House of Commons Hansard #239 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Small Craft HarboursStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the opening day of Canada's most lucrative fishery. I wish the thousands of hard-working lobster fishers, who will be heading off the shores of southwestern Nova Scotia, a safe and prosperous season.

As the owner of 37 small craft harbours in West Nova, the federal government is responsible for ensuring that those harbours are safe and accessible for our fishing fleet.

However, due to years of neglect, many of these small craft harbours are in disrepair or do not have enough berthage to accommodate the increasing size of vessels that are a result of a successful fishery.

Our government has invested in the harbours in West Nova, but much more good work needs to be done to ensure our fishers have safe and accessible infrastructure.

By continuing to invest in our harbours, the federal government will help the fishing industry get its world-class seafood off their boats and to global markets, and help local communities, like those in southwestern Nova Scotia, thrive.

105th Grey CupStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's 105th Grey Cup was another thriller for the ages. It began in true Canadian fashion with the wet snow falling. Shania Twain arrived for the half-time performance on a dogsled. The Toronto Argonauts played the role of underdog, trailing most of the game, but this is the CFL.

With just minutes to go, the Calgary Stampeders were set to put the game out of reach, when Argo's Cassius Vaughn recovered a Calgary fumble, running it back 109 yards for a touchdown. The game was tied. Then a last-minute field goal put the Argos up by three. However, the Stamps marched right back down the field, set to score, but Matt Black's end zone interception secured the upset Argo victory in another classic Grey Cup finish.

I congratulate Argo's coach Marc Trestman, president, Michael Copeland, owner Larry Tanenbaum, QB Ricky Ray, and the entire team on a great win. We honour Jerome Messom, the outstanding Canadian, and DeVier Posey, the Grey Cup MVP.

I thank Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and the entire CFL operation for an outstanding season. The Canadian game is part of our identity, and they gave us a Grey Cup game to remember.

We will see them next year in Edmonton.

Western MustangsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour, as a proud Western University alumni and former faculty member, to stand and congratulate the Western Mustangs football team on winning the 53rd Vanier Cup.

Western handily defeated Laval Rouge et Or, the number one team in Canada coming into the national championship, but not the number one team anymore. That is because the potent Mustang's offence was too much for any team to handle.

During their incredible undefeated 2017 campaign, the “Stangs” outscored opponents 386 to105 in the regular season and 261 to 64 in the playoffs. This is arguably the best team ever assembled in the history of university sport when it comes to football.

I would also like to sincerely congratulate Greg Marshall. Simply put, Greg is one of the greatest football coaches our country has ever produced. This weekend he was able to check the final box off and become a Vanier champion. He has coached 18 university football seasons, winning nine Yates Cups. He is a marvel for London.

Indigenous AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, or UNDRIP, is a fundamental declaration that underlines the rights of the first peoples across the world.

Recently, the Comox Valley Amnesty International group held an event in the K'ómoks First Nation hall to have a discussion on Bill C-262, a bill brought forward by the member for Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou on UNDRIP. What I have heard, clearly, from many indigenous and non-indigenous people in my riding is that a nation-to-nation relationship should mean respecting the first people of our country. That means supporting Bill C-262.

I am pleased to hear the government plans to support the bill, but actions matter more than words. In the context of supporting the bill, I encourage the Minister of Fisheries to take time to talk to the many indigenous people occupying fish farms in my riding. They have been waiting too long for the discussion on rights and title. In the spirit of UNDRIP, I hope action will be taken soon.

Attack in EgyptStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and faith communities around the world are still reeling from Friday's mosque attack in Bir al-Abed. At least 305 people are dead and hundreds more are injured after the deadliest attack in Egypt's modern history.

We express our sincere condolences to all those affected. Events like this impact every one of us. Every person should be free to believe as they choose and express that belief without fear of recrimination or violence. This is a fundamental human right and central to peace and democracy.

