House of Commons Hansard #201 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ads.


Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Markham—Unionville for his comments on the bill and for sharing his time with me today. Obviously he has tremendous insight into what the actions of the government have been when it comes to using taxpayers' money to produce partisan ads in this country.

There has been some discussion about whether these ads the Conservative government has taken out in prime time, such as during Super Bowl games and hockey games, work or do not work. In my opinion, a lot of that is irrelevant. The real relevance is that the Conservatives are using taxpayers' money. Should it be permitted to use that money to produce ads that could be seen as partisan by promoting the message of a political party. I think that is the fundamental piece we need to look at.

We also need to look at whether the information in these ads is even correct. We have seen many ads the Conservative government has put out saying that people can access this program or apply under that program knowing that the programs do not even exist. A small asterisk under the ad says “if passed or if approved by Parliament”.

Imagine a government taking millions of dollars of taxpayers' money, to the tune of $750 million, to produce ads when some of the ads are advertising programs that are not yet available. We do not know if they are going to be available. Talk about wasting money. That is what a real waste of taxpayers' money is.

Third, not only is the information incorrect, not only is there the partisanship of the ads, but the ads are being used at a time when there are so many other needs in the country. Every single day Canadians are reaching out to the government for better programs and services, for better use of taxpayers' dollars, and for better investments in their communities. All the while, the government is investing in partisan ads to promote its message at the same time it is cutting other services for Canadians. That is shameful.

I am pleased to speak today to the motion and to support it, because our motion calls for the creation of a third-party review process that would vet these ads before they are approved to ensure that they are appropriate, proportional, and a prudent investment of taxpayers' money.

For example, do the programs really exist that are going to be advertised to Canadians? We know that in 2013, Advertising Standards Canada sent a letter to the assistant deputy minister of employment and skills development at the time and indicated that the Conservatives had breached the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, because they were airing commercials that urged Canadians to apply for the Canada job grant. At that time, the grant did not exist. There were no provinces that had agreed to the potential program. Why was the government advertising for a program that provinces had not signed onto and that was not available to Canadians? In my opinion, it should never have been permitted. We saw a similar thing take place in Ontario some years ago.

Others today have spoken about the Government Advertising Act, which was passed by the McGuinty government in 2004 in Ontario to ensure that these things did not happen. It is evident that we need to be doing something similar in the Parliament of Canada.

I know that my colleague, the member for Ottawa South, has a bill that is at second reading right now that looks to establish that kind of policy in legislation. I would encourage members to support that as well, because it is necessary. It is necessary to control misleading ads that are going out to the Canadian public and to control the partisanship of ads, because no political party, no matter which one is in government, should be using taxpayers' money for political advertising. That is certainly how this was interpreted when the Conservative government put out those ads.

Let me speak to the other side of it in terms of how a government makes decisions on where money should be invested. We have all seen the ads during the NHL playoff hockey games. I am proud to say that ads by the Liberal Party are paid for by the Liberal Party. They are not paid for by the taxpayers of Canada, the source of revenue for the Government of Canada. No, they are not, unlike the Conservative ads during those games, which have been paid for by taxpayers.

I will provide an example. This past year, we have seen the Conservatives spend $130 million to $140 million on advertising campaigns. We have seen them spend up to $100,000 for one ad during a hockey game. They have spent $750 million on those ads over the last number of years, yet they have cut things like, in my riding, the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research, one of the most important groups and institutes in the riding. It did studies on everything for the last number of decades, collecting data in Labrador and looking at all kinds of research on ducks, eagles, moose, caribou, water fowl, rivers, environmental contaminants, all kinds of transatlantic flights, and the impact of 5 Wing Goose Bay on aboriginal culture.

It was one group that looked at vital concerns about the environment in Labrador, and guess what? Shutters were put on their doors in March. It cost a few hundred thousand dollars to operate one of the most important northern institutes that looked at environmental issues, including climate change and the impact on our ecosystems, and the government closed the door on it. It could have paid for it with two ads during a hockey game. That is how sad that is.

