House of Commons Hansard #383 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was language.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm right here in this House that we had many meetings between cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's Office on a broad range of important issues that matter to Canadians.

It is the work of this government to serve Canadians, to protect jobs and to protect our institutions and the independence of our judiciary at the same time. This is exactly what we do and what we will continue to do, and we will make no apologies to the snide accusations made by the members opposite.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted yesterday that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and the justice committee must get on with their work in the matter of interference by his office in the SNC-Lavalin case.

How does he think they can get to the truth if he will not allow anyone from his office to appear before the justice committee? On top of that, he refuses to waive the solicitor-client privilege that is keeping the former justice minister from giving her side of the story. If the Prime Minister really wants the truth to come out, then he needs to let her speak.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that he will allow the former justice minister—

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the respect we have for our justice system is extremely important. That is why we are carefully considering the issue of solicitor-client privilege. That is why I asked our Attorney General for advice on how to proceed in this matter so that we can give people the opportunity to speak. It is important that Canadians hear the truth.

That being said, it is important to understand that there is a real danger of unintended negative consequences on the two cases currently before the courts.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberals on the justice committee refused to ensure that people from the Prime Minister's Office would testify; not Gerry Butts and not the other officials who held dozens of meetings with SNC-Lavalin to discuss criminal charges.

How will Canadians get to the truth, if the Liberals refuse to invite people at the centre of this mess, and if the Prime Minister refuses to waive privilege to let the former attorney general tell her story?

He kept saying sunshine is the best disinfectant, so why is he content keeping Canadians in the dark?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we look forward to the work that will be done by the justice committee and, indeed, by the Ethics Commissioner on this matter.

It is extremely important that Canadians get to hear all the facts. We will continue to make sure we are standing up for good jobs right across the country and upholding the independence of our judicial system. That is something that Canadians expect; that is something that we expect.

In terms of waiving privilege, that is not a simple matter, and that is why we have asked the Attorney General for advice on this, because we know there is a danger of unintended consequences on the two court cases currently going through on this matter.

JusticeOral Questions

February 20th, 2019 / 2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to give the Prime Minister another opportunity to answer a very simple question.

He brags about having many meetings and robust discussions. In any of those meetings, from the date that the director of public prosecutions made her decision to the day that he removed the former attorney general from her post, did the Prime Minister at any time express his support for granting SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement, yes or no?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians well know of this government, we will always stand up for good jobs. We will always stand up for economic growth. We will always make sure we are supporting Canadians right across the country.

However, we will also make sure we are doing it in ways that support and defend our institutions, that support and defend the independence of the rule of law, the independence of our judiciary. These are things that matter to Canadians.

We are a government that has been delivering tangibly for them while at the same time defending our democracy and our institutions.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if he did nothing wrong, he should be able to answer yes or no. Did he at any time tell the former attorney general that he favoured giving SNC-Lavalin a special deal, yes or no?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the members opposite have been talking an awful lot about solicitor-client privilege. It is also important to understand that discussions among the federal cabinet are covered by cabinet confidentiality as well.

This is the work that we are doing to make sure we are delivering for Canadians in terms of good jobs, in terms of economic growth, in terms of opportunities for all, while at the same time upholding the independence of our judiciary, the integrity of our democratic institutions, and we will always do that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Again, Mr. Speaker, if he has done nothing wrong, he should be able to answer. Meetings at the Chateau Laurier between Gerald Butts and the former attorney general are not covered by cabinet confidentiality. He should be able to tell Canadians, if he has done nothing wrong, if he has not interfered in an ongoing criminal prosecution case. Has he ever told the former attorney general that he favoured a special deal for SNC-Lavalin, yes or no?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can look at this government's record and know that step-by-step we have always stood up for them. We put more money in the pockets of the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% and lowering them for the middle class. We delivered the Canada child benefit, which has made a huge difference in people's lives. We have also made sure that every step of the way we have stood up for good jobs across this country, and we will continue to. We will do so, however, always by respecting the independence of our judiciary and the institutions that protect us all in our democracy.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is so telling that the Prime Minister cannot even answer this kind of simple question. These are not the actions and this is not the behaviour of someone who is innocent of what he is being accused of.

