March 3, 2014

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Harry Neufeld is the former chief electoral officer for the Province of British Columbia, and he wrote the report on some of the problems with the 2011 election.

Now he is adding his voice to the flood of people criticizing the electoral “deform”. He has stated that clause 44, which stipulates that the incumbent shall appoint the central poll supervisors, is completely inappropriate.

Can the minister tell us why he included such a partisan measure in his electoral bill?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Minister of State (Democratic Reform), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, for many positions, people are appointed by the first- and second-place parties in each riding across Canada. In fact, the current Canada Elections Act sets out four such positions.

The same principle will apply with central polling supervisors, who will be appointed on the recommendation of the leading party from the previous election in that riding. If Elections Canada believes that recommended appointment is inappropriate, it can just reject it.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the minister thinks he knows what is best for Canadians, while he sits in his ivory tower here in Ottawa.

However, he would do well to listen to these criticisms, rather than simply brush them off. We are talking about an elections expert, an authority in the field, who is saying that this change in how central poll supervisors are appointed could give the incumbent an unfair advantage.

Can the Minister of State for Democratic Reform return to his Reform Party roots and listen to what people on the ground are saying?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Minister of State (Democratic Reform), CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members suddenly want to listen to Mr. Neufeld, but when I talked about the 50,000 serious mistakes related to vouching that were made during the last election, the NDP members did not want to listen.

Those mistakes were serious, which is why we will eliminate this approach and replace it with 39 forms of identification, while requiring that Elections Canada inform Canadians of the types of identification required.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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NDP

Ève Péclet

New Democratic Party

Ms. Ève Péclet (La Pointe-de-l'Île, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, a new book about the Mike Duffy saga and the Senate scandals will be released in the next few days.

Well, we already knew that Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright met on February 11 and 12, 2013, to talk about their so-called secret agreement. However, this book reveals that these meetings were held in the Prime Minister's private boardroom, room 204 in the Langevin Building.

Can the Prime Minister confirm this information?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told Senator Duffy that he to repay any ineligible expenses, and he told that to the entire caucus. The report issued by the RCMP also quite clearly indicates that the Prime Minister did not know of the scheme that was being put forward by Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. As the Prime Minister said, had he known, he would have put a stop to it immediately.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives insist that the Prime Minister was not aware of the meetings between Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright, but we now learn that those meetings did not take place in some dark corner. No, they took place in the Prime Minister's own “private high-security boardroom”.

Will the Prime Minister tell us whether or not he was aware that, on February 11 and 12, 2013, his private boardroom was being used by the four conspirators: Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright, David Tkachuk, and Irving Gerstein?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already confirmed the fact, and said to the House, that he told Senator Duffy, in fact all of caucus, that any ineligible expenses should be repaid immediately. It is a standard that we expect on this side of the House. It is a standard that Canadians expect.

When that was not done, we went further to make sure that these senators were suspended from the Senate without pay. Again, I think that was the right decision. That was the decision that Canadians expected.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I think the right thing would be to find out whether or not a crime was committed in the Prime Minister's boardroom. Dan Leger's book has now moved the issue of these conspirators right into the Prime Minister's private boardroom. Even after the scandal became public, are we to believe the Prime Minister was not briefed about what happened in those two days?

Mike Duffy states that if he faces trial, he will bring down high-ranking members of the Conservative government. Will the government tell us today, who are those high-ranking Conservatives?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Paul Calandra

Conservative

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, again, the documents released by the RCMP quite clearly indicate that the Prime Minister did not know of this. At the same time, these very same documents outlined quite clearly the extent to which the Prime Minister went to make sure that all information was made available, including waivers from all of the staff. All emails were turned over.

We are working with the RCMP to make sure that all the facts on this are known. We went even further, by making sure that these three senators were suspended and that there are new accountability measures in the Senate. That is the type of action Canadians expect, and that is what they will continue to get from this government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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NDP

Robert Aubin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the main estimates usually contain employment insurance estimates. Oddly enough, the most recent main estimates do not include this information. We are talking about tens of billions of dollars, and the Conservatives are refusing to provide details about how this money will be spent.

Why did they omit details about employment insurance this year? What are they hiding?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CPC

Scott Armstrong

Conservative

Mr. Scott Armstrong (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the changes we have made in the EI program are to support people actually connecting to jobs that are available. We worked very hard to make sure that all Canadians can find a job that they are qualified for. I am very pleased that we announced on Friday that there was an agreement reached on the Canada job grant. This will provide thousands of Canadians with the ability to get training that actually leads to a job. That is good news.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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NDP

Peggy Nash

New Democratic Party

Ms. Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, public accounts come out after all the spending is done, but the estimates are about providing oversight for the government's planned spending. Clearly the Conservatives hate fiscal accountability. They even forced the Parliamentary Budget Officer to take them to court over missing financial information. Now there is a hole in their estimates where EI should be.

Can the minister tell us how much will be paid out this year from the employment insurance operating account, and will it be more or less than $20 billion?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CPC

Scott Armstrong

Conservative

Mr. Scott Armstrong (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we continue to focus on connecting Canadians to available jobs. That is what Canadians really care about. We are going to make changes to all of the job grant programs. We are going to make changes so that all Canadians can connect with jobs that are available. We have a problem in Canada today. We have too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without Canadians. We are making changes to fix that.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, manufacturing employees are still bearing the brunt of the recession, in spite of what the parliamentary secretary says. Sales dropped more than $2.9 billion last year alone, and that is down from the year before that and the year before that.

From Caterpillar and Kellogg's to Heinz and Wescast, jobs are being lost, yet the long-promised government strategy is missing in action. Four years ago today, the government promised a digital economy strategy, and Canadians are still waiting.

Will the minister acknowledge that his lack of action has failed Canada's manufacturing sector?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Manufacturing Industry
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CPC

James Moore

Conservative

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Industry, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the member has mixed up two things. First she talked about the digital strategy, and then about industrial policy. I will answer the part of the question on the digital policy strategy.

Of course, it was this government that put forward and created a Canada media fund. It was this government, through our economic action plan, that had our first real substantive pan-Canadian effort to have rural broadband connecting all of Canada together, and we are going further in budget 2014.

It was this budget that put forward the Copyright Modernization Act, which protects the rights of people who put their wares into the digital world. It is this government, moving forward, that will continue to lead when it comes to protecting Canada and ensuring we are not just in the game but leading in the digital world.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Manufacturing Industry
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance used to be for income splitting. Now he is against it.

The Minister of Transport and the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture seem to agree with him. However, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, and now, the Prime Minister have clearly contradicted him.

With all this chaos, how can the Minister of Finance hold onto his job?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Finance
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, rather well.

There are a couple of provincial budgets this week, one in Alberta. I hope they have the advice of the leader of the Liberal Party who says that budgets can balance themselves, so they will not have to worry about all the details and expenses.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Finance
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Finance
Permalink
CPC

March 3, 2014