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View Claude Bachand Profile
View Claude Bachand Profile
2011-03-25 10:57 [p.9253]
Mr. Speaker, I must admit it has been a long time since I have heard such an arrogant speech.
I have a lesson in democracy for the Conservative government's whip. To attack the legitimacy of the Bloc is to attack the legitimacy of all the hon. members who sit in this House. If an hon. member is sitting in the House of Commons, it is because the people of his riding elected him. It should not matter what party he belongs to.
When I say the whip is arrogant, I mean that the Conservative Party seems to think it is the only party that matters in Parliament. What the minister did is totally unacceptable.
I want to know whether he thinks that the voters in Saint-Jean and those in the other 50 Bloc-held ridings are all morons who understand absolutely nothing. I have news for him: the Bloc is going to come back with a majority in Quebec for the seventh time, and the government whip is going to eat his words.
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
2011-03-25 13:18 [p.9279]
Madam Speaker, the motion we are debating today is on the confidence that every government must earn and keep.
We are dealing with a government that has woven a web of deception, attacked democracy and demonstrated an utter lack of integrity.
We are dealing with a government and a Prime Minister who have written off Quebec.
It is no longer possible to have any confidence in this Conservative government.
The fact that it was found guilty of contempt of Parliament, a first in the history of Canada, is serious enough in and of itself.
It was not just a simple mistake and the Prime Minister cannot suggest that there were extenuating circumstances.
The Conservative leader's decision to hide the truth was premeditated.
What is more, the Conservative leader is a notorious repeat offender. He and his party have quite the rap sheet.
The Conservative leader and his entourage have turned deception and trickery into a system of governance.
They have simply been making up the facts and fudging the truth, as we saw in the case of the Afghan detainees.
It goes on like that, deception after deception.
For example, when it came to the procurement of fighter jets, the government hid the numbers.
The Conservatives' populist law and order bills are going to cost several billion dollars.
The Conservative leader and his cohorts have decided to adopt the American approach, one that has unfortunately failed and that costs a lot of money.
They know it but, for them, it is not the actual results of public policies that matter, it is the ideological results.
The Conservative leader knows very well that, if the public learns that his policies are costing billions of dollars, he will fail in his attempt to impose his ideological agenda.
For years, the Conservative leader and his cohorts have claimed to want to fix the justice system, but each time they were given the opportunity to abolish automatic parole after one-sixth of the sentence has been served, they refused, finding a new pretext for doing so each time.
The Conservatives did not hesitate to spread falsehoods about the Bloc Québécois and it took widespread indignation about the release of Vincent Lacroix for them to stop their hyper-partisan game.
Another example: the Conservatives want the public to believe that they are responsible for the economic recovery.
It is the exact opposite.
Had there not been a proposed coalition against his government at the end of 2008, the Conservative leader would have sunk the Canadian and Quebec economies.
The only reason why there is a stimulus plan, an unsatisfactory one at that, is because the opposition parties made him come up with one.
Today the Prime Minister said that even the idea of a coalition is illegitimate, but he is misleading the public.
In 2004, he himself planned to form a similar coalition, and he knows it. I will read the letter he wrote, which I signed, as did the leader of the NDP.
You could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program [the government was Liberal at the time.]We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation.We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.
The thought was that the Conservative leader would become prime minister after coming to an agreement with the leaders of the Bloc and the NDP about the content of the throne speech and the budget. And look what happened.
Another lie: for months the Prime Minister has been saying that he does not want an election.
But his actions over the past weeks have demonstrated the exact opposite.
He did not hesitate to orchestrate a $26 million pre-election ad campaign with taxpayers' money.
He deliberately wrote off Quebec in his budget in order to ensure that we could not vote for it.
On Wednesday the Conservative leader repeated once again that he did not want an election, yet he completely dismissed any possibility of amending his budget.
All of the Conservative leader's actions point to the same thing: he wanted an election.
He told the public exactly the opposite of what he was really thinking.
After so much deceit, how can anyone have confidence in the Conservative leader and his entourage? Especially since the case against the Conservatives is so strong.
