House of Commons Hansard #188 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cannabis.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Colleagues, it is very quiet during the questions. I am sure it can be equally quiet during the answers.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians would trust him more if he would answer a simple question like which one of them was lying.

I would like to quote exactly what the minister said: “Ms. Telford and Mr. Butts never discussed with Ms. Meilleur the possibility that she could become the Commissioner of Official Languages. That was never discussed.”

The thing is, on two occasions, once in committee and again yesterday before the Senate, Ms. Meilleur clearly stated that she did discuss the commissioner position with Mr. Butts and Ms. Telford.

The Prime Minister is accountable for this appointment. In light of this flagrant contradiction, will he take Madeleine Meilleur's name off the list?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect us to appoint highly qualified people to these positions. That is why we went through an open, merit-based appointment process that reflected Canada's diversity. All Canadians were welcome to apply. We are proud of the process we put in place, and we are proud that it led to such a positive appointment.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would say “highly Liberal”.

The Prime Minister of Canada has the duty to seriously and calmly consider the recommendations of all the provinces. However, rather than considering Quebec's request to open a discussion, the Prime Minister acted impulsively and irresponsibly. He slammed the door on Quebeckers. That does not seem like a party that represents and respects Quebeckers to me.

How can the Prime Minister refuse a request to open a discussion without even listening to what the province had to say?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member is well aware of my position on the Constitution. We discussed it extensively during the 2015 election debates.

All Canadians know that I was elected to defend growth for the middle class and to help Canadians deal with real issues, not to fall into the black hole of endless constitutional debate. That is what the NDP had to offer during the last election. We ran on a platform of growth for the middle class and real change.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

What arrogance, Mr. Speaker.

If Newfoundland and Labrador or Nova Scotia wanted to discuss the fishery or if British Columbia wanted to discuss issues facing indigenous people in Canada, would the government have slammed the door like that? No. Its contempt is reserved for Quebec.

How can this Prime Minister slam the door on Quebeckers without even having read the document in question? Is that his way of respecting Quebeckers?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House is well aware that I say the same thing in French and in English. I always take the same approach, which is to give Canadians what they need and respond to their concerns, rather than constantly reopening the Constitution. That always has been and always will be my position. I made that commitment to Canadians.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night, in the another place, Madeleine Meilleur claimed that while she was serving as Ontario's attorney general, she acted in an impartial fashion. However, at the same time she was attorney general, she was also headlining cash for access events for the Ontario Liberals. Given her track record, are we really expected to believe she will be an impartial officer of this place?

Why does the Prime Minister not simply admit that this appointment is what it is? It is a Liberal reward for a Liberal partisan.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our two official languages are at the heart of who we are as Canadians, and is a priority for our government. Ms. Meilleur has been a fierce advocate for official languages over the course of her career and has sought to protect the vitality of our official languages communities. She will continue to be an important watchdog for the Official Languages Act.

We are certain she will fulfill her duties with all of the experience and impartiality required.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, not even the Liberals are believing these answers.

Last night, a Liberal senator questioned Madeleine Meilleur's ability to act independently from the Liberal government. He suggested that not enough time had passed to develop the neutrality and distance needed.

If Madeleine Meilleur cannot even convince long-time Liberals that she is independent, how can Canadians believe she will be independent of the Liberal government?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to finding the most qualified candidates for each position. We also believe that taking part in public life should not exclude one from serving Canadians in a new capacity.

Once again, it is the qualifications that matter. In fact, we appointed Kim Campbell to lead the Supreme Court of Canada advisory board. Like Kim Campbell, we firmly believe that Madeleine Meilleur will be able to serve Canadians with all of the accountability, impartiality, and rigour required.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage keeps saying that Ms. Meilleur never talked about the commissioner position with Gerald Butts or Katie Telford.

However, yesterday, in committee of the whole at the other place, Ms. Meilleur stated the opposite yet again, and even confirmed that they talked to her about the process. It is patently obvious that this appointment was decided long before the so-called rigorous but highly suspicious process.

When will the government apologize for continuing to mislead the House and when will it start the process over again?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the importance of having an official languages commissioner and we are committed to finding the best possible candidate for that position.

After a lengthy, open, and merit-based process, Ms. Meilleur stood out as the most qualified candidate for this position.

As far as my colleague's allegations are concerned, I want to point out that at no time was the official languages commissioner job discussed. We have made that very clear a number of times. A process was in place and it was followed.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a joke.

