House of Commons Hansard #280 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I realize the hon. member was treading into an area perhaps that we try to avoid and that is the reference to the absence or the presence of members in the House, particularly individual members. I just caution the member on that.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will not reference the fact that members opposite are reading the newspaper and not participating in the debate. I understand that to be unparliamentary. I withdraw those comments.

The issue is quite clear. Parliament has very few sitting days, and those sitting days are all precious and the priorities of our constituents matter deeply to each one of us. I know that to be true. I feel sorry for the members opposite who cannot bring their issues forward because their House leadership is more interested in playing stub-their-toe politics than in putting good, strong policies in front of this House and good, strong ideas in front of Parliament, so that all of us can debate and consider the needs of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The problem with this House sometimes is that it gets engaged in these games, these 20 hours of voting and histrionics around one scandal or another. As I said, if they want to go back and prosecute them all from Confederation, they can knock themselves out. We have a country to build. We have people to help. We have a government to run and a Parliament to be responsible to. I find it shocking that members of the party opposite think that this game does anything other than undermine their credibility. It has completely undermined their credibility. When the House leader stands up and says, “Here is a motion that requires debate; please do not talk about”, and sits down and thinks that is being clever, I can assure members that Canadians will assess it in a very different way.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us get something very clear. The hon. colleague and an hon. colleague before him have stood up and said that the members of the opposition have not participated in this debate. The problem is those members have been filibustering and not allowing the members of the opposition to stand up and do that. This is the first time.

I have a simple question for our hon. colleague. There is a common-sense motion before the House. Will the member of Parliament, our hon. colleague, allow us to get to a vote, and how will he be voting on this motion?

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, once I have finished my speech, I will be waiting to vote, like every other member of Parliament.

I also know that if we moved closure on this debate, we would have a hue and cry from the members on the opposite side for upending the parliamentary process and not giving them the full right to speak.

The member opposite suggests that the Conservatives would like to speak to this motion, yet several times the Speaker has risen, looked down the bench, and not a single Tory has risen to his or her feet to talk about it, except when it offers a chance to raise a point of order or ask a question. We are not filibustering; we are simply responding to the request by the Speaker to speak to an issue which those members presented. If they do not like the fact that we are responding to the motion they moved, maybe they should not have moved it to begin with.

If they would like to get to the voting on this issue, then they can sit there patiently and stop interrupting with more questions. The more of us on this side—

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask one more time. There is a common-sense motion before the House. Now that the member has done his speech, now that the filibuster appears to be finished and the Conservatives can finally ask a question or actually talk to the motion, will the hon. colleague put the question to a vote and call in the members?

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to my colleagues on all sides of the House who continually stand up to participate in this debate, and quite clearly they have not exhausted their opinions on this.

The member opposite wants to know how I am going to vote on this. I will be voting against it. This issue has already been dealt with by Parliament. I want to explain why I am voting against it. It is effectively redundant. We have a process. The process has been followed. The process has been responded to respectfully by the Prime Minister. That is the process.

If the members opposite would like to have a whole new debate about government processes they did not bring in while they were in power, they are welcome to that conversation. However, having been asked to talk about this motion, and I have done nothing but talk about this motion, I will tell the member that I do not support it. It is redundant. It is pathetic. It is unnecessary. It is a waste of time. It is not the priority of Canadians.

I will vote on this motion and I will vote against it. However, I will also take this opportunity to express in the clearest terms how ridiculous the tactic of the Conservative Party is. The Conservatives introduced a motion they do not want us to debate. I hope Canadians are watching.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

April 17th, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. friend for his passionate speech about this issue. I know my other hon. friend, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, was quite excited to hear about John A. Macdonald during that speech, and that there should be more discussion of our former prime minister.

That being said, the hon. member rose on a point with respect to a pattern of behaviour. I had the opportunity to be at the public safety committee yesterday, where I witnessed again the members of the opposition question and undermine the motivation of a long-standing civil servant. It is a shameful activity and this pattern continues. This pattern is seen in this motion, which is telling an officer of Parliament how to do his or her job. I wonder if the hon. member could comment on this pattern of behaviour, what we are seeing, and how the Conservatives opposite are engaging in this debate.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, for a political party whose central belief seems to be that we do not like government, a whole bunch of them seem to like being in government. What is apparent is how much disrespect they have for the parliamentary process, parliamentary traditions, the law and the rule of Canada. Not a single Liberal has ever been led from their parliamentary seat in handcuffs, which certainly happened in the last term of Parliament, yet we get lectured on ethics.

