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House of Commons Hansard #254 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was shippers.

Topics

Birthday and Anniversary CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, the old saying goes, “Just like a fine wine, everything gets better with age”.

I rise in the House today to recognize a number of very tremendous milestones for some constituents in my riding.

I am honoured to extend my best wishes to Thelma Baily and Edna Levett, who will be celebrating their 105th birthdays in the coming month. Thelma will celebrate her 105th on June 18 and Edna will celebrate hers on June 21.

In the past 105 years, Thelma and Edna have seen two world wars, made it through the Great Depression and have witnessed the birth of the automobile, electricity and the computer, among other things. Indeed, life has changed a great deal since the birth of these two women, and I congratulate them on this tremendous milestone.

I am also proud to congratulate Elsie and George Moss, Gordon and Lola Welch and Warren and Ruth O'Connor on celebrating their 70th wedding anniversaries this past month. For two people to commit themselves to each other for 70 years is certainly quite an accomplishment.

Once again, I would like to congratulate all of these individuals on these incredible milestones.

Alfred Rousselle, Ian Benoit and Samuel-René BoutinStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise in the House today to pay my respects to Alfred Rousselle, Ian Benoit and Samuel-René Boutin, three lobster fishermen who lost their lives on May 18 when their boat capsized in a tragic fishing accident near Tabusintac, New Brunswick.

We know that every morning fishermen set out, driven by a dedication to providing for their families and a love for the sea. They do so despite knowing the great risks and dangers that may lie ahead of them.

Alfred, Ian and Samuel-René will be remembered for that dedication and for their strength and bravery, qualities every fisherman must possess.

The Ground Search and Rescue, the RCMP, the DFO, Inspector Mark Bertrand and all the volunteers must be acknowledged for their bravery and aid in bringing these men home to their families.

My heart and prayers go out to the families, friends and communities that are mourning the loss of these three great men who were taken much too soon.

Georges MoustakiStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Georges Moustaki, with his Mediterranean face, the face of a wandering Jew and a Greek shepherd, and his wild hair, left us this morning, taking the byways he travelled all his life to finally join Félix Leclerc, Jacques Brel, Barbara and Georges Brassens in the pantheon of French song.

Moustaki was a poet who wrote about intimate and universal concepts, and his songs have been sung throughout the world in every language by musicians from several generations.

He was a humanist and pacifist who lived on the left bank. As a champion of freedom and simple living, he was an icon for an entire generation—a generation for whom love and the future of our planet were more important than all the gold, power or money in the world.

Here are the lyrics of one of Moustaki's songs:

See the people bustling about,
Clothed in lies and deception.
You can be a beggar and proud of it,
Clothed in rags but not poor.

Thank you, Moustaki.

Battle of Monte CassinoStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday I had the privilege to attend the commemoration ceremonies of the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino, conducted by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy in an attempt to break through into Rome. The series of four assaults took place January 17 to May 18, 1944. The Allied forces consisted of the United Kingdom, the United States, Free French forces, New Zealand, India and Poland, as well as our own fellow Canadians. The fighting inflicted over 55,000 casualties to the Allies. Finally, May 18 found the Poles taking Monte Cassino, and the road to Rome was open.

Let me thank and congratulate Krzysztof Tomczak, commander of SWAP 114, for organizing the event, and the four heroes of the Cassino battle, Stefan Podsiadlo, Boleslaw Chamot, Ludomir Blicharski and Tadeusz Gosinski for attending.

I would ask all members of the House to join me in paying tribute to all heroes of that historic battle.

Joliette Conservative AssociationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, people in my region are tolerant but they are not fools. We had proof of that yesterday, when the president of the Joliette Conservative Association, Georgette Saint-Onge, submitted her resignation.

Among other things, she accused the Conservative Party of impeding her activities and preventing local newspapers from covering one of her events.

This is unacceptable in a democracy. I would like to acknowledge Ms. Saint-Onge's courage, which proves that, in Lanaudière, we do not let anyone walk all over us.

I will close with a quote from the former president's letter of resignation: “In any event, the Conservative Party is headed once again for a brick wall in Quebec in the next election. I would seriously suggest that you not spend one penny more on political organizing in Quebec, because it is a complete waste of money.”

