June 17, 2015

CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I found the general's comments to be completely unacceptable, inappropriate and offensive. Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are unacceptable in any institution. The general did immediately apologize for his comments.

The Canadian Armed Forces and Lieutenant-General Whitecross are in the process of implementing all of the recommendations set out in the Deschamps report.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister just said will not drastically change the culture that has permeated the Canadian Armed Forces. The question was what he personally intends to do about it.

General Lawson's comments are, of course, as wrong as they are a representation of everything that is pervasive in the military.

Will the Prime Minister himself commit to implementing Justice Deschamps recommendations in order to put an end to this toxic culture within our military with regard to sexual assault and sexual misconduct?

That culture is wrong. It has to be changed from the top. Will the Prime Minister act?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I found the general's comments offensive, inappropriate and completely unacceptable. Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment are unacceptable in any institution. We are all very clear on that. There is no excuse for it. The general did immediately apologize for his comments.

I would point out that the men and women in the military commissioned the report on this particular issue and gave a series of recommendations. The armed forces and General Whitecross are in the process of implementing those things immediately. We should not do anything that would slur all of the men and women in uniform.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that his government, and I quote, “encouraged the RCMP to destroy documents”, even though he knew that that violated the law. The Ontario Provincial Police are even investigating this matter.

Has the Prime Minister communicated with the police to indicate his own involvement in this illegal activity?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this government made a commitment to Canadians, and especially Canadians in the regions, to abolish the long gun registry, and we passed legislation to do just that in this Parliament.

The RCMP obviously complies with the law, as does the government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister still believe that all senators meet the residency requirements to sit in the Senate? If so, would he be kind enough to tell us where Senator Carolyn Stewart-Olsen lives?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Once again, Mr. Speaker, after a complete audit the leader of the NDP gets up and makes an accusation against someone who is accused of absolutely nothing.

The fact of the matter is that the Senate has done an audit and the Senate is responding to its recommendations.

What has not been responded to is NDP members taking public money and putting it into their own party organization. That is what was done in the sponsorship scandal. They have done that at a level of three times all of the accusations against senators combined.

It is totally unacceptable. I look forward to Canadians passing judgment on them.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, the senator for Ottawa-Moncton.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his Conservative senator, Jean-Guy Dagenais, who thinks that his office is entitled to claim money from taxpayers for mileage on travel that he admits never took place?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General issued his report and the Senate is acting on it. The NDP leader is obviously trying to make up accusations against some individuals. The truth is that this member took $400,000 from taxpayers, as in the sponsorship scandal, for his own political party. That is completely unacceptable, and the public will have a chance to have its say.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
LIB

Justin Trudeau

Liberal

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is 2015. Sexual harassment in our military is—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Papineau has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
LIB

Justin Trudeau

Liberal

Mr. Justin Trudeau

Mr. Speaker, it is 2015, and sexual harassment in our military is unacceptable. Someone in a leadership role excusing it as biological wiring is unacceptable. An apology that says this was just an awkward characterization is unacceptable.

The Prime Minister just said that he agrees, so why will the Prime Minister not immediately dismiss his Chief of the Defence Staff?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the leader of the Liberal Party has been briefed on the facts in terms of the year.

In terms of the more serious issue, as I have said, obviously the comments made here are offensive. They are inappropriate, they are inexplicable, and the general did immediately apologize. As we have said repeatedly, sexual misconduct is unacceptable in any institution, government or non-governmental. The Canadian Armed Forces takes this issue very seriously. They commissioned a report, with a series of comprehensive recommendations, and they are acting on them.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
LIB

Justin Trudeau

Liberal

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, sexual harassment is unacceptable. Those in leadership positions need to set an example.

The Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff made unacceptable comments on that subject. His apology is not good enough.

Once again, seriously this time, can the Prime Minister tell us why he did not immediately demand that the Chief of the Defence Staff resign?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the general apologized immediately. As I said, his comments were inappropriate, offensive and unacceptable. The Canadian Armed Forces are acting on recommendations and taking a comprehensive approach to eliminating sexual harassment among military personnel. The Chief of the Defence Staff has already announced his retirement, his successor has been appointed, and the transition will take place soon.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Defence
Permalink
LIB

Justin Trudeau

Liberal

Mr. Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, the Prime Minister has repeatedly attacked the Supreme Court. He changed the judicial appointment process, making it partisan and closed.

The Liberal Party has a plan for real change, to make the Supreme Court appointment process inclusive, representative and transparent again, a process that will ensure that judges are bilingual.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to acknowledge the importance of having judges who understand our two official languages?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Supreme Court
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see the Liberal Party leader's 32 number one recommendations.

He has 32 number one recommendations, number one policies, none of which, of course, correspond to anything here his party has ever done in the past on this or any other issue.

Our institutions are bilingual. The Parliament of Canada is bilingual. The Supreme Court of Canada is bilingual. Other institutions are. We do not require every single member of them to be bilingual.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Supreme Court
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Mulcair

New Democratic Party

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Leader of the Opposition, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Nigel Wright told the RCMP that he briefed the Prime Minister on the media lines for the Duffy deal. Wright said in an email that he had the “good to go from the PM”.

Why did the Prime Minister claim that he had never given Wright any instructions regarding the Duffy scandal? “Good to go” seems like a pretty clear instruction.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink
CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the NDP knows very well, he is quoting from an RCMP report that thoroughly examined this matter. It was given access to all documents and was very clear that I knew nothing of this particular matter, unlike him, who signed all of the papers, that took the money, inappropriately and fraudulently, out of the House of Commons, for which he will have to answer.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
Permalink

June 17, 2015