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Interventions in the House of Commons
Interventions in Committee
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Bill Blair - 11:36
Mr. Speaker, at first the Liberals said that they had no choice but to change the rules of Parliament. Now, after being roundly criticized, the Liberals are walking back everything, or almost everything. In their platform, the Liberals promised to end the practice of having parliamentary secretaries manage what happens in committees.
Why are the Liberals forcing through changes to the rules that would allow just that?
Hon. Bardish Chagger - 11:37
Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians are getting tired of the combination of high-handed actions and non-sequitur answers by the Liberals.
Just as they grew tired of omnibus bills under Stephen Harper's regime, the Liberals promised in the last campaign to end them. Omnibus bills allow for the government to push through hundreds of changes at once, without time for Parliament to scrutinize them or for civil society to scrutinize them. However, instead of getting rid of the practice of omnibus bills, the Liberals are proposing new rules that will legitimize the practice of omnibus bills.
We are just wondering this. What happened to the Liberals of the campaign?
Hon. Bardish Chagger - 11:38
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 14:25
Mr. Speaker, what he does not say is that those investments are going to come at a high cost to Canadians, who want to know why they cannot get Liberals in government to behave like the Liberals they vote for at election time. For instance, the Liberals have promised an infrastructure bank that would “provide loan guarantees and small capital contributions to provinces and municipalities”, not the BlackRock group. Nothing about user fees and tolls. Nothing about taxpayers taking on private risk. Liberals ran on a program that would have benefited communities, but, once elected, turned it into a $35-billion slush fund for their international corporate buddies. We want to know, where is their sense of shame?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 14:27
Mr. Speaker, I wonder how many of the small communities that are going to be left out of the infrastructure bank were clapping when that was said.
Every few days, new revelations come out about the Liberal pick for the official languages commissioner and her connection to the Liberal Party, to the PMO, and to the heritage minister's own office.
The partisanship in this appointment is so blatant that today a minority languages group out of New Brunswick will be seeking a legal injunction to stop it.
What is it going to take for the Prime Minister to admit that this time he has gone too far? When is he going to finally stop pretending that Madame Meilleur can be seen as an independent officer of Parliament?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 14:28
Hon. Jim Carr - 14:37
Mr. Speaker, after promising more times than we can count to get rid of our unfair voting system, the Prime Minister abandoned that promise. He would not let members of the House decide whether to move forward. Instead he said it was his choice alone. Well, he is wrong and tomorrow every MP will get to make that choice for themselves.
Will the Prime Minister get out of the way and promise not to punish Liberals who, unlike him, choose to keep their promise?
Hon. Karina Gould - 14:38
Bruce Stanton - 11:37
Mr. Speaker, according to an internal RCMP document, staffing levels at the dispatch centre in Manitoba have reached a “critical level”, with a vacancy rate of 35%. As a result, Manitoba RCMP officers who are dealing with refugee border crossers at Emerson on top of their regular duties are going to see a reduction in their field support. This level of so-called “risk management” by the government is not acceptable.
When the government looks to pinch pennies, why is it always front-line RCMP officers who get the short end of the stick?
Mark Holland - 11:38
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 15:42
Mr. Speaker, in case he does not realize it, the Prime Minister is not rehearsing lines for a play: he is answering questions about whether or not he broke the law. What we want to know is what he is going to tell the Ethics Commissioner, and he can say it in this place as well. Was the private helicopter that he chose to get on the only way to get to the island, yes or no?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 15:42
Hon. Geoff Regan - 15:06
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period, I could not help but hear the government House leader said that the Prime Minister answered every question in question period last Wednesday. Having answered a question myself, I know that not to be true. I wonder if she wants to—
Hon. Geoff Regan - 15:06
Karine Trudel - 14:49
Mr. Speaker, as vice chair of the committee, I am pleased to answer the question and teach the Prime Minister to do something he has not learned in 18 months, which is to give a straight answer.
The committee did indeed table its report last year. In light of a recent announcement by the President of the Treasury Board that the government did not intend to implement its promised reforms anytime soon, some committee members moved a motion calling on the President of the Treasury Board to explain himself at committee.
For those who do not know, our committee has a Liberal majority. When it came to a vote, the motion was defeated.
Mr. Speaker, access to information reform has been studied time and again. In fact, one could say in this case it has been studied literally to death.
Despite two recent reports and calls for reform, the President of the Treasury Board announced he was not going to be keeping his promise to introduce new legislation this spring. Instead of explaining himself at committee, to which he earnestly promised reform, he is allowing the Liberal members to run interference.
Why is he suddenly scared to come to the committee, and will he take this opportunity to explain himself to the House?
Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 14:51
Anthony Rota - 11:36
Mr. Speaker, it is baffling that someone who can blow $1,700 on food for a three-hour flight cannot find help to understand the law. As a result, the Prime Minister is under two different investigations by the Ethics Commissioner and has violated the Official Languages Act. Let us quote the Prime Minister:
...when you make a mistake you admit it, you make amends, you ask for forgiveness and you make sure it never happens again.
Will he admit his mistake, make amends, ask for forgiveness, and make sure it never happens again?
Kevin Lamoureux - 11:37
Hon. Ralph Goodale - 11:22
Mr. Speaker, recently 19 individuals crossed the border into Manitoba during a blizzard, including a pregnant woman and a toddler. The Liberal government continues to claim that the current situation is somehow the status quo, but I can say that people running across farmers' fields across the border in a blizzard is not the status quo. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister has not even answered the Premier of Manitoba's letter asking for help. During the meeting today with President Trump's official, would the Liberals point out that the U.S. no longer fits Canada's own description of a safe country for refugees?
Hon. Ralph Goodale - 11:23
There we have it, Mr. Speaker, Liberal ministers getting up and saying it is status quo; every one of them except for the finance minister, who is hinting that Trump's presidency is changing everything including the budget. Therefore, instead of flowing the funds for their promises on mental health and home care, the Liberals have cynically been using that money to force provinces onto the Harper plan. As Liberal promises collapse left and right, Canadians are wondering if they will ever get the things they really need, like a national pharmacare plan.
Is the Liberal government going to take responsibility for backtracking on its promises, or is it just going to blame it on Trump?
Hon. Jane Philpott - 11:25
Hon. Bill Morneau - 14:34
Mr. Speaker, Cyrus Reporter, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, who used to be a lobbyist, has just taken a job as a lobbyist again. The Liberals tell us not to worry because he is not going to be lobbying his friends. Instead, he will just be coaching other lobbyists on how to lobby his Liberal friends.
This clearly goes against the spirit of the Lobbying Act, which is supposed to prevent this revolving door of Liberal lobbyists. How can the Liberals explain this blatant attempt to get around the law? Where is their integrity?
Hon. Bardish Chagger - 14:35
Mark Holland - 14:42
Mr. Speaker, last weekend, another 21 refugees, looking for safety, walked for hours through snowy fields to get to Canada through Emerson, Manitoba. Repeated calls on the government to take concrete, immediate actions like suspending the safe third country agreement continue to go unanswered, while these individuals are literally risking life and limb. If some poor farmer were to find a refugee family lying in his field, would the Minister of Immigration continue to repeat the same lame non-answers we have heard for weeks, or would he have the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans repeat them for him?
Will the minister finally suspend the safe third country agreement now? What is it going to take?
Hon. Ahmed Hussen - 14:44