Not only has there been contempt of Parliament, but also patronage, influence peddling, electoral fraud and RCMP investigations. The Conservative government handed out many partisan appointments, despite its promises to end that practice.
A former advisor to the Conservative leader and the Minister of Natural Resources is under criminal investigation. The party is facing charges for violating the Canada Elections Act, and I am not talking about one isolated incident. According to Elections Canada, we are talking about a premeditated system of electoral fraud. We are talking about violations committed by the highest authorities in the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister's inner circle, and several of his ministers. For a party that claims to be the champion of law and order, it is rather pathetic.
The case against the government is very strong and there are no extenuating circumstances. The Conservatives are repeat offenders and definitely do not deserve the confidence of the people of Quebec. We therefore plan to vote in favour of the non-confidence motion against this government, this party and its leader. We will do so on this very question of integrity, but we will also do so because the Conservative leader has not honoured his commitments to Quebec.
The Conservatives wrote off Quebec in order to trigger an election. The Conservative leader made sure that the economic and financial needs of Quebec would be completely ignored. The refusal to give Quebec compensation for harmonizing taxes is a perfect example. Everyone agrees that this $2.2 billion compensation is a matter of basic fairness. All the parties in the National Assembly agree. The agreement is ready to be signed. Quebec has been waiting for 19 years.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's political lieutenant from Quebec had the nerve to say that an election would delay negotiations with Quebec. That is taking people for fools, especially knowing that the Conservatives have done everything they could to trigger an election. The truth is that the Conservatives knew they would lose votes in Canada if they were fair to Quebec. The truth is that the Conservative MPs are prepared to sacrifice the interests of Quebec in order to obey their master. When the time comes to speak for Quebec, to represent the consensus in Quebec, they keep quiet, as usual. They deliberately chose to ignore Quebec and turn their backs on their province. Quebeckers will not forget that.
There is a total of $5 billion worth of disputes between Ottawa and Quebec that the Conservatives have completely ignored. We are talking about $630 for every Quebecker, including babies. For a family of four, this represents $2,500. Two thousand, five hundred dollars is the amount of money Quebec families have to do without for health services and education. For every Quebecker, there is a tangible loss of $630 per person. We will remind Quebeckers of that. Our requests meet with consensus and are simply fair. Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Atlantic provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have all had their turn. Now it is Quebec's turn and the Conservative leader has chosen, with the complicity of his MPs from Quebec, to cast us aside. Quebeckers will not forget that.
When it comes to social programs, the Conservatives do not care about the middle class. The budget ignores the amply demonstrated need for real reform of employment insurance. The Conservatives do not care about the sad fate of the unemployed. The Conservatives distort the facts, as usual, by saying that with the eligibility threshold of 360 hours that the Bloc Québécois is calling for, people will receive 50 weeks of benefits. That is not true and they know it. With that threshold, in Gaspé, it is 32 weeks, in Lac-Saint-Jean it is 20 weeks and in Gatineau it is 16 weeks—not 50.
What is worse is that the Conservatives are telling us that they will be helping themselves to the EI fund to pay down their deficit, as the Liberals did before them. I will be clear and frank: that is theft.
In Quebec, the forestry industry has been in a crisis for over seven years and many mills have shut down, throwing thousands of workers onto the street. Older workers who lost their jobs need an assistance program. The Conservatives ignored that too.
Our poorest seniors were offered a small increase to their guaranteed income supplement, but no one is fooled; the Conservatives were just hoping to score some political points, since they did not even have the heart to bring in automatic enrolment.
This means that thousands of seniors will be left in the lurch, without any resources. We can see the full extent of the deceit and cynicism of these ideologues who claim to want to help our poorest seniors. There is only one word to describe the Conservatives' offensive attitude, and that is “hypocrisy”.
This budget continued to ignore the economy in the regions. After the automotive industry in Ontario got a gift of $10 billion, it should have been the turn of Quebec's forestry industry. But no, all it got were some crumbs. It was the same for Quebec's manufacturing industry, which cannot count on an extensive federal policy to help it overcome the Canadian dollar's oil-fuelled rise in value. All the Conservatives have to offer the regions of Quebec are tangible losses.
