House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, the Minister of Finance has always worked with the Ethics Commissioner, who is responsible for preserving the integrity of Parliament. That duty does not fall to the opposition, which seems to consider itself judge and jury. It is up to the Ethics Commissioner, who acts impartially and with integrity. We have confidence in the Ethics Commissioner.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday John Ivison indicated that he received some documents showing that the sale of the 680,000 shares by the minister would have happened on December 3. December 3 would be the settlement date for a sale that would have happened on November 30. We know that such a sale occurred by somebody, and that somebody avoided a five per cent drop in Morneau Shepell shares, which happened after he introduced his motion.

Can the minister confirm that he was the one who sold that block of stock?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, ever since he took office here in Ottawa, the Minister of Finance has always worked with the Ethics Commissioner. He made sure he acted on her recommendations, including her advice to set up a conflict of interest screen. He announced that he had sold all of his shares in Morneau Shepell and that he was putting all of his assets in a blind trust in order to continue the important work he does for Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, now we are back to “everything was done with the Ethics Commissioner”. I wonder if the minister told the Ethics Commissioner that he was going to sell $10 million of shares in stocks that would drop only a week later when he introduced a bill affecting the entire stock market.

I will ask that question directly. Did the minister discuss the date of the sale of the shares along with the date of his motion on taxes?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, last night I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with this particular opposition member, and I noticed that he was very careful not to repeat any of the allegations he is making here outside this chamber. If they are as justified as he claims, I invite him to repeat them outside this chamber.

What I can say is that the tax measures he is referring to raised taxes for the wealthiest 1% and cut them for nine million Canadians. This was a promise we made during the election campaign, and I am very proud of it.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right: we did do a panel yesterday, at which point, outside of the walls of this House, I asked when the Minister of Finance sold his 680,000 shares in Morneau Shepell. I also enumerated all the facts leading up to that sale, and I am absolutely confident that everything I have said out there and in here is true. Would he commit that, if I go out and repeat my question in the lobby at this moment, the finance minister will meet me there and answer the question?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I ask members not to bang on their tables. Applause is permitted, but not banging on their desks. Members should know that, on all sides.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think the member misunderstood my response. I asked if he was prepared to repeat the allegations, not the questions. He knows exactly what allegations he made yesterday in the House.

I can assure everyone that the Minister of Finance has always worked with the Ethics Commissioner.

Media IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that more than 30 local and community newspapers across the country will be shut down. The heritage minister has been talking the talk about the news industry crisis. She had options, yet she did nothing to prevent this disaster. Now she is saying she will study the issue, but with no action, frankly, there will not be much left to study.

How can she sit back and do nothing as nearly 300 people lose their jobs? What will the minister say to her colleague the member for Orléans and his constituents when Orleans News shuts down?

Media IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague, I am disappointed to see that Postmedia and Torstar decided to close these local media a month before Christmas. My thoughts are with the workers and their families.

These are cynical business decisions that were taken by Postmedia and Torstar, and it is up to these companies to explain them. As for local newspapers, Canadians value them, and of course, as government, we will continue to provide our support to the local media.

Media IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

If I were the hon. member for Orléans, I would not feel very reassured.

Mr. Speaker, if we needed another alarm to alert us to the crisis in the news industry, we heard it yesterday with the announcement that some 30 local newspapers will be shut down, resulting in the loss of almost 300 jobs. This should come as no surprise, since we have been talking about this issue for years, and there have been several reports on it.

Everyone warned the minister about the coming crisis, and she was offered turnkey, tangible solutions. The ship is sinking, yet the Liberal band continues to play as though nothing were wrong. I think I have seen that movie, and it did not end well.

Is the minister ever going to take measures to help this industry, or is she going to wait until there are no newspapers left before she wakes up?

Media IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague, I am disappointed that Postmedia and Torstar made this decision a month before Christmas. Of course my thoughts are with the workers and their families.

These are cynical business decisions that were taken by Postmedia and Torstar, and it is up to these companies to explain them. The government will continue to support local media. We are investing $75 million a year and will continue to do so.

