This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

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, first, on the government side, we appreciate the Chief Electoral Officer's clarifications today before committee. We agree that any attempt to deliberately misdirect voters is in fact illegal. We encourage Air Canada—

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

—Elections Canada to get to the bottom of that.

We encourage Air Canada to keep flying.

The Chief Electoral Officer has indicated that he absolutely stands behind the results of all 308 ridings. He also encouraged the opposition members to stop their baseless smear campaign.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. The government wants to have it both ways.

The fact is we have heard today that there are 800 complaints, 250 open case files in 200 ridings in every province in the country. Yet, as late as an hour or two ago, government backbenchers were describing this whole robocall scandal as nothing but just mistakes and a circus.

Again, the government again cannot have it both ways. The government cannot keep saying it is both. This is either very serious and it agrees that it is or it does not think it is important at all. Either way, the government should come clean with Canadians.

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, once again, the Chief Electoral Officer encouraged the member opposite not to jump to any conclusions and to allow him to undertake the process. He indicated that he had all the resources and abilities necessary to conduct this investigation, but he told the member not to jump to conclusions.

The member is demonstrating exactly what one of my colleagues indicated was a circus: a baseless smear campaign that has been undertaken by the opposition parties in the House of Commons, with no evidence to support what they are suggesting whatsoever.

We will fully assist Elections Canada in this matter and we encourage it to report back to Parliament in due course.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

When it comes to the Minister of Industry, it is scandal after scandal.

Let me list them: an assistant who violates the Access to Information Act; Conservative fundraising events where contract awards are discussed; a transfer of jobs to benefit his business partners; a violation of the Conflict of Interest Act that was condemned by the Ethics Commissioner; and, of course, the now-infamous hunting weekend with his sleeping bag.

Will the minister realize at last that his track record includes too many serious mistakes for him to keep his job?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member attempts to paint quite a different picture than reality, the reality is that there is no evidence of any impropriety in any of the cases involving the minister. The minister's conduct has been exemplary throughout. There has never been any question of any improper use of government funds. For the hunting trip in question, he used his own funds for his own purposes.

In fact, this government actually campaigned against having funding for professional sports arenas. It was that party that campaigned for government funding for professional sports activities.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget that, in a conflict of interest situation, it is the action that is serious, not the consequences.

The Minister of Industry is setting new lows with his twisted logic. The Ethics Commissioner said that she cannot remember having to conduct so many investigations involving the same minister. If the minister had received a trophy for each scandal in which he was involved, his living room would already be full.

Enough is enough. Does the Minister of Industry realize that he no longer has the trust of Canadians and that he should resign?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister in question has been doing a superb job in carrying out his responsibilities as Minister of Industry for Canada, carrying out our elements of the economic action plan, helping in his part to deliver the 610,000 net new jobs for Canadians, focusing on the priorities of Canadians.

The NDP has focused on these kinds of questions. He has focused on doing a good job for Canadians. He has not, in a single case, dispensed one penny of government money inappropriately. He has been focused on doing his job and we stand behind him.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, he has been focused on the fact that last week he got busted by the ethics commissioner for giving preferential treatment to his buddy Rahim Jaffer. That is the guy who, ever since he showed up in Ottawa, just cannot seem to keep his hands clean.

Let us go through the latest one. He is being investigated for moving an entire government department to a relative's place. He says that there is nothing wrong with this, that it is just part of his ongoing education.

If he gets busted a second or a third time by the ethics commissioner, will the government do the right thing and kick him out of cabinet?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the record is clear. There has been no undue interference in that regard. The decisions made by Human Resources Canada on where to locate its facilities are based on its needs on what is most appropriate. There has been no involvement of the minister in that regard.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think the record is clear. The guy got busted last week and the government says, “Hey, that's not a problem because he is one of ours”.

Let us look at what has been also going on. He is being investigated for shenanigans in Thetford Mines. Now, in this famous moose scandal, his only defence is that he was sleeping snug as a bug in his little sleeping bag, while talk of millions of dollars worth of deals went down around him.

Is there nobody on that side willing to drag him out of his ministerial sleeping bag and hold him to account, or are they going to just keep cheering him on as he tries to break the record for ethical lapses in judgment?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay must have been on that trip because he seems to know the content of conversations that occurred, which differ very widely from anything the minister was party to. Perhaps this is the reason that party supported funding for professional sports arenas.

