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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has the floor.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we were hoping to hear an answer on why the Minister of International Cooperation felt that a five-star hotel was not posh enough for her.

She has apologized for that, but we did not get an answer or an apology for the $1,000 limo rides that she dinged the taxpayers for. I called the hotel and it turns out that they offer luxury free shuttles. This is about choices. This is about a minister who charged Canadian taxpayers $5,000 to joyride at the Junos.

Will she stand up and pay that—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. government House leader.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister has repaid the costs associated with the change in hotels. Of course we have all just heard the minister apologize here in the House.

Our government has always believed that ministers should conduct their affairs with the greatest of respect for taxpayers. That is what we have done throughout the whole period of our government, and that is reflected in the fact that our costs for hospitality and travel are significantly below those of our Liberal predecessors.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a widespread pattern of her proclivity for luxury on the backs of the taxpayers. I did not hear that she is going to pay back that $1,000 limo ride. When will we hear that answer from the minister?

It is about the credibility of the government and the fact that issues now on the widespread voter fraud are becoming clear. We see that there is new data that shows thousands of misleading calls were made in key ridings against New Democrats and Liberals. Are they ready to tell us who supplied the scripts and who ran that from the Conservative war room?

Elections CanadaOral 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, when the Chief Electoral Officer appeared before committee, he stated that he finds it troubling to hear all of the sweeping allegations of wrongdoing with no facts to support them. I guess what the Chief Electoral Officer is saying is that he is troubled every time this member stands to speak because all of his sweeping allegations have no facts to support them.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, apologies are touching, but being paid $237,000 a year to learn about ethics is a bit rich.

The Minister of International Cooperation was caught red-handed, and that is the only reason she paid back part of the money. Since yesterday, the Conservatives have been telling us that there is nothing going on and that there is not a problem, but the minister never proactively disclosed her lavish stay at the Savoy, despite the regulations.

So, instead of making cuts to international co-operation, to CIDA, or to Rights and Democracy, could the minister commit to reducing her orange juice consumption and her use of limousines?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, the minister has repaid the costs associated with the change in hotels and she has apologized. Our government expects ministers to respect taxpayers' money, and that is reflected in the fact that our costs for hospitality and travel are significantly below those of our Liberal predecessors.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with another of the many Conservative scandals, a recent poll conducted in the ridings most affected by allegations of election fraud reveals that it was voters who supported anyone but the Conservatives who were sent to bogus polling stations.

Perhaps the Conservatives are nostalgic for the good old days when hockey players did not wear helmets.

But Canadians do not like these scandals and these attacks against their fundamental rights. When will the government tell Canadians the truth?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, just because a Liberal poll tells us the opposite does not mean that we can forget about the election outcome. The Conservatives won because Canadians chose us to govern the country.

The hon. member should acknowledge that his party has already had to apologize for making false allegations in this regard. He should rise in the House and repeat the apology given by his NDP colleague. I invite him to do so right now.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, on another matter, I am starting to get concerned about the ethics commissioner's health. The minister of conflict of interest is giving her so much work to do that she is at risk of burnout.

First there was the Rahim Jaffer favouritism affair, strike one; then there was the matter of transferring the employment insurance processing centre from Rimouski to Thetford Mines, strike two; and now there is the investigation into the minister's hunting trips, strike three. If this were a baseball game, the minister would have struck out.

A few weeks ago, the commissioner said herself that she did not remember ever having to conduct so many investigations involving a single individual.

Will the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable accept the fact that he has made too many serious mistakes to keep his position?

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 has already answered those questions, and there is nothing new in this story. I understand that the Liberals have filed a complaint with the commissioner. The minister will present all the facts to the commissioner, including the fact that he paid his own expenses.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable has already been found guilty of conflict of interest once and he is currently the subject of two other investigations.

