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House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was literacy.

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, once again it is very clear the opposition has a hard time accepting the results of the last election. It is also clear and an absolute fact that the Liberal Party paid millions of dollars to contact hundreds of thousands of households right across this country. Apparently the Liberals gave people incorrect information and they may have even called them at inappropriate times of day. However, the Liberal leader is sitting on all these facts and will not release the Liberals' phone records. I think he should have to. Something that is also clear is that these allegations demean the voters of this country.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will tell members what demeans the voters of this country. Whether it is Vladimir Putin or Pierre Poutine, citizens have a right to vote without being interfered with where they are out having a monkey wrench. They deserve better than to have a minister stand up day after day and mislead the Canadian people.

Last week, the Minister of National Defence said it was a kid from Guelph, case closed. Now the Conservatives are saying they do not know what is going on in Guelph. Now we are hearing that the Conservative Party is trying to blame Elections Canada because obviously blaming the little Liberal Party is not following through either.

When will the government stop playing the blame game and come clean with the electoral fraud that happened under its watch and its party.

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, I am not trying to blame the little Liberal Party, nor am I attacking the outrageous allegations of the NDP. I am merely pointing out that they have been making these baseless smears for more than a week. There is no substance to their argument.

In our campaign, as our campaign manager said yesterday and has been repeated by others who have come forward, we were absolutely punctilious in following all the rules of Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, in June 2011, the Conservative Party fundraising call centre, which is located in the exact same office as RMG in Toronto, repeatedly solicited Fernand Coulombe, an 89-year old man from Montmagny, for a $200 donation. Mr. Coulombe said he never promised anything. Yet I have before me the letter he received, which reads, “Thank you for your generous promise of a $200 donation.”

Is RMG mandated to do its own fundraising on behalf of the Conservative Party? Is aggressive solicitation a common Conservative practice?

Our seniors deserve respect. So, please, how about a little transparency for once?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, speaking of transparency, Canadians took part in an entirely transparent election and gave us a very strong mandate to lead another government and to create jobs for our economy. Now the opposition is trying to explain its historic defeat by making false, unfounded allegations. This trivializes the participation of millions of Canadians in the electoral process. We must celebrate democracy, not attack it.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, first we had calls falsely attributed to Elections Canada and now we have harassing phone calls soliciting donations. Things are going from bad to worse.

The Conservatives say they have nothing to hide, yet they refuse to give Elections Canada the power to demand documents from political parties in order to ensure compliance with the Canada Elections Act.

Are the Conservatives afraid that their party's documents might contain embarrassing information?

Instead of going after Elections Canada, the Conservatives should give it the powers it needs to carry out a thorough investigation. What are they waiting for?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is the appropriate organization to carry out this investigation, and we respect that responsibility.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, in late August 2011, the Minister of Industry said: “I made representations to the minister. We have a nice centre that is well situated and we received positive recommendations from the Department.” This justifies an inquiry by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Although the minister doth protest, will he finally admit that he personally intervened in this file, that he wants Rimouski families to move to Thetford Mines, and that his father's associate has interests in the building where the centre is located?

I want answers, as does the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. Will he give us the answers?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is outrageous, it is not at all true. The minister was not involved in the decision made five years ago regarding Thetford Mines. The decision was made by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

When we have to improve or consolidate other offices, the same process will be used to make the decision about their locations.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the OECD, Moody's, Fitch and the IMF are all warning that reckless cuts could throw Canada back into recession. The fragility of the economy has been acknowledged by private sector economists today. The Conservatives ignore this and move full speed ahead with their costly prisons agenda and with the F-35s, whose price tag continues to grow with every new problem.

Budgets are about choices. The Ontario government is cancelling the next round of corporate tax cuts. If even the Ontario Liberals are listening to the public and to the NDP, why will the Conservatives not listen and put families before prisons, fighter jets and corporate tax cuts?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is the party that is putting families ahead of everything else when it comes to Canadians.

To be clear, we are on track for modest growth in Canada. We are in relatively better shape than others. We are focused on implementing the next phase of Canada's economic action plan and are looking forward to March 29 when we will introduce the economic action plan for 2012.

What we have said repeatedly is that we have made the necessary decisions to stimulate the economy and we will do so if necessary. The AAA rating agencies, and Fitch in this case said recently:

Achieving fiscal consolidation and balanced budget targets are important to maintain credibility.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, if we look at the 2011 growth rate, the reality is that Canada, under this government, ranks 131st in the world. That does not give this government much credibility.