The fact is the minister was not lobbied. He paid his own way on the venture. In fact, this party campaigned against any funding for professional sports facilities.

Air CanadaOral Questions

March 29th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, since privatizing Air Canada, the Conservatives have been in cahoots with Air Canada, allowing it to cast its workers out on the streets. The minister has betrayed those workers. He is playing political games and preventing the CEO of Aveos from being summoned to the transport committee.

We are talking about jobs and public safety. Why is the minister putting the interests of CEOs ahead of those of Canadian workers?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the loss of these jobs is devastating for workers who continue to support security all across Transport Canada. That issue is very important.

I am disappointed with how Aveos has treated its employees during this challenging time. The legal advice I received states that Air Canada is in compliance with the act.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, Aveos workers keep getting more bad news every day. Yesterday, they did not get their final paycheques. They also learned that Aveos refused to appear before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and that the Conservatives had no problem with that.

Today, the minister tabled a legal opinion that supports Air Canada. We are well aware that when it comes to helping Air Canada, the Conservatives go to great lengths. However, when the issue is workers and 1,785 jobs in Montreal, the minister has nothing to say.

Why is the minister refusing to protect workers?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we work with facts, not speculation.

I know that the loss of these jobs is devastating for the workers and their communities. Aveos does not have much respect for its employees. We are very disappointed about that.

This morning, senior Air Canada executives appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to testify, and from what I understand, Air Canada is complying with the act.

While they spend their time speculating, we are working with facts, and the facts show that Air Canada is complying with the act.

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is refusing to do anything and has the nerve to say that he has no plan to protect thousands of jobs.

Air Canada president and CEO sure has a good friend in the Conservative government. The $5 million man will get his bonus, but what about the thousands of middle-class families who were left behind?

Worse, the Conservatives voted against our motion to have the CEO of Aveos appear at committee.

The minister hides behind an army of lawyers. Is it all a part of avoiding accountability? Why will the minister not enforce the law and actually hold Air Canada to account to save thousands of good Canadian jobs?

Air CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, apparently the member would like to run these companies himself instead of letting the executives do their jobs.

This is a matter between private companies, and we will respect that.

The legal advice I received states that Air Canada is in compliance with the act. In committee today Air Canada stated its commitment to keeping the jobs in Canada.

We will continue to support the Canadian economy.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that despite the government's claim of caring about community safety, on March 7 the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville told a classroom of Ottawa high school students, some as young as 14, that all Canadians should carry firearms and girls in particular should be armed to protect themselves from sexual assault.

Does the Minister of Public Safety agree with his colleague's extreme position that school children should be carrying loaded guns into schoolyards? Is that the position of the Government of Canada?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I can indicate our Conservative government does not support treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters as criminals. That member in fact has specifically targeted those law-abiding Canadians.

Our government has said that we will repeal the long gun registry and focus on those who actually commit crimes. That is what our government stands for.

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was told by his Quebec counterpart that appointing unilingual immigration board members in Montreal was a step backward for Canada's francophones.

Did the minister explain to his colleague, the Minister of Immigration, that it is unacceptable for a judge anywhere in Canada to deny a family's refugee claim when he does not understand the official language into which a key document has been translated?

The minister must ask his colleague to rectify the situation. It is his duty to do so.

ImmigrationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, the Immigration and Refugee Board complies with the Official Languages Act. All refugee claimants can have a hearing before a board member who speaks the official language of their choice.

In Montreal, 21 IRB members are bilingual, nine are unilingual francophones and two are unilingual anglophones. Thirty per cent of refugee claims are submitted in English. This means that hearings can be conducted in both official languages with board members who speak the language chosen.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the chair of the advisory committee for the Veterans Ombudsman, himself a decorated veteran, had his medical records wrongly accessed.

The minister's talking points will require him to recite his ten point plan. It is not working. What the minister needs is a one point plan. It involves walking back to his office and telling his political staff that if they do not stop rummaging through the medical files of veterans, they will receive the same treatment as the member for Calgary West.

When will he streamline his plan?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course any privacy breach is totally unacceptable for our veterans, and that is why this government took action. Unlike the Liberals, we implemented all the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations. We went even further with our ten point action plan that is so efficient and is working well.

We continue to build on the success of this privacy action plan because the privacy of our veterans is sacred.