House of Commons Hansard #184 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hamilton.

Topics

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, as I said, an independent audit found that Ms. Wallin claimed inappropriate expenses.

As a result, we hope that Ms. Wallin will face the full extent of the law for doing that.

At the same time, this member, I understand, personally owes $15,161. The office that she represents, the whip's office, owes $35,633.

I hope that she will find the time to make those two cheques out to the taxpayers of Canada, so that they are not left on the hook for those illegal NDP expenses.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, things are not going well at all for the Conservatives.

Allow me to summarize. The subpoenas are piling up on the Prime Minister's doorstep in the Mike Duffy affair, the former public works minister has been found guilty of patronage and conflict of interest because she did the Prime Minister's dirty work, the RCMP is investigating 150 suspicious invoices from Pamela Wallin, and to top it all off, now we learn that the Conservatives are punishing the people of Maniwaki because they did not vote for Lawrence Cannon.

What happened to the Conservatives' promise to clean up Ottawa? Why are the Conservatives starting to look more and more like Liberals?

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, talk about not going very well. This particular member owes the taxpayers of Canada over $122,000 for inappropriate mailings and office expenses.

I know that in every chequebook there are about 30 cheques. He has written 29 of those cheques out to the separatist party in Quebec. If he would just make the last cheque payable to the people of Canada for $122,122, he could clear up that debt. Again, that is $122,122.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when arranging to cover up for Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright said, “We are good to go from the PM”. Soon after, $90,000 was paid from Wright to Duffy.

When the then human resources minister spoke to that same Nigel Wright about a project that had failed badly against all others, but was good for the Conservative Party, Nigel Wright said the PM told him to “sort it out”.

Soon after, this project was approved for more than $1 million. Just like Duffy, this leads right to the Prime Minister. How can he defend this corruption?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should get her facts straight.

I have always believed that this was a worthwhile project in the public interest, and in fact neither I nor any of my family or friends had any personal interest in this matter.

Far from being friends with Rabbi Mendelsohn, we have never even met. The Commissioner recognized that.

When the hon. member talks about corruption, she should remember that her government disappeared with $40 million of taxpayers' money that has never been recovered.

EthicsOral Questions

March 11th, 2015 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister remains silent and refuses to take a stand against the racist comments made by the member for New Brunswick Southwest about a week ago. This is a matter of leadership. The Prime Minister needs to clearly state that those comments were unacceptable and apologize on behalf of his caucus. When will he do that?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I said a few days ago, the member immediately realized that his comments were unacceptable and apologized for them.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, two Conservative MPs, the members for Calgary East and Calgary Northeast, have both used very strong language to denounce these racist remarks.

We also know from a leaked briefing note that the Conservatives are super-sensitive to their old anti-immigration Reform Party base.

The only explanation for the Prime Minister's silence is that he has given in to these racist sentiments within his own party. How else can the Prime Minister justify his silence?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the member immediately recognized that his comments were unacceptable and he has apologized.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's appearance at committee yesterday confirmed what Canadians already suspected: Bill C-51 is a dangerous piece of legislation that lacks proper safeguards. The Privacy Commissioner has sounded the alarm, saying that the bill is unprecedented and excessive, with seriously deficient privacy safeguards, his words.

Instead of reassuring Canadians by agreeing to a full parliamentary review of this bill and to stronger oversight, the minister yesterday offered nothing more than overheated and inappropriate rhetoric.

Why is the minister refusing to acknowledge the simple truth that more powers need more oversight?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we do agree that more power requires more oversight, and that is why in Bill C-51 there is embedded not only more judicial oversight, but also more review bodies. I really wonder why New Democrats, if they are so keen on keeping an eye on our intelligence community, are not supporting Bill C-51.

However, I would argue that Canadians are keen on keeping an eye on those who are threatening us, and that I why I urge New Democrats to support Bill C-51.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, even those who work in our intelligence agencies are concerned that Bill C-51 is too broad in scope.

The former director of CSIS and chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee is criticizing the lack of oversight and lack of resources to keep these agencies in check.

Will the Conservatives listen to this call for caution and agree to amend Bill C-51 in order to ensure that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service respects our rights and our laws?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleague to refer to the review committee's report, which indicates that the committee believes that it has both the capacity and the expertise required.