Conservatives deliberately told Canadians where to vote, knowing that they could not vote where they were being directed to. That is the respect they have for Canadians. That is the same respect they have for the Supreme Court, the offices of Parliament, and for public servants. When they talk about the democratic values of the Conservative Party, it is that image that I have of a parliamentarian being led away in handcuffs, that memory of redirecting Canadians to polling stations that did not exist to deliberately thwart the democratic will of the people. That is the most scandalous thing I have ever seen in this Parliament, yet they sit there as if they have some sort of ethical high ground to stand on and lecture us from.

I repeat. This motion is so pointless, so useless, so without merit, that the party opposite that introduced it wants us to stop talking about it. Members should get that through their heads. The party that introduced this motion does not want to participate in the debate and would ask us to stop talking about it because it is pain for them. They should be careful of what they ask for.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is incredibly rich to sit here and listen to the member talk about ethics as being pointless, as useless. May I remind them that this was the government that said it would do things differently. Remember Canada, that better is always possible, that we will be held to the highest ethical standards? If they want to be held to the highest ethical standards, then vote. Vote right now.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ethical standards that we are being held to are the standards of the House. We have been held accountable, and we accept the ruling of the officer of Parliament. The previous government refused to do that. Whenever the courts or some other body ruled against it, the Prime Minister threw a little hissy fit, denounced the individuals in question, and ripped up everything from the rule of law to the Constitution. That is why Conservatives ended up in jail in the last term of Parliament; they had contempt for the democratic traditions of this country.

The member opposite said that better is always possible. Of course it is. The House is made up of individuals from cross this country. We are humans, and humans make mistakes. When they make mistakes, they are held to account. This government has accepted the findings of the officer of Parliament. It has acted on every single suggestion, recommendation, and response contained in that report, and has fulfilled its obligations to the House and the country. That is leadership, and that is being held to a higher standard. That is a marked difference from the party opposite that thinks common sense, when I come from Ontario—

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We have time for one more question and response.

The hon. member for Perth—Wellington.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member just said that the government has acted on every recommendation in the report, but there were no recommendations in the report. Could the member inform us if the Ethics Commissioner provided the Prime Minister with any private recommendations on his ethical conduct?

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a question between the Prime Minister and the officer of Parliament. The member opposite is free to pursue that. The reality is that the process we have is we cannot pretend there is a problem and then demand an inquiry about this pretend problem, and then demand that there be recommendations about the pretend problem that they perceive as being possibly in existence.

We know that there was a statement of facts in that report and that the officer of Parliament, who has the ability to provide recommendations or course corrections, commented on what would be a more appropriate way of handling the situation in the future. The Prime Minister has availed himself of that report, has committed to following every single word of that report, whether it is stated as a capital “R” recommendation, or whether it is implied through the referencing inside the report. Every single word of that report has been read and is being followed by the Prime Minister. That is ethical leadership. That is being responsible to the offices of Parliament. That is respecting the House. It is the party opposite that is having trouble dealing with the report. Members think it did not go far enough. That is their problem, and it is partisan issue. It is not a point of principle.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before we resume debate and go to the hon. parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation, I will let him know that there are only about six minutes or so left in the time for his remarks. He will have the remaining portion of his time when the House next gets back to debate on this question.

We will get started, and I will give him the usual signal when we are ready to interrupt for statements by members.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to speak to this motion, a dilatory motion moved in bad faith for the purpose of wasting the House of Commons' time. The motion deals with a matter that has already been addressed, as my colleague from Spadina—Fort York just explained in great detail. We dutifully heeded the Ethics Commissioner's advice according to a process that works very well in Parliament.

This is somewhat ironic because today is a historic day. Our Prime Minister gave a speech to the French National Assembly. It is the first time that a Canadian prime minister has addressed the French National Assembly. That is very important. Our Prime Minister spoke mainly about our values, progressive trade, immigration, environmental protection, gender equality, and the rule of law, which is very important to me as a lawyer. He also spoke about democracy, equality, and freedom.

What can we do about the cynicism in today's opposition motion? There is such a clear difference between our government's approach and that of Mr. Harper's Conservatives, one which remains under the current leadership. I would be curious to know if this would have changed under the leadership of my colleague from Beauce.

Today is a prime example of why I ran in the last election. I wanted to combat this cynicism. When I was in university, I felt that Mr. Harper's government was always very cynical and did not respect the rules of Parliament or the Canadian people. I ran for office to change the direction of the government and that is exactly what we have done.

We want to help Canadians find housing and employment and we want to invest in innovation, infrastructure, and in Canadians. We sincerely believe that the government has the power to change things and improve life for Canadians.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I notice that the Liberals are not speaking about the motion that I introduced earlier today. They want to keep speaking, and it would seem that they perhaps want to talk about the budget. We would be happy on this side of the House to close off debate on the current motion and vote on it. That is what we do in the House of Commons. We debate legislation, debate motions, and then we vote on them. Therefore, we are absolutely willing to end the debate and have a vote on this motion. If the member wants to talk about the budget, why do we not bring the bill before the House so we can all debate it?

