November 10, 2006

CPC

Rod Bruinooge

Conservative

Mr. Rod Bruinooge (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as we have heard quite recently, the member for LaSalle—Émard stated at committee that there was no Kelowna accord, there was no signature page and, in fact, the money was not there. There were $25 billion in promises, promises that the Liberals had no intention of keeping. Our government is moving forward with real plans for aboriginal people backed up by real dollars.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Belinda Stronach

Liberal

Hon. Belinda Stronach (Newmarket—Aurora, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here is yet another broken promise by the minority Conservative government.

During the last election the Prime Minister signed a pledge to work for the equality of women, but last month the government did just the opposite. Not only did it cut 43% of the budget of the department for the Status of Women but it removed equality from the mandate of the women's program.

Why did the Prime Minister break his promise to the women of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Bev Oda

Conservative

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have to understand that if women are continually told they are not equal, they will continue to believe that. We say that everyone in Canada is equal. We recognize there are challenges and barriers. We will use taxpayers dollars to ensure that all women have equal opportunity and can participate as equal citizens.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, despite what the Minister of Foreign Affairs says, cuts of $12 million have hurt the public diplomacy fund, with the result that the Canadian cultural centres in London and Paris have become empty shells. The minister's explanation for this is that the money earmarked for the fund has not been cut, but is being reassessed.

Is the fact that these two centres still have not received their grants not further proof that the minister has decided simply to cut the public diplomacy fund?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. Clearly, we have no intention of closing the Canadian cultural centre in Paris. Foreign tours by artists are supported mainly by the $4.7 million arts promotion program. In addition, my colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, has announced that the Canada Council's budget will be increased by some $50 million over the next two years.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that, because of the uncertainty and delays around grants for the cultural centres in London and Paris, tours have been refused and some activities have been discontinued? Does he deny that?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, the government has no intention of closing arts centres. We have to find a way to improve efficiency and effectiveness in every program, in every department. I know that the hon. member is interested in promoting the arts in Quebec and across the country. I encourage the member to get involved in the programs this year by suggesting ways to promote the arts.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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BQ

Thierry St-Cyr

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Thierry St-Cyr (Jeanne-Le Ber, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada opposes the Minister of Justice's plans to change, without consultation, the current judicial appointment process and the membership of the selection committee.

Are the minister's true intentions not simply to give himself full discretion to appoint whomever he chooses, thus politicizing the judicial appointment process even further?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Judicial Appointment
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CPC

Rob Moore

Conservative

Mr. Rob Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the judicial advisory committees provide the minister with advice on judicial appointments. We are very proud to be expanding the scope of the judicial advisory committees to include police officers, who we all agree play a very important part in our judicial system.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Judicial Appointment
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BQ

Thierry St-Cyr

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Thierry St-Cyr (Jeanne-Le Ber, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in June 2005, the Bloc Québécois achieved the creation of a special committee whose mandate was to improve transparency in the judicial appointment process. The committee did not have the time, however, to complete its work.

Instead of going ahead with these reforms surreptitiously, why does the Minister of Justice not bring back this committee, which could make impartial recommendations after consultation?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Judicial Appointment
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CPC

Rob Moore

Conservative

Mr. Rob Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes in broadening the number of voices that we listen to for input on recommendations for potential judges. We know the Liberals in the past used judicial appointments as plum patronage positions. This will not be the approach of this government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Judicial Appointment
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LIB

John McKay

Liberal

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, let us return to the party of broken promises.

In its campaign platform the Conservative Party promised to cut taxes for all Canadians, yet on July 1 Canadians received a nasty little surprise in their pay package when they noticed that the cut had turned into the hike for virtually all taxpayers as it started at the lowest bracket.

Why does the government give peanuts on one hand and take billions out of taxpayers on the other hand? What does the government have against just telling the truth?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Ms. Diane Ablonczy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to know what the member is talking about because our budget delivered more tax relief for Canadian taxpayers than the four previous Liberal budgets. In fact, we are delivering $20 billion in tax relief for Canadians over the next two years. The Liberals should be celebrating this instead of criticizing it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Liberal

Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here is yet another broken promise.

Before appointing three former lobbyists to his cabinet, including the defence minister, before giving lobbyists senior positions in the PMO and ministerial offices, and before allowing ministers' staff to leave their offices to lobby their old bosses just days later, the Prime Minister promised that he would close the revolving door between government and lobbyists.

Why did he break this promise and reinstall this revolving door at the entrance of the PMO?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lobbying
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government and the Prime Minister brought forward to Parliament, in its very first piece of legislation, the most comprehensive lobbyist reform ever brought about not just in Canada but indeed the western world.

We want to impose a five year ban on those who work as ministerial assistants as well as senior public office holders. We want to require every single contact to be reported and made public on the Internet. These are real reforms. Canadians were tremendously disappointed at the corruption in the Liberal government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Lobbying
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here is yet another broken promise.

When the President of the Treasury Board tabled his hastily drafted and flaw-filled accountability act, he stated that his party would not accept donations over $1,000. He repeated that promise in the House on October 30. However, records show that the Conservatives have broken their promise by accepting donations over $1,000 on nearly 200 occasions.

Breaking promises has become an art for the Conservatives. How can Canadians ever trust them again?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Federal Accountability Act
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CPC

John Baird

Conservative

Hon. John Baird (President of the Treasury Board, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has said it wants a cap on political donations of $1,000. We agree. We wonder why those members are asking those questions. In the House of Commons committee they proposed to raise them to $3,000, and in the Liberal Senate they wanted to double them to $2,000.

We can solve this problem very easily by making our limits on donations retroactive to April 12, the day after the bill was introduced, so that we can have genuine accountability and less Liberal corruption.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Federal Accountability Act
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Hon. Stephen Owen (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, here are two more broken promises by the minority Conservative Prime Minister.

During the election the Prime Minister promised to accept only people who were elected into his cabinet and then he called for the election of senators. Yet, on his first day in office he appointed Conservative fundraiser Michael Fortier to the Senate and then to cabinet as, get this, Public Works minister.

When will the Prime Minister stop breaking promises to Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Minister of Public Works and Government Services
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister has indicated that he is going to run in the next general election and that is a promise he made to Canadians. In the meantime, he is working very hard on behalf of the people of the Montreal region, Quebec and indeed, all of Canada. He is doing an outstanding job and I am sure the hon. member will second that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Minister of Public Works and Government Services
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CPC

Gary Goodyear

Conservative

Mr. Gary Goodyear (Cambridge, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal dominated Senate's foot dragging, dithering and delay on the federal accountability act has finally come to an end. Tragically though, over 100 Liberal changes have effectively destroyed the bill, including providing for big money by doubling the $1,000 limit and increasing secrecy by adding exemptions to the Access to Information Act.

Will the President of the Treasury Board tell this House if he will rebuild the accountability act back into the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Federal Accountability Act
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November 10, 2006