The more Ms. Meilleur talks, the deeper she sinks and brings the government down with her. She is hell-bent on taking the job, but she does not understand that Canada has two official languages.

When answering questions yesterday regarding what she would do for anglophone minorities, she replied using examples from the francophonie. She has no clue what anglophone minorities in Quebec need. It is therefore not surprising that she is declaring herself the new French language commissioner.

When will this shameful circus finally end, in order to start from scratch—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we promised to find the best person to be the official languages commissioner, and that is exactly what we did.

After a rigorous, open, and merit-based process, which included 72 candidates, a selection committee, multiple rounds of interviews, and testing, Ms. Meilleur clearly showed that she had the experience, skill, and impartiality required.

We are confident that Ms. Meilleur will carry out her duties with all the experience and impartiality this important position requires.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us recap where we are at. Less than a year ago, Madeleine Meilleur left politics to spend time with her family. She was a cabinet minister under popular premier Dalton McGuinty and the even more popular Kathleen Wynne. She donated thousands to the federal Liberals during the last election campaign. She also donated to the Prime Minister's leadership campaign. Then she wanted to be a senator, but was told she was too partisan, so she applied for the non-partisan position of official languages commissioner.

Will the Prime Minister just admit that he is filling a non-partisan position with a Liberal Party donor and fundraiser?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to finding the most qualified candidate for each position. We believe that taking part in public life should not exclude someone from serving Canadians in a new capacity. It is the qualifications that matter.

In fact, as the hon. member knows, we appointed Kim Campbell to lead the Supreme Court of Canada advisory board. Like Kim Campbell, we firmly believe that Madeleine Meilleur will be able to serve Canadians with all the accountability, impartiality, and rigour required.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, that group of Liberals is acting just like we thought it would. The Liberals managed to divide Acadian, francophone, and minority English communities with this pick. Yesterday we learned a group that defends the rights of Acadians was seeking a judicial review. The Liberals just do not get it. It is not about Meilleur's qualifications; it is whether anyone believes she can be an independent officer of Parliament. It is about that.

Why can the Prime Minister not just admit that he and his backroom operatives have caused the integrity of the selection process to be called into question and they have no choice now but to do it over again?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our two official languages are at the heart of who we are as Canadians and they are a priority for our government. The experience, the expertise, and the integrity of Ms. Meilleur has been recognized by many both in the House and in the official languages community across Canada.

We are certain that Ms. Meilleur will fulfill her duties with all the experience and impartiality required for this position. In fact, last week the francophone community called on the House to end the political games and support this nomination.

InfrastructureOral Questions

June 6th, 2017 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal infrastructure bank reminds me of a Tommy Douglas story about a place where mice were governed by cats. The cats passed laws that, for example, limited the speed mice could run so they would be easier to catch. They were good laws for cats.

This infrastructure bank was created by corporations for corporations. It ensures that Canadians will be stuck with the bill. It is a good bank for corporations.

Why are the Liberals less interested in helping working Canadians and more interested in helping corporate fat cats?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, we have put forward a very ambitious agenda to help build and rebuild Canadian infrastructure by tripling of our investments compared to the previous Harper government. Our goal is to go even further.

We believe that by mobilizing the pension funds of institutional investors, we can help build infrastructure that otherwise would never get built or may take decades to build. That will help us grow our economy, create jobs for the middle class, and also make a gap in the infrastructure deficit.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Meow, Mr. Speaker.

We know that the infrastructure privatization bank will mean new tolls and fees. That is what always happens. Look at Australia. Their competition commissioner, who supported privatization, is now admitting the scheme failed. He says companies want to maximize profits, not efficiency. We have to put a stop to privatization because all it does is raise prices and fees. That is a fact.

Instead of listening to BlackRock and their Bay Street friends, will the Liberals open their eyes and take a good look at the trap we are about to walk into?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to building infrastructure, members of the opposition, including the NDP, really lacked commitment. It was quite evident in the last election.

We put forward a very ambitious agenda because we understood that Canadian communities needed to build more affordable housing, more public transit to reduce congestion, and more recreational culture infrastructure to build healthy communities. That is exactly what we are focused on. We believe that by mobilizing the pension funds of institutional investors, we can do more for our communities.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing reports from New Brunswick about a legal crisis in its family court system. It is all because of the judicial delays in the court system because the Liberals have not even put together a committee to advise them on judicial appointments in New Brunswick.

Because of this, families that are desperate for relief are getting none, and Canadians are further losing confidence in our criminal justice system.

What is the problem with the Liberals? Why do they not get on with making these judicial appointments?