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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Bill C-38Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Newton—North Delta.

Bill C-38Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot simply hit the delete button on this problem as he tried to do with the backlog. The people who have waited patiently in the backlog have followed the rules. They have done everything correctly and are being punished because the Conservatives are looking for an easy way out of a problem they and the former Liberal government created.

Will the Conservatives do the right thing, apply the court decision to the outstanding applications and play by the rules themselves?

Bill C-38Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what the member is implying. If she is implying that we suddenly admit a million people who are in the immigration backlog, does she suggest that we do so in one year? I know the policy of the NDP. Her predecessor recommended that we increase immigration levels from about 250,000 to 300,00 and then grant permanent residency to all temporary foreign workers, moving annual immigration levels up to 450,000 admissions per year when 90% of Canadians say that immigration levels are already high enough.

Our focus is on ensuring the success of newcomers, ensuring their employment and ensuring they realize their potential.

EthicsOral Questions

June 15th, 2012 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the minister, who is speaking on behalf of the government today, and it concerns his colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

We now have further evidence and revelations with respect to an ongoing systemic investigation that includes the production of bank records. It includes a clear statement by the investigator for Elections Canada that he has reason to believe the documents have been fabricated. It includes a statement saying that the expenses are incompatible with previous contracts signed by the member and his riding association.

Quite simply, why would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister not step aside?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the member for Peterborough has been absolutely clear that he has submitted audited statements, which have been in the public domain for several years. He has not heard from Elections Canada on this matter. He looks forward very much to being able to sit down with Elections Canada and addressing all of these allegations very specifically.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, an application by an Elections Canada investigator to a court is not something that happens every day of the week. The production of bank records of an individual is not something that happens every day. This investigation has been ongoing for months. It must have been known to the member and it must have been known to the government with respect to this investigation.

I want to ask the minister, quite clearly, why the Prime Minister would not require that someone working for him in a senior function with senior responsibility, who is the spokesman for the government on so-called ethical questions, not be required—

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party raises an interesting question. One would think that a member would be contacted by Elections Canada if in fact it was leading an investigation into previous election expenses. The member is looking forward to sitting down with Elections Canada and addressing any concerns, providing any information on his audited financial statements, which have been in the public domain now for several years.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is not the documents that the member provided, but the documents that he did not provide. That is the problem.

In my opinion, this is not about whether or not the member is guilty. We do not know that. All we do know is that there is an investigation. It is not a private investigation, but a public investigation by Elections Canada.

Why has the parliamentary secretary not stepped down? That is the question. He should resign because of this investigation.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member for Peterborough has said many times that he is prepared to provide Elections Canada with any information about his audited financial statements, which have been in the public domain for several years.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have learned the hard way that there are only two choices when it comes to environmental protection: be responsible and pay now or be irresponsible and pay later.

Canadians will have to pay literally until the end of time for disasters ranging from the Sydney tar ponds to the contamination of Lake Erie. Canadians will have to sign a blank cheque to pay for the environmental sabotage that will result from this bill.

How can the Conservatives justify transferring this debt to future generations of Canadians? Why are the Conservatives so irresponsible?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP were allowed to manage any file in this government, its principle would be pay now and pay later.

This government has decided to ensure that there is a balance between economic growth and environmental stewardship. The budget that we have put forward, as well as the budget implementation bill, will provide continued funding for the protection of Canada's environment, including programs like the clean air monitoring system and our oil sands monitoring program, as well as ensuring that our economy continues to grow.

This is a principle that the NDP absolutely does not understand.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives want to understand the bill, they should talk to Tom Siddon, John Fraser, former Conservative fisheries ministers, who agree with us, not with them. They believe this is a reckless and flawed bill.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has serious concerns about how the northern gateway and that pipeline would impact over 1,000 sensitive waterways. Enbridge wants to get a cheap option, which would threaten our environment, our fisheries and thousands of B.C. jobs in tourism and fisheries, and we have a government that just wants to ram it through.