This is an independent committee that has consistently done its job and fulfils its role without any political interference. For 30 years, the committee has been issuing a security certificate that confirms and attests that the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service meet Canadian requirements. The director general once again confirmed that he had all the resources necessary to fulfill his mandate.

Why are the New Democrats opposed to being better equipped to confront the terrorist threat—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

More hot air than action from the government on public safety, Mr. Speaker, and today we have yet another example.

The RCMP criminal database is still seriously backlogged, six years after the Auditor General sounded the alarm.

We are talking about critical information that police rely on, like criminal records not being entered into the database for two years.

This is putting police and Canadians at risk. How could the minister allow this dangerous situation to continue?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, access to accurate and up-to-date criminal records information is critical for law enforcement across Canada.

The real question is this. Where was the NDP when this government invested $180 million to develop a new, fully automated and electronic criminal records management system at the RCMP? Is it that the NDP is still in the dinosaur age, when we are now moving from a paper era to an electronic era?

We are working with our provinces, with courtrooms, and also with municipal police to have a successful transition—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a nice machine, but it takes somebody to input the data.

The Canadian Police Association believes that the RCMP's lack of resources is threatening Canadians' safety. It currently takes two years to update criminal records. The Conservatives' incompetence means that our police officers have to work with an outdated database. They are being asked to fight terrorists and criminals with one hand tied behind their backs.

Will the minister finally do something about this dangerous situation in order to protect our police officers and Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely important for those involved in law enforcement—whether police, prosecutors or judges—to have access to accurate and up-to-date criminal records information.

Why did the NDP oppose our $180 million investment in the information system to move the records from the paper era into the electronic era? We are working with police forces and the provinces. Canada is a partner, we are at the table and we will continue to ensure that this model is efficient and modern.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning there were reports that ISIL is on the verge of retreat. Those reports say that the Iraqi security forces and allied Shiite militias have now seized large parts of Tikrit and as a consequence of that bold action ISIL fighters are beginning to retreat.

Could the Minister of National Defence kindly provide an update to this House as to the current situation?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, ISIL of course constitutes a threat to global security, including that of Canada. This is a genocidal terrorist organization that has explicitly targeted Canada on several occasions and that must be opposed. That is why I am pleased to report that this past Monday our CF-18 Hornets successfully struck a series of ISIL staging areas and fighting positions west of Kirkuk using precision-guided munitions. On Sunday, the RCAF successfully struck two ISIL ammunition caches southeast of Haditha.

Our air strikes are targeting heavy weapons, vehicles, fighting positions, tactical units and buildings used by ISIL throughout Iraq. We are tremendously proud of the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the regional economic development agencies play a critical role across the country. They help small business and support our communities in diversifying. However, under the Conservatives, money approved by Parliament for regional economic development in the west has been left unspent. The Conservatives allowed nearly $70 million to be unspent over four years. This is money that our communities badly need.

When will the Conservatives commit to diversified economic development and stop taking the west for granted?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the opportunity to correct her claims. In fact, our government has a very strong track record of supporting western economic diversification, including things like supporting renewable power. We had a partnership with the First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan, for example.

In opposition, the NDP has consistently opposed the growth of the western economy through things like a carbon tax, opposing the development of the energy sector.

Certainly, when we look at funding status we would ask the New Democrats to pay the $2.7 million back.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts are clear. The Conservatives are failing to spend millions budgeted for economic diversification. It is bad enough that the government has, since 2010, reduced by half the dollars committed to diversifying western Canada's economy. Over the past four years it also underspent its diversification budget by almost $70 million, this in the face of rejections of applications by our promising renewable energy sector.

Why is the minister passing up the opportunity to create real economic diversification and jobs for western Canadians?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, after coming into this portfolio, I introduced a merit-based system for the selection of applications. It is a call for proposals program that has seen excellent proposals being funded in five key priority areas, including innovation. One of these projects included a test site for carbon capture and storage technologies in Alberta, which would see the diversification of our economy by using the strength of our primary industry.

Rather than denigrate our economy, I would ask the NDP to stand with us in these measures, which support growth for all Canadians.