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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

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the point is that if we want to actually get at the truth with respect to what took place in the last election and go beyond just what took place in the last election to give us guidance with respect to what needs to take place in the future, the Prime Minister knows as well as anyone else in this House that it requires a royal commission and that Elections Canada alone cannot do that.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to call and establish a royal commission? Why will he not do that?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not only is there an inquiry in place, but that inquiry is apparently getting to the bottom of some illegal acts by the Liberal Party, so it is no wonder the Liberal Party suddenly does not like that particular inquiry.

I would encourage the leaders of all parties to fully co-operate with Elections Canada and give all the information that has been requested, as we have done and will continue to do.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike the government, the Conservative Party, today our party revealed all the calls that we made. We told Canadians exactly how the Liberal Party operates. The same cannot be said of the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party did not do the same thing; it did not provide the information in the same manner.

Why is the Conservative government continuing to refuse to establish a royal commission on this issue?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, we have been making all our information available to Elections Canada for months now. However, such is not the case with the Liberal Party. Now that the investigation has found that the Liberal Party made illegal automated calls, the party is providing information. I am wondering how many other ridings the Liberal Party did this in. It is finally time for the Liberal Party to provide all its information.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, the Conservatives orchestrated an electoral fraud with their in and out scheme. They felt that they were above the law, that the law did not apply to them, but, in the end, they had to plead guilty. Showing no shame, they even rewarded the architects of those base acts by appointing them to the Senate. Then, in 2011, they started again. Tens of thousands of dollars were paid to RMG by campaigns that had no idea what services had been rendered for the money.

Will the Conservatives tell us when the Canada Elections Act will be changed to give Elections Canada all the powers it needs to investigate their scandals?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is the NDP that broke the law. It had to admit that after the revelations about the methods of funding the Broadbent Institute. The facts are clear.

Also, according to the CRTC rules, “telecommunications shall begin with a clear message identifying the person on whose behalf the telecommunication is made.”

The Liberal Party broke that rule. We know that now. We know the truth. It is now up to the Liberal Party to explain to Canadians why it broke the law.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this has been going on for a week now. The NDP asks the Conservatives a question and the Conservatives say that the Liberals are just as crooked as they are. That is true. It is true that the Conservative scandals have replaced the Liberal scandals, but that does not provide people with real answers about what happened.

The Conservatives play tough during the election campaign, but when they are in the House, they hide behind the Prime Minister's skirts, dodging questions.

Is there a single Conservative member who will prove worthy of his or her office and say when the Canada Elections Act will be amended so that we can get to the bottom of the Conservative scandals?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about what the Liberal Party did.

First, the hon. member for Guelph broke the law. Then he covered it up for a year. In addition, he rose in the House to launch an unsubstantiated smear campaign against our party. Finally, he admitted that he broke the law, but only after he got caught.

It is up to the Liberal Party now to explain what it did and to co-operate with Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, ducking, weaving, and pointing the finger is not the accountability that Canadians deserve. We are not in a schoolyard. These are serious questions with serious consequences. It is election fraud.

A Conservative campaign operative was reportedly questioned by Elections Canada. Why does the government not just come clean by telling the House which Conservatives paid for these calls and where the phone scripts came from? The best they can muster is to say the Liberals did it too. Seriously?

Where is the accountability? Where are the answers?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 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 very interesting. We know the NDP is being investigated for its 2009 convention where it may have accepted some illegal union donations. Recently, last spring, it accepted tens of thousands of illegal donations from unions, of course contravening the Elections Act.

We also now know that the member for Winnipeg Centre has just had to issue his second apology for making claims that were not factual, not truthful. They were slanderous claims against companies in this country. Perhaps he would like to rise in the House and apologize as well.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the House unanimously passed an NDP motion calling for the Chief Electoral Officer to be given more investigative powers. The easy part was the motion; the hard part now is getting the legislation in the House, because without legislation, every day that goes by is a day the Chief Electoral Officer does not have those powers.

My question is clear: in light of the unanimous decision last night, when will the government honour that vote and bring in the detailed legislation that would give the Chief Electoral Officer the power that this Parliament and Canadians demand?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the government has been clear. We support that motion and we will act on that motion.

We are also confident that Elections Canada will get to the bottom of the allegations in Guelph, including the illegal calls placed by the opposition.