In short, any way we look at this budget, it is clear that the Conservatives have ignored Quebec. We will remind Quebeckers of that.
And the files are piling up. Yesterday, for example, the government announced that it had reached an agreement with Quebec on the Old Harry site, off the Magdalen Islands. But the Conservative government refuses to accept its responsibilities and ratify the border agreement between Quebec and the Atlantic provinces that Newfoundland disputes. The Conservatives refuse to impose a moratorium on the exploration and development on the Newfoundland side until Quebec has completed its environmental assessment.
There is another question. When the agreement is signed, does the Conservative government intend to offer Quebec the same terms as Newfoundland, which received $4.5 billion under the side deals? This very Wednesday, the Minister of National Defence clearly stated that Canada' interests take precedence over those of Quebec.
The government is about to offer a loan guarantee for the installation of an underwater electricity cable that will save Newfoundland and Labrador hundreds of millions of dollars but will be detrimental to Hydro-Québec and, therefore, to all of Quebec. What are the Conservative members from Quebec doing? They take it lying down and saying nothing.
It is very clear that Quebec cannot trust the Conservatives with its future. It is even more apparent that the Conservative leader wants to obtain a majority and the risk that he will do so is very real. That is a real danger to Quebec. If it happens, the Conservatives would be free to impose their ideological policies, which are harmful and contrary to the interests and values of Quebeckers. The Conservative ideology is foreign and warlike; Quebeckers find it disgraceful.
We are talking about billions of dollars in additional and often useless military expenditures. The Conservative ideology means protecting the interests of big oil companies. It means more prisons and more guns in circulation. The Conservative ideology means continued assaults against the environment, the distribution of wealth, gender equality, science, truth and democracy. A Conservative majority means the completely negation of everything we are and new assaults against Quebec culture. It means that our economic interests will be completely ignored and our regions will be even more neglected.
We cannot ignore this threat. Quebeckers therefore have a very clear choice to make. On one hand, there are the Conservatives, who have a cynical, sneaky, deceitful and cheating attitude. Their goal is to obtain a majority so that they can impose their backward and dangerous ideology without anyone being able to stop them. And, when it comes time to speak on behalf of Quebec, the Conservatives do not say anything. They bow before their leader and turn their backs on Quebeckers. We saw this in Quebec City on the issue of the arena, as well as on many other issues.
On the other hand, there is the Bloc Québécois, the only party in Quebec that is able to stand in the way of the Prime Minister's goals. Today, we are voting to show that the elected representatives of the Quebec people do not have confidence in this government, which has turned its back on Quebec. We cannot trust these Conservatives, who have tried to mislead the public, who have engaged in undemocratic behaviour and who have disregarded any notion of integrity.
The Conservative leader and his cohorts are known to be repeat offenders. They must be condemned without hesitation. They do not deserve our confidence. Today, it is the people's representatives who are voting. In a few weeks, it will be the voters' turn to do so. There is only one way to protect our values and democracy and that is through democracy itself.
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
2011-03-25 13:34 [p.9281]
Madam Speaker, I could have read the very same speech 20 years ago because the situation has not changed. Quebec was isolated then and Quebec still is isolated today. That is the reality.
Now he is talking about UNESCO. Quebec is standing up at UNESCO for one reason: it has no seat. It has no choice but to stand. That is the situation. That shows how much respect the government has for democracy. When people say that Quebeckers have elected members who have done nothing for them for 20 years, those people are saying that Quebeckers are ignorant and that they do not have the right to elect the people who are speaking for them, who are defending them and who are defending their interests and values.
A senator said that federalist parties will not succeed in Quebec because they have nothing to offer Quebeckers. I will take responsibility for many things in life, but I will not take responsibility for the Conservatives' powerlessness.
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
2011-03-25 13:36 [p.9282]
Madam Speaker, I would reply to my Acadian friend that perhaps he is mistaken. This government is very transparent. When we look at the Conservatives, we know exactly what they are thinking. We can see right through them. Quite apart from the image they like to project, if you look closely, you can see right through them. The Minister of State for Science and Technology is a creationist and believes that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. He thinks that The Flintstones was a documentary and Dino was the star. We can see their old Reform roots, which are likely what inspired the Tea Party.
