House of Commons Hansard #185 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriages.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

March 12th, 2015 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The member for Timmins—James Bay has the floor. He may want to be judicious with his language to avoid prompting that type of reaction, but he still has the floor. He still has some time left and members need to come to order to allow him to finish putting the question.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure about what part of the truth hurt her so much, but as the Prime Minister would say, let us sort it out.

We have this dodgy project sitting at the bottom of a pile of a bunch of worthy projects, and we have three cabinet ministers, Nigel Wright, the principal secretary, and the Prime Minister's Office, who all get their paws on this one dodgy project.

What is the connection with the promoter of this project that made her light such a fire that she has been found guilty of breaching the Conflict of Interest Act? What was it?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had actually read the report, he would have found that the commission made it very clear that neither I nor any member of my family or my friends had any personal interest in this particular—

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, she also found that not only was I not friends with Rabbi Mendelsohn , but, in fact, we had never met.

I believe that this project to improve accessibility for the disabled in Markham was a worthy project.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I think she is missing the point. A failed funding application was fast-tracked and approved for over $1 million only after the Prime Minister had told chief of staff Nigel Wright to “sort it out”. Why? We know, because it benefited the Conservative Party.

Just a reminder that out of 167 applications, this project came in 163rd. The common thread, just like with Duffy, is the involvement of the Prime Minister's closest adviser acting on the explicit instructions of the Prime Minister.

How can the Prime Minister defend this corruption?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the ethics commissioner made it very clear that the Prime Minister had no participation in this decision, which projects were evaluated, or even how they were evaluated, and what was awarded any funding.

When it comes to corruption, I would remind the member that he is sitting in a party that used be government, and when it was government, it took $40 million of taxpayers' dollars that is still unaccounted for.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget that the Mike Duffy cover-up began only after Nigel Wright allegedly stated, “We are good to go from the PM”.

Funding of $1 million for a project that helped the Conservative Party but failed miserably when compared to the others was granted only after the Prime Minister allegedly asked Nigel Wright to deal with this file.

How can the Prime Minister defend this corruption?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as the ethics commissioner said, the Prime Minister had absolutely no involvement in the funding of this centre to improve accessibility for the handicapped in Markham. That was very clear.

All along, I believed that this project was a worthwhile one that was in the best public interest.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the most controlling in Canada's history. Nothing happens in the government without his approval.

RCMP documents show the PM's direct involvement in the Mike Duffy cover-up. The ethic commissioner's report shows his direct involvement in funding a failed project that benefited only the Conservative Party.

This is corruption at its highest level. How can the Prime Minister defend this?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should get her facts right. What the ethics commissioner said in her report was, in fact, that the Prime Minister had absolutely no involvement in the decision making on this project to help the disabled have better access at the Markham centre.

That decision was mine. I did so believing, as I always have, that this project was in the best interest of the community. It was a worthy project and it was in the public interest.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, for seven years, the Fynes family has been coping with a smear campaign as a result of their son's suicide.

However, that is nothing compared to the pain that the family felt when they were finally able to read the report of the Military Police Complaints Commission. In that report, investigators blamed the family. Frankly, that is appalling and unacceptable.

Will the minister do the only acceptable thing under the circumstances and apologize to this family?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, if the question is about the report of the Military Police Complaints Commission, I want to say that we just received it. It is over 1,000 pages long and I look forward to reading it. The summary of the report is clear: not all of the allegations were confirmed.

That being said, what happened with the military police is unacceptable. I intend to work with the military to ensure that it changes its policies and practices so that such an incident does not happen again.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the previously secret board of inquiry report was released to the Fynes family yesterday.

Incredibly, it blames the parents for the death of their son, though he had attempted suicide five times and was being cared for by the military. Sheila Fynes says that this conclusion is gratuitous and outside the accepted bounds of humanity, decency and civility. This comes on top of this week's findings of an incompetent follow-up investigation by the military.

