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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Youth InvolvementStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of young people from my riding. As a young politician, I am very happy to see that so many girls and boys are interested in political issues.

We often hear that young people do not really care about politics. My experience strongly suggests otherwise. I was delighted to meet students from my own high school, Horizon Jeunesse, in Laval. They were bright and motivated. They talked about their disappointment in the government's decision to abolish the gun registry and withdraw from Kyoto. They also told me how glad they were to see so many young people elected to the House of Commons.

To think that just a few years ago, I was where they are now. I am living proof that where there is a will, there is a way. I would like to thank the teachers, the administration and the students for welcoming me so warmly to their school. I urge my colleagues to visit schools in their ridings to raise awareness among young people about what we do as parliamentarians, because when we include them, they bring new ideas to the table to help create a better future.

Status of WomenStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Status of Women led the Canadian delegation last week at the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where the theme was the empowerment of rural women.

Women and girls in rural, remote and northern areas of Canada share many of the same challenges faced by women in rural areas around the world. They also often experience unique opportunities as a result of where they live.

This week, our government announced funding for new projects to support women living in these communities, projects that will reduce violence against women and girls and increase their economic security. I would like to mention two very special projects in Portage la Prairie in Manitoba.

I encourage all Canadians to celebrate the spirit of these remarkable Canadian women, young women, and girls in rural areas.

I congratulate all of them and wish them a happy International Women's Week.

Marble CupStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Marble Cup is the premier alpine ski race attracting elite athletes from all over Atlantic Canada. This year, over 70 young competitors descended on Marble Mountain in western Newfoundland to compete in the super G, the slalom and the combined slalom and downhill races.

Congratulations go out to the Marble race team for repatriating the Marble cup back to the home hill. We are all very proud of all of our racers in Atlantic Canada, but I have to admit that no one could be prouder of one particular first-time racer, 9-year-old Gerry Byrne, on achieving a personal best.

My son Gerry was part of bringing the Marble cup back home, and Gerry's own teammates, his coaches, and the race officials were very much amazed at the young rookie's performance. For this, his coaches said he was among the best of the best.

I am so happy to have him and my wife joining me here in Ottawa this weekend. My congratulations to Gerry. He has made mom and dad very proud.

Natural ResourcesStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Edmonton area mayors understand what the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona does not. These mayors are backing the Northern gateway pipeline while the NDP member calls for a moratorium on natural resources.

The mayor of Spruce Grove supports what he calls “global opportunity”. Meanwhile, the NDP member is joined by her B.C. colleagues and their anti-trade, anti-jobs agenda. In its relentless battle against resource development and trade, the NDP has turned its back on hundreds of thousands of Canadians employed in the energy and mining sectors, many of whom are in my riding.

Our government understands the critical importance of diversifying markets for our energy products and natural resources to create jobs and economic growth across Canada. Meanwhile, the NDP continues to oppose all of these job-creating projects and related trade initiatives, and threatens the families and their livelihoods in natural resource ridings like mine. Shame.

41st General ElectionStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder that, when Canadians see just how far the Conservatives are willing to go to affect the outcome of an election, they are losing confidence in our democratic institutions. We know that the fraudulent calls, the harassment and the in and out schemes did not happen only in the Guelph riding. Those things happened in dozens of ridings, despite what the Conservatives claim. And their only response is that we are attacking democracy. Quite frankly, Canadians will not tolerate those kinds of tricks.

That is why the NDP moved a motion yesterday to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their democratic institutions. By giving greater powers to the Chief Electoral Officer, we can finally get to the bottom of what happened during the most recent election and ensure that it never happens again. People deserve to be able to cast their ballots with confidence. That is why, in 2015, this government will be replaced by the NDP.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it came to light that an NDP backroom operative was accessing the divorce records of the Minister of Public Safety, an operative working on the leadership campaign for the member for Ottawa Centre, no less.

When this came to light, the member for Winnipeg Centre tried to throw us off the scent of this drive-by smear campaign by trying to throw the premier of Manitoba under the bus. This is very typical of the holier-than-thou member for Winnipeg Centre.

Given all of this, it also comes as no surprise that the member for Timmins—James Bay was filibustering the attempts of the ethics committee to study the use of taxpayer resources to engage in a sleazy Internet smear.

We already know that the leader of the Liberal Party has confessed that the Liberals engaged in dirty tricks using taxpayer resources. What are the NDP members hiding? Canadians have the right to know.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that he supports the NDP motion to improve transparency in election practices. What he has not been clear about is whether he supports giving the Chief Electoral Officer the power to look at files from the last election without a warrant or calling in the RCMP.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Do the Conservatives believe that Elections Canada should have the power to look at all records from the 2011 election?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been clear that we support the motion that was before the House yesterday.

However, the fact remains that the opposition spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls that it made in the last election. If the opposition wants to support Elections Canada's work, it should provide all of its records regarding those phone calls that they made in the last election. We expect Elections Canada will get to the bottom of the allegations in Guelph.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us stick to the facts about what is really going on here.

In 2005, the Prime Minister said that the government has “the moral responsibility to respect the will of the House”.

If the Conservatives agree to our motion and it passes, will they commit to introduce legislation within six months to ban these activities or will they ignore the will of the House, as they have done so many times, and hope to weather the storm?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

March 9th, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the government has clearly indicated that we support the motion that was before the House yesterday.