Why are the Conservatives trying to ram this down the throats of British Columbians? Why are they trying to make British Columbians pay the price for their reckless—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite may not have had enough sleep last night. We are talking about responsible and sustainable resource development. We have some of the most sustainable energy development in the world. This government insists that resource development be done in a way that is sustainable and in a way that will protect the environment. Our economic action plan would strengthen that commitment one more time.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, after imposing the duty of loyalty on Parks Canada employees, now the Conservatives have adopted a McCarthy-style approach in order to punish dissidence.

The head of the heritage unit at the Parks Canada Service Centre in Quebec City was sent home last week after 30 years of loyal service. Her only mistake was to criticize, internally, the effects of the job cuts in the regions. Now the Conservatives are punishing people for their opinions.

Do the Conservatives realize that their desire for a single mindset has gone too far?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I, too, have had the privilege of working with some of our dedicated Parks Canada staff across the country, especially those in the Rocky Mountain National Park area. I know personally we have a very close, productive working relationship with these hard-working staff that understand how to protect our natural heritage. There are ways that they work with us to ensure we continue to invest in these great programs. Certainly that is the working relationship we have with them.

However, I think it is right to say it is entirely reasonable for Parks Canada staff to work toward protecting our great national heritage, including visitor experiences for visitors and not on partisan politics.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon NDP Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, what about freedom of speech? All those who criticize the Conservatives are guilty of treason. Honestly. The Conservatives want to impose a botched budget bill that eliminates jobs and attacks the regions. Naturally people are going to criticize what is happening.

In order to suppress dissidence, the Conservatives are creating a climate of fear among federal public servants and are immediately dismissing anyone who will not drink the Conservative Kool-Aid. This type of ideological bullying is completely unacceptable.

Is this the Conservatives' reaction—to send the thought police to federal office buildings?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the millions of Canadians who look toward our government to ensure the success of the long-term prosperity of our country refuse to drink the orange Kool-Aid that party offers.

We tell Canadians that we will ensure their long-term prosperity by promoting jobs and growth through policies, including sustainable development of our natural resources.

I certainly hope the NDP, rather than this rhetoric it continually puts forward, will actually focus on helping us grow the country in a time of global economic fragility.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cut my mullet off a long time ago, so why are the Conservatives acting like it is 1984?

They sent letters to Parks Canada employees telling them to toe the party line, even when the Minister of Finance admitted the budget is flawed. We are talking about Parks Canada employees, not one of the government backbenchers.

Why do the Conservative thought police think they can bully them into submission?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what the member opposite said was cut off.

First of all, our government has protected more of our natural heritage than any other government in recent history. Our government continues to work very closely with Parks Canada staff to protect those lands and ensure great visitor experiences for Canadians and those visiting our country.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only thing the Conservatives are cutting off is freedom of speech.

Parks Canada employees were told their duty is “to support the elected government”.

Their duty is to protect Canada's parks, something the Conservative government obviously does not understand.

Just because the Conservatives were able to ram their Trojan Horse bill through this House, how can they be so arrogant to think that somehow this gives them a mandate to intimidate Canadians?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have already talked to the House about the great working relationship that we do have with Parks Canada, and I would certainly encourage my colleague opposite to talk to those staff about how the business actually works.

Let us talk about what the opposition has done with regard to Trojan Horse workings. They go out and talk to western Canadians, saying that what they do is a disease. They denigrate entire industries in our country.

What the opposition should be doing is focusing on the long-term prosperity and long-term health of our economy. They should be getting on board with the budgetary measures that we have been putting in place to protect this country through a time of global fragility.

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems as though a cat got the tongue of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. For several days now, his colleague from Nepean—Carleton has been protesting to anyone who will listen—and no one will—that the member for Peterborough handed over all the documents to Elections Canada. But—surprise, surprise—yesterday evening, we learned that the campaign of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister allegedly fabricated false documents. Those are very serious allegations.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister step down until the investigation into his questionable election campaign concludes?

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member handed over the documents to Elections Canada almost four years ago. These documents were verified and accepted by Elections Canada. Since then, Elections Canada has not even contacted the member for Peterborough or raised any concerns about his campaign.

Although the member contacted Elections Canada to ask whether there were any problems or questions, Elections Canada said it did not want to speak to him or ask him any questions. The member is available to answer all of their questions.