November 23, 2017

LIB

Jean-Claude Poissant

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (La Prairie, Lib.)

Sadly, Mr. Speaker, violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread human rights violations, with more than one in three women experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. According to statistics from the United Nations, 750 million women were married before age 18, and more than 250 million women have undergone female genital mutilation. Eliminating all forms of violence against women is essential. November 25 will mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

I want to express appreciation to the members of the Centre de femmes l'Éclaircie, who dedicate themselves heart and soul to helping all women get through hardships. I invite all of my colleagues to salute these people, who are making a big difference in the fight for gender equality.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women and Girls
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NDP

Murray Rankin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the extraordinary work of leaders in Victoria, across Canada, and indeed the world to raise awareness, to de-stigmatize, and to end gender-based violence.

This Saturday is the UN international day to end violence against women. November 25 marks the start of 16 days of action. Activism against gender-based violence is part of the annual Orange the World campaign, orange being the colour of hope and courage.

I want to thank Rosemary O'Connell and Trudy Moul, of Development and Peace-Caritas Canada, and Phyllis Webster and Shirley Swift, of Victoria GRAN, for their advocacy to support women's organizations working for peace. In honour of their work and the UN Orange the World campaign, I am wearing orange today.

One in three women experience physical or sexual violence worldwide. Prevention is the key. Let us do our part to treat violence against women as a human rights violation and adopt laws and prevention programs so that violence against women and girls is ended in our lifetime.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, all of Canada will be focused on our most important annual sporting event, the 105th Grey Cup. The much storied Toronto Argonauts are underdogs to win a record 17th championship. The Argos won their spot through last-minute heroics in a come-from-behind win over Saskatchewan, sparing the green 'Riders the uncomfortable awkwardness of being the eastern team facing Calgary.

The Argonauts, led by a youthful 38-year-old Ricky Ray, deliver when it counts. With stars like S.J. Green and DeVier Posey, Marcus Ball, Martese Jackson, James Wilder, and York—Simcoe's own Corey Watman on the line, the double blue are an exciting team to watch.

We thank Argo's owner Larry Tanenbaum for supporting the remarkable rebuilding, led by Michael Copeland, Sara Moore, Marc Trestman, and Jim Popp.

Congratulations to new CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie for outstanding leadership and a great season.

Let us all take in the great tradition, a deep part of our identity, a week-long party of fans from across Canada, capped off by the uniquely Canadian game, the Grey Cup. Go, Argos.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Grey Cup 2017
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LIB

Marc Miller

Liberal

Mr. Marc Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, every year, as part of McGill's Women in House program, a group of 35 to 40 young women from McGill University spend two unforgettable days here.

The goal of this non-partisan program is to promote women's interest in politics and provide an opportunity to meet inspiring female politicians who can share their experiences and discuss their exciting work with the students.

As the MP for McGill, and a fourth-generation McGill graduate, the first man in that lineage, I sincerely hope this opportunity encourages these bright young minds to put their names on the ballot.

The under-representation of women in politics is a well-known and systemic problem. Overcoming it requires the education and opportunities that McGill's Women in House provides.

I want to extend a warm welcome to all of the young women from McGill University who are here today.

This House is theirs. I hope to see one of them in these seats in 2019.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   McGill's Women in House Program
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CPC

Lisa Raitt

Conservative

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's close friend, Stephen Bronfman, evaded paying taxes when he stashed away more than $60 million in sheltered offshore accounts. When these revelations came to light a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister rushed to defend his top fundraiser, saying he was satisfied with the assurances that he received from Mr. Bronfman.

We now know for certain that Bronfman was in fact directly linked to the trusts. What assurances did Mr. Bronfman give to the Prime Minister, and is he still satisfied?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government is well aware that it is a multi-billion-dollar issue. We invested close to $1 billion in our last two budgets.

The Canada Revenue Agency uses information from lists shared by participating BEPS countries.This is why, as of September 30, 2017, the agency was conducting more than 990 audits and 42 criminal investigations related to offshore financial structures. The agency is examining ties with Canadian entities and will take appropriate action with regard to the paradise papers. We continue to work for Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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CPC

Lisa Raitt

Conservative

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, speaking of investigations, the Prime Minister was not the only one to rush to defend Mr. Bronfman. The Liberal Party jumped on board, and in doing so it actually misled Canadians. It said in its statement, “Stephen Bronfman had no other direct or indirect involvement whatsoever in the Kolber Trust.” Now that we know the truth, could the minister confirm that Mr. Bronfman is now under one of the many investigations at the CRA?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are fully committed to fighting tax evasion and avoidance. It is funny to hear Conservatives talk about the importance of fighting tax evasion when a former national revenue minister, Mr. Blackburn, publicly stated that it was not a priority for the Conservative government.