Events like this remind us that Canada is not immune to religious hatred and violence in all its ugly forms. This past January, we were horrified to learn of the cold-blooded murder of worshippers as they were praying at a Quebec City mosque. Cowardly acts such as these are the antithesis of our free society and denigrate what it means to be Canadian.

Today we mourn for the worshippers and their families. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Egypt, and we unequivocally condemn this horrible massacre.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the good work of my colleagues, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade. As an individual from a Canada-U.S. border community, there is a great deal of interest in ensuring negotiations continue for the best free trade agreement through NAFTA.

The importance of everything from manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture to transportation and cross-border power restoration provides assistance to our neighbours in times of need. Co-operation on many fronts, such as ease of the flow of goods, services, and people across borders, allow trade to expand.

Canada and the U.S. are the world's largest trading partners. The two nations have the world's longest-shared border, with a relationship that is vital to continuous economic growth, given that 90% of our Canadian population lives within 160 kilometres of the Canada-U.S. border. A shared border in my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac also means ever-increasing close cultural and economic ties.

Just as we work across the aisle with one another in the House, it is necessary to ensure we can do the same with our cross-border communities and create an approach that is non-partisan, signifying a unified front.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has been speaking out about the Minister of Finance's conflicts of interest for three months now. Canadians are becoming increasingly concerned and now we learn that a number of Liberal members are embarrassed by his complete lack of ethics. On the condition of anonymity, many went so far as to say that the minister should be assigned to another position. It is madness. Now Liberal Party members are disavowing the Minister of Finance.

Does the Minister of Finance realize that Canadians have completely lost confidence in him?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I worked with the Ethics Commissioner to ensure that I was not in a conflict of interest. In addition, I decided that there should be no perception of a potential conflict of interest, so I decided to sell all of my shares in my former company. I will continue to work with the Ethics Commissioner to work for Canadians across the country.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is trying to sweep this whole thing under the rug by repeating that everything is fine now, as though he can snap his fingers and magically become a person of real integrity and transparency after being in a conflict of interest for two years.

Since the Minister of Finance did not place his shares in a blind trust, does that not mean that he was in fact in a direct conflict of interest for the past two years?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I understand why opposition members want to talk about me. It is because they do not want to talk about Canadians.

We know that a healthy economy is very important to Canadians. Our economy is currently experiencing a high rate of growth. It grew at a rate of 3.7% over the past year. What is more, the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in a decade. Things are going very well for Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this minister insists that he has nothing to hide, let him prove it. Last Thursday, we moved a motion calling on him to reveal all assets he has bought or sold within all his private holdings since he became finance minister. That is the only way to know whether the minister's personal interests conflict with his public duties as finance minister.

The question is simple: will the Liberal members across the aisle show transparency and integrity by voting in favour of our motion this evening?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I worked with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to make sure I was not in any conflict of interest.

The important thing is for me to continue to work for Canadians. I am continuing to improve our economy. I am continuing to make it clear how very important it is that we have more jobs in our country. That is now the case. We have added 500,000 more jobs in the past two years, and unemployment is at its lowest in a decade. Canada's economy is in great shape at the moment.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister refuses to answer questions about what assets he has owned over the last two years. He says that he does not need to answer, because currently he has told the Ethics Commissioner everything and it is all good.

However, the fact that he is refusing to answer this question directly and that the Liberals refuse to support our motion, demonstrates his unwillingness to be transparent with Canadians.

Why will the finance minister not simply answer the question and reveal to Canadians what assets he has owned over the last two years?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, from day one, I have disclosed 100% of my assets to the Ethics Commissioner. That is the way it works in the House.

I will continue to work with her to ensure that I am free from conflicts of interest. That is what we do in order to allow us to get on with the important work that Canadians expect us to do.

The good news is that work is making a big difference for Canadians, with a higher level of economic growth and more jobs than they have seen in over a decade. It is truly a good situation for our country right now, from an economic perspective.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

No, Mr. Speaker, this is the problem. The finance minister did not disclose everything to the Ethics Commissioner. He forgot that his Morneau Shepell shares were not in a blind trust and he forgot he had a villa in France. This is why his credibility is on very shaky ground, and he is doing nothing to get himself out of that situation.