With that in mind, Mr. Speaker, I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That notwithstanding any Standing Orders or usual practices of the House, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion currently under debate to concur in the report of the Ethics Commissioner entitled “The Trudeau Report”, tabled on Monday, January 29, 2018, be deemed put, recorded divisions be deemed requested and deferred to the ordinary hour of daily adjournment today, and that the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Does the hon. opposition House leader have unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's ReportRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

At this point, we will interrupt and start with statements by members. The hon. parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation will have 16 and a half minutes remaining in his time when the House next gets back to debate on the question, and, of course, the usual 10 minutes for questions and comments.

NetflixStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, like our National Assembly, Quebec's cultural community, and our broadcasters, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs believes that Netflix should do its fair share. According to the commissioner, the status quo is unacceptable. Sadly, with our Minister of Finance more concerned with Bay Street and our Minister of Canadian Heritage more concerned with Gangnam Style, we are stuck with the status quo.

Quebec decided to charge QST on Netflix subscriptions. That is fair, right, and normal. However, this government is digging in its heels and keeps spouting nonsense about new taxes that do not even exist. Abiding by our way of doing things and paying taxes like everyone else is the very least we can expect from a company that wants to do business here.

The status quo is unacceptable. We have been saying that for months. Europe understands. It is high time that Ottawa understand this too. Enough with this unfair and unjustifiable advantage.

Muriel OliphantStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to a constituent and friend, Muriel Oliphant. Sadly, Muriel passed away suddenly on Saturday, April 7. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the member for Don Valley West, who has lost his biggest supporter, his mother.

The member's eulogy for his mother entitled “A Reflection of a Life Well Lived and Well Loved” was apropos. Muriel was proud of all her children: Leslie, Barbara, Mary, and Rob.

Muriel was the very definition of a good neighbour. She worked countless volunteer hours for a variety of causes, such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Christmas Cheer, and the Central United Church. Muriel was also an incredible volunteer and supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, and I assure members that her legacy will long be remembered.

Sault Ste. Marie, and Canada, is a better place because of Muriel Oliphant. She now joins Len in heaven.

This House knows how important our family is to all of us. Please join me in celebrating this remarkable woman.

Mount Everest ClimbStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about a very determined young lady from Edson, Alberta, Ciera Knight, a 24-year-old.

On November 11, 2011, two weeks before she was to compete in a tae kwon do competition, and hopefully for a position on Canada's Olympic team, tragedy struck: a car accident, a broken back, and severe neck injuries. Ciera would never compete again. However, determined, she rebuilt her strength, opened up her own tae kwon do training facility, and taught her skills to others. She became a personal fitness trainer and a role model in her community.

In June 2016, she did a preliminary climb to the base camp on Mount Everest. Today she is back. She is at 16,108 feet above sea level. Ciera is determined to climb the highest mountain in the world. One more day to base camp, then more training, conditioning, and acclimatizing. Between May 20 and 26, Ciera is determined to climb to the top of the world.

From all of us here in Canada, we say go for it. She is what women's empowerment is all about.

VaisakhiStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

[Member spoke in Punjabi]

[English]

Vaisakhi was celebrated on the Hill yesterday. On Vaisakhi, we celebrate the founding of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Khalsa is symbolized by the khanda, the symbol of the Sikh faith, and features two kirpans crossing one another, representing the concepts of Miri and Piri. These concepts emphasize a Sikh's commitment to both a spiritual life and a political life and an obligation to confront injustice and inequality. Sikh values of seva, equality, social justice, and making the world a better place are the embodiment of Canadian values as well.

On behalf of residents in Brampton South, I would like to wish members a happy Vaisakhi.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is National Volunteer Week, and I want to take the time to thank the 13 million Canadians who generously donate their time to help their communities. In Canada, volunteer work represents the equivalent of more than one million full-time jobs, for a contribution valued at $56 billion, or 2.6% of GDP. Despite all the numbers, we strongly believe that volunteering brings priceless value to our communities.

In many rural communities across Canada, essential services ranging from health to culture and even education depend on volunteers to survive. Let us not forget that, without these volunteers, some villages would wither away, doomed to disappear completely.

However, we also volunteer in order to bring our neighbours together and celebrate. For example, the village of Dupuy in Abitibi West, where I live, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year thanks to the dedication and hard work of many volunteers, made up of virtually the entire local population. Since this week is National Volunteer Week, I want to take a moment to honour these volunteers and thank them for their efforts. Volunteers are amazing.