House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, how many times has the minister said that fib over the last two years?

Veterans are disgusted that the minister took credit for his role in the battlefield that involved hundreds of soldiers. That is valour stolen. The defence minister is now a laughingstock. His reputation is damaged beyond repair. Canadians do not believe him. The military does not trust him, and our allies are not going to take him seriously.

How can the Prime Minister still have confidence in the defence minister?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am not here to make excuses or to give reasons. I am here to acknowledge my mistake, to be able to own it directly, to be able to learn from it and carry on and continue to serve the Canadian Armed Forces.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister's defence of this is that it was a mistake, except that does not hold water, and the reason why it does not hold water is because he repeated it more than once. That is not a mistake. That is a fabrication. Now he refuses to accept the accountability and the consequences of the fabrication he told.

How can Canadians, how can the military, how can the Prime Minister trust the defence minister? If he is going to mislead on something this important, what else is he going to be misleading--

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I made a mistake in describing my role. I wish to be able to retract that. In no way did I intend to diminish the great work of the Canadian Armed Forces during Operation Medusa or any other operation. I am owning that mistake. I will be learning from it so I can continue to serve.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, our men and women in uniform deserve a leader who does not waver from telling the truth, whose word is his bond. They deserve a leader who can be trusted every time, always. The minister has failed, so I ask him: does he really believe that our men and women in uniform deserve a defence minister who is willing to fabricate the truth in order to bolster his own record?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have apologized for my mistake. I will be learning from this, owning the mistake, and not making any excuses for the mistake.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, most people learn that it is important to tell the truth before they turn 50.

I am sure that many parents would like to wipe out their children's criminal record, like the Trudeau family did. However, most Canadians are not as well-heeled or connected as the Trudeau family.

The Prime Minister could have offered pardons in his bill, but he did not. He could have decriminalized marijuana, but he refused. Why the double standard? Why is there one system for rich, well-heeled, well-connected families, and another for regular families?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the government has embarked on a major transformational change in the law that will do a far better job than the old law in protecting our kids and keeping the proceeds of crime out of the hands of organized crime. That is a major undertaking. It is a process that will take time.

We intend to reach that objective by the summer of next year. In the meantime, it is important for Canadians to respect the existing law, and we will examine every possible way to ensure that this transition is fair.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jati Sidhu Liberal Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the U.S. enjoy the closest energy relationship in the world and the largest trading partnership of any two countries. Canada's Minister of Natural Resources participated in Bloomberg's Future of Energy Summit in New York recently and met with key U.S. representatives, industry and business leaders, and officials from leading American investment firms to promote Canada's energy sector. Could the minister please update the House on the outcome of that visit?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government is proud of Canada's energy industry, and we will promote its successes at every opportunity around the world. I was pleased to represent our government at the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit in New York to reiterate the importance of energy trade, investment, and infrastructure between Canada and the United States.

Our government supports greener ways to develop traditional sources of energy while at the same time increasing investments in clean technology. Our country will lead the energy conversation in the world now and in the years to come.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba has started to use a facility, which is supposed to hold Canadian seniors, as an emergency measure to deal with the huge influx of illegal border crossers. The community of Gretna, and the entire province, is furious, because the Liberal government is doing nothing to stop this problem.

Given that the Manitoba government is now requesting millions of tax dollars to deal with this situation, will the Prime Minister close the loophole in the safe third country agreement, stop this problem, and ensure that asylum seekers enter Canada through legal means?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada's refugee system has been lauded around the world for being one of the most compassionate and efficient. We laud the generosity of Canadians in border communities as they assist these asylum seekers.

We have an independent board, the Immigration and Refugee Board, that assesses each and every case on its merits, and if those people do not have a good case, they will be removed, as per the law. We are committed to our international obligation to give each and every one who claims asylum due process and a fair hearing.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister makes it sound like Canadians are not generous if they simply stand up for their right to have our border integrity secured.

Recent media reports have said that over half the illegal border crossers have serious criminal records. This puts the safety of the CBSA, RCMP, and community members in the area at risk.