We have heard the argument from Newfoundland and Labrador about the $400 million it did not receive as part of the CETA deal. It says it was a commitment, an agreement between two governments, but when the time came to ante up the money, the Government of Canada said no, it was not paying the money to Newfoundland and Labrador. However, it had no issue putting $750 million into ad campaigns.

These are the kinds of decisions governments make, and I believe that governments that make decisions to cut programs and services to Canadians and to use the money to promote their own messages and political interests is wrong. They should be ashamed of continuing to do it. In fact, those ads should probably be assessed, and where partisanship is determined, they should be paying back the money, in my opinion, to the people of the country. That is exactly what they should be doing. They should not get away with these kinds of initiatives. I do not care who is in power; they should not get away with those kinds of initiatives.

As one member of Parliament, I find it very frustrating to lobby for small amounts of money to keep important services in my riding, to keep delivering important services to Canadians, and to not have the fiscal ability to do it because the government in power says that advertising for programs that do not exist is more important than actually providing services to Canadians. That is wrong, and it should be ashamed of itself.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleague to recognize that things change in time. Government and NDP members who say that this is the way it has been done in the past make me reflect on the issue of proactive disclosure. When the leader of the Liberal Party indicated that we needed to change things, the Liberal caucus led to changes on proactive disclosure, and both the Conservatives and NDP finally came on board.

What we are talking about today is that we need to have a third party in place, because it is in the best interest of taxpayers. Through that third party, we would be able to distinguish the line, and when something crossed that line, the political party, and not the taxpayer, would foot the bill. As long as it stayed on the fair side of that line, it would be okay to use public tax dollars.

The member might want to add some comment on that.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, for that question. As members know, he is a great debater in the House of Commons. I am sure that this is one piece of legislation he will be very happy to stand and support when we come to the vote.

The member is exactly right. It has been the Liberals who have led the way on proactive disclosure in the House of Commons. We were the first party to report all of our budgets, all of our spending, and to provide the details to the public. We are the party that encouraged others in the House of Commons to do the same.

However, we cannot leave the disclosure of taxpayers' money as one small, isolated portion of spending. Disclosure has to be overall, which is why I do not see any problem whatsoever in advertising by the Government of Canada being scrutinized for fairness, prudence, and public interest. When it meets those targets, it is fine, but when it does not, it is an abuse of the government's power.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's motto is “Je me souviens”, or I remember. We remember the sponsorship scandal. We cannot forget it.

Today's motion moved by the third party seeks, among other things, to make things more transparent. We are not against greater transparency. The current government has spent $750 million on advertising.

Does the hon. member think that this motion will rub out the stain on the Liberal Party caused by the sponsorship scandal?

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I can tell members what it would not do. It would not clear up the waste of public money we have seen by the NDP in recent months. That is very clear.

The purpose of the motion today is to ensure that advertising, no matter what party is in power, is done fairly, without partisanship, and is in the best interest of taxpayers. This is what the motion is asking the House of Commons to vote on.

I do not think there is any member in this House who does not want to tell their constituents that the money we spend, the money we are responsible for on behalf of the Government of Canada, is going to be used in their best interest and that it will not be wasted on promoting our own party or on promoting programs that do not yet exist.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Yellowhead. I would advise the member that he will have about five and a half minutes before we break for statements.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today to speak in opposition to the motion on government advertising.

Mr. Speaker, your hon. predecessors have indicated in prior rulings that the government should be careful that its communication products, particularly its advertisements, do not convey the message that proposed legislation has been passed or will be passed in its current form. I can assure members that our government has been very vigilant in ensuring that communications materials indicate that new initiatives still before Parliament are proposed or subject to parliamentary approval.

There are government policies in place regarding the nature of the advertising the government can undertake.

