House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, it seems that sunny ways have quickly turned into “Sonny, get the bleep out of my way”. That is the elbows up approach the Prime Minister took in this Parliament yesterday, but it also seems to be the approach he is taking to voting reform. He is trying to rig the next election in the favour of the Liberals.

Is the Prime Minister really so arrogant that he thinks he can impose his will on Canadians without giving them a say in a referendum?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, we have not decided on a system yet. We have put forward a committee to study a wide range of electoral reform options, including proportional representation and alternative voting, including online voting and mandatory voting. That process has just begun and we need to work together to ensure the voices of Canadians are included in that conversation, and that we use the tools available to us in the 21st century to do this in the most meaningful and inclusive way possible.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals arrogance knows no bounds. It is quite evident that the Prime Minister has absolutely no respect for this place and the democracy it represents. The Liberals are trying to ram through electoral reform just like they tried to ram through the opposition yesterday. Does the Prime Minister think that he can also manhandle democracy, or will he let Canadians have a say in a referendum?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, what is clear is that we all agree that the status quo must end. Over 60% of Canadians voted for change. They voted for parties—

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. If members disagree, they get a chance to say so. Let us each have our turn. Let us listen.

Yesterday, the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, as I left the chamber, was kind enough to offer me a bottle of headache medicine. I would just ask her to keep it on standby.

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we learned via Twitter that even the Prime Minister's principal secretary thinks that holding a referendum is not a bad way to conduct consultations.

Can the minister and the Prime Minister respect the opinion of the 62% of Canadians who did not vote for them, forget about partisanship on such a fundamental issue, and tell us if they are rejecting the idea of a referendum just because it is a good Conservative proposal?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, I have some headache medicine in my desk, should you wish to have any.

Democracy is more than just about voting. Democracy is about ensuring that the voices of those who are normally engaged in the process are included to ensure that we are the strongest that we can be.

In the past, we have extended the right to vote to women and to indigenous persons, and it has been Conservative governments, Progressive Conservative governments that have done this. This was the right thing to do. It came to the House. The members took responsibility and brought forward the changes necessary. We need to demonstrate the same leadership.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister is wondering why the questions are repetitive, it may be because the answers are unsatisfactory.

Contrary to what the minister thinks, we are not the only ones who believe that a referendum is a good option. Canadians and the media are also wondering about the process put in place by the Liberal government.

Yesterday, a respected Toronto Star journalist said, “[The minister] has so far succeeded in burning bridges where she should have been building some...It is an unsustainable proposition.”

Will the minister acknowledge that a referendum is the best way to respectfully consult all Canadians?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, is a referendum a tool, a means of engaging Canadians? Yes, it is. However, is it the best tool? It is not the best tool. During previous referenda in Ontario and in B.C., nearly 50% of the population did not participate. Is that okay? We need to work together, and we need to work harder, to ensure that our democratic institutions are inclusive and the systemic barriers that exist today are addressed by all 338 members of the House.

CBC/Radio-CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage had this to say about the sale of Maison Radio-Canada: “I now expect CBC/Radio-Canada to take the next steps in the process in a transparent manner”.

Yesterday, the CBC/Radio-Canada board of directors did not say much. There was no information about the cost, the size, or the number of studios. Nothing at all. Since the vast majority of the board members are partisan appointees, that is worrisome. It is also worrisome because one of the companies selected is best known for the Îlot Voyageur fiasco in Montreal that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Can the minister demand that all of the details about this enormous project be made public? Is that not the least she should do?

CBC/Radio-CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, is finally looking to the future. We have reinvested in CBC/Radio-Canada, and we also made sure that it put forward two feasible scenarios together with its board of directors.

I understand my colleague's feelings about appointments to the CBC/Radio-Canada board of directors, and in the coming weeks, I will introduce an independent, merit-based appointment process to secure good directors.

That said, I would like to remind my colleague of the arm's-length—

CBC/Radio-CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Drummond.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report by the Commissioner of Official Languages, which was tabled today, shows once again that violations of the act are still a common occurrence. There was an excellent example of that this week. Energy east submitted its application to the National Energy Board in English only. That is simply unacceptable.

How can the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is also supposedly responsible for official languages, justify the fact that francophones will have to wait another month in order to be able to access the documents in their language?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Bilingualism and official languages are a priority for our government. We will ensure not only that the energy east project complies with the Official Languages Act, but also that both official languages are promoted. I will work with my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, to ensure that that is the case.

FinanceOral Questions

May 19th, 2016 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the parliamentary budget office noted several positive elements regarding the details in the supplementary estimates (A).

Can the President of the Treasury Board tell us about his reaction to the report?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary budget officer's latest report confirms that our government is making significant progress in presenting its spending plans more transparently and in a more timely fashion to Parliament.

In his own words, the PBO said that these important improvements will enhance “parliamentary financial scrutiny”.

Our government has and is raising the bar on openness, transparency, and accountability to Parliament.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister misled Canadians on three separate occasions when he said he consulted—

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. Members seem to be heckling their own side here. Let us have order. The hon. member for Lethbridge has the floor. Let us hear her question.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister misled Canadians on three separate occasions when he said that he consulted the opposition on electoral reform. He said to Canadians to trust him, that he will design an electoral system that is ideal for Canada.

The Prime Minister's failure of leadership this week shows why Canadians need to make their own decisions with regard to how they vote. A referendum is absolutely the only safeguard that Canadians have against this tyrannical Prime Minister. Why is the Prime Minister so afraid to hold a referendum?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, in this House, every single vote has an equal weight. What this Prime Minister committed to was bringing together a committee made up of parliamentarians, to study and review possible electoral reform options, including online voting and mandatory voting. The final decision will come to this House, where every member has an equal voice and an equal vote.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's unstable leadership has been on absolute full display this week for us. Whether it be misleading Canadians about his made-up consultations with the opposition or his absolutely bizarre behaviour last night, the Prime Minister is out of control. Will he do us all a favour and take a remedial course in civics and perhaps learn the basics of democracy? Will he also do the right thing and give Canadians the final say in how governments are elected? Will the Prime Minister respect the voices of each and every Canadian by holding a referendum? Yes, or no?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister did the right thing and apologized sincerely and wholeheartedly. Let us accept that.

For those who are interested in reforming our electoral system, let us work together. I know that many members have great ideas and they cannot wait to share them. I ask them to bring them forward so that we can ensure that the modernization that needs to occur occurs with the best ideas and the most inclusive approach possible.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's Toronto Star says that the minister's handling of the electoral reform file is “asinine”, “disingenuous”, and “discredited”. The Star also reports that “she is prone to explanations that defy logic”. Those are the words of the Toronto Star, not mine. Here is the minister's chance to turn things around by actually giving a straightforward answer, which includes a yes or a no, to a straightforward question. Will the Liberal government hold a referendum to give Canadians a veto in its plans to change our electoral system?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, perhaps that is the flaw in this process. Electoral reform is neither simple nor easy to address. It is a complex question, with many underlying factors and many consequences. We need to work together to ensure that we answer those questions effectively, that the best ideas are brought forward, and the voices of those who do not normally have an opportunity to be included in this conversation are included in this conversation.