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

March 13th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night the House held an emergency debate on the serious question of drug shortages, and today the Minister of Health appeared in front of health committee. The minister is still blaming the Conservatives' lack of action on everybody else.

We have proposed a mandatory reporting process as part of a strategy to anticipate, identify and manage these shortages, but the minister is stuck on a voluntary approach that does not work.

What will it take before the Conservatives act on this serious crisis?

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, hopefully the hon. member for Vancouver East will better understand the roles we all play in the drug supply process after last night's debate, my appearance in committee this morning and tomorrow's opposition day.

This is a serious matter, and our government respects the roles that each jurisdiction plays. We are not in the business of stepping into provincial and territorial jurisdictions.

I hope the hon. member will join this important debate and work with us, not against us.

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this issue is not about jurisdiction; it is about the Conservatives not paying attention and not showing leadership. The fact is that the minister has refused to stand up and show the leadership that is required on this crisis.

The provinces are calling for the minister to act. Patient advocates and health professionals are calling on the minister to act. Will the minister admit that her voluntary plan has failed?

The Conservatives must expedite the Health Canada approval process and also guarantee the safety of Canadians.

When will the Conservatives listen to Canadians, not deny what is going on, and lead the effort to end these shortages?

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, we have been working 24/7 to provide the support to the provinces and the territories, as we know how important this is to patients and their families.

I want to be very clear. It is the provinces and the territories that are best placed to determine what drugs are needed in their jurisdictions, and they are the ones that enter into contracts with the suppliers regarding their specific requirements. Our government's role is to assist the provinces and territories by informing them of approved Canadian suppliers for drugs when their current supply has not been met.

At the request of the provinces and the territories, we are fast-tracking approvals for international products without compromising our high standards.

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Cancer Society has urged Ottawa to take its role seriously. The Minister of Health and her parliamentary secretary are completely ignoring our questions and are shrugging off their responsibilities. Health Canada has not been able to regulate the drug industry effectively. Yet that area falls under federal jurisdiction.

The outcome is that the lives of thousands of Canadians are at stake. Health experts and the provinces are asking the federal government to set up a system requiring the industry to disclose the drugs that might run out. That is straightforward.

Is the minister going to tighten up the regulations to avoid other shortages? Yes or no?

Drug ShortagesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, our government's role is to assist the provinces and the territories by informing them of approved Canadian suppliers for drugs when their current supply has not been met.

At the request of the provinces and the territories, we are fast-tracking approvals for international products, again without compromising our high standards.

We are making sure that all of the important players are in contact with one another and that all have the latest information about potential or current shortages.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, they refuse to do anything about the drug shortage, but when no intervention is needed, the Conservatives are right there.

Yesterday, the Conservatives tabled a special law to force Air Canada workers back to work in case of a strike or a lockout.

This is the third time in nine months that the Conservatives have bullied the workers out of their right to collective bargaining.

The government must encourage the two parties to negotiate. Will the Conservatives promise to stay out of the conflict and respect the fundamental rights of Canadians, yes or no?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated in the past, we are acting on behalf of the Canadian public interest, both in terms of the economy and in terms of the Canadian flying public.

To answer the question the member opposite put, I would, in return, ask him a question: will he support us to pass this legislation quickly through the House this evening so that Canadians can have certainty as to what is going on with air services?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, to bully the workers? The answer is no.

By taking this action, the Conservatives are sending a clear message to Canadians: the Conservatives are taking the employer's side, and to heck with workers' rights. The Conservatives must help both sides reach an agreement.

Can the Conservatives promise that they will not intervene in this dispute and that they will respect the fundamental rights of all workers, yes or no?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, ours is actually the only party here that is not picking a side. It is clear that the members opposite are choosing to support their big union bosses. That is why they are standing in the House.

It is quite clear, quite frankly, that the opposition will use delay tactics in order to make sure that hard-working Canadians, the Canadian public interest and this great economy will be derailed because of their connection with their union bosses.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government claims to care about political financing, pointing to Bill C-21, but its interest seems to stop when it comes to the riding of Vaughan. Three former members of the Conservative association there have each sworn an affidavit alleging that the Associate Minister of National Defence as a Conservative candidate kept two sets of books: an official one and a secret one that was used to bankroll nine other Conservative riding campaigns.

The government denies everything. Is it in fact accusing three Conservative supporters of perjury?