House of Commons Hansard #238 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, as the member knows, we have institutions in this place that are there to safeguard the integrity of Parliament. We trust the Ethics Commissioner's ability and impartiality to do her job. That is why, when the finance minister arrived in Ottawa, he disclosed his assets to the Ethics Commissioner and worked with her to make sure all rules were followed. She recommended putting in place a conflict of interest screen, which she deemed to be the best measure of compliance possible. That has been in place since the very beginning. The finance minister will continue to work with the Ethics Commissioner.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, first and foremost, all members are expected to be fully transparent. Hiding behind the Ethics Commissioner in hopes of finding a way to play the system is not okay.

It took two years, media reports, and a penalty for the finance minister to build an ethical wall that protects him from the prying eyes of 35 million Canadians. The wall protects him and his numbered companies, but it is riddled with conflict of interest holes.

Why is the Minister of Finance doing things that undermine Canadians' trust? When will he knock down that wall and be open and transparent about his numbered companies?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for years, we watched the Conservatives chip away at the institutions of Parliament, so I am not surprised in the least to hear the opposition member attack a measure that the Ethics Commissioner herself deemed the best possible way to comply with the guidelines. None of us should be surprised.

We on this side of the House believe in the institutions of Parliament and the Ethics Commissioner. The Minister of Finance has been working with her from day one, and he will continue to do so.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, this sounds like an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

A rich businessman wonders how he can grow his fortune and realizes that requires amending some laws. Since the government does not want to do it, he runs for office and becomes the Liberal finance minister. He introduces Bill C-27, and lo and behold, it works and he rakes in the dough.

Except, oops, the minister gets caught by the media, the Ethics Commissioner, and the opposition. He sells his shares, gets the profits, donates them to charity, and will get a generous tax refund.

The Minister of Finance has lost the trust of Canadians. When will he come down to earth and come clean on all of his financial affairs?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, as I said many times, every member and every minister is expected to work with the Ethics Commissioner, the institution responsible for ensuring respect for the integrity of this place. The Minister of Finance did that. He said he would go even further and put all his assets in a blind trust and divest himself of his shares in Morneau Shepell, as my opposition colleague mentioned.

He continues to work for Canadians, as he has done brilliantly for the past two years, having produced phenomenal economic growth in Canada, reduced inequalities, and introduced the Canada child benefit, which is helping some 20,000 children in my colleague's riding.

While they focus on the Minister of Finance, we are focusing on Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Madam Speaker, the Liberals keep blaming the Ethics Commissioner when they break the rules. They say she is there to safeguard the integrity of the House. However, I think Canadians send MPs here to always stand up for their best interests, trusting we all know how to follow the rules and that we are ethical.

Instead, the finance minister designed Bill C-27, which will enrich his billion dollar family business. He is now one of three Liberals, including the Prime Minister, under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner.

Do the Liberals actually know the difference between right and wrong?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, on the difference between right and wrong, I would ask that question of the 10 years of the Harper Conservatives when they doubled the TFSA limit that benefited the 3% wealthiest; when they scrapped our environmental protection laws in the country; when they disrespected institutions of this Parliament; and when they disrespected the Supreme Court? That is a question Canadians ask every day about the previous Harper Conservatives.

On this side, the finance minister, as well as our government, has worked in the best interests of Canadians, reducing taxes for nine million Canadians, reducing inequalities in the country, and we are proud of that record.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Madam Speaker, the minister claims the ethics screen and counsel by the Ethics Commissioner prevented him from breaking the rules, but obviously that is not true because the Ethics Commissioner fined the minister for breaking the rules.

The screen is supposed to block the minister from meetings or discussions that could be a conflict. Who did the minister pick to administer the screen? His chief of staff, his most senior, closest and political assistant who is hired by the minister, reports to the minister, and can be fired by the minister.

Do the Liberals not even see the conflicts within their own conflicts?

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I am not surprised that the Conservatives are questioning the judgment of the Ethics Commissioner, who is doing her work in a non-partisan and independent manner. She recommended that a conflict of interest screen be put in place as she believed that it was the best possible measure of compliance. This measure was good enough for the Conservative ministers at the time and the Ethics Commissioner believed it to be the best measure of compliance.

On this side of the House, we work with the Ethics Commissioner, we will always do so, and that is what the Minister of Finance did and will continue to do.

HousingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, no veteran should ever be homeless, yet thousands are currently at risk.

According to their new national housing strategy, the Liberals do not seem to think this problem deserves to be taken seriously. Their so-called strategy makes only passing reference to homeless veterans. Even worse, affordable housing is postponed until after 2019.

How many decades will it take before the government finally acts and addresses the needs of veterans? We are in the midst of a crisis. We need a homeless strategy now.

HousingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, let us compare what the NDP promised and what the Liberals are now delivering.

The NDP, in the last election, promised to repair 50,000 units of housing; we are going to do 300,000 units. On providing the operating agreements, the NDP was going to renew 365,000; we are doing 385,000 operating agreements. Let us talk about new housing. The NDP promised 10,000 units over four years; we are doing 100,000 over 10 years. When it comes to new subsidies, zero from the NDP; 300,000 from this party.

If the member is going to call something “timid”, I am going to call something “meek”. That was meek—

HousingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I would like to remind the members to listen to the questions, so they will be able to decide what they want to ask on the next question. I ask that they, please, afford that respect to the people who are speaking.