The communications policy is one such policy. It is an extremely robust policy that provides direction to ensure that Canadians receive “timely, accurate...objective and complete information” about the government's “policies, programs, services and initiatives”. The policy states that in “the Canadian system of parliamentary democracy and responsible government, the government has the duty to explain its policies and decisions, and to inform the public of its priorities for the country.”

The policy also helps to ensure the government departments and agencies are “visible, accessible and accountable to the public they serve” and that their communication activities “safeguard Canadians' trust and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service of Canada”. The policy has clear standards of accountability. Its goal “is to ensure that communications are well-coordinated, effectively managed“ and, most notably, “responsive to the diverse information needs” of Canadians.

The policy sets out 10 interconnected and interdependent policy commitments based on Canadian and public service values, statutes and regulations. It has 30 policy requirements. It also sets out roles and responsibilities for each institution involved in implementing the policy. Its procedures provide specific directions for advertising, publishing and public opinion research.

I want to take a moment to clarify what the communications policy says with regard to advertising. It clearly states that departments and agencies “may place inform Canadians about their rights or responsibilities, about government policies, programs, services or initiatives, or about dangers or risks to public health, safety or the environment”. It also states that departments and agencies must “ensure advertising campaigns...are aligned with government priorities...themes and messages”.

There seems to be a lot of misconception around how government advertising is planned and executed. Allow me to describe how the process works, for the benefit of the House.

Contrary to the motion before us today, the government advertising process involves many stakeholders that provide checks and balances. As my hon. colleagues may know, the Privy Council Office works with the departments to develop a government advertising plan that supports the priorities identified in the Speech from the Throne and the budget. Once approved by cabinet, the plan is sent to Treasury Board for funding approval. Once funding is secured, departments work with Public Works and Government Services Canada to implement their campaigns.

The Privy Council Office provides critical oversight throughout the entire process, and departments evaluate their campaigns and report on their results. The departments work closely with the Privy Council Office to develop advertising proposals. The proposals provide a detailed overview of the advertising campaign, including its objectives, key messages and government priorities it supports. Departments also consult one another to identify areas of common interests and opportunities to collaborate.

This type of collaboration is an example of how government treats taxpayer dollars with respect.

Opposition Motion—Government AdvertisingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

Order, please. The hon. member for Yellowhead will have approximately 14 minutes and 50 seconds when we resume debate on this motion.

It Starts with One--Be her Champion CampaignStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it starts with one: one mentor, one supportive person, one champion.

I am talking about the “It Starts with One – Be her Champion” campaign launched recently by our Minister of Status of Women. The “It Starts with One” campaign is designed to engage leaders in public and private sectors as champions for women, encouraging leaders in all fields to take a pledge to participate in mentoring efforts to make a difference in a woman's career.

This is one of the ways that the government is supporting women entrepreneurs, an extremely important sector of the Canadian economy. In fact, women-owned businesses employ over 1.5 million Canadians and contribute an estimated $148 billion to our economy. When women succeed, Canada succeeds. This initiative is an extraordinary opportunity for accomplished Canadians to share their experience and expertise, to join the movement for increasing women's economic prosperity in Canada.

I join the minister in issuing a challenge to Canadian leaders in all fields, women and men, to “Be her Champion”.

Youth and PoliticsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 16, I visited the Gérald-Godin CEGEP. I was surprised to meet so many students who were interested in political issues, such as Bill C-51 or even the plans for the east-west pipeline.

On April 24, I met the students of John Abbott College. The Leader of the Official Opposition was visiting the college as he accepted the invitation from the student union.

We thank SUJAC for organizing this political discussion and for facilitating this meeting between students and politicians. This visit reminded me that contrary to what we often hear, youth are not only interested in politics and social issues, but they are also engaged and want to take concrete action to incite change.

When Conservative ministers claim to know what is good for young people as they cut future pension programs, or turn a blind eye to problems and say it is up to future generations to handle them, then I turn to the students at the Gérald-Godin and John Abbott CEGEPs and I have hope that things will change in this Parliament.