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
2011-03-25 13:38 [p.9282]
Mr. Speaker, the choices are very limited here and the Conservatives are as bad as the Liberals were. It is as simple as that.
In 2004, when the current Prime Minister was the opposition leader, he called a meeting in Montreal at the Delta hotel. He presented us with a plan indicating that the Governor General at the time, Adrienne Clarkson, had no other choice, if the Martin government was defeated on the fiscal imbalance—which was 30 seconds away from happening—and Mr. Harper would become prime minister. For that to happen, it is easy to understand that he had to have the support of the Bloc and the NDP on a throne speech or a budget, otherwise he himself would have been defeated. It was as simple as that.
We in the Bloc Québécois always vote in favour of the best interests of Quebec, because we are the voice of Quebeckers. We do not vote according to labels, as the members across the floor do. In fact, I heard them say they would not vote for a proposal because it came from the Bloc. They are spreading lies.
We supported the first two budgets. We had asked for $3.9 billion for Quebec and we managed to get $3.3 billion. We are proud of that. We stood up; we did not stay on our knees. Some members here, some of the Conservative members from Quebec, must have sore kneecaps. We stand up and speak out for Quebec, and we will continue to do so.
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
View Gilles Duceppe Profile
2011-03-25 13:41 [p.9282]
Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the hon. member for Bourassa, whom I recognize as being just as legitimate as I am. That is democracy. When I said that we are the only ones who speak for Quebec, I was quoting Senator Rivest, who was the chief of staff for Robert Bourassa, a Quebec minister. He is the one who wrote that. For once, I quoted a Liberal. The hon. member for Bourassa should be happy.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 10:54 [p.3641]
That this House denounce the government's unrelenting efforts to marginalize the Quebec nation, in particular by depriving it of the major economic lever of securities regulation, a matter that is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces and for which they have established a harmonized regulatory system recognized for its effectiveness by the OECD and the World Bank, among others, and that it demand, along with Quebec's National Assembly and the business community in Quebec, that the government immediately withdraw its draft bill.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very happy with the support provided to me by my colleague, the member for Compton—Stanstead, but I would also like to have the support of the hon. member for Macleod. Indeed, I think it is very important to reread this motion from the Bloc, which says the following:
That this House denounce the government's unrelenting efforts—one might even call it pathological obstinacy—to marginalize the Quebec nation, in particular by depriving it of the major economic lever of securities regulation, a matter that is under the exclusive—we emphasize that word—legislative jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces—including that of the member for Macleod—and for which they have established a harmonized regulatory system—and I will come back to this, of course—recognized—internationally—for its effectiveness by the OECD and the World Bank, among others—to mention only those two organizations—, and that it demand, along with the Quebec National Assembly and the business community in Quebec, that the government immediately withdraw its draft bill.
The very important thing is to be aware of the mission of a securities commission. The mission of the Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec, the Quebec financial markets authority, is to enforce the laws governing the regulation of the financial sector, notably in the areas of insurance, securities, deposit institutions, other than banks—as we know, the banks are in federal jurisdiction—and the distribution of financial products and services. I will come back to the word “distribution”, as it is very important.
The Autorité des marchés financiers, like the securities commissions in each Canadian province, provides assistance to the consumers and users of financial products and services; ensures that financial institutions comply with standards; supervises distribution activities; supervises stock market and clearing house activities; and in a program unique to Quebec, sees to the implementation of protection and compensation programs for consumers of financial products and services.
Something that may not be well known is that the AMF has regulations and administers 14 different acts in Quebec. This is really a very broad and very crucial sector. Of course, there is the Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers, but there are also acts covering automobile insurance, deposit insurance, insurance, financial services co-operatives, the distribution of financial products and derivative financial instruments, the Mouvement Desjardins, securities, the Caisses d'entraide économique, the Sociétés d'entraide économique, and others. We can thus see that a securities commission is not just an office that one can simply close, or that, looking down from the heights of an Ontario ivory tower, one can simply turn into a branch office, end of story. That kind of thing is just not possible.