To us, in the NDP, seniors are more important than inadequate planes. To us, essential services are more important than prisons.

The Conservatives are making bad choices.

Why not make Canada's seniors and families the priority in the next budget? Why not use common sense?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, it is this party and this government that are making families a priority. It is this government that put another $3,000 in families' pockets through tax cuts. Last week—maybe my colleague has not heard—Statistics Canada announced that the Canadian economy grew by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011. That is progress. We are going to continue in the same vein and increase economic growth in Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Conservative campaign in Guelph had a non-disclosed commercial relationship with RackNine, the company Pierre Poutine used to defraud Canadian voters on election day. We know that fingers were initially pointed at a 23-year-old Conservative partisan involved in the Guelph campaign, and since having been thrown under the bus by the Minister of National Defence, he has come out and urged the guilty party to come forward.

If the Conservatives admit that an electoral fraud took place, and even the Minister of National Defence thinks it had to do with the Conservative Party, why will they not hand over the evidence?

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, what is alleged to have happened in Guelph is unacceptable. We want to get to the bottom of this. The Conservative Party of Canada and, I understand, the member for Guelph are in fact assisting Elections Canada in this regard.

However, the member can do even more to assist. He can go to his leader and ask his leader to provide the call records from the Liberal Party in the last election, because the Liberals have made a lot of unsubstantiated allegations. We believe very firmly that when they make those records available, it will become very clear that the Liberal Party has in fact contacted hundreds of thousands of households. The Liberals made a lot of calls in the last election and they are the source of all these complaints.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, employees of the Conservative call centre in Thunder Bay have publicly confirmed that they were told to misdirect voters to the wrong polling stations. Some of them even reported this to the RCMP.

What is the government doing to ensure that the Conservative Party hands over all scripts, which these call centre employees were forced to use, to Elections Canada and the RCMP for investigation?

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, we know that Elections Canada made some 127 polling location changes, late changes, in the last election, affecting more than 1,000 polls. We contacted Conservative supporters to make sure they were aware of the changes and we contacted Conservative supporters to make sure they got out and voted on election day.

It is also clear that the Liberal Party spent millions of dollars to contact hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of homes right across this country. It appears it has given them some incorrect information. However, the Liberal leader is sitting on all of this information while he makes unsubstantiated smears.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all agree that the robocall scandal undermines the very foundations of democracy.

The body that regulates automated telephone calls is the CRTC, and it has the necessary authority to conduct a quick and effective investigation.

We know that the government wants to co-operate with Elections Canada in its investigation.

Will the government ask the CRTC to intervene?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is the appropriate agency to conduct this investigation.

National DefenceOral Questions

March 5th, 2012 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, an emergency meeting about the F-35 jets was held in Washington, but we keep hearing the same old story from the Conservatives.

Almost all of Washington's partners have a plan B. The NDP has been asking about a plan B for months, but the Conservatives have ignored us.

I would like to know if the minister has finally listened to our allies' concerns about the problems with the F-35s.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely listen to our allies, who know far more than the member opposite about what is going on. I met with our allies and received an update on the program's progress and challenges. As no contract has been signed, the perspective gained from the discussions with our allies and industry partners was extremely valuable.

As Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable lives and must be replaced, I am proud of our actions to provide our Canadian Forces with the best equipment they need while protecting Canada's sovereignty.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, that response reminds me of the tale of the emperor with no clothes.

We have the briefing note for the minister that reveals the government's concerns about price, production and, ironically, transparency, dating back to at least September of last year. Yet Conservatives continue to mislead Canadians saying over and over again that the F-35 is on track. Again, last week we heard the same line coming out of the minister's emergency dinner and schmooze with Lockheed Martin in Washington.

When will the government give Canadians the truth about the F-35?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only emergency here is the NDP's desire not to help and support our military men and women.

The member has his facts wrong. This is a complex file. The member has shown a complete lack of understanding of the complexities and facts. He is misleading Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the F-35 fiasco, the Conservatives will not come clean and they are just not getting the job done on behalf of Canadians.

However, on another topic, under the government, CSIS has faced a slew of problems and controversies. Now we are hearing concerns about CSIS turning up unannounced in Canadians' workplaces. What guidelines are in place to ensure that surprise workplace visits by CSIS officers are not used to harass and intimidate Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the House that our security officials conduct investigations in accordance with Canadian law, but if the member has constituents with specific complaints about any action by CSIS agents, I would encourage them to file a specific complaint with the independent review agency. There is an independent review agency that oversees the actions of the security officials and that is where they can go.