This also suggests to me that the NDP is right to get young people elected and give them important files and important responsibilities.

Prince Edward—HastingsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, what a family. Today, I wish to pay tribute to the Crawfords, a prolific Canadian hockey family from my riding of Prince Edward—Hastings.

Floyd Crawford is one of Belleville's most legendary hockey heroes. He was part of the Belleville McFarlands team that won gold while representing Canada at the World Hockey Championships in 1959. Three of their children, Bobby, Marc and Lou, went on to play in the National Hockey League.

The patriarch, Floyd is an Allan Cup and world champion. Marc Crawford, after an NHL career as a player, became a coach and led the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup win in 1996. Bobby had a playing career with the Hartford Whalers and Lou, after a brief NHL career, also became a coach and later stood behind the bench for the Belleville Bulls. I am told the Crawford name is on more hockey championship trophies than any other name. All together, the family of nine successful, competitive children has left an incredible stamp not only on the hockey world and Belleville but as tremendous ambassadors for Canada.

They are family, they are community and they are country. We thank Floyd, Pauline and the entire Crawford family.

Jonathan CrombieStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Adam Vaughan Liberal Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember Jonathan Crombie, known to many as the actor who played Gilbert Blythe on the acclaimed TV series Anne of Green Gables.

Jonathan Crombie also performed at the Stratford Festival and on Broadway. Jonathan Crombie is the son of the former cabinet minister and member of Parliament David Crombie, who was also mayor of Toronto.

My father served on council at the same time. I first met Jonathan during a royal visit to Toronto, with the children of all the city councillors looking out over the square as the councillors greeted the Queen; all of us except for one. Jonathan was at play in the outer office drawing some appallingly mischievous pictures I have ever seen. Each one funnier than the last. Each picture pinned to the wall of an unsuspecting staff member when they returned from the square.

The Queen may have been visiting, but Jonathan took centre stage. His talent charm and wit made him a successful actor, and those are the characteristics that his family now misses. Jonathan passed away in New York City this month, and while his acting lives on through TV and film appearances, through the gift of life Jonathan also now lives on in the lives of others.

To his family our condolences and for his gifts to us all, we are truly thankful and remember him well.

2015 Estevan Bruins Sportsman DinnerStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize four of my constituents who were presented with prestigious awards at the 2015 Estevan Bruins Sportsman's Dinner on April 16, 2015.

The Sportsman Dinner is an annual fundraiser organized by the Estevan Bruins hockey team and is the largest fundraiser for the team.

Anthony Melle, a championship golfer, and Auriel Bill, an accomplished water polo player, received the Boston Pizza Estevan's District Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards. Jace Carlisle took home the Kim Anderson Award for the top junior official, while Chad Chapman received the Estevan Kinsman Club Volunteer Coach of the Year Award for his coaching in female hockey.

As member of Parliament for Souris—Moose Mountain, I would like to congratulate all award recipients, as well as the volunteers and the many who came together to make this great event happen.

Cambodian New YearStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Paulina Ayala NDP Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, April 18, I attended Cambodian New Year celebrations at Thammikaram Pagoda in Rivière-des-Prairies.

While I was there, I met two men who talked at length about how as orphans during the Cambodian and Vietnamese wars they were saved from certain death by two wonderful sisters who brought them to Canada.

The heroines are Éloïse and Anne Charest, who were just 22 and 20 at the time. They risked their lives to save 55 infants and children. Forty years have passed since their acts of heroism, and all of us must honour these women on behalf of Cambodian and Vietnamese communities and all those who believe that humanitarian aid is a gift of self that sometimes is given at the risk of one's own life.

Thank you again Éloïse and Anne Charest for your heroism and your love. Today, these children are your children as well.

Universal Child Care BenefitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians know, our Conservative government recently announced expansion of and enhancements to the very popular universal child care benefit.