My question is very clear. There is a way we can stop this, and it is by closing the loophole in the safe third country agreement. Why has the minister failed to act?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have quoted from the agreement numerous times, but I will now quote the head of the UNHCR in Canada, who said, “I really think that the conditions which prevailed at the time of the drafting and adoption of the safe third country agreement in 2004 are the same as [they are today], and...it will be difficult to change the policy...[that is] seen as a good co-operation, a good responsibility-sharing between two...systems [that have] the same values and the same procedural guarantees.” [...]

“As far as the asylum system is concerned in the United States, legally speaking, we have not seen a change.”

That is the UNHCR representative in Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations' well-tarnished reputation has been sullied yet again by the election of Saudi Arabia to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Gender segregation forces Saudi women to submit to male guardianship for their entire lives. Women are banned from driving. Those who defy Saudi Arabia's second-class laws go to prison. Women can be stoned to death for adultery. There have been expressions of disgust and protest around the world, but Canada's self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister has not uttered a peep. Might he be willing to explain why today?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me clarify UN procedure. The United Nations Economic and Social Council chooses the members of its Commission on the Status of Women. Canada is presently not a member of this council and could not vote in this election. Saudi Arabia's regional candidacy was uncontested. Our government's position is clear. We will never hesitate to defend human rights, very much including women's rights.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's reluctance to demand better of the United Nations is unacceptable. Whether funding terror incitement in UNRWA schools, concealing votes for human rights abusers to the Human Rights Council, ignoring the anti-Semitic denial of Jerusalem's history by UNESCO, or now downplaying the election of Saudi Arabia to the status of women, all of this makes Canada complicit in the UN's dysfunction. Is there no end to the Prime Minister's willingness to pander to rights abusers in his indecent pursuit of a Security Council seat?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the member for Thornhill has asked what it means for our government to be a feminist government and have a feminist foreign policy. Let me say what it means. I was so proud of the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Development on March 8, International Women's Day, when we announced $650 million for women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health, including access to safe abortions. That is feminism in the world.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, how about the selling of those arms to Saudi Arabia? How is that helping women?

The Prime Minister made a personal commitment to fix the Phoenix pay system fiasco. Tens of thousands of people are still waiting, and he is responsible for this file. There are mothers who have been waiting for their maternity benefits for months. Retirees are facing inhumane delays. Many people are receiving only a portion of their salaries. It is shameful.

The Prime Minister said he would personally take care of it. Why is he refusing to take action?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister took decisive action. The Prime Minister took decisive action in creating a committee of ministers to resolve the situation. We took decisive action by allocating the resources required to solve this thorny problem. It is unacceptable that public servants are going through this. We are going to fix the problem.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

A committee? Well, the problem must be solved, Mr. Speaker.

It is interesting that the longer the Phoenix fiasco drags on, the fewer answers the government can give about when it is supposed to be resolved. Maybe that is because this broken system is actually making new victims every pay. If the Prime Minister cannot tell us when all the current cases will be resolved, can the Prime Minister at least tell us when it will stop creating new ones?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, it is without ambiguity that this government is committed, via the measures announced by the Prime Minister, via the creation of a ministerial working group, and via the deployment of all of the resources necessary and required to correct this very important problem, a problem that remains unacceptable for our public servants. What we will not do, like the previous government, is book $70 million in savings and fire 700 people to get a phony surplus for Canadians.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

May 1st, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals announced that they will use a government order to ram through changes to the Standing Orders by the end of June. According to the House leader, these Standing Order changes will “make the House of Commons more efficient”. I think I am stating the obvious when I say that pushing the changes through the House of Commons in June will not help to make the House of Commons more efficient during the three-month summer break.

Therefore, why not send the proposals to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for the summer, let it look at these things, and return to the House in the autumn for a vote here then?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, as you know, during the election campaign we made commitments to Canadians. We made a commitment to modernize the way that this place works and to bring it into the 21st century. The discussion paper that I released was exactly that, a desire to have a discussion, a conversation, as to how we can make—