June 14, 2016

LIB

Maryam Monsef

Liberal

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, first, it is my understanding that the event the member is referring to is asking for a voluntary donation to help cover some of the costs of the event, such as room rental and light refreshments.

That said, I am encouraged that Canadians are engaged in this conversation. I look forward to all the ways that the MPs in this place will go out of their way to hear from their constituents.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
Permalink
CPC

Blake Richards

Conservative

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have never heard such a lame excuse in all my life. The Liberals keep claiming that they are listening to Canadians on electoral reform and that they “will not proceed with any changes without the broad buy-in of the Canadian people”. However, it turns out that what they meant by buy-in was that Canadians were going to have to buy a ticket to get in.

This is not about filling Liberal coffers, it is democracy. Every Canadian deserves a say without having to pay to get in the door. Therefore, will the Liberals actually listen to Canadians and give each and every Canadian a direct say in a referendum, yes, or no?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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LIB

Maryam Monsef

Liberal

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure all Canadians that our government is acting to remove as many barriers as possible and ensure full participation of all Canadians in this important conversation. I urge the member opposite to bring forward more constructive dialogue into this debate.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
Permalink
CPC

Jason Kenney

Conservative

Hon. Jason Kenney (Calgary Midnapore, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, clearly the minister does not understand the conflict of interest that exists when politicians choose their own electoral system. That is why other jurisdictions have had royal commissions and citizen assemblies followed by referendums. Why does the minister want to put politicians in a conflict of interest situation? Why not let millions of Canadians choose through a referendum?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
Permalink
LIB

Maryam Monsef

Liberal

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the member opposite understands that the role of an MP is to represent his or her constituents in this place. In that vein, I once again encourage all members to ensure the voices of their constituents—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
Permalink
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. I have trouble hearing the answer to the question. I should not have any trouble. Let us all listen carefully please. I guess the hon. Minister of Democratic Institutions has finished her answer.

The hon. member for Saskatoon West.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Democratic Reform
Permalink
NDP

Sheri Benson

New Democratic Party

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the previous Conservative government attacked collective bargaining and weakened worker protection for the public service. In January, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour tabled a bill to repeal some of the Conservatives' anti-worker legislation. However, six months later and the bill is languishing.

It is not enough just to meet with public servants and pay lip service to undoing Conservative damage. When will the Liberals stop stalling and bring Bill C-4 back to the House?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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LIB

MaryAnn Mihychuk

Liberal

Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk (Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are all anxious to get Bill C-4 through the whole parliamentary system. In fact, members have had an opportunity to speak to the bill. It has gone to committee. I had an opportunity to present. We are looking forward to actually bringing it back to the House, voting on it and making it a new law for Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
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NDP

Karine Trudel

New Democratic Party

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer is not good enough.

Bill C-4 is currently in parliamentary limbo. No one even knows what stage it is at. On top of that, the Liberals failed to include a number of elements.

For instance, this bill does not even reinstate the provisions on workplace health and safety. The previous government attacked workers' rights over and over again. The Liberals are quick to make promises to Canadian workers, but they have a hard time keeping them.

Will the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour finally do something and reinstate the provisions on workplace health and safety in Bill C-4 in order to protect Canadians workers?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
Permalink
LIB

MaryAnn Mihychuk

Liberal

Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk (Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as everyone in the House knows, we have had several very important national issues to discuss, debate, and vote on.

Bill C-4 was introduced second to the budget bill itself. It shows an indication of the priority that our government has to restore fair and balanced labour legislation.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Labour
Permalink
LIB

Paul Lefebvre

Liberal

Mr. Paul Lefebvre (Sudbury, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, innovation drives growth and makes Canada more competitive.

In my riding, Sudbury, businesses have boosted their productivity and accelerated their growth by adjusting their innovation strategies.

Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development tell the House what the government is doing to stimulate innovation in Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sudbury for his question and for expressing his interest in promoting innovation.

Our government has always said that we need a whole-of-government approach to building a more inclusive and innovative Canada. Today, I had the pleasure of announcing our first step toward creating a more innovative Canada.

We invite Canadians to tell us how to better foster innovation as a Canadian value.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
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CPC

Blaine Calkins

Conservative

Mr. Blaine Calkins (Red Deer—Lacombe, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, later today, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will outline the Liberals' latest innovation scheme, but there is one problem. The event is being hosted by Canada 2020. This is the same group that hosted the pay-to-play trip to Washington. It just so happens that the leaders of Canada 2020 are deeply connected to the Liberal Party, and they also happen to own a lobbying firm, which happens to be registered to lobby the minister.

Could the minister explain how this is not textbook cronyism and a gross conflict of interest?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am so glad the member opposite raised the issue of innovation.

The Conservatives have been asking a lot of questions around the Agreement on Internal Trade. We believe that both these issues were addressed today when we talked about our innovation agenda.

This agenda is making key investments to grow our economy and to help the middle class. It is about providing future growth opportunities for companies to not only grow but to scale up. It is an opportunity for us to make key investments that ensure we have a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
Permalink
CPC

Blaine Calkins

Conservative

Mr. Blaine Calkins (Red Deer—Lacombe, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, running its events through a non-profit that also happens to be run by a lobbyist is quite innovative. For a government that says it is dedicated to inclusive growth, it is quite shocking to see how many exclusive pay-to-play events it promotes.

Today, the Liberals have outsourced the innovation agenda to their Liberal friends at Canada 2020. Not only that, but Canada 2020 controls the invite list for this so-called government announcement. Therefore, there is in fact nothing public or inclusive about the Liberal innovation agenda.

How is the minister protecting the taxpayer by granting exclusive access of a $2 billion policy to well-connected Liberal insiders?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today I had the opportunity, along with my colleagues from science and small business, to talk about our innovation agenda.

We did a press conference. In that press conference, we outlined key themes to growing the economy. We made these announcements on top of the commitment we already demonstrated in our budget to grow the economy: $800 million for clusters; $2 billion for research institutions and our post-secondary institutions; and $500 million for our broadband connectivity agenda.

The bottom line is that we have an innovation agenda that is about growing the economy and creating jobs, and we made that known to the public.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
Permalink
CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canada 2020 is at the forefront once again.

Apparently the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development's innovation strategy was developed in close collaboration with that organization, which is anything but non-partisan. That organization shares offices with Bluesky Strategy Group Inc., a lobbying firm, and one of Bluesky's top brass was a Liberal strategist during last year's election campaign.

Can the minister tell us when lobbyists started having a hand in his government's innovation strategy and why he condones this conflict of interest?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
Permalink
LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that a very open and transparent process should be put in place when it comes to dealing with the public on the innovation agenda. I met with hundreds of CEOs, small business CEOs and large business CEOs. There were numerous round tables had many engagement opportunities.

Today, we announced a robust innovation agenda that talks about key themes to grow the economy, to bet on talent, to bet on innovation, to ensure we have a process that includes everyone. We have a whole-of-government approach. We have a whole-of-society approach. It is about finding solutions to problems. It is about growing the economy.

I am glad the members opposite are talking about this very important priority of this government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
Permalink
CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we learned that the launch of the minister's innovation agenda is under partisan and political control. Just a few days after the innovation strategy event was announced, the event was sold out.

Again, Canadians will have a problem with the very close ties between the Liberal government and lobbyists.

Why is the minister allowing his policy to be used in this way, and why is he giving Liberal insiders special access to this $2-billion policy?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Innovation in Canada
Permalink

June 14, 2016