Mr. Speaker, I will make it very clear that the previous commissioner, both in her report and in testimony in committee, answered many questions related to her report. We accepted those findings, and respect the fine work she has done. On this side of the House, we respect the work of all officers of Parliament. Unlike the opposition, when officers of Parliament make recommendations, we take them seriously and work with them to ensure we follow those recommendations.
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. As has been the case for past prime ministers and is the case for the current Prime Minister, whenever and wherever the Prime Minister travels, there are costs associated with security. We always accept the advice of our security agencies as to how best ensure the safety of the Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister has said, going forward, he will engage the commissioner.
The commissioner has dealt with this. It is not the first time the commissioner has had to deal with issues. The Conservative human resources minister was also someone Mary Dawson had to deal with and provide a report on. We all have an obligation to report to the commissioner and the commissioner gives us advice, some more formal than others. That is the reality, and we respect what the commissioner presents to us.
Today I have heard time and again about ethical standards, as if the Conservative Party has more ethical standards. We all know that is far from the truth. I will remind members across the way of the reality of the Prime Minister and this government in comparison. The irony is that just prior to resuming debate on the motion this afternoon, we voted on Bill C-50.
What would Bill C-50 do? It would ensure more transparency and accountability for leaders, whether it is a prime minister, a cabinet minister, the leader of the official opposition, or the leader of any other political party, so when people pay $200-plus to sit down with leaders, there is accountability. Elections Canada has to be told who the individuals are. There are other requirements. It is all about accountability. Even the commissioner, who Conservatives like to cite, suggested that it was good legislation, and the Conservatives voted against that. They voted against transparency and accountability. I have tried to understand why they would do that.
Last year, the Conservative leader had a fundraiser and he did not want to tell Canadians about it. When he was challenged about it, his initial response was denial, that he did not have that high-priced fundraiser. Then when individuals said that they paid the big bucks to meet with the leader of the Conservative Party, he admitted to having that fundraising event. This legislation would obligate, by law, the reporting of things of that nature.
It was interesting that in a story about that incident, the leader of the official opposition said that if it was law, he would have reported it. Is that the reason the Conservatives did not support that legislation, because if it were law, they would have to report it? That is the kind of legislation this government and the Prime Minister have brought forward to ensure there is a higher level of accountability and transparency on these types of issues, which are important to Canadians.
When the Prime Minister was leader of the Liberal Party, the third party in the House, with only 34 or 35 Liberal MPs sitting in the corner, he brought forward what we called proactive disclosure. He stood up on several occasions to get the opposition and the government of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to agree to share with Canadians, in a transparent way, how MPs were spending money. Initially, the Conservatives and the NDP both said no. That was when the Prime Minister was leader of the Liberal Party, not the prime minister. What we saw was very much a high sense of accountability.
After the commissioner made her report, the Prime Minister did not go into hiding. He travelled the country. He went to town halls all over the country. Canadians, real people, got to ask questions of the Prime Minister, and their focus was on issues such as the economy, jobs, and health care. They were concerned about the different social programs the government is providing.
It is truly important for us to recognize that as much as the Conservatives want to continue to focus on being negative in all aspects of the Prime Minister's personal life, the Prime Minister and his cabinet are going to continue to focus on what is important to Canadians, and that is the middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, and the many individuals who we want to give that lifting hand to.
Our government will continue to be transparent and accountable for the many positive actions. Those actions have seen Canadians develop jobs that have never been seen in recent history for our country, with 700,000 jobs, and I think it was 422,000 jobs in 2017 alone, not to mention the redistribution of wealth, supporting Canada's middle class. Those are the priorities of the Prime Minister and the government.
I agree with the government House leader when she says that the Conservatives have nothing else to talk about because they know how well things are going and how well the government is performing, so they want to focus on the negatives, the personal attacks.
One thing I agree with my colleague from across the way on is that we did not need to spend a day on this issue. What we should be talking about today are those important issues that we hear about at those town halls the Prime Minister is doing. There are so many wonderful things that are taking place in our country, but we can always do better and those are the kinds of ideas we should be talking about in the House.