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House of Commons Hansard #208 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was witnesses.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member said, it was under the previous Liberal government that this issue was neglected for years. Our government expects Sikorsky's obligations under this contract to be met. To date, they have not been met. In fact, it has missed every deadline and every timeline. To that end, we have already applied millions of dollars in liquidated damages and we are going to be applying significant additional charges that will begin to accrue against this company for failure to deliver. We will continue to aggressively insist that Sikorsky meet its obligations.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister shares the unfortunate reflex of the Minister of National Defence, always pointing the finger of blame at others. However, those ministers have been in the front bench for a long time and that means that they are responsible—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Order, please. The hon. member for Beaches—East York has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pointing at the minister who is responsible. He is responsible for the problems, responsible for fixing the problems and responsible for getting the job done. Our aircrews are still waiting for a replacement for the 50-year-old Sea Kings.

Why the kid gloves with Sikorsky and when will our aircrews get the equipment they need?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member can see, I share his frustration. It was under the previous Liberal government that this contract was signed and this issue was neglected for many years. We do expect Sikorsky to meet its obligations. Under this contract to date, it has not met them. In fact, it has missed every deadline and every timeline. To that end, we have already applied millions of dollars in liquidated damages against this company and we will continue to significantly apply more damages to this contract. We are doing what we can to aggressively insist that Sikorsky meets its obligations.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, since Mike Duffy was appointed to the Senate, he has criss-crossed the country peddling Conservative policies and even fundraising for his party.

Thousands of dollars are going up in smoke, like the signals from a papal conclave. And Conservative senators are taking those thousands of dollars straight out of the pockets of Canadian taxpayers. That is what the Senate has become.

How can the government justify this abuse of taxpayers' money for partisan purposes by people who are not even qualified to be senators?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I think that question tarred an awful lot of great Canadians with a rather wide brush, and I am a little bit saddened to see that coming from a party that purports to be treating people with respect. In fact, there are many very respected Canadians doing hard work for Canada in this one parliamentary institution.

In terms of some issues and some questions that have been raised, the Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration is examining those questions, and in three individual cases, has referred those to an outside auditor to ensure they are dealt with appropriately so that taxpayers are protected.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that Senator Duffy is not the only one embroiled in the Senate spending scandal. He is now part of an elite and growing group of overpaid people who supposedly own a residence in the province they are meant to represent.

The Prime Minister will surely keep appointing lifelong winners to this Conservative lottery. However, before he does, can the Prime Minister tell us if there are any other senators who are not living in the riding they represent?

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 we have addressed on a number of occasions, the Senate Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has been reviewing both their policies, under which we all know that all parliamentarians are expected to maintain a residence both in their home region that they represent as well as here in Ottawa, and ensuring those policies are correct and that they are being applied appropriately. The committee has been going through that diligent process and we expect it will continue to do so to protect the interests of taxpayers.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, former Conservative Senate leader, Lowell Murray said that either Mike Duffy can produce evidence that he lives in P.E.I. or he is “a goner”.

Surely the PMO must have vetted Duffy just like it vetted Patrick Brazeau, and after being reassured about Patrick Brazeau it declared that anyone who had any questions about Brazeau was an ankle-biter. It has been bit, but clearly someplace else.

Will the PMO produce evidence that reassures that Mr. Duffy is actually eligible to sit in the Senate, and are there any other senators who have been breaking the rules and ripping off the taxpayers? Who are they? It must know.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated several times, the Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration in the Senate has been looking into this matter.

It is reviewing these policies, something we have encouraged as a government, and I expect that it will complete that process in a thorough and diligent fashion.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives got caught and now they are suddenly trying to show us that they actually cared about the rules. They broke the rules all along.

Speaking of which, we have Matt Meier, who processed illegal voter suppression calls in the 41st general election based on lists that were handed to him by the Conservative Party. Matt Meier was then recently hired by the top Conservative operative, Jenni Byrne, in these illicit phone calls in Saskatchewan. First the Conservatives denied it, then they got caught. It is the robo-script all over again.

Why is the government not putting a stop to the illegal tactics that were used to defraud people in the 41st general election?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this is the NDP civility project at work, that member right over there. I find it interesting that he lobs false allegations when he knows that the Conservative Party is working proactively with Elections Canada to ascertain what happened in Guelph.

As for the member's trash-talking, he should leave that for his rap career. Vanilla Ice should look out, because “Vanilla Not So Nice” is in the House.

Electoral BoundariesOral Questions

February 11th, 2013 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the—

Electoral BoundariesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Electoral BoundariesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth has the floor.

Electoral BoundariesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister defended a dishonourable scheme to put pressure on the non-partisan boundary commission in Saskatchewan, and he defended it with an enthusiasm that should cause all Canadians deep concern. The House leader then claimed the government's support for these tactics is equivalent to two Newfoundland MPs legitimately appearing before a House committee to request a boundary adjustment.

Does the government stand by the House leader's effort to change the channel with such manifestly incorrect and false comparisons?

Electoral BoundariesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, electoral boundary processes encourage input from parliamentarians, public and political parties.

It is well known that our party agrees with the 75% of people in Saskatchewan who support the riding boundaries as they are. StatsCan's latest report shows that Saskatoon and Regina are the fastest growing, youngest demographic cities in Canada. I do not understand why the opposition wants to limit the representation from those two great cities.

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the saga of the lost student-loans data gets worse every day. This weekend, the government admitted the hard drive went missing in August, not November, as previously claimed. Nearly 600,000 Canadians were exposed to identity theft for over six months, not three months, as we were led to believe by the government.

This only gets worse. The minister refuses to explain herself for these outrageous privacy breaches. Changing stories and blaming staff will not work any longer.

My question is simple. Why is the minister refusing to appear before the committee, and how is she going to be accountable to Canadians?

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the loss of this data was totally unacceptable, especially as it was all avoidable.

That said, I have instructed the department to change the way it handles Canadians' data. It is changing its systems. It is changing the processes. It is providing training, mandatory training, to all staff who deal with personal data so that this sort of situation can never happen again.

My officials would be pleased to appear before committee very soon.

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, what is totally unacceptable is the minister's lack of accountability. For example, she says the data was lost in November. We know that is not true. She says that she provided those people with the best protection possible. That certainly is not true.

Now we have students like Natasha, from Kemptville, who has received notice that she was affected. The problem is, though, she did not apply for her student loan until 2007. The minister said that was not possible.

Would the minister state, unequivocally, that only students between 2000 and 2006 were impacted?

Human Resources and Skills Development CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the department has made every effort to contact those for whom information is available, who were involved in this, to make sure that they are, number one, aware of the situation and also that the Government of Canada will be providing credit protection for them for a period of six years.

The department is also changing the way information is stored, the way it is processed and the way it is shared so that this sort of thing cannot happen again.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, my question is simple, and it is directed toward the Prime Minister.

Why is the Conservative government essentially stealing early Canada pension plan payments from seasonal workers who are on employment insurance? Not only are the crippling changes made to employment insurance affecting those who are fortunate to gain a day's work, with a clawback of 50¢ on the dollar; EI changes also claw back early pensions, pensions that seasonal workers paid for.

Will the Prime Minister fix the problem so seasonal workers' pensions are protected from this legal theft?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the changes are there to make sure that we take away things that discourage workers from working. There were parts of the employment insurance—