He answers to the Canadian people. He seems to have forgotten that. Will the finance minister simply come clean and publicly disclose what assets he has owned over the last two years?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that the member opposite is 100% wrong. I disclosed 100% of my assets to the Ethics Commissioner and will continue to work with her in that regard. That is allowing us to get on with the work that we want to do for Canadians.

Our demonstration of that last week was particularly important, when we demonstrated how we could help Canadians with housing. We outlined our national housing strategy, which is going to make sure that we have 50% less homelessness over the next decade and that 500,000 more Canadians will have a key to their own home with a portable benefit that will help them. We are doing the hard work on behalf of Canadians and we are proud of that.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Finance's hands were clean, he would not have paid a fine for failing to declare all of his assets.

The Minister of Finance actually has a big problem, because every time he tells us that everything has been straightened out, someone digs a little deeper and finds out that there is more to the story. Now we know that his former company, Morneau Shepell, regularly signs multi-million-dollar contracts with the government.

Knowing this, can the minister explain why, shortly after the election, the president and CEO of Morneau Shepell told his shareholders, “Government and other public sector organizations represent a significant growth opportunity”?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to open, fair, and transparent procurement processes. Through proactive disclosure of contracts, our government operates according to the principles of openness, transparency, and accountability. The contracts issued are compliant with government policies and legislation, just as they were many times under the former Conservative government.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can see why the finance minister is actually so nervous. With all of the ethical scandals surrounding him, Liberal MPs are also becoming nervous. They are scared that the minister's mistakes will hurt them, and they get it. The whole story just seems to be getting worse and worse. They talk with their constituents the way we do, and they know that Canadians are fed up with Liberals working for themselves and for their friends. How does the finance minister hope to regain the trust of Canadians when even his own colleagues are starting to lose faith in him?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the way we will work for Canadians is the way that we have worked for the last two years. We will think every day about how we can improve our economy and we will think every day about how we can ensure that middle-class Canadians see success as a result of that work. The good news is that over the last two years, we have done exactly that. Our economy is doing well, better than it has done in a decade. Middle-class Canadians are feeling better, with the Canada child benefit putting an average of $2,300 more after-tax income into nine out of 10 families' pockets. What we are seeing is an improved economy, helping middle-class Canadians. That is the work we are going to continue to do to ensure that they remain confident.

Human RightsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning a brief was submitted to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asking her to include Canadian officials in her investigation into potential war crimes committed in Afghanistan. It has been over 10 years and this dark chapter in our history has yet to close. Will the Liberal government finally call for a public inquiry and accept that justice is something they should call for not only when they are in the opposition.

Human RightsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court and its work to ensure accountability for war crimes. Torture is abhorrent and illegal. Torture is contrary to Canadian and international law and is against Canadian values. Our military personnel deployed on operations respect the Canadian Armed Forces' code of conduct and all applicable Canadian domestic and international laws.

Human RightsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada transferred hundreds of Afghan detainees even though it was clear there was a significant risk of torture. For years, we have been asking the government to launch a truly public, open, and transparent inquiry to get to the truth of the matter.

Now that a legal expert has asked the International Criminal Court to include Canada in its investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, will the government promise to collaborate?

Human RightsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is proud to support the International Criminal Court. Torture is abhorrent and illegal. Torture is contrary to Canadian and international law and goes against our values. Our deployed military personnel respect the Canadian Armed Forces code of conduct and all applicable Canadian domestic and international laws.

EthicsOral Questions

November 27th, 2017 / 2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 7, 2015, the Minister of Finance introduced a motion in the House of Commons to raise taxes effective January 1 of the forthcoming year. The stock market dropped, and so did Morneau Shepell, by five percentage points, but not before someone could sell $10 million in Morneau Shepell shares one week before that drop, and one week before that bill was introduced. Can the minister tell us who sold those shares?