House of Commons Hansard #252 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sexual.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Despite the Prime Minister's response, the Ethics Commissioner indicated in her report that there was official business between the Prime Minister and the Aga Khan.

Does the Prime Minister acknowledge the commissioner's findings?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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 was clearly said by the Prime Minister, immediately after the report was released the Prime Minister took responsibility, as a leader should, and accepted the findings of the commissioner.

The Prime Minister has taken steps to ensure that all future family vacations are cleared ahead of time with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The Prime Minister will continue to follow any advice and recommendations the commissioner has.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister asked for more than one personal luxury vacation from someone his government was doing business with. He should have known this was wrong, but he did it anyway. The Prime Minister accepted a private helicopter ride. He should have known that this was wrong, too, but he did it anyway. The result is that he is now the first Prime Minister to break Canada's federal ethics laws.

Why does the Prime Minister think that this is okay?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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 I have said in the House time and again, this government respects the officers of Parliament and the work they do. Immediately after the report was released, the Prime Minister took responsibility, as a leader should, and accepted the findings of the commissioner.

The Prime Minister has taken steps to ensure that all future family vacations are cleared ahead of time with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The Prime Minister will continue to follow any advice and recommendations the commissioner has.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister went to Bell Island on vacation, he chose to accept a private helicopter ride, even though he knew it was in direct violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.

Why did he think he could take that helicopter ride?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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, the Prime Minister has answered these questions on numerous occasions. Once again, as was clearly said, immediately after the report was released, the Prime Minister took responsibility, as a leader should, and accepted the findings of the commissioner.

The Prime Minister has taken steps to ensure that all future family vacations are cleared ahead of time with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The Prime Minister will continue to follow any advice and recommendations that are given.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when he appeared before the Ethics Commissioner, the Prime Minister indicated that he did not consider the meetings to be business meetings.

Does the Prime Minister still maintain that a meeting with him has nothing to do with the affairs of the Government of Canada?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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, one thing that is clear in regard to this government, which the previous government did not do, is that we are committed to engaging and having conversations with Canadians, whether those are tough conversations or feedback as to how we can respond to the very real challenges they are facing.

In regard to the report, immediately after it was released, the Prime Minister took responsibility, as a leader should, and accepted the findings of the commissioner. We have been in our constituencies for several weeks. The Prime Minister has been available at town halls. Numerous questions have been posed directly to him, and he has been available to answer them.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. Members seem to have forgotten that one side speaks, then the other side speaks, and the rest of us listen. It has been a long break. Apparently, members have forgotten some things, perhaps, but I know they can bring it back to mind.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, according to the Ethics Commissioner's report, the Prime Minister thinks that his meetings with international leaders, including the Aga Khan, are purely ceremonial in nature.

If the Prime Minister thinks that his role in these meetings is just ceremonial, then who is doing the actual work that his job requires?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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, I am very proud of the work that this Prime Minister and this government do. If we want to look at the work this government is doing, let us look at the economy, with 750,000 jobs created by Canadians for Canadians. It is the highest growth in any G7 country.

There is more confidence in this government and in Canadians today than there was three years ago, when the previous government was here. This government will continue to work on behalf of Canadians to respond to the very real challenges they are facing.

I am proud to serve alongside this Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it was this Prime Minister who tried to hide from Canadians the details about his unethical vacations. He did not want anyone to know where he was or whom he was with. He did not start coming clean with Canadians until after he was caught. Even then, it took a year-long investigation for any details to come to light.

If the Prime Minister did not think that there was anything wrong with these trips, why did he go to such lengths to hide it?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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, when it comes to this issue, we have been clear from the very beginning. We have said that we will work with the commissioner and answer any questions the commissioner has. We have done exactly that.

We respect the officers of Parliament. We know they are here to do important work, and we will encourage them to do that important work on behalf of Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is out of touch with the everyday lives of working Canadians. Last week, he actually suggested that Sears Canada workers, who face losing pensions and health care benefits, could simply rely on EI and CPP. Talk about a backup plan.