The AMF has considerable expertise. It is a Montreal institution and a Quebec institution, and the services of the Autorité des marchés financiers and the securities commissions are provided locally. That is also true of its counterparts in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It is important that these entities have a good knowledge of the needs in their markets and that they serve their clients in their own language.
The financial sector of the AMF commissioned an independent study that shows that a regulator—and I will come back to the term “regulator” later—is an important component of the financial sector. So, when we say—in the more than 20 questions that we have asked in the past month, and that have not, by the way, been answered satisfactorily—that it is an important component in the financial sector, we are not kidding around. This is not just some authority, it is a part of the daily life of our services.
More than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Montreal and Quebec are affected by the financial regulator. That is 7.5% of the jobs in the Montreal region. There are 97,000 direct jobs in Montreal in this field, and the average salary is approximately $60,000. These are significant salaries. It is a major force in the Quebec economy. In Montreal, there are people with expertise in the areas the AMF is involved in. They do business with credit unions and banks, brokerage offices, lawyers and notaries' offices, etc.
Proximity is important. When someone asks a question, they need to obtain an answer in their own language and quickly, and that is done in Montreal.
To make the Canadian government's position look better, some people have said that the Canadian experience has been bad.They have said it was awful to have 13 financial markets authorities, 13 different sets of regulations, 13 different tariffs and 13 different invoices. This is the way it was long ago. In the mid-1990s, the previous government, the Liberal Party, asked the financial markets whether harmonization could be increased, as borders were increasingly porous. The financial market authorities replied in the affirmative to the question from the Liberal government of the day by increasing harmonization. There are no more specific instructions.
My colleague from the Liberal Party who also has personal experience in the financial arena, no doubt remembers the particular instructions from the OSC and the securities commission of Canada. We had Q-21, and on their side, they had something else, in the area of mergers and acquisitions. Now, there are no particular or provincial instructions. The instructions are now national, and cover all of Canada.
I was an issuers' representative. When an issuer paid to issue a prospectus, at the time it had to prepare 10 to 13 different cheques. This was annoying. That is no longer the case. Issuers prepare a single cheque which is sent to CDS, and that is the end of it. People recognized that there was a problem and the financial market authorities came up with a solution.
Now there is a coordinated approach and investors benefit from uniform protection. The current system also allows both regional approaches and local expertise to be taken into account. For instance, in Quebec there are start-up funds and specific workers' funds. The Canadian west has its junior capital pools that work well, and that is a good thing. It is possible to establish regional authorities which together offer harmonized services to the financial community, while taking into account the specificities of our regions.
This system has been recognized by the OECD and I will get back to that later if I have time. Since this system is recognized internationally, why change it? Why destroy something that works very well?
What the government is doing, this interference, this sort of hostile takeover—to use a term from the field—has been planned for a long time. In 2005, some people were mandated to study the advantages of a single regulatory system. The Purdy Crawford group was given the mandate to study the advantages of a single commission. So what's a guy to do, as we say back home? He indeed examined the advantages of having a single system. But the current system functions very well and all the studies show that there is no advantage to be gained from disrupting everything and introducing a single system.
Stubbornness is a factor here, and there are costs to be considered. Since the Conservatives started stubbornly trying to implement this hostile takeover of the provinces' and Quebec's regulatory systems, $317 million has been spent—wasted. These days, people are making political hay with the billion dollars for three days and the $14 million an hour. But for the Canada-wide—also known as centralized, federal or Conservative—financial markets authority, $2.8 million in additional credits was allocated in May 2008; in last year's budget, $154 million was allocated to this, and this year it is $161 million. That is illegal and shameful. The Conservatives do not even know if the Supreme Court will give them the slightest authorization to do that and they have already spent a third of a billion dollars to crush the provincial securities systems.
I was talking about the advantages and disadvantages. In Quebec, we have what is known as a compensation fund. It already exists. Not only did we invent it, we apply it. What is the purpose of this compensation fund? When a financial agent—such as a broker or a distributor of financial products—duly registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers, commits fraud, resorts to deceitful practices designed to lead people astray, or embezzles his clients' money, the clients are compensated. People register with the Autorité des marchés financiers and if brokers commit criminal acts, the victims are compensated. This was done for the clients who were defrauded by Vincent Lacroix. Not everyone was compensated, but 900 of those who had their funds embezzled were compensated. The others were tricked by criminals who were not registered. Now, if a criminal does not register in Quebec, he will not register either with the federal authority. Quebec spent $31 million to compensate 900 individuals who were the victims of fraudulent proceedings in the Norbourg-Lacroix scandal.