Media IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would ask the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert not to speak when he does not have the floor.

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period, the Prime Minister said that his government is transparent, accountable, and trustworthy. Those are his words. This is a good opportunity to prove it.

On December 7, the Minister of Finance introduced a tax policy that had a direct impact on the stock market and resulted in a 5% drop in the share price of his own company, Morneau Shepell. However, 680,000 shares had been sold a few days earlier on November 30, saving someone half a million dollars.

To prove that he is transparent, accountable, and trustworthy, could the Prime Minister tell us if the person who sold those shares was the Minister of Finance?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has always been transparent with the Ethics Commissioner, who is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of Parliament. He followed her recommendations, and he will continue to do so and to work with the Ethics Commissioner.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians know that the minister sometimes forgets things. For two years, he forgot that he owned a villa in Provence. Now, he seems to have forgotten who sold 680,000 shares in his company, worth $10 million.

Just now, referring to the Minister of Finance, the parliamentary secretary said, and I quote: “he sold all his shares”.

Can the parliamentary secretary tell us when the Minister of Finance sold all his shares?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, all members and all ministers are expected to work with the Ethics Commissioner to ensure that the rules governing us are followed.

That is exactly what the Minister of Finance did as soon as he arrived in Ottawa. He announced that he was putting all his assets in a blind trust and that he was divesting himself of his remaining shares in Morneau Shepell. He also announced that he was donating to charity any difference in the value of those shares since the election.

EthicsOral Questions

November 28th, 2017 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the finance minister has been pretty busy lately sorting out his ethical lapses, and raising taxes on Canadians while sheltering his own from taxes. His mind has been pretty preoccupied. Maybe that is why yesterday he could not quite remember what he did in November 2015. However, 24 hours have passed and I am hoping the Prime Minister may have spoken with his finance minister.

Can the Prime Minister tell us if the finance minister sold 680,000 shares in Morneau Shepell in November 2015, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance, as I have already said, has been working with the Ethics Commissioner from the very beginning of his term. She is the one responsible, far from the partisanship that sometimes drives us in the House, to ensure that the rules and the highest standards of integrity are followed. The Minister of Finance has always worked with the Ethics Commissioner and will continue to do so.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, in November 2015, someone sold a whole lot of Morneau Shepell shares and in the process saved a whole lot of money. Either the finance minister does not know who sold them, knows who sold them and it was not him, or knows who sold them and it was him. It is one of three answers. It is very simple. There should be no more threats from the Liberals. I do not think they are in any position to threaten us. They should just answer the question.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member already knows, the person responsible for enforcing the highest standards of integrity in the House is the Ethics Commissioner. It is with the Ethics Commissioner that the Minister of Finance has always been fully transparent by giving her his full co-operation to ensure that the rules are followed. That is what is expected of all members and all ministers, and that is what the Minister of Finance has always done.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past few months, there have been more than 60 cases of opioid overdoses in Montreal. The crisis has even reached Laval, where at least 10 more overdoses have occurred. The crisis is only getting worse across Canada.

For a year now, the NDP has been calling on the Liberal government to treat the opioid crisis as a national emergency, so that communities in need can access more resources.

With seven people dying every day, what is this government waiting for to declare that the opioid crisis has become a national emergency?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government is deeply concerned about the opioid crisis in Canada. We have taken several emergency measures on this issue, including significant federal investments, a new law, and expedited regulatory action.

Going forward, we will be working with the provinces and territories to expand access to treatment, support innovative approaches, and respond to this crisis. We will fight against the stigma of opioid use.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, devastating news out of Alberta reveals a 40% increase in opioid deaths this year and Canada will lose 3,000 lives in 2017.

Families affected by this crisis are growing dismayed by the Prime Minister's glacial response. In fact, Moms Stop the Harm has started the “Do Something Prime Minister Photo Campaign” by sending photos of lost loved ones to the PMO.

The Prime Minister has ignored our call to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. How many more Canadians need to die before he finally listens?