There is something simple this government can do: support measures in my bill that help workers like those at Sears Canada and prevent them from ever again being faced with losing their pension benefits. Instead of “monitoring the situation”, when will the government break from tradition and get to work to protect our workers?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his hard work and advocacy on this issue, and I understand the challenges that many workers, families, and communities face across this country. My heart goes out to all those who are affected.

As the member well knows, Service Canada, for example, has been meeting with representatives. It has had over 282 sessions across the country to assist employees and their families. I understand that Sears Canada's pension funds are held in trust and must be used for the benefit of the pensioners. This is really important to know. When it comes to this situation, the member knows full well that we are willing to engage with him to assess all our options.

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was hanging out with his billionaire friends at Davos, he made very clear his indifference to the corporate pension robbery at Sears. Those retirees have no friends in this government. Let us look at the finance minister. His family business, Morneau Shepell, had the contract to roll up the Sears pension fund. He has told the investors about the opportunities of going after defined plans, and he has brought in the legislation, Bill C-27, to make it possible.

At the very least, will the finance minister withdraw Bill C-27 and recuse himself from any discussions about the Sears workers?

PensionsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite should know full well that when it comes to the Sears employees, we have been engaging with them and working with them, because we know the challenges they are going through. We know the impact this has on many different communities. We are looking at all the different options. We are willing to work with the members opposite. We have been very clear that we are committed to jobs and growth. Since we formed the government, there have been over 700,000 jobs created in the Canadian economy. We will continue to do more to assist members of the Sears community and the families that are impacted in communities across the country.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the first Canadian prime minister to break our ethics laws. He billed taxpayers over $200,000 by accepting more than one luxury vacation. Taxpayers should not have to pay for the Prime Minister's illegal actions.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and reimburse taxpayers for his trips to Bell Island?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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, the report has been released. The Prime Minister has responded and has accepted all the findings, as a leader should. Steps have been taken to ensure that all future family vacations are cleared ahead of time with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. It was this government, actually, that put measures in place when it comes to travel. We will continue to do the important work that Canadians expect us to do.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister went to Expedia to book a private island vacation like the ones he accepted, he would be paying tens of thousands of dollars per night. In addition to that, the Prime Minister billed taxpayers $200,000 in travel and staff expenses for his illegal vacation.

We now know that it was wrong for the Prime Minister to accept these luxury vacations, so I am asking the Prime Minister if he is going to take responsibility. He can answer. Will he pay taxpayers back for the costs he left them?

EthicsOral 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, when prime ministers travel, we know there are certain things that need to take place. Every single time a prime minister travels, he or she is provided with the resources needed to ensure that the prime minister is able to carry out the functions that a prime minister has.

When it comes to the report the commissioner has released, the Prime Minister has accepted those findings. We will continue to work on behalf of Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

January 29th, 2018 / 2:45 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did business with the Aga Khan, and we know that the Prime Minister asked the Aga Khan for access to his private island to use for his personal vacations. We know that the Prime Minister accepted a private helicopter ride during at least one of these vacations. These actions by the Prime Minister were not just wrong; they were illegal.

Now, part of saying sorry is making amends. If the Prime Minister is truly sorry and truly takes responsibility, will he do the right thing and pay taxpayers back?

EthicsOral 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 has been the case with previous prime ministers, and as the former commissioner herself stated, security costs are incurred wherever the Prime Minister travels. This government will continue to work with commissioners, with officers of parliament, to do the important work that we are here to do.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Yes, Mr. Speaker, taxpayers do support the Prime Minister when he travels, but they should not be expected to support his costs when he is breaking the law. The Prime Minister would have us believe that it was okay because he thought the Aga Khan was a close family friend, but the Ethics Commissioner revealed that the Prime Minister had not actually spoken to this close friend in over 30 years.

The Prime Minister broke the law by accepting these trips. Will he do the right thing and pay taxpayers back?