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on the television show Power Play the leader of the NDP hinted that he would drag Canadians into constitutional battles without a serious plan. When asked about Senate abolition, the leader of the NDP said, “There are other things that will be on the table....Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec are going to look at their historical angles and some sort of protection there, so we have to take that into account”. His NDP democratic reform critic admitted that abolition will be “at minimum extraordinarily difficult”.

We have outlined our Senate reform plan both in legislation and before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Why does the leader of the NDP want to get Canadians into constitutional battles without a plan? What exactly “will be on the table”?

Apple Blossom FestivalStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, every year in Nova Scotia's beautiful Annapolis Valley, we celebrate the arrival of spring with the Apple Blossom Festival. This year from May 29 to June 3, crowds will gather to crown Queen Annapolisa and join in the children's parade and the grand street parade. Visitors will enjoy fireworks, talent shows, art shows, antique tractor pulls and many other events that will be fun for the whole family.

While this internationally renowned festival is now in its 81st year, we have some firsts to celebrate this year. For the first time we will be welcoming delegates from our twin festival in England, the Goosnargh and Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival.

I would like to congratulate Rose Stevenson-Davidson, the president of the Apple Blossom Festival, as well as all of the organizers involved in this wonderful celebration. I would like to invite all members to come to Nova Scotia as we celebrate family, friends and fun at the 81st annual Apple Blossom Festival in the beautiful Annapolis Valley this spring.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP has a troubling secret. He has known about the political corruption in his province since 1994, when the former mayor of Montreal, Gilles Vaillancourt, offered him an envelope to help him.

The leader of the NDP only informed the authorities 17 years later. Even more worrisome is the fact that in 2010, he denied that Mr. Vaillancourt offered him an envelope.

The member for Outremont must explain why he did nothing about this compromising situation. The Leader of the Opposition hid his inside knowledge of corruption from the public for two years before deciding to break his silence last week.

Will the leader of the NDP offer to appear before the Charbonneau commission to explain what he knows about corruption in Quebec?

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are witnessing the death rattle of an archaic, outdated and expensive anachronism. With false residency claims, double-dipping expenses and political stumping at the taxpayers' expense, the Senate has gone from an expensive nuisance to a national disgrace. It is more in sadness than in anger as Canadians watch this abuse and the ethical lapses unfurl. We were promised that things would be different, but instead the legacy of the administration will be $16 glasses of orange juice and an almost comical cliché of hog-troughing senators.

Grassroots Conservatives must be horrified that this administration has more in common with Grant Devine than with Preston Manning. Conservatives squandered their chance to do anything meaningful with their minority government. When we ask ourselves what they have accomplished with their majority government, they abolished the gun registry and the Canadian Wheat Board. Whoop-de-do-dah-day. Pretty thin gruel for a strong, stable majority Conservative government. What a pathetic waste of an opportunity to build a better Canada.

The Senate of Canada should be abolished. That is plain and simple.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

May 23rd, 2013 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, it took the leader of the NDP 17 whole years to reverse his story and come clean to Canadians that he was involved in a bribe offer from the former mayor of Laval. He has an interesting standard of ethics. First, he keeps it a secret. Then he misleads Canadians saying he was not presented with a bribe. Then he reverses his story when the police come knocking.

He claims to be “proud” to have helped the police. It baffles me that the leader of the NDP is proud of hiding a secret for years and reversing his story when law enforcement gets involved amidst the biggest corruption inquiry in our history. I am certain law enforcement officers are not proud of his actions, or should I say inaction.

The standard he has set for his party when it comes to dealing with bribery and corruption is appalling. It makes one wonder who else on the other side of the House was involved in such schemes.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 17 the Prime Minister answered in the House that “All senators conform to the residency requirements.”

The Senate audit report contradicted this and concluded that Senator Duffy's primary residence was Ottawa, not P.E.I., yet when the final report was tabled, this key paragraph had been erased.

Last night we learned that the Prime Minister's former communications director, now a senator, helped whitewash the Duffy report.

Can the government tell us whether anyone in the PMO was aware that this report contradicted their Prime Minister?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the Senate report does reflect the findings of the auditor—the auditor, by the way, that both the opposition and the government agreed should be brought in, an independent, outside auditor.

The report reflected that finding. I understand, of course, that new questions have been raised. That is why the Senate is looking at the matter again, and that is also why the Ethics Commissioner is looking into this, as is the office of the Senate ethics commission.

