House of Commons Hansard #256 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. opposition House leader.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister took an illegal trip and used taxpayers' dollars to do it. By not paying them back, he is basically saying, “Go ahead, everyone, accept those free tickets to the Elton John concert that you were offered”—I know we were not—“fly yourself and your family across the country, stay at the nicest hotels, claim per diems, and charge all expenses to the taxpayer. Then, when you are caught, you don't have to pay a cent back. You have a free family vacation.” It would be so wrong for any one of us to do that.

When will the Prime Minister pay back these illegal expenses and raise the standard in this place?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, allow me to remind my colleague across the way that the security agencies make the determination on what is needed in order to protect this Prime Minister, as they have done for previous prime ministers, and we follow their recommendations. The former commissioner has acknowledged that these costs are incurred as part of the role of being the prime minister.

The Prime Minister will continue to work with the commissioner to clear future family vacations.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, strangely enough, selling public infrastructure to private investors did not seem to get mentioned by the Liberals before the last election, but last year's budget revealed the Liberals' plan to take $15 billion from existing infrastructure promises to fund their new Infrastructure Bank. As Canadian families deal with record levels of household debt, private investors like BlackRock are setting the government's priorities and making Canadian families pay for new tolls and service fees.

Just why do the Liberals think they have the mandate to create their Infrastructure Bank?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will invest in infrastructure that is in the public interest, providing an innovative new infrastructure financing tool and attracting private sector investment to build transformational projects that may not get built otherwise. This is an optional tool that our provincial, territorial, indigenous, and municipal partners can use to increase the long-term affordability and sustainability of infrastructure in their communities.

The bank will not displace traditional infrastructure spending, and our government is continuing to invest historic amounts, $186 billion, to create inclusive communities where all have access to opportunities that let them reach their full potential.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is really starting to look like the public-private infrastructure partnerships dictated by the Harper government. It will line the pockets of Bay Street investors by making Canadians pay extra tolls and user fees.

Can the Liberal government reassure the provinces and municipalities that infrastructure projects will not have to go through the bank if what the stakeholders want is genuinely public infrastructure?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, the bank will not dictate anything. The Canada Infrastructure Bank will invest in infrastructure that is in the public interest, providing an innovative infrastructure financing tool and attracting private sector investment to build innovative projects that, as I mentioned, may not otherwise get built.

As I said, this is an optional tool that our provincial, territorial, indigenous, and municipal partners can use to increase the long-term affordability and sustainability of infrastructure in their communities.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board has said that the federal government failed to meet its obligations under the law. Because of the Liberal government's Phoenix fiasco, over 100,000 public service employees are not getting the pay increases that they so deserve. It is completely unacceptable.

Will the Liberals commit to compensating these public servants?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, when we formed government we inherited a situation where the Harper Conservatives refused to negotiate with our public sector unions, resulting in a situation where no public servants had collective agreements. Our government negotiated in good faith, reaching agreements covering 91% of our public servants. We are facing challenges implementing those agreements because of the IBM Phoenix pay system, which was conceived by the Harper Conservatives.

We regret this situation, and we will ensure that our great public servants are treated fairly.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to remind members that there are rules in place that when someone is speaking we should listen, and if we have comments, make them to ourselves. I am sure that comments are made to members themselves, but they carry across. Would members keep their voices down and make those comments to the person next to them and not to the person across the aisle.

The hon. member for Victoria.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, how long are the Liberals going to keep blaming Harper?

There are a couple of anniversaries to note. We are approaching the two-year anniversary of when Phoenix first started to fail our public service, and we are already well past the one-year anniversary of when the current government promised to fix it.

We now learn that the government is also violating its legal obligations by failing to meet implementation deadlines for new collective agreements. As PSAC president Robyn Benson said, “Phoenix might be the reason, but it is not an excuse.”

Is the government not tired of letting down our public service?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we have great respect for our public service. We have a world-class public service in Canada. When the Harper Conservatives eliminated 700 payroll adviser jobs, that created this situation. It gutted the legacy system before the new system was actually operable. In fact, it is bad public practice to eliminate an existing system before the new system is working. This was bad management, but it was all to create an illusory surplus on the eve of an election.