The Conservatives' argument refers to people who were duped by Earl Jones. That is misleading and a misrepresentation. Criminals do not register. That was very clear in the case of Bernard Madoff in the United States. The SEC was unable to catch him. Those people, whether or not there are victims, do not register with any federal authority or provincial, so who is going to catch them? Those are the people who deal with crimes. The OECD looked into the people who handle criminals. In the OECD's ranking of countries Canada places fourth, because of its policies and because of the Competition Act, which is a federal statute.
Australia is second, and the United States is first. That is not too bad.
In the area of regulation of the banking industry, and in terms of competition, Canada ranks ninth, and in terms of stabilizing authority, it is eighth. That is not very high. This an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction. The federal government should start enforcing its own laws in its own areas of jurisdiction with respect to the Competition Act and the banking sector; when it does that, we can say it has done its job.
The OECD looked at the regulation of financial systems. Canada overall ranks second. The United States is fourth, the United Kingdom fifth and Australia seventh. Who regulates financial systems? They are responsibility of the financial market authorities in Quebec and the other provinces.
We have been told we have to consider international representation. Apparently we seem crazy to the rest of the world because we are divided into 13. The annual conference of the International Organization of Securities Commissions is taking place right now. Where? The conference is being held in Montreal. International authorities are in Montreal under the auspices of the AMF and the other provinces’ financial market authorities to discuss issues. This is happening in Montreal.
This morning’s newspapers reported that the president of Standard and Poor’s was talking about the International Organization of Securities Commissions. He is there, too. Quebec’s finance minister, Mr. Bachand, who officially opened the public portion of the conference, had the following to say, “All indications are that the Canadian system we have adopted works very well, in part because many international organizations rank it among the best in the world.” I was referring to an article in Le Devoir. Now I am going to talk about an article in La Presse. The article states that even the president of the Securities and Exchange Commission is there. If the AMF and the provincial securities commissions applied their rules in a way that made no sense, would Mr. Volcker or Ms. Shapiro of the SEC be in Montreal? Are those people wrong?
We have produced a long list of people in Quebec who support the Autorité des marchés financiers and are telling the Government of Canada that it is mistaken. We have the Association de l'exploration minière du Québec, the Barreau du Québec, various chambers of commerce, the Fédération des chambres de commerce, the Conseil du patronat, Canam, Quebecor, Jean Coutu, Desjardins, Power Corporation, La Capitale, Transat and Transcontinental. Are all those institutions wrong?
They are not socialists, which is what the Minister of Finance called them two weeks ago when he was a bit tired. This is not a gang of socialists. They are not people from the Bloc. Let them read the other articles and the letters sent on October 2, 2007, by Ms. Jérôme-Forget, who is not a socialist. Desjardins did it in 2008, Allaire and Nadeau in 2009. There is also the study by Secor and Pierre Lortie. Pierre Lortie, no less. Pierre Lortie is a lot of things, but he is not a sovereignist. That is too bad. That is going to take us a while. Still, he produced an excellent report. He said that what the Conservatives are doing is utterly mad.
I have 30 seconds left. Why are spending so much time talking about this issue? Is it because it falls within our jurisdiction? Passports work. Everyone knows that. This is a development and economic ownership tool. These are our jobs and our young people. It is deceptive to say that voluntary adherence will be easy and that that will solve the problem of all the Earl Jones in this world.
Most importantly, whatever is done in Quebec will be done with respect for our language, which would not be the case if the federal plan were to become a reality.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 11:16 [p.3644]
Mr. Speaker, our passion will not wither with time, and we are passionate for Quebec. For the remainder of our time in this place, which will hopefully be as short as possible, we will make sure that we remain passionate.
People are quoting off the top of their heads comments apparently made one day by the IