House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukraine.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon. member, as I did to her colleague, that there is an independent commissioner who oversees and looks at the activities of CSEC.

Not only has CSEC complied with Canadian law this last year, but it has done so for the last 16 years. If she is looking for information or proof, I suggest she look at that. It is on the record of Parliament.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us come back to the Senate. The Prime Minister said in the House, more than once, that Nigel Wright was the only one involved in the secret repayment agreement. We know that is not true. We also know that the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary opposed the NDP motion to shed light on Perrin's deleted emails.

Why? Did he know that these emails prove that the Prime Minister misled the House?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is just a bunch of rubbish.

The committee made no decision. They are still debating this right now. The committee made the decision to go in camera when the NDP chair seemed to lose control, because the NDP members seemed to find it more interesting to point-of-order themselves than to actually deal with the motion that was on the table.

It was amazing how much debate got done once the cameras were off, and the committee will make its own decision with respect to that going forward.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is the art of not answering a question.

The parliamentary secretary can try to deflect responsibility away from the Prime Minister, but he is the one who told the House, verbatim, that Benjamin Perrin was not involved in a legal agreement. Now that his office and the police are in possession of the emails that magically reappeared, can a government member tell us what role Benjamin Perrin really played in this scandal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions, as soon as the Privy Council found out that these emails were available, it made them available to the RCMP. That, of course, is the kind of leadership that one would expect. It is the type of leadership that this Prime Minister has displayed. When he found out in May that this had actually been taking place in his office, he ordered his office to fully assist the RCMP.

I contrast that to the Leader of the Opposition, who for 17 years thought that hiding something was the appropriate course of action. Clearly, there is a lack of it.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are wondering what is really in those emails. Do the Conservatives feel so threatened that they are trying to prevent an investigation into the mysterious temporary disappearance of the emails, which reappeared not so long ago? When will the government finally make public the content of the Prime Minister's former legal adviser's emails? When?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the committee is still considering the motion that was brought forward.

However, as I have said, as soon as the Privy Council Office found out that these emails had been put into a separate file that had been sequestered, it immediately made them available to the RCMP to review.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, would it be possible to have a minister respond? After all, this scandal is due to an administrative error on the part of the government. Could a minister confirm whether Benjamin Perrin's emails contain information that incriminates the Prime Minister? Could any information incriminate the Prime Minister, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our ministers have been working extraordinarily hard, not only on this but on all kinds of different files. That is why one million net new jobs have been created in this country. That is why the Minister of National Defence is busy ensuring that our forces have the equipment they need. That is why the Minister of Justice brought forward a victims' bill of rights. That is why the Minister of State for sport is undertaking the Pan Am Games. That is why the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is ensuring that our forces have the equipment they need. That is why the Minister of Natural Resources is making our resources available. That is why the Minister of International Trade is working on a free trade deal. I could go on and on.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, once the Prime Minister claimed Ben Perrin was not involved in the legal agreement, but the RCMP proved that wrong.

The Prime Minister then claimed that no one except Nigel Wright knew about the deal, but RCMP documents proved that wrong too.

Is there any other information about this cover-up that the Conservative government would like to share with Canadians before the RCMP releases more details?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP indicated that the Prime Minister, as soon as he found out, ordered his office to assist the RCMP so that it had all the information it needed to uncover what had happened.

The Prime Minister also said that had he known, he would have in no way accepted such an agreement.

Again, I contrast that to the Leader of the Opposition who, when given the opportunity 17 years ago to admit that he had been offered a bribe, decided to tell nobody. He waited until 2011 to tell anybody that he had been offered a bribe.

That is not really the type of leadership Canadians expect. That is why he is in opposition.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, this politically wounded Prime Minister and his parliamentary secretary are having a hard time keeping the lid on.

This morning at the ethics committee, the parliamentary secretary forced out the media from hearing a motion on studying Ben Perrin's mysteriously disappearing emails, emails that were hidden from the RCMP for six months.

If everything is on the up-and-up, why cover up such shambolic handling of police evidence? If there is nothing to hide, why not just allow the investigation?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the committee is obviously still reviewing this motion, but the NDP chair seemed to be losing control when NDP members started point-of-ordering themselves in committee. That did not seem to be an effective use of the committee's time. There were three other motions that we had to discuss at the same time.

What is clear is that the RCMP has stated that the Prime Minister insisted that his office assist it and provide all the information that is needed. That is real leadership. Also, on page 72, the documents clearly outline that the Prime Minister had no knowledge of what was going on. As the Prime Minister said, had he known, he would have put a stop to it.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that, speaking of shambolic and all.

Here is another question from the RCMP files. We have seen from the RCMP that the Prime Minister's Office was panicking that the Duffy residency issues were going to expose other senators. In fact, on February 15, Nigel Wright wrote that he was concerned that Mike Duffy's residency problems would expose Senator Patterson in B.C.

Why would the Prime Minister's Office refer to a senator from Nunavut as a senator from British Columbia? Does the government believe that Senator Patterson actually meets the legal requirements to sit in the Senate?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, clearly he does, but at the same time let us recognize the hard work of that senator for his region of the country. Senator Patterson, a former premier of the Northwest Territories, has also been very active and aggressive in making sure that the people of the Northwest Territories have access to better jobs and that their resources are used to improve the economy of the Northwest Territories. Of course, this government has taken the north very seriously, unlike the opposition.

Of course, we are even defending the north further by making a claim on the North Pole. We know that the Liberals do not think that the North Pole or Santa Claus is in Canada. We do. We are going to make sure that we protect them as best we can.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, for eight months Canadians have been demanding answers about the Wright-Duffy affair. How did the PMO know in advance what would be in the Deloitte audit? Why did no one in the PMO tell the RCMP about the two illegal payoff schemes? Why do the staffers involved still hold on to their government jobs?

Would someone on the government side give Canadians an early Christmas present and answer even one of these questions?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course we know what time of year it is when we get silly questions like that.

The reality is that the RCMP is investigating this matter. The RCMP has identified that it is Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy who are the subjects of the investigation. The RCMP has identified that the Prime Minister did not know what was being undertaken. The RCMP has also highlighted the fact that the Prime Minister ordered his office to work with and assist the RCMP, providing as much help as it could to help the RCMP get to the bottom of this. The RCMP is investigating, and we will let it do its job.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, let us look at other questions that the Prime Minister has refused to answer in the past eight months.

Did the Prime Minister know about Irving Gerstein's decision to pay Mike Duffy $32,000?

Did he know that Irving Gerstein secretly contacted one of his Conservative friends at Deloitte?

Did he order his ministers to hire his former employees who were involved in this affair?

Will this government give Canadians a Christmas present today and answer at least one of these questions?

EthicsOral Questions

December 10th, 2013 / 2:35 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Senator Gerstein has made it quite clear that he did not and was not going to be paying back Senator Duffy's expenses. The Prime Minister has already identified that.

With respect to giving Canadians a gift, it is hard to take that party seriously when the person who we most look to this year to give gifts, including my daughters, is Santa Claus. All of a sudden the Liberals are suggesting that Santa Claus is no longer Canadian and that they would abandon the North Pole and abandon Santa Claus. On this side of the House, we are going to stand up not only for my daughters, but for your family as well, Mr. Speaker, and for all those young Canadians, in the spirit of Christmas, who are waiting for Santa Claus to come and visit.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims his ethics scandal is confined to just two miscreants: Duffy, the greedy senator, whom the Prime Minister once called his best appointment, and Wright, the great deceiver, whose ethical advice the Prime Minister praised in his book on hockey.

However, there are more: van Hemmen, Rogers, Woodcock, Byrne, Hilton, Novak, Perrin, Hamilton, Gerstein, LeBreton, Tkachuk, and Stewart Olsen, all named by police in relation to the cover-up.

Which of these people have now been interviewed by the Mounties, not just once but twice? Which ones?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP are currently undertaking an investigation.

The RCMP, I am sure, will ask anybody they feel they need to ask with respect to this. They have identified that Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy are the subject of the investigation. I trust that the RCMP will continue to do the work they need to do to find whatever information they need.

At the same time, I ask the Liberal Party to join with us in protecting the citizenship of Santa Claus, join with us in making sure the North Pole remains part of Canada. For all of those kids around the world who are depending on Santa Claus, I ask them to abandon their ideas and stick with us, and keep Santa Claus Canadian.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is very nice to believe in Santa Claus, but we also have to believe in the people who live in the north.

There is growing anger against the Conservative agenda on education for first nations. From the members of Idle No More who are protesting on Parliament Hill today to the Assembly of First Nations, which is holding its special assembly, everyone agrees that the minister needs to redo his homework.

Instead of confrontation, the minister could choose co-operation and consultation to truly ensure that aboriginal children have equal access to quality education.

When will the minister listen?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member may well want to play politics at the expense of children on reserves, but the fact remains that this issue is far more serious than his little game.

We introduced a legislative proposal concerning the first nations, and we are ready to continue working with them and engaging in dialogue with them so that we can correct a broken system that effectively fails most students on reserves across the country.

We will continue to work constructively to that end.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, investing in first nation schools is in the interest of all Canadians.

However, this minister is promising new funds only if he gets his way on the first nations education bill. This is just plain wrong. The funding gap must be closed now.

A generation of first nations children is looking to Ottawa. How much longer will the government make these kids wait to get equal funding for their education? When will that minister stop playing politics with first nations education?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Conservative

Bernard Valcourt ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I will stand and correct the hon. member.

First nation students are not looking to the federal government. They are looking to first nation band councils in their communities and their parents to make sure they have the tools to provide them access to a good education system.

Again, notwithstanding the rhetoric on the other side of the House, my point is that we must work together, first nations, governments, stakeholders, parents and students, in order to ensure that we have a system that can provide first nation students with a good education system—