On September 4, the independent director of public prosecutions made a decision. The Prime Minister and his team then went to work and had several meetings with the former attorney general. In any of those meetings, did he ever and will he today indicate whether or not he supports SNC-Lavalin getting a special deal, yes or no?

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, to hear the member opposite, Canadians might be worried about the independence of our judicial system. Allow me to reassure them not only with my words, but by a direct quote from the director of public prosecutions herself, who just last week confirmed for Canadians that in every case prosecutors “exercise their discretion independently and free from any political or partisan consideration.”

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies, but they obviously have not.

To make matters worse, they spent $4.5 billion on an old pipeline.

The Liberals also promised that a climate impact assessment would be conducted for all energy projects. Now, we have learned that no such assessment will be carried out for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

I have a little tip for voters. Any time the Prime Minister promises to do something, they should expect him to do the opposite.

Do the Liberals realize that they are beginning to look more and more like Pinocchio when it comes to the fight against climate change?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I encourage the hon. member to choose his words carefully.

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the NDP insists that we have to choose between what is right for the environment and what is right for the economy.

We know that the only way to create economic prosperity and protect the environment for years to come is to choose what is right for both.

That is why on the Trans Mountain file we are following the path provided for by the courts in the right way.

The courts said we needed to consult indigenous peoples and evaluate the impact on marine shipping, and that is exactly what we are doing to prove that we can develop the economy in the right way.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to breaking promises to Canadians, we have to hand it to the Prime Minister. Right now on the Trans Mountain pipeline fiasco he is doing a two-for-one deal.

First, he promised to end all fossil fuel subsidies, but dumping $4.5 billion of our money on a 65-year old pipeline was not enough. Now the pipeline-owning Prime Minister wants a further $2 billion subsidy from Canadians. Then the Liberals promised that all pipelines would receive a climate change review as part of their approval.

However, here is a new guide for Canadians when listening to the Prime Minister. Listen closely and know that the truth is the opposite. When is he going to stop helping out his friends and start working to fight climate change?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, we are following the path provided for by the courts in the right way. The courts said we needed to do better on consulting indigenous peoples and on evaluating the impact on marine shipping. That is exactly what we are doing.

The Conservative approach for 10 years failed to get our exports to new markets. That is why we knew we needed to do it in the right way, which includes an oceans protection plan that means a faster spill response, more towing capacity and a plan to protect marine mammals.

We are continuing to fight climate change with a plan to put a price on pollution. That is what is this government is doing.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Speaker, for more than a decade, the Harper government cut front-line staff, closed offices and balanced the budget on the backs of veterans. In 2015, it even closed an entire floor at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building in Halifax.

Could the right hon. Prime Minister please describe the steps our government has taken at Camp Hill to respond to the growing needs of veterans of the more recent conflicts and of those who served with our allies?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. I have had no trouble hearing the questions until now. I encourage members to listen and to wait their turn if they want to speak.

The right hon. Prime Minister

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook for his tireless advocacy, his hard work and the ferocity with which he defends our veterans.

We all want the best for veterans and their families. That is why we invested $10 billion into new benefits and services for them, including reopening the nine offices shuttered by the Conservatives, hiring more than 630 new front-line staff, delivering on our promise to reinstate that pension for life. Last fall, we made 25 more beds available at Camp Hill in Halifax for allied and modern-day veterans. The Conservatives paid lip service. We delivered.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. Perhaps the members for Brantford—Brant and Cariboo—Prince George did not hear me a moment ago. I had asked members to wait until it was their turn to speak, which may come at some point if they co-operate, of course.

The hon. leader of the opposition.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, between September 4, 2018 and the cabinet shuffle on January 14, 2019, did the Prime Minister express his support for a special agreement for SNC-Lavalin?

There are only two answers: yes or no.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, despite what the Conservatives say and do, we will always stand up for jobs. We will always stand up for good jobs wherever they are in Canada, including the 9,000 jobs directly affected within SNC-Lavalin.

However, we will always do so in a way that respects the independence of our judicial system and the rule of law. Those are the responsibilities that we take very seriously, and we will always try to stand up for good jobs across Canada in the right way.