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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the late night last night has not prevented the hon. member from having his tinfoil hat firmly attached.

Everything the member just indicated is completely false. What we know is that the NDP has had to apologize for a number of outrageous allegations and smears that it has made recently. We know that the opposition in fact placed illegal calls in the last election. We call on opposition members to co-operate and participate with Elections Canada so it can get to the bottom of this.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the party that promised to come to Ottawa and clean things up. Instead, it is so morally adrift it believes it will sell Canadians that all politicians are as corrupt as the tactics it uses, which is simply not true.

Now the Conservatives are trying to stick a 23-year-old with the blame for a nationwide robofraud scandal.

Nobody believes it. So, who was behind this scam? Why are the Conservatives trying to stick Mr. Sona with it? When will they come clean? When will they call a public inquiry?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our party is doing no such thing. Again, that is the member's wild imagination at work.

The member has suggested that we are trying to paint other parties. We are not doing any such thing. We are stating the facts, like the NDP siphoning money off to the Broadbent Institute, contravening the Canada Election Act; accepting illegal donations for its AGMs from unions and so forth, contravening the Canada Election Act; tens of thousands of dollars of illegal donations. That is what the NDP members have done. We call on them to assist Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, every day, new allegations are made about the election and election fraud. There have been reports of voter suppression and of people who voted without even having the required identification. It is a type of ballot box stuffing.

Why does the Prime Minister not see the need to order a public inquiry and create a royal commission that would have the power to get to the bottom of this matter?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is true that new allegations are being made every day, but now, every day, evidence of the Liberal Party's illegal behaviour is coming to light. I am telling the Liberal Party the same thing that I told the other parties in the House: the Liberals must provide all of their information in order to assist Elections Canada in its investigation.

National DefenceOral Questions

March 14th, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of electoral fraud, the Prime Minister, on April 8, 2011, in the middle of the election campaign, talked about the F-35 contract. He said, “the contract we've signed shelters us from any increase in those kinds of costs. We're very confident of our cost estimates”. His ministers are telling us now that there is no contract, that there is no assurance with respect to cost and, in fact, that signing a contract is a matter of if and when.

Was the Prime Minister telling the truth when he spoke to the people of Canada on April 8, 2011, about a so-called contract, yes or no?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of public record. At the time, I was referring to a memorandum of understanding. It has not been a secret that the government has not signed a contract. The fact is our country does not pay any increase on the development cost. That is the arrangement. It is also a fact that we have provisioned in our budget funds for future aircraft and we are prepared to live within that budget.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of the drug shortage issue, I would again like to ask the Prime Minister a very clear question.

The Prime Minister has stated on a number of occasions, and he did it again today, that it is essentially the responsibility, indeed the fault, of the provinces as to why there is a shortage of drugs.

This view is not widely shared. A drug shortage around the world is affecting every country. Why is it that of the countries dealing with this crisis, whether it is the Europeans, the Americans or us, we are the only ones who do not have mandatory regulations? We are the only ones who do not have prior notification. Why is our regulatory system so pathetically weak?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have the same system as when he was in office.

It is true that some of these problems are being felt in other countries. The reality of the situation in our system is that the provinces administer the health care system and they are the buyers of most of these medications. In some cases, they sole sourced these purchases from a firm that is now having some difficulty. However, we are working with them to try and address this problem.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' confusing and clumsy explanations for the fraud that occurred in the riding of Guelph are so far-fetched that we get the impression we are listening to Réjean on La Petite Vie. From the beginning, they have been trying to lead us to believe that a single activist orchestrated an election fraud of this magnitude without any help, as though Michael Sona had the money, computer resources or access to the lists he would require to organize thousands of fraudulent calls. It does not make any sense.

Do the Conservatives really believe in this ridiculous theory that a single volunteer transformed into an election super villain? If not, who on the other side of the House are they trying to protect?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I humbly suggest that it is time for the party to apologize for its actions. I have here a document from the Commissioner of Canada Elections that says:

The Contracting Party acknowledged acts that contravene section 405.21 and constitute an offence under paragraph 497(3)(f.162) of the Canada Elections Act...

The contracting party in question is the New Democratic Party. That party broke the law. I urge the hon. member to rise and apologize to Canadians.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people who should be apologizing are those who pled guilty to using the in and out scheme in 2006 and who stole from Canadians.

When Michael Sona submitted his resignation to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, she initially refused to accept it. That makes sense, because it is ridiculous to believe that a single employee engineered massive electoral fraud, but according to the Globe and Mail, Jenni Byrne, the Conservative Party's director of political operations, called the parliamentary secretary shortly thereafter. She must have been very persuasive, because the resignation was suddenly accepted.

Can anyone on the government side tell us what Jenni Byrne knows but is refusing to disclose at this time?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I just told him that his party admitted to contravening the Canada Elections Act by trying to send money to the Broadbent Institute and force taxpayers to foot the bill with the tax credit.