These questions are being raised. They are being put forward. They will be answered.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the meaning of the deleted paragraph is clear. It reads:

His continued presence at his Ottawa residence over the years does not support such a declaration and is contrary to the plain meaning of the word 'primary' and to the purpose and intent of the provision.

Who in the PMO was aware of the details in the report? Who in the PMO was involved in any discussions about the Senate committee's work? Did anyone in the PMO play any role in removing this key paragraph?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the Senate report, I understand, reflects the findings of the independent auditor, but new questions have been raised. That is why the Senate is reopening this subject matter, to get into some of these questions, which I think is the appropriate thing to do.

I would also point out to members opposite and to taxpayers, more importantly, that there are opposition members on this committee who can ask whatever questions they want to ask.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, answers like that are classic non-denial denials, just like the non-denial denial from the Prime Minister's former lawyer, Mr. Perrin.

He says that he did not know about the cheque being sent, but was silent on whether he knew about the deal being negotiated. He did not say whether he played a role in implementing the decision that led to the cover-up.

Let us keep this one simple. Were any lawyers in the PMO aware of what Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy were cooking up?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are not aware of any legal agreement between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. It is as simple as that.

The Prime Minister was very clear about that yesterday when he took questions from the media. He has been very clear about that and consistent about that. Those facts have not changed.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, what I understand from that answer is that the Prime Minister's lawyer may have been aware.

When the Prime Minister learned about what happened, he did not demand a resignation, did not call the police and did not apologize. Instead, he steadfastly defended those involved in the scandal. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that if he had known, he never would have let it happen.

Why, then, would the Prime Minister say that he had full confidence in Nigel Wright on the first day of the scandal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, here in Ottawa, and yesterday, in response to questions from the media, the Prime Minister said that he did not know until the news came out in the papers. That was when the Prime Minister found out what was going on.

Because of that and because of Mr. Wright's statement that he had acted alone and that he was stepping down, the Prime Minister accepted his resignation.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in just one week, the Prime Minister went from having full confidence in his former chief of staff to being “not happy”. That is quite an about-face.

The Conservatives are quite specific in their denial. They deny the existence of any legal documents, but they have nothing to say about the February 20 email.

Does the Prime Minister's Office have any document—a memo, a handwritten or electronic note, an email, a PIN, a BBM, a fax, anything—regarding Nigel Wright's $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are not aware of any kind of legal document or agreement between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. The Prime Minister was very clear about that yesterday, and we are repeating that today.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister is truly as perturbed as he claims to be about the Wright-Duffy scandal, he must explain why it took him nearly a week to come to grips with his chief of staff's wrongful behaviour.

With knowledge of a $90,000 secret deal that perverted the course of a forensic audit and caused a Senate report to be doctored, the Prime Minister still expressed total confidence in Mr. Wright for more than five days. Why that long delay? Did the Prime Minister think he could bluff Canadians about this stunning lack of ethics in his inner circle?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said yesterday:

Immediately upon learning that the source was indeed my chief of staff, Nigel Wright, I immediately asked that that information be released publicly.

This is behaviour that the Prime Minister believes was irresponsible and inappropriate. Nigel Wright says that he acted solely. He has taken responsibility and resigned, and that is the right thing to have happened.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, any payment to anyone to influence the conduct of a senator is an indictable offence carrying jail time as a penalty under both the Parliament of Canada Act and the Criminal Code. It should not take a week to figure that out.

Throwing Wright and Duffy under the bus does not make the corruption go away. The whole illicit scheme is outlined in an email, dated February 20. The Prime Minister's Office has that email. Will they table it today?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, this question was just asked by the official opposition. We are not aware of any legal agreement between Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright whatsoever, in any format whatsoever.

As my colleague knows, the Ethics Commissioner and the Senate Ethics Officer are both looking into this independently. The Senate committee is taking another look at the subject matter as well. Opposition members of that committee can ask any questions that they want. Rightly, there are new questions that have been raised, and those questions do need to be answered.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, after the illicit $90,000 payment to Senator Duffy by the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Duffy scuttled Deloitte's forensic audit, and two of the Prime Minister's closest cronies, Conservative Senators Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen, doctored the Senate's report.

Who ordered them to do that? Was it Mr. Wright? Will the Prime Minister remove Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen, the very same people who doctored the Duffy report in the first place? Will he remove them from the Senate committee that is now supposed to review that same report?