This benefit used to apply only to children under six and provided $100 per month per child. Now, Canadian families with children under six will receive $160 per month per child and Canadian families with children between the ages of 6 and 17 will now receive $60 per month per child. This amounts to $1,920 per year for each child under 6 and $720 per year for each child between 6 and 17.

However, there are 200,000 eligible families in Canada who have not applied, including in my city of Edmonton 9,834 families representing 16,617 children. May 1, 2015 is the deadline to apply for these benefits in order to begin receiving them in July 2015.

Please visit and click on the “Enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit - Apply now” feature to begin the application process.

This is how we are helping the best child care providers, mom and dad, raise their kids their way.

Armenian GenocideStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I was privileged to travel to Yerevan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

While in Armenia, I had the opportunity to speak at the global forum, “Against the Crime of Genocide”, attend the canonization ceremony of the victims of the genocide, and place flowers at the memorial.

Although a century has passed, the horror of the Armenian genocide remains fresh in our minds and we continue to give voice to those silenced by this tragedy.

Many of today's Armenian Canadians trace their roots back to the survivors of the events of 1915 who, at a time of crisis, sought the opportunity to build a new life for themselves and for their families here in Canada. The Armenian Canadian community has made and continues to make a rich and vibrant contribution to Canada's multicultural society.

As chair of the Canada-Armenia Friendship Group and on behalf of all members of this House, we will continue to remember the events of 1915 and work together to safeguard human rights and dignity for all.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the finance minister delivered his budget, his goal was never to provide fiscal accountability; rather, it was to launch an election campaign that would buy votes with small, targeted tax breaks to the Conservative voting base, paid for with money from the rest of us. Fortunately, Canadians are not so easily duped.

Economists immediately pointed out that Canadians with higher incomes would be the big winners in this budget. Social justice activists noted that poverty was not even mentioned; neither was climate change. Once again, the EI fund was raided to pay for Conservative election promises rather than to help laid-off workers.

Others pointed out that this was a balanced budget built on sand, created with finance department pixie dust. It was one of the riskiest budgets in recent memory.

Even the finance minister acknowledged that his spending was not sustainable, but he simply shrugged it off by saying he would leave that to the Prime Minister's granddaughter to solve. I was shocked. I do not want my granddaughter to be responsible for picking up the mess that the Conservatives are intentionally leaving behind. Stella deserves better, and Canadians deserve better. This October, they will get better by electing an NDP government.

Liberation of the Netherlands CeremoniesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to my constituent, veteran Art Boon, who stormed the beaches of Normandy with allied forces on D-Day in 1944, and went on to help liberate the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.

Art has been officially invited by the Government of the Netherlands to attend commemorative ceremonies in Europe to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation. Art wants to accept this honour and have his son, Rick, a teacher, with him at his side as he receives a hero's welcome in the Netherlands, but the Avon Maitland District School Board is refusing to allow Rick Boon unpaid leave to attend.

This is a travesty. Our government strongly condemns this decision and calls on the Avon Maitland District School Board to allow Rick Toon to travel with his father to be honoured.

This is about respect for veterans and their families. Our Conservative government stands firmly behind the Boon family.

Environmental Protection in LaSalle—ÉmardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I attended the Écocitoyenneté et biodiversité conference organized by the Sud-Ouest éco-quartier.

Also attending the conference were Les amis du parc Angrignon and Les amis du parc Saint-Paul. I then visited the photo exhibit put on by the Association des amis du parc des Rapides, in partnership with Héritage Laurentien, at the Centre intégré de mécanique, de métallurgie et d'électricité, a school-factory in LaSalle.

On Saturday, twenty or so volunteers braved the cold to participate in a spring cleanup, which I hosted with the Sud-Ouest éco-quartier and neighbourhood. We gathered more than 8 cubic metres of garbage.

