House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hiring.

Topics

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I know that the NDP leader thinks that everything is a plot, but the candidate for this position is a public servant with 30 years of experience and an expert in his field. He comes highly recommended.

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, apparently the only people who do not see that this is an obvious conflict of interest are the Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Party.

The code of ethics of the Barreau du Québec indicates that, to avoid conflicts of interest, lawyers must “take such reasonable measures as are required to ensure that confidential information or documents pertaining to the file are not revealed”.

However, the Prime Minister's candidate was the government's lawyer in this case. He is party to confidential information on his government's major spying programs.

How can the privacy commissioner do his work if he is involved in all of these files? It is a conflict of interest.

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the individual in question has worked on many files for the federal government for 30 years. He is recognized as an expert and he is quite capable of testifying about his expertise before the committee.

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Colonel Sanders is a nice guy too, but one would not put him in charge of the henhouse.

It is the privacy commissioner's job to ask the government for details of its surveillance and data-gathering programs and determine whether those programs violate the private lives of Canadians. However, this commissioner would have the legal obligation under his code of ethics to conceal information even from his own staff about spying programs he helped create, because he was acting as the attorney for the government at the time.

Are the Prime Minister and his pal, the Liberal Party leader, really the only two people in Canada who do not understand this obvious conflict of interest?

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we know well, and see a demonstration again today, of the highly ideological, conspiracy-based theories of the NDP leader.

As I said, the individual in question is an expert in this field. He has spent 30 years as a distinguished public servant. He is fully able to understand both his role in the past as a public servant and his future role as privacy commissioner and would execute his responsibilities accordingly, and he will be able to explain that before committee.

Privacy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the highly personal medical data of people like Ellen Richardson were shared with the American government through the program this man put in place.

Ms. Richardson was at the airport and was headed on a cruise. A second later, an American border guard denied her access after reading her medical record, which was provided by the Government of Canada.

Does the Prime Minister realize that this is a serious violation of Canadians' privacy? Does he understand that Canadians are worried about this individual's appointment?

Privacy
Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2014 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the NDP believes that someone who worked for the federal government is incapable of being privacy commissioner. That ideological position is ridiculous. Mr. Therrien is an expert. He is quite capable of explaining his expertise to the committee.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the employment minister expressed “limited interest” when Alberta's labour minister proposed that his province monitor the temporary foreign worker program to make sure that such workers were not being abused.

Since the government is doing nothing at the federal level, with zero employers blacklisted for employee abuse, why does the Prime Minister not gleefully accept such offers from Alberta and other provinces in their own areas of jurisdiction? Does he not care about worker abuse?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course there are responsibilities in this regard for both levels of government, but once again, the position of the Liberal Party on this matter is completely bizarre. When the government brought in reforms precisely to ensure compliance and create employer blacklists, the Liberal Party opposed those measures.

We know the Liberal Party has a very different philosophy. It sought the long-term expansion of this program. Under the reforms that we brought in, the numbers have been coming down and will continue to come down in the future.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, as usual, that is a total manufacturing of history on the Liberal Party.

The Prime Minister can talk all he wants about new powers and jail time under the temporary foreign worker program, but none of this matters if he does not use any of these powers. Since not one employer is on his blacklist for employer abuse, I repeat, not one, no one is risking a penny in fines or a day in jail.

Will he finally do something serious and accept last week's Liberal motion on true enforcement of this program?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in a number of well-known cases, the government has taken the force of an action and, as we know, has imposed a moratorium on a portion of the program pending further action.

However, once again, on one day the Liberal Party is demanding that fewer numbers be admitted under the program and on the next day Liberal members of Parliament are going to the minister of employment demanding that he overturn decisions and admit more temporary foreign workers.

Our position is clear. We are committed to making sure that if Canadians are available, Canadians always get the available jobs.

Housing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, over 40,000 families and individuals are on the waiting list for affordable housing in Quebec. Subsidies available through federal agreements on social housing are coming to an end, and the future of one-third of these units is uncertain.

The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to ensuring that our communities receive predictable, stable long-term funding. Can the government say the same?

Will the government commit to coming up with a long-term housing plan together with the municipalities and the Government of Quebec?

Housing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Minister of State (Social Development)

Mr. Speaker, in typical Liberal fashion, the member has forgotten what his party did. Liberals actually ended the agreements on social housing back in the 1990s.

What we have done in response is renew our investment in affordable housing right across the country. We also have done something to address the issue of homelessness. The Liberals do not like the idea of Housing First, which is an evidence-based proven model. That member has spoken out against evidence-based initiatives to help those who are homeless and those who are struggling with affordable housing.

We will not follow the Liberal example when it comes to helping individuals with housing.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are reports from Brussels today that the Canada-Europe trade talks have stalled yet again. One official said, “It was premature...to announce a deal. There is a sense of embarrassment in many quarters”.

An embarrassment. Is the Prime Minister the least bit embarrassed that he has botched a trade deal with the world's largest economy?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is an interesting question from a party that does not even know whether it supports the trade deal. The Canada-European Union trade deal we have announced is obviously the biggest trade deal in Canadian history. Technical negotiations will be completed very soon, and I look forward to seeing if there is any trade deal on the face of the earth that the ideologues over there can possibly support.