campaign. That robocall training was provided by the national Liberal Party to campaign workers hours before the illegal anonymous messages were sent by the Liberal campaign to voters using a fake phone number by a Liberal volunteer using a fake name.

Why is the Liberal interim leader trying to cover up the existence of Liberalist? The Liberals need to tell us what kind of dirty tricks they are teaching their Liberal volunteer campaign workers.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the Prime Minister said that anyone in the position that he currently holds has the moral responsibility to respect the will of the House. Yesterday evening, the House adopted the NDP motion to get at the truth about the fraudulent activities of the last election. We voted in favour of accountability.

Will this government respect the motion and introduce amendments to the Canada Elections Act within six months?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have clearly stated from the beginning that we want Elections Canada to continue its investigation. The reality is that Elections Canada already has evidence of illegal calls made by the opposition in one riding. Obviously, I hope that all the parties will share all their information with Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government must respect last night's vote by taking the necessary action as quickly as possible. Most Canadians want a public inquiry. They want to know the truth. The NDP requested a public inquiry 18 days ago, when this scandal broke. An inquiry must be conducted in order to find out the truth and really clear the air.

Why will the Prime Minister not agree to order a public inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is already conducting an investigation. We have been sharing all our information with Elections Canada from the beginning.

In this case, we see from the NDP's documentation that the party has not been fully transparent. It is essential that all parties share their information with Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we need a public inquiry to find the truth and clear the air.

The Prime Minister needs to take responsibility here. This is the House of Commons, not a schoolyard. “I know you are, but what am I”, is not leadership.

Someone linked to the Conservatives was questioned by Elections Canada yesterday. Why are they playing games in question period? Why will they not take responsibility for their role?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the assertion about what the House of Commons is not, some days I wonder.

The fact is there is an inquiry by Elections Canada, which is the independent agency authorized to do just that. This party has been fully transparent with Elections Canada in assisting in its investigation.

We encourage the opposition, which has already now admitted that it deliberately did misleading calls, to come forward with the information on which it bases its allegations.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about misleading. Only one party is under investigation by Elections Canada.

Yesterday the parliamentary secretary attempted to change the channel by going after the Liberals for breaking the rules. Now the problem was that the parliamentary secretary in Peterborough had his own monkey games on election day with his phones.

He might think that having Liberals and Conservatives rolling around in the mud will divert attention, but we are talking about electoral fraud. Only one party is being investigated for electoral fraud. Only one party's operatives are being brought forward.

Who paid for those scripts and who paid for the calls?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting. Only one party actually tried to defraud Elections Canada by funnelling money into the Broadbent Institute, and that would be the NDP. It had to return that money.

The calls in Peterborough, referred to by the member opposite, used a real name, identified a real campaign office with a real phone number. The hon. member for Guelph has admitted to paying for misleading and in fact illegal calls with a message from a fake person using a fake phone number.

The opposition has now admitted to making illegal calls. We know it paid millions of dollars to make these calls. We want Elections Canada to investigate this and we would like the opposition to assist it.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, this has nothing to do with robocalls and everything to do with robo fraud. This is about the fact that 5,000 votes in 12 key ridings decided the last election.

The issue of voter suppression and interfering with the right of Canadians to vote is serious business. There is only one party, the Conservative Party, that is once again being investigated for electoral fraud. There is only one party that has been convicted of electoral fraud, and that is the Conservative Party.

Why will the Conservatives not come clean to Canadians? When are they going to call a public inquiry so that we can get to the bottom of their interference with Canadians' right to vote?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this party did no such thing. In fact, we are the only party that has been completely transparent with Elections Canada.

We invite the NDP to provide that same level of transparency to Elections Canada, because what we know is that the opposition has now admitted—in fact, confessed—to making illegal calls when confronted with the evidence. We know that they paid millions of dollars to make these calls to Canadians in the last election.

We are assisting Elections Canada. I have indicated we are providing the transparency they need. We would like the opposition to do the same.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a court order to the Conservative Party in Guelph requiring production of documents. That is the court order that is in place. That is why they are co-operating with elections Canada with respect to what took place in Guelph: they have to. They have no choice.

I still did not hear the Prime Minister clearly answer the question that was posed to him. It has to be answered again.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to set up a royal commission to look at what has happened and to establish new rules and new ways of ensuring a really fair election process in Canada? Why is the Prime Minister refusing to do that?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course there is an inquiry under way by Elections Canada, which is charged under the law with this responsibility.

It is interesting, now that we have had weeks of these kinds of allegations, that we now find out that the Liberal Party in Guelph, the winning Liberal candidate, made deliberately misleading calls and in fact authorized such calls, so clearly he knew about them all along.

I guess the reason for all of these allegations has been to cover that very fact. It makes us wonder how many other ridings the Liberal Party did this in.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can make all the allegations and all the smears that he wants. The point has to be made clearly--