In the most recent case, having to do with the hunting camp, the minister tried to get out of it by saying that he brought his own sleeping bag, but it was clear to the commissioner that in this whole hunting camp story, the colour of the sleeping bag was not important. The thing that counts is that there is an apparent conflict of interest in this situation and that this particular commissioner is investigating the minister again.

Is there anyone in this government who still believes in accountability and who will show this unrepentant individual the door?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the minister has answered these questions several times. There is absolutely nothing new in this story.

I understand that the Liberal Party has filed a complaint or raised issues in a letter to the ethics commissioner. The minister will provide the commissioner with everything she needs in order to be able to respond to that letter from the Liberals and that will include the fact that he did pay for all of his own expenses in this case.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, all the excuses in the world for their ethical failures will not hide the fact that Canadians expect and deserve better than what they are getting from the government.

The Prime Minister does not seem to understand that these many ethical scandals popping up all over the place cast a shadow over the entire government. The ethics commissioner has now opened a third inquiry into the dealings of the Minister of Industry. “Three strikes you're out”.

For goodness sake, how many inquiries does it take before the Prime Minister does the right thing and kicks the Minister of Industry 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, the minister, as I said, has answered all these questions. We will fully assist the ethics commissioner in responding to the letter that she has received from the Liberals.

The reason we are so proud of the Minister of Industry is because of his strong performance. In fact, in Canada, with his leadership and that of the Prime Minister, we have seen close to 700,000 net new jobs since the economic downturn. It is a demonstration of the fact that with his policies and the leadership of this government, what we have done to set the right environment for the economy is paying off and Canadians are getting jobs and economic growth as a result.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee RCMP Commissioner Paulson made some strong statements about the abuse that women were facing in the RCMP. For too long, women officers have suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of their co-workers, while senior officials have looked away. The commissioner seems committed to dealing with what has come forward in terms of harassment and abuse.

What steps will the government take in order to stand by the RCMP and ensure that an end is put to the harassment and abuse women are facing?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on her new position.

Like all Canadians, I am extremely troubled by these reports. I indicated this several months ago in the House already. RCMP members must be free to face the daily challenges of protecting our streets and communities without the fear of harassment or intimidation. That is why, in consultation with the commissioner, I have referred this matter to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

As there is pending litigation as well at this time, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, these cases are urgent and the scope is grand. We want to see the minister and his government act immediately.

Women in the RCMP have suffered harassment and abuse because they are women, something that is unacceptable in any workforce across the country. We are talking about a broader culture in the RCMP and without the resources and the public commitment of the minister today, nothing will change.

Will the government take a tough stand and show some real action to end the harassment and abuse women face in the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

April 24th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated several months ago on this file, we are extremely concerned about the troubling reports of sexual harassment in the RCMP. That is why we took the steps we did. We asked the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to investigate allegations of systemic failure to deal appropriately with sexual harassment within the force.

It is imperative, as I have indicated, that RCMP officers be in a position to conduct their jobs in keeping Canadians safe without concern about harassment. I am very pleased that the commissioner has taken this issue very seriously.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, as the minister of CIDA fires employees, throws NGOs over the cliff and cuts $380 million of foreign aid, she is off blowing $5,000 on luxury rooms and chauffeurs. Think about what that money could do for someone surviving on $1 a day.

This is not the first time the posh minister has been caught and Canadians know she is a repeat offender. How many times does a minister have to get caught before the Prime Minister fires her?

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 minister has repaid the costs associated with the change in hotels and apologized to the House earlier today.

It is interesting that I am getting a question like this from the Liberals. If there is anyone who defines travelling in style, it was the Liberal Party. Since we became government, we have insisted that ministers show respect for taxpayer dollars in all of their travel. That is why under our government travel costs have gone down by 15% compared with the Liberal government. Even though the cost of travel has gone up, we are actually spending 15% less than the Liberals did.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today's shocking news of the extent and nature of the election fraud scandal was released by Ekos, a non-partisan polling firm the government—

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

41st General ElectionOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Vancouver Quadra has the floor.

The hon. member for Vancouver Quadra.