We are investing now to fix the situation, and we will treat our public servants fairly.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the same report by the former commissioner, planning for the Prime Minister's vacation began in the summer of 2016. This fact refutes the Prime Minister's claim that it was a simple mistake, making this the latest in a long line of promises broken by a party that is unfit to govern responsibly.

Will the Prime Minister tell us whether he plans to finally do the right thing and pay back the money deliberately taken from Canadian taxpayers?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, the previous commissioner, both in her report and testimony in committee, answered many questions related to her report. We accept her findings and respect her work.

On this side, unlike the opposition, we respect the work of all officers of Parliament. When officers of Parliament make recommendations, we take them seriously and work with the officers of Parliament to ensure that we follow them. On top of this, the Prime Minister is committed to working with the office of the commissioner to clear all future personal and family vacations.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will not be fooled, and the fact that the Prime Minister is treating them like idiots is an insult to their intelligence. The Prime Minister's illegal trip was carefully planned and intentionally paid for out of the pockets of Canadian taxpayers.

When will the Prime Minister restore even a semblance of integrity by paying back the money he took from Canadian taxpayers so he could have a good time?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my friend across the way that the Prime Minister takes all Canadians very seriously. That is one of the reasons he is on a tour of town halls, whether in Winnipeg or Edmonton. I believe today he is on Vancouver Island.

It is important to recognize that the security agencies are the ones that make the determination on what is needed to protect the Prime Minister, as they have done for previous prime ministers, and we follow their recommendations.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been asked to answer for breaking the law. He says he has taken responsibility, but what is responsibility without accountability? His illegal trips abuse taxpayer funds: $215,000 for security, $32,000 for jets, and over $1,700 for booze and meals. The Prime Minister and his buddies took Canadian taxpayers for a ride, an illegal ride.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and pay the money back?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, all I can do is repeat it for my friend across the way. As I have indicated, the previous commissioner, both in her report and testimony in committee, answered many different questions related to her report. We accept her findings and respect her work. As the opposition wants to focus on this particular issue, we will continue to focus on the important issues that Canadians have. In Winnipeg North alone, there are millions of dollars going toward the Canada child benefit, lifting hundreds of children out of poverty. These are important issues to Canadians, and they are important issues to this government.

EthicsOral Questions

February 2nd, 2018 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not always go on vacation, but when I do, I pay for it myself.

The Ethics Commissioner found that the Prime Minister broke the law when he chose to accept a gift worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from a man who has business dealings with the government. How can the Liberals defend this?

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and repay the $200,000 of taxpayer money?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question, but obviously I disagree with it. Let me provide an answer that I provided earlier.

As has been the case for past prime ministers, and as is the case for this Prime Minister, whenever and wherever the Prime Minister travels, there are costs related to security. We always accept the advice of our security agencies as to how best to ensure the safety of the Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister has said, going forward he will engage the commissioner to discuss both personal and family vacations.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, after accepting illegal travel and breaching the Conflict of Interest Act, the Prime Minister has a fiduciary duty to taxpayers to make them whole again. However, all week the Prime Minister and his house leader have recited sophomoric talking points about accepting the commissioner's recommendations. The report did not contain recommendations, only conclusions that the Prime Minister broke the law in four places.

When will the Prime Minister actually take responsibility and repay Canadians?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that immediately after the commissioner's report was tabled, the Prime Minister did take responsibility. He accepted the findings and committed to working with the office of the commissioner on future personal and family vacations.

Again, as the Conservatives want to focus on that issue, this government will continue to persist in its focus on what is important to Canadians, and get a better sense by listening to some of the things that are being talked about at town halls. Canada's middle class is important and this is something that the government will continue—

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, a year and a half ago, the Minister of Indigenous Services reimbursed Canadians $3,703.57 for limousine services she used for personal reasons. Interestingly, the Ethics Commissioner had cleared the minister. Nevertheless, to her credit, the minister reimbursed Canadians. She said, “This does not live up to the standard that Canadians expect.”

Will the Prime Minister show as much dignity as his Minister of Indigenous Services and reimburse Canadians?