House of Commons Hansard #186 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was licence.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, after a long, open process based on merit, Ms. Meilleur clearly demonstrated that she will fulfill her duties with all of the experience and impartiality required.

As already mentioned, we take the appointment process for the Commissioner of Official Languages very seriously. A selection committee composed of a majority of public servants gave the minister a short list of recommendations, which informed the final nomination. All measures required were taken to ensure that these employees be excluded from the appointment process.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Just stop it, really.

Mr. Speaker, reading the same lines over and over in the House does not make it any better. This is a complete and utter train wreck, and like a train wreck, this is not going to end very well. How can the minister say that her staff was not in conflict with the Meilleur nomination? They used to work with her at Queen's Park. I am asking the minister to show proof of this so-called firewall that she says exists.

Will the minister commit right now to tabling the conflict of interest documents signed by her staff?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Actually, Mr. Speaker, those were not the same lines, but these are.

There was a long, open process based on merit, and Ms. Meilleur clearly demonstrated that she will fulfill the duties with all of the experience and impartiality required. A selection committee composed of a majority of public servants gave the minister a short list of recommendations, which informed the final nomination. All measures required were taken to ensure that these employees be excluded from the appointment process.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is just embarrassing to listen to this parliamentary secretary repeat the same sophomoric drivel over and over again.

The Ethics Commissioner is investigating the Prime Minister. The Lobbying Commissioner is investigating cash for access fundraising. The Liberals made a shambles of watchdog appointments when they botched the official languages commissioner appointment through obvious patronage.

Will the Prime Minister agree, and guarantee, that as they search for an Ethics Commissioner, the Liberals will not simply recruit another Liberal insider?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.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 I have said time and time again, we have put in a new process, an open, transparent, merit-based process, to ensure—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

An hon. member

What happened?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

What happened is that there was screaming going on, and I thought I would calm things down.

The hon. government House leader.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have put in a new, open, transparent, merit-based process to ensure that Canadians can apply. All available positions are posted online. When it comes to the work that the Ethics Commissioner is doing, that the Lobbying Commissioner is doing, and so forth, we value their work and we know that they do their work well. We will let them continue to do their work. Any information that we can provide, we will continue to do so, as has been said.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, they say the devil is in the details. Well, as it turns out, Bill C-50, which is supposed to put restrictions on fundraising activities, leaves the Liberals' Laurier Club untouched.

Well-to-do individuals who want to donate more than $1,500 will still be granted privileged access to ministers and the Prime Minister. In essence, this measure is about as hard-hitting as what they did with electoral reform.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to put a stop to this power brokering?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of introducing Bill C-50 on Wednesday. It will bring a new level of openness and transparency to political fundraising events. Canadians will know where and when events took place, who attended, and whether the Prime Minister, a member of cabinet, a party leader, or a party leadership candidate was there. This is a first for Canada, and I am looking forward to debating this in the House.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the very day that 180 Liberals broke their promise to Canadians to make every vote count, they chose that day to promise to fix the cash for access mess. Who created this mess in the first place? It was the Liberals.

Bill C-50 has a Liberal loophole so big we could drive a limo through it. Wealthy Liberal Laurier club donors can drop their cash at a Liberal convention and the bill does not apply. That is good news for the wealthy and the well connected.

Where did the Liberals summon the political courage for such breathtaking cynicism?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

June 2nd, 2017 / 11:35 a.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, this legislation, for the first time, is going to let Canadians know when, where, and who attended fundraisers. This will take place during appreciation events and fundraisers that have a cost of over $200, where a party leader, leadership contestant, cabinet minister, or Prime Minister is present. This legislation is important. It is creating more openness and more transparency.

We know that all parties in this place require money to operate, and that is an important form of democratic expression.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Dianne Lynn Watts Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister stated that the infrastructure bank would be arm's length from government, but the legislation clearly states that the Minister of Finance and cabinet approves and guarantees the loans, appoints the board of directors, and approves the CEO. They can fire these people at any time without cause.

As well, they used BlackRock executives to develop the legislation, so not only is there a blatant conflict of interest. There is potential for significant interference.

Could the minister tell the House exactly what he meant by arm's length?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I am pretty sure the hon. member, who served on city council as mayor, would like to join me in welcoming the Federation of Canadian Municipalities delegates to Ottawa. These are the people who are helping build sustainable communities in partnership with the federal government.

As far as the member's question is concerned, we have been able to create the right balance between making sure the bank is accountable to Parliament, and at the same time, its being a crown corporation that makes decisions on its own to build the infrastructure that our communities require.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the BlackRock scandals and the shady relationship with KPMG have made it clear that there are a lot of players literally manipulating the Liberals.

On a related note, parliamentarians got a whole hour and a half in committee to study the infrastructure bank that the Liberals created so they could help their friends with a $35-billion injection of taxpayer money. The Liberals are trying to shut us up, but we have no intention of letting them do so. We will continue to fight for all taxpayers.

When will the minister have a talk with the Prime Minister about scrapping this scandalous idea?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, we have put forward a very ambitious agenda to build and rebuild Canadian communities, with a tripling of the federal investments, up to $186 billion. The infrastructure bank is one way to build more infrastructure.

Who is going to benefit from this? It is Canadians and Canadian communities, when they build more housing, build more public transit, and build more recreational and cultural facilities. It is not the cronies who are going to benefit from this bank. It is Canadians who are going to benefit from this bank.

I understand the hon. member is not—

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Carleton.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, currently, governments force infrastructure builders to cover cost overruns through fixed-price contracts and to buy bankruptcy insurance to protect taxpayers in the event the contractor goes under. The infrastructure bank would instead put all of these losses on the shoulders of taxpayers through loan guarantees. Why are the Liberals giving all of the profits to crony capitalists and all the losses to Canadian taxpayers?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member calling the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the teachers' fund, OMERS, the Caisse de dépôt, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation cronies? They are the ones who will partner with our government to build the infrastructure that our communities need. They are the ones who have been helping build infrastructure in other countries, so what is wrong with the people who manage our pensioners' funds investing in our own communities, to create jobs for the middle class, help grow our economy, and create opportunity—

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Carleton.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the top public servant responsible for the infrastructure bank said it is designed for “underwriting sophisticated, highly complex projects”. The word “underwriting” comes from the 17th century London insurers who would literally write their names under a list of cargo on shipping vessels. If the ship sank, so did the underwriter's money. Why is the government forcing Joe taxpayer to write his name under billions of dollars of losses?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, the bank is one very important tool to create economic growth across Canada, to create jobs and grow the economy. Let me share with the hon. member what the International Monetary Fund has to say about the infrastructure bank. It says, “Infrastructure investment is a cornerstone of the government’s growth strategy and the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will be an effective instrument in achieving this goal.” This comes from a reputable international organization that monitors our government's finances.

MarijuanaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have made a real mess of their plan to legalize marijuana. First, they left the provinces and the justice system in a state of utter confusion. Then they refused to decriminalize, which led to the thousands of arrests under their watch. Next, they sent mixed messages on pardons, which could have terrible consequences for young people, and now, they are risking violating a major UN treaty because they cannot get their act together. Cheech and Chong could have managed this file better.

Why have the Liberals bungled this file so badly? They know it is not legal yet, right?

MarijuanaOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking a regulatory approach to better protect the health and safety of Canadians. That is our priority. We are currently examining a range of issues including our international commitments. As the member opposite should know, eight American states have already decided to legalize recreational cannabis. We are committed to working with our global partners to best promote public health and combat illicit drug trafficking.