All of the Conservative Party's records are available to Elections Canada. We ask the same from the opposition. The opposition spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls that it made in the last election. If it wants to support Elections Canada's work, it would make those records available to Elections Canada. We expect that Elections Canada will get to the bottom of the allegations in Guelph.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we hope to see the follow through on that motion and the commitment in legislation.

I will move on to another aspect of this. Yesterday, on CBC, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister said that the Conservative Party had provided the documents that Elections Canada requested about the fraud in Guelph. This comes after the Conservatives have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in Guelph, even though they threw a Conservative staffer under the bus and tried to blame the guy for the whole scandal.

Will the Prime Minister now admit what everyone knows, which is that the party is under investigation for its activities in Guelph?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I thought I had been clear. I do not know how the member is still confused on the matter.

We have been made aware of a single investigation that is in the riding of Guelph. The Conservative Party is assisting Elections Canada in that matter and we will continue to do so.

What is also clear is that the opposition has spent millions of dollars on hundreds of thousands of phone calls during the last election. If it wants to support Elections Canada, it should provide all its records relating to the calls it made during that election.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Conservatives knew that their electoral practices were illegal and criminal. In a move that was both stupid and arrogant, the deputy manager of the Conservative campaign, Andrew Prescott, even bragged ahead of time about what the Conservatives had in store. Prescott had the audacity to tweet about this criminal tactic two days before it began. He knew it was coming. They even taunted Kady O'Malley, the well known blogger on Parliament Hill.

When will the Conservatives finally tell us what happened in Guelph and how many documents and how much information they are still hiding?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the allegations regarding the calls made in Guelph are unacceptable. The Conservative Party of Canada is assisting Elections Canada in clarifying this matter. Our files have been made available to Elections Canada.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

That was a trifle short, young blade.

Mr. Speaker, the pathetic thing is that Mr. Prescott accused the Liberals ahead of time on Twitter to exonerate the Conservative Party from what it was about to do. Maybe he is the one who prepares the responses the parliamentary secretary provides us every day. It is becoming increasingly clear that this whole thing was orchestrated by the Conservative Party. The Conservatives asked for a list that only the CIMS and RMG databases had.

What we now want to know is what role RMG played in compiling that data. We know that the Conservatives hid information and documents from Elections Canada in the case of Guelph.

How many other ridings are they hiding information on and who are they trying to protect?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I just answered that question. I suggest that the hon. member look at the answer I just gave him.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, a Conservative staff member in Ottawa lost his job because of the telephone election fraud scheme in Guelph. That former staffer has confirmed that, indeed, such a scheme existed. In Thunder Bay, employees at a Conservative call centre admit they gave false information about where to vote. In other words, they lied. In Edmonton, court documents zero in on Conservatives as suspects in the election fraud investigation. On it goes: Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Nipissing.

Does it not trouble the government that the common thread here is the Conservative campaign?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the common thread that I see is baseless smear allegations from the member opposite and his party, but they are not providing the transparency to Elections Canada that we believe they should be. In fact, if the opposition wants to support Elections Canada's work, it should provide all of its records relating to the thousands of calls that they made with millions of dollars during the last election.

National RevenueOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, duck, deny, delay, divert. The government's stonewalling just reinforces suspicions of thousands upon thousands of good decent Canadians. It tells us to follow the money, so I will turn to the Minister of National Revenue.

Taxpayers are reporting that Revenue Canada is now using telephone call centres to bombard people with warnings that quarterly tax installments are due, as if hefty late payment penalties are not warning enough. Will the minister identify what call centre she is using, how it got the contract and how much it is being paid?

National RevenueOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is our duty to ensure that Canadians are aware of their responsibilities under Revenue Canada. I will have to get back to the hon. member with the details on the call centre.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, widespread allegations of voter suppression are serious enough, but now we are hearing about the artificial inflation of voters lists. In Eglinton—Lawrence, Etobicoke Centre, York Centre and Nipissing, hundreds, even thousands of voters were put on the voters list without proof of residency.

What will the government do to guarantee the integrity of Canadian democracy and to ensure that no one has stuffed the ballot boxes?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada is responsible for voter registration, not political parties. Any specific complaints arising from a riding can be put to Elections Canada.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time there was a political party that got caught using the in and out scheme, which it called an administrative dispute, and repeated that every day. It was convinced that it did not have to comply with the Elections Act. It was ready to take the battle all the way to the Supreme Court, until new allegations of in and out transactions surfaced.

There is a very simple way to shed light on the 2011 election fraud: the government should give Elections Canada more powers.

When will it do so?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have already spoken to the NDP motion. I invite the hon. member to read our comments.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a motion and the motion demands that the government enact legislation. The point of the question was to determine when the government plans to pass legislation.

I will say it again. In the beginning, it was an isolated incident. Then it was a rogue employee. After that, it was a smear campaign by the opposition. Now, the Conservatives are trying to blame the opposition by changing their version of the story and saying that we are attacking everyone who voted legitimately.

Denial, diversion, evasion, confusion: it is not an isolated incident.

New types of election fraud require new powers.

Will they amend the act? We are not asking if they will vote in favour of the motion. Will they amend the Elections Act and, if so, when?