Will the minister apologize to the family for this additional insult to the memory of Corporal Stuart Langridge?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, I am not familiar with the particular document to which the member refers. I would be happy to look into this matter. I did tell him at committee yesterday that we just received, 48 hours ago, a report that has taken over three years to compile with over 1,000 pages. I obviously have not had a chance to review that in detail yet.

The member, and all members, have my assurance that I will review the report closely and work with the Provost Marshal of the Canadian Armed Forces to make whatever changes are necessary to ensure that the totally unacceptable conduct that occurred in this matter does not repeat itself.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, every veteran with an amputation loathes receiving the big brown envelope of paperwork from Veterans Affairs, asking them if they still have limbs missing.

It is bad enough that the minister thinks he has fixed the issue because now these veterans will only have to prove to Veterans Affairs every three years that they lost a limb. The minister does not seem to understand that veterans also rely on different programs from DND, programs that are still asking for proof every year.

Does the minister think that this is even remotely acceptable?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Erin O'Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC

Mr. Speaker, we have learned a lot from the case Paul Franklin has brought forward, and I thank him for raising these concerns with respect to the veterans independence program.

We are already making changes. In fact, I have stood up a veterans-centric task force to revisit every piece of correspondence that goes to a veteran and their family to make sure it focuses on their wellness, is easy to understand and, for serious cases, to see whether we can eliminate it entirely.

I will also be asking the insurer for the Canadian Forces long-term disability program to try to adopt the same approach.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the Conservatives are heartless and have no respect whatsoever for veterans.

For example, they are asking veterans with amputations to confirm that they still have limbs missing. These veterans are required to fill out hurtful questionnaires in order to continue receiving their benefits. No one in the government seems to understand what it means to have a disability.

Will the minister immediately put an end to this completely ridiculous practice and stop humiliating our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Erin O'Toole Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC

Mr. Speaker, if that member who sits on the veterans affairs committee had been following this matter, he would know that one month ago I already said that no such letter would ever be sent to a veteran or their family, full stop.

In fact, we are revisiting all of the types of forms we send to our veterans and their families to make sure they promote their wellness and are simple. In complex cases where there is a case manager assigned to the veteran, I want the forms eliminated entirely.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned of a very troubling terrorist plot. An Islamic State-inspired extremist had plans to bomb the United States consulate in Toronto, as well as other buildings in the financial district. My constituents are very concerned that the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update this House on measures that the government is taking to keep Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Lévis—Bellechasse Québec

Conservative

Steven Blaney ConservativeMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pickering—Scarborough East for his service as a member, but also for serving under the flag as a Canadian Armed Forces member.

Today, I also want to thank the RCMP, CSIS and especially the CBSA members who have done incredible work to ensure the safety of Canadians in that case and prevented a horrific tragedy.

Troubling cases like these are precisely why our government is putting forward this new legislation to provide our police and national security agencies more tools to protect Canadians against the jihadist terrorists who would seek to harm us.

I thank our police forces—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order.

The hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport has announced some new rail safety standards. We were expecting a more ambitious plan and more stringent standards. Regulations for brakes on tank cars were completely ignored. Furthermore, the rail cars involved in the accidents in Ontario, which the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has said are not strong enough, will still run on our rails until 2023.

How does the minister plan on reassuring the public, when we will have to live with unsafe rail cars for at least another eight years?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, indeed, I was very pleased that the department posted online an update with what it is doing with the new, improved, very sturdy tank cars that we will be building in this country in the future.

Regarding the brakes, to which the member alluded, after following the consultations commenced last year, it was agreed to place these brakes into a different track, that is, working with operating rules. We will continue to have these technical discussions with the United States to make sure that what we get is the right product.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the latest series of train derailments has communities across the country concerned for their safety. The transport committee report is clear. We have inadequate rail inspection. The Auditor General's report is clear. We have inadequate rail inspection.

While the transport of oil by rail has grown exponentially, Transport Canada has hired just one additional rail inspector since 2013. Does the minister think that is sufficient to protect Canadians? Is this what the minister calls working diligently to protect the safety of Canadians?