In the last year they were in office, the Harper government conducted 98 offshore audits. By contrast, we conducted 223 last year. In the last year they were in office, the Conservatives transferred 244 cases to criminal investigations, whereas we transferred 335 last year. Only 39 search warrants were executed—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB
CPC

Lisa Raitt

Conservative

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency and the minister have repeatedly promised an independent investigation into those evading taxes, those who, through the paradise papers, have become apparent.

The Prime Minister compromised this investigation when he waded into the Bronfman affair. He was so fast to exonerate his buddy, but the truth can no longer be denied.

Will the Prime Minister allow the CRA to do its job and investigate his friend, or is this just another case of one rule for the Liberals and another one for the rest of us?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government is fully committed to fighting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance and to making the tax system fair and equitable for all Canadians. I can assure my colleagues opposite and all Canadians that nobody is above the law.

I am very proud of our country's leadership role internationally. Co-operation between revenue authorities, including the exchange of tax information, is an essential tool for maintaining the integrity of Canada's tax base.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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CPC

Gérard Deltell

Conservative

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have yet again received some very bad news about ethics in the Liberal Party.

This morning, the Globe and Mail reported that Stephen Bronfman, the Liberal Party's chief fundraiser, had assets in tax havens, in the Cayman Islands. This despite his claim that he was no longer involved in that sort of thing. The Prime Minister wasted no time saying he believed him, that everything was fine and that Bronfman was beyond reproach.

Is the Prime Minister still proud of his bagman?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government has taken concrete steps over the past two years to fight tax evasion and avoidance. We have invested close to $1 billion in fighting tax evasion.

I find those accusations utterly ridiculous. I cannot comment on specific cases. As the members opposite are perfectly aware, the law prohibits me from doing so.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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CPC

Gérard Deltell

Conservative

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, what is ridiculous is that the Minister of National Revenue claims she cannot comment on this issue, yet her boss, the Prime Minister, did not seem too concerned when he commented on the whole bagman story. That is ridiculous.

The minister is an honourable woman, so she must see how ludicrous this all is. Can she rise and assure Canadians that the Bronfman case will get the appropriate scrutiny?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our government is strongly committed to combatting tax evasion, and the Canada Revenue Agency will treat all cases the same way.

The agency receives 30 million returns every year. As we work to protect Canada's tax base, all cases will be treated the same way. No one is above the law.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, when Stephen Bronfman was named in the paradise papers, he swore, hand on heart, that he had not had any involvement since 1998, in any way, directly or indirectly. However, today we learned that he still had ties to a trust in the Cayman Islands in 2005.

Here is a very simple multiple-choice question: a) Stephen Bronfman lied to the Prime Minister; and b) the Prime Minister misled the House. Which answer is correct?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the role Canada has taken on the international stage. Co-operation between revenue authorities, including the exchange of tax information, is an essential tool for maintaining the integrity of Canada's tax base.

That is why, as of September 30, 2017, the agency was conducting more than 990 audits and 42 criminal investigations related to offshore financial structures. We continue to work on ensuring that our tax system is fair for all Canadians.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to think she is entitled to her own facts, but let us go through the facts.

The paradise papers initially revealed that Stephen Bronfman had ties to a trust in the Cayman Islands. Bronfman denied it and said he gave a loan that was quickly paid back by 1998. Well, that was false, because today we learned that as of 2005, there were still $7 million outstanding on that loan.

The government seems to be very content to accept whatever fish tale their well-connected friends cook up. When will the minister understand that Canadians are fed up with this double standard?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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LIB

Diane Lebouthillier

Liberal

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, no one is above the law and no one is interfering with the CRA's investigations.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Revenue Agency
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NDP

Matthew Dubé

New Democratic Party

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, as I just experienced myself, having participated in a planned hacking of my cellphone as part of a CBC/Radio-Canada report, Canada's networks are vulnerable. Phone conversations can be listened to and movements tracked. Every Canadian could be a potential target, from elected officials to business people.

While telecom companies have the capacity to beef up their security, what we need is leadership and legislation from the federal government.

Will the minister finally take Canadians' privacy seriously and modernize our laws?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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November 23, 2017