All of these initiatives show that the people of LaSalle—Émard are committed, as am I, to protecting the environment and to living in a greener Canada.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to crime and violence, I am proud to be part of a Conservative government that is taking strong action to keep British Columbians safe. We have passed tough new laws to clean up our streets, and we have put criminal gang members behind bars where they belong. We have passed over 30 new tough on crime measures, including new prison sentences for drive-by shootings. Shockingly, the Liberals and the NDP voted against these common-sense measures.

We have also made significant investments in the RCMP to ensure there are enough front-line police officers in our communities. Contrast this with the previous Liberal government, which actually closed down the RCMP training depot because it did not want to pay for new recruits, which was absolutely disgraceful.

People in my riding know that only this Conservative government led by this Prime Minister can be trusted to keep Canadians safe.

Nepal EarthquakeStatements By Members

April 27th, 2015 / 2:10 p.m.


Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are shocked and saddened by the magnitude of devastation caused by the earthquake that hit Nepal and surrounding areas. Early reports indicated that the death toll is very high and survivors continue to be trapped in the rubble. I am pleased to see that Canada has sent our specialized military disaster assistance response team, DART, to Nepal, along with sorely needed supplies. I note that British Columbia has also sent emergency responder teams to the area. I ask the government to commit to provide rebuilding assistance once the search and rescue mission has concluded.

It is at times like this that all Canadians can see the benefit of our Canadian Armed Forces having the ability and capacity to respond in a timely fashion and come to the aid of those who need it most.

I believe I speak for all Canadians as we extend our deepest sympathy to those who have lost someone in this tragedy. We offer our hope that Canada's contribution to this relief effort will result in saving many lives.

The Honourable Pierre Claude NolinStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of emotion that I rise to pay tribute to the hon. Pierre Claude Nolin and offer my condolences to his loved ones and to all those who had the privilege of being his friends and colleagues.

Our Canadian federation has lost a very wise man with a knowledge and understanding of life that allowed him to hold one of the most prestigious positions, that of Speaker of the Senate.

The hon. Pierre Claude Nolin was a man of integrity and honesty. He won many people over with his presence and his convictions.

For me, this exceptional man's qualities are those that every Canadian parliamentarian hopes to leave as a legacy to our great country. Some of those qualities include his unwavering courage, his candour and his genuineness.

The contribution that the hon. Pierre Claude Nolin made cannot be summarized in just one minute.

I extend my condolences to his wife, Camille, to his children, Simon, Louis and Virginie, and to his family and loved ones.

We will honour his memory well and we will remember him for a long time.

Government AdvertisingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals moved a motion condemning the Conservatives' use of public funds for partisan advertising. The Liberals say that, and I quote, “this is an affront to taxpayers who work hard and expect that the government will treat their money with respect”.

Somebody pinch me; I must be dreaming. When the Liberals try to teach the Conservatives a lesson and claim to stand up for taxpayers, that is a bit like putting Colonel Sanders in charge of the hen house.

Have the Liberals already forgotten the sponsorship scandal? When it comes to making taxpayers pay for partisan advertising, the Liberals could certainly teach the Conservatives a thing or two.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Luckily, though, Canadians and Quebeckers are not insane, and in October, when they vote for an NDP government, they will finally get different results.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government makes no apologies for ensuring that middle-class Canadians are aware of the measures that put more money back into their pockets. For example, we want Canadians to know about the new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit, which will benefit 100% of families with kids. The vast majority of these benefits will go to low-income and middle-income families.

However, the Liberals and the NDP do not want Canadians to know about these benefits. Why? Because they want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors and high taxes on middle-class consumers. That is their plan for the middle class. In contrast, our government's plan is all about reducing taxes for the middle class and for all Canadians.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts go out to all those affected by the terrible earthquake that struck Nepal on the weekend.

As the international community comes together to provide humanitarian aid, Canada has a very important role to play.

Is the government prepared to match the donations that Canadians make to various organizations on the ground, as it has done for other disasters?