The New Democrats have already had to apologize for the false allegations made by the hon. member for Winnipeg. Now I think the New Democrats should rise in the House to apologize for breaking the law and breaching Canadians' trust.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

They love to try to change the channel, Mr. Speaker, but only the Conservatives are being questioned for coordinated voter fraud.

The Conservatives paid RMG and RackNine millions in the last election. The Conservatives, and no other parties, are being forced to show their vote database to Elections Canada. It is the Conservatives who are trying to throw a 23 year old under the bus for a scheme affecting dozens of ridings across Canada.

When will the Conservatives stop trying to find scapegoats and tell us who wrote the scripts, who paid the bills and who is responsible?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Once again I urge members to have a link between their questions and the administrative responsibility of the government.

I see the parliamentary secretary rise to answer the question, so I will give him the floor.

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, virtually all of the statements made by the member are entirely false. However, we know the NDP has had to apologize for the very smears that the member has just made in the House. NDP members have had to apologize publicly, and I think there are more apologies to come for some of the smears they have made to legitimate Canadians and legitimate businesses in our country.

We know that illegal calls were in fact placed by the opposition. We have made Elections Canada and the CRTC aware of it. We want them to investigate this. We hope the opposition parties will assist Elections Canada and the CRTC in these investigations.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Despite the spin, Mr. Speaker, the facts do not lie. Only the Conservatives are being questioned for coordinated voter fraud, no other party.

Elections Canada is looking at the Conservative database right now. Conservative sources are saying that Michael Sona never even accessed the database. Someone else did. Someone wrote a script, someone blasted it across the country, someone paid thousands and someone had access to CIMS.

Only the Conservatives know who it is. When will they tell Canadians?

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

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the allegations made are entirely false. The Conservative Party is not under any investigation. What we are doing and what the NDP is not doing is assisting Elections Canada. We are providing assistance.

However, let us be clear about the motivations of the NDP members, trying to cover up the fact that they are under investigation from Elections Canada from both 2009 and 2011 AGMs, where they accepted illegal donations from unions that contravened the Elections Act. Let us not forget that they also syphoned money off and had to plead guilty to syphoning off tax dollars, trying to put it into the Broadbent Institute. It is deplorable.

Purchase of Office SuppliesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 200,000 sheets of paper ordered by the offices of the former Conservative MP, Bernard Généreux, which he had delivered to the party in April 2010, were paid for only at the end of 2011, by Mr. Généreux himself. Yesterday, we were told the matter is closed.

On the contrary: 56,000 sheets of paper were used, but where were they printed? What were they used for? Was it a contribution in kind to the party?

Mr. Généreux has since been appointed to the board of directors of the Quebec Port Authority. Therefore it is a question of public interest. The thousands of Quebeckers who will have to play detective deserve some answers.

Purchase of Office SuppliesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I ask the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup to use the resources of the House of Commons to do his job and not to conduct investigations that are Elections Canada's responsibility. Will the member pay for his ads in community newspapers out of his own pocket? Will the member follow Elections Canada's instructions and use his budget to carry out his duties as an MP?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over 18 months we have raised issues about the procurement process, about production delays and about the ever-rising price of the F-35. In response the Conservatives have had the audacity to question our love of our country and our support for our troops, all the while sharing the very same concerns.

Would the minister now admit that this is not about who loves our country the most, but is about responsible management of what might be the largest procurement project in Canadian history?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am quite pleased to answer the member opposite.

The Royal Canadian Air Force plays a vital role in protecting our sovereignty and defending our interests at home and abroad. Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable lives. Canada is one of nine partner nations in the F-35 program, and has been so for 15 years.

However, a contract has not been signed for replacement aircraft. We have set a budget for replacement aircraft. We have been clear that we will operate within that budget.

We will continue to ensure our men and women receive the tools they need to carry out the jobs we ask of them.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. The government finally admitted yesterday what everyone has been saying for quite some time: the F-35 program has problems. Apparently, in the backrooms of National Defence, a team is examining alternatives to the F-35 jet. However, there were more questions than answers when the Associate Minister of National Defence appeared before the committee yesterday.

Now that the government has admitted that it has doubts about the F-35s, where is plan B?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there was a time when a whole lot of noise was coming from the member opposite about there not being any other plan. Now that we have one, we are being criticized. That is the no defence party attitude.

Our position has not changed. We remain committed to the joint strike fighter program, as have the other partners. A budget has been allocated. We have not as yet signed an order for any aircraft.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are no tenders, no transparency, no guarantees of industrial spinoffs, a flawed process, and they want to lecture the opposition. That is ridiculous.

Time is passing, but doubts remains about the F-35 jets. The Conservatives' crusade for the F-35s has hit the wall. We have been warning them for months, and now they are panicking and trying to pick up the pieces.

When will this government make a clear decision? Which planes, how many, at what price and when will we receive them?