The hon. member for Saskatoon West.

HousingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, this week the Prime Minister said, “one person on the streets in Canada is too many.” However, the government has announced it hopes to cut chronic homelessness in Canada by 50% within 10 years. What will the government do about the other 50% of people who will still be homeless in 10 years?

Will the government support my motion to create a plan to help all people experiencing homelessness, or are they satisfied leaving half the population out in the cold?

HousingOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister was very clear that one homeless person was one homeless person too many. We have a strategy, a $40 billion strategy over the next 10 years. It is going to reduce chronic homelessness, episodic homelessness, and the vulnerabilities that people find themselves in across the country.

The new Canada housing benefit will address 300,000 people and will prevent people from swelling the ranks of the homeless. We have a strategy, which we doubled in our first year, a $2.2 billion strategy that is being reprofiled in consultation with people with lived experiences, community organizations, municipalities, and provinces and territories. We will attack this issue. If we can do better than half, we will do everything in our power to achieve that.

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the media is saying that the Liberal Party's chief bagman is sheltering money in tax havens. The Liberal government continues to add to Canadians' tax burden while its powerful friends get a free ride in those tax havens.

In light of these new revelations, is the Prime Minister still happy with his situation? Is he still protecting his billionaire Liberal friend?

EthicsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, as my colleague knows, I will not comment on individual cases today, tomorrow, next year, or ever. The law prohibits me from doing so. I can assure my colleague that no one is interfering with the CRA's audits, and that will never happen as long as I am the Minister of National Revenue.

Let me be clear. No one is above the law, and as minister, I work every day to ensure that the law is enforced.

EthicsOral Questions

November 24th, 2017 / 11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, the Liberal Party's chief fundraiser, Stephen Bronfman, denied links to offshore tax havens after 1998. However, documents show that Bronfman family companies were still owed millions from their trust in the Cayman Islands in 2005. The Prime Minister does not seem concerned that his friend has apparently misled him, and he certainly seems blind to the fact that his millionaire Liberal cronies have been cheating Canada. Is the Prime Minister still satisfied with his friend's version of the facts, despite very clear evidence to the contrary?

EthicsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, as my colleague knows, I will not comment on individual cases today, tomorrow, next week, next year, or ever. The law prohibits me from doing so. I can assure my colleague that no one is interfering with the CRA's cases or audits. As long as I am the Minister of National Revenue, the law will be enforced. Let me be clear. No one is above the law, and as minister, I work every day to enforce the law and to protect the Canadian tax system.

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, the foreign affairs minister's August speech outlined Canada's progressive agenda for NAFTA, but now it seems Canada's agenda is leading to deadlock at the negotiation table. Even Ontario's premier is worried about the failure of NAFTA.

In response to the deadlock, Canada has quietly begun telling our stakeholders that all the Canadian proposals will be non-binding. Will the minister admit to the House that they have been telling NAFTA stakeholders that Canada's progressive priorities will not be binding on the United States or Mexico?

International TradeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Orléans Ontario

Liberal

Andrew Leslie LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. Relations)

Madam Speaker, our negotiating position is clear, and we will defend and maintain the elements of NAFTA that Canadians know are central to our national interest. We are negotiating in good faith with our partners, but we cannot and will not accept proposals that put Canadian jobs at risk and do harm to our economy.

By the way, I would just like to add, in terms of jobs, our government has added half a million jobs in the last two years, and our GDP is the best of all the G7. We will always defend Canadians' national interests and Canadian values.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, I do not need to remind the House that the Castro family has murdered thousands of people. They have denied the Cuban people fundamental democratic rights and freedoms. They have persecuted gays and lesbians for their sexual orientation. Therefore, does the Prime Minister seriously believe he should team up with the Castros to negotiate on nuclear weapons with North Korea?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, we are certainly following the situation in North Korea and the provocative actions coming out of that region.

Let me be clear. The member opposite should know full well by now that our government sees human rights as foundational in all of our international engagements. We will ensure that we continue to espouse human rights in any and all relationships, including rule of law and pacifism around the world. We remain concerned with the situation in North Korea, and certainly our minister is monitoring that closely.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, for too long, administrative shortfalls have left shoreline communities struggling unaided to dispose of abandoned vessels.

In Beauharnois, many environmental concerns have been expressed about the Kathryn Spirit. We are talking about tens of tonnes of hazardous materials and contaminated water.

The Liberals' Bill C-64 fails to properly address the problem of vessels being left to rot for years in shoreline communities.

Will the Liberals finally work with these communities and with the NDP by debating Bill C-352 in order to fill the gaps in their own bill?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, we know that protecting our oceans is absolutely essential. That is why we introduced the oceans protection plan. As part of that oceans protection plan, we also introduced the wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous vessels act. This is a long-term, comprehensive, integrated plan to address the issue, and Canadians deserve no less.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, after the Liberals blocked my bill on abandoned vessels, I launched a historic appeal allowing MPs to decide themselves if it should be debated. It should, because it is built on solutions proposed by coastal communities, which will fill gaps in the government's Bill C-64. We have hundreds of signatures in support of my bill and this week the mayor of Ladysmith wrote directly to the Prime Minister urging him to allow debate.

Why is the government blocking my legislation? Why is it stifling coastal voices?