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House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regulation.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP stands with aboriginal leaders and civil society in calling on the government to hold a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. Provinces like B.C. are left to investigate police misconduct with a very limited mandate.

The government and police have failed aboriginal women. Will the minister agree to a national public inquiry to ensure a proper independent investigation, including into any possible police misconduct against aboriginal women in Canada?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, I have asked the Commissioner for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to follow up on some allegations that have been made. In fact, I would encourage anyone with information that bears on these matters to pass it along to the appropriate authorities.

This is precisely why we have introduced legislation to deal with some issues inside the RCMP, and it is shocking to see that the NDP continues to stall these measures.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the allegation of sexual assault is not a complaint; the allegation of sexual assault has to do with a criminal act. Ordinarily, when there is an allegation, it is another police force that carries out the investigation with respect to an independent consideration of the question.

I wonder if the Prime Minister does not recognize that what is taking place is not a complaint about police behaviour. We have today, apparently, specific allegations of a criminal nature, and would he not agree that there has to be an independent police investigation with—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously, if the hon. member has information relating to a crime, that information should be reported to the appropriate police authorities. If the allegation is on top of that, that the appropriate police authorities are aware and are not investigating, we forward that information to the RCMP complaints commission, as we have done.

However, the responsibility of every member of the House is not simply to throw around allegations. If such allegations and evidence for them exist, I encourage the hon. member to give them to the appropriate authorities so the allegations can be investigated.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the allegation came from a woman who gave information to an independent international investigation. That is a fact. It is not a complaint. It is an allegation regarding a violation of the Criminal Code.

In this case, who is the appropriate authority? The appropriate authority should be a police force other than the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This is not a complaint. There must be a criminal investigation into an alleged crime—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, if a party in the House or an independent organization has information relating to a crime, that information should be reported to the appropriate police authorities. If the police authorities are not doing their job, there is a complaints commission. Our duty here is not to throw around allegations but to provide information and evidence so that the authorities can conduct any necessary investigations.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if an allegation is made against the Ottawa police force, it is not the Ottawa police force that investigates that allegation. It is investigated by another police force. That is the point. A separate and independent police force carries out that investigation.

The problem, clearly, is that there has been a breakdown of confidence with respect to people coming forward in those situations, as described by Human Rights Watch.

I wonder why the Prime Minister is so reluctant to follow a normal pattern with respect to allegations—not a complaint about police behaviour, but an allegation of criminal misconduct. In those situations we have an independent criminal investigation—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the allegation we received that is relative to the RCMP is apparently that the RCMP will not investigate something. That is why we have given appropriate information to the RCMP complaints commission.

If Human Rights Watch, the Liberal party, or anyone else is aware of serious allegations involving criminal activity, they should give that information to the appropriate police so they can investigate it. Just get on and do it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the credibility—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. We will move on to the next question. The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' economic credibility is taking a beating today.

We have learned that they were unable to properly calculate the cost of inflation for the shipbuilding strategy. I would like to remind hon. members that many communities are depending on that strategy.

When it comes to military procurement, the Conservatives are no champions. They revealed a long list of purchases in 2008, but then waited five years to unveil a plan for industrial development by way of the Jenkins report.

Why did they wait so long?

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, in terms of using our military procurement to create jobs and economic opportunity, as the Jenkins report recommends, the shipbuilding strategy is a perfect example. In fact, we have allocated $33 billion for ships to be built in Halifax and Vancouver by Canadians, by Canadian shipyards.

In fact, industry analysts suggest that government ship projects will contribute, both directly and indirectly, to 15,000 jobs across this country and $2 billion in annual economic spinoffs over the next 20 years.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the minister paraded around that Jenkins report, we learned that a letter had been sent to the U.S. Department of Defence contradicting it. Let me explain.

The report underscores the importance of supporting Canadian industry. That is good. Assist audits help Canadian industry export to the American market. That is also good. However, the Minister of Public Works is cutting the assist audit program. That is not good.

Are the Conservatives committed to a strong industrial strategy, or are they abandoning Canadian workers and Canadian companies?

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, all we have to do is point to the $33 billion investment in Canadian shipyards in this country, the 15,000 Canadian jobs it will create over the next 20 years and $2 billion in annual economic spinoffs.

In terms of the assist audits, I gave clear direction to my officials last fall to continue offering this service, as has been done for a number of decades. We recognize that Canada's defence sector creates high-quality jobs and we are here to support it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence was benched because he lost control of his department and could not keep his story straight, and now we have the Minister of Public Works.

The U.S. Department of Defence was very clear and specific that it was “fiscal restraints” cited by Public Works as the reason for eliminating the assist audits.

That has a certain ring of truth to it. Does the minister even know what is happening in her ministry? Can she tell us the real story, or is she as confused as the guy she is replacing?

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, this was a cost-saving proposal that was put forward by officials, but it was rejected by me and by my government.

I gave clear directions to my officials last fall to continue offering this service, because it is important to the defence and security sector, and it is important for job creation.

EthicsOral Questions

February 13th, 2013 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Everyone believes that.

Mr. Speaker, a relic from the 19th century has decided to sacrifice a lamb on the altar of the Senate's dubious ethics.

Indeed, Patrick Brazeau has been suspended with pay. Ouch; that must hurt.

However, problems are nothing new for this senator, who was appointed by the Prime Minister. During his mandate, he hurled sexist and degrading insults at a journalist and has been chronically absent. He has a history of sexual harassment complaints against him, mismanagement, and failure to pay child support.

Can someone explain to me why this man was appointed and why the government has defended him all this time?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in the case of the senator in question, the Senate in fact took action yesterday. Of course, there are other matters in the hands of the courts and it is the courts that will take action.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this looks like a paid vacation.

Last spring senators promised to review their attendance rules. That was another big promise. Yet this has not stopped 19 members of that hallowed hall of shame from missing over one-quarter of the sittings in 2011-12, not to mention all of those whose expenses are currently under scrutiny. Pamela Wallin is the most recent addition to the list.

She spent over $25,000 on “other travel” during the quarter in which the last federal election was held.

I do not know what she was doing there. She was never elected or re-elected. So what was she doing with taxpayers' money?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, NDP members do seem to like to tar with a broad brush a wide number of good people, including Senator Wallin, and they are doing so using what they say is a non-partisan person.

We heard in an earlier statement by the member for Burnaby—New Westminster a reference to a professor and a call for his resignation. That professor, Mr. Leeson, is actually a former staff member of two NDP premiers and is currently on board the team Trent leadership campaign for the NDP. Not only is he not a non-partisan official, he is not even non-partisan within the NDP.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the growing Senate scandal now includes Pamela Wallin, who racked up massive travel bills, often to Toronto, when she claims to live in a cabin at Fishing Lake, Saskatchewan.

I looked at the land title for that cabin and it lists as its owner Ms. Pamela Wallin of Palmerston Avenue in Toronto. Is she the senator for Saskatchewan or for the Annex?

Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin. How many more? When will the Prime Minister start defending the taxpayer instead of the entitlements of his cronies, the Liberal and Conservative senators?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much time the member for Timmins—James Bay spends in Toronto, but I do know that Senator Wallin spent 168 days last year in the province of Saskatchewan, which she represents. The costs that are in question are related to her travel from Ottawa to Saskatchewan. As members know, we expect parliamentarians to maintain a residence in their home region and in Ottawa. That is exactly what Senator Wallin has done.