June 2, 2017

LIB

David Lametti

Liberal

Mr. David Lametti (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, ACOA is dedicated to helping Atlantic Canada realize its full economic potential in terms of innovation, growth, productivity and competitiveness.

Our government would like to thank the former president, Paul LeBlanc, for his years of service to ACOA and the Atlantic Region.

The newly appointed president, Francis McGuire, is a known and respected individual in the Atlantic region, and he has extensive experience working in both the private and public sectors.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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CPC

Candice Bergen

Conservative

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, and he has donated over $30,000 to the Liberal Party over the last ten years. He forgot to mention that.

Yesterday, the Liberal House leader said that Canadians who want to be the next Ethics Commissioner can apply on a government website, but that was false. The posting for the Ethics Commissioner is nowhere to be found on the website.

The House leader is famous for avoiding questions and giving non-answers, but now she just seems to be making things up. Can the Prime Minister guarantee that when the Ethics Commissioner's job finally is posted that there will not be a Liberal Party donation link right beside it?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Bardish Chagger

Liberal

Hon. Bardish Chagger (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the member very well knows, we have put in place a new open, transparent, merit-based appointment process, and any positions that are are available are posted online so that Canadians can apply for those positions.

We are looking for a high—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Anthony Rota

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota)

I realize it is Friday and everybody is excited to get home for the weekend. The excitement is oozing in, but I am trying to hear the answer and I am having a hard time over the heckling. I would ask all the members to show some respect.

The hon. government House leader.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Bardish Chagger

Liberal

Hon. Bardish Chagger

Mr. Speaker, this process is looking to identify high-quality candidates who will help to achieve gender parity and truly reflect Canada's diversity.

Under this process, we have made over 140 appointments. These are great appointments. We will continue to do the good work that Canadians expect us to do.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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CPC

Sylvie Boucher

Conservative

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, another week ends under the pall of Liberal arrogance. It is a complete disgrace that the Minister of Canadian Heritage refuses to backtrack following her terrible decision to appoint Madeleine Meilleur as official languages commissioner, not because she lacks the skills, but rather for reasons that give a whole new meaning to the word partisanship.

When will the minister realize that Ms. Meilleur has already lost all credibility to fill the position before she has even begun, and that it is high time that the appointment process became transparent and apolitical?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the member for her question and for her work on the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

As the member knows, we promised to find the best person to be the official languages commissioner, and that is exactly what we did. Ms. Meilleur's skills, experience, and integrity have been recognized by members on all sides of the House. We are confident that Ms. Meilleur will carry out her duties with all the experience and impartiality this important position requires.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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CPC

Sylvie Boucher

Conservative

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has misled the House day after day and has not even bothered to apologize. It is shockingly easy to talk out of both sides of one's mouth and to avoid the issue.

We are simply asking that the appointment of Ms. Meilleur to the position of official languages commissioner be rescinded and that a new transparent, fair, and non-partisan process be conducted.

Knowing full well that the opposition parties do not approve of this appointment at all, when will the minister do what is right and start over?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, our two official languages are a priority for our government. Ms. Meilleur is a lawyer who has devoted a good part of her career to protecting our official languages and the vitality of our linguistic communities. She will be an important watchdog and ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act. We are confident that she will carry out her duties with all the experience and impartiality required.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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Tracey Ramsey

NDP

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' softwood lumber aid package comes after thousands of Canadians have already lost their jobs. The Liberals were so confident they would get a deal done with Obama, that they walked away from the negotiating table and now with Trump in office, there is no deal in sight. Meanwhile, billions of dollars will flow out of Canadian communities and into U.S. coffers. Our forestry workers are the ones who are paying the price.

When will the Liberals get back to the negotiating table and secure a long-term solution to the softwood lumber crisis?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Chrystia Freeland

Liberal

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it was the previous Conservative government that allowed the softwood lumber agreement to expire—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Anthony Rota

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota)

Order. I will let the hon. minister continue.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Chrystia Freeland

Liberal

Hon. Chrystia Freeland

Mr. Speaker, we strongly disagree with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose unfair and punitive duties. We are going to fight those duties in the courts and we are going to win because we always do. We are at the negotiating table. I met twice this week with Secretary Ross, but I want to remind all hon. members that we are going to get a good deal for Canada, not just any deal.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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?

Karine Trudel

NDP

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government finally announced a plan to help the softwood lumber industry, which is going through a very rough patch that is only going to get worse with time.

The Kénogami and Dolbeau supercalendered paper mills are also in grave danger. Hundreds of jobs are in jeopardy, and if nothing is done, thousands of jobs will be lost all across the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Can the Minister of International Trade tell us if the Kénogami and Dolbeau mills will be eligible for the measures in the plan announced yesterday?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Kim Rudd

Liberal

Ms. Kim Rudd (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's forest industry sustains hundreds of thousands of good middle-class jobs across our country. Our government continues to fight vigorously to defend the interests of the Canadian lumber industry, including through litigation. We are taking immediate action to help Canadians who are affected by these unfair and punitive duties.

Our announcement yesterday includes investments to diversify forest products and markets, support for affected workers and financial products, and services at commercial terms. These measures will defend Canadian interests and promote the long-term health and transformation of the industry.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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Karine Trudel

NDP

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the NDP tried to tease out more information about the appointment of Ms. Meilleur, a former Liberal minister, to the non-partisan official languages commissioner position. The Liberals say they have nothing to hide, but they prevented the committee from looking into it.

Let us not forget that Gerry Butts, who spoke to Madeleine Meilleur before she was appointed, answers to the Prime Minister.

If the Liberal government truly had nothing to do with preventing the committee from investigating this, will it tell Gerry Butts to appear before the committee voluntarily?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Commissioner of Official Languages is an important position, and we are committed to finding the best possible candidate for the position.

To respond to my colleague's allegations, I want to make it clear that at no time was the official languages commissioner job discussed. There is a process in place, and it was followed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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Tracey Ramsey

NDP

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say they are so proud of the nomination, yet they cannot explain why Madeleine Meilleur testified that she had special access to the Prime Minister's closest advisers. Yesterday the Liberals blocked an investigation into the entire appointment process. If they are proud of this appointment, why are they preventing us from understanding exactly how Madame Meilleur was selected? If the Liberals are so proud of this appointment, why do they keep acting like they have something to hide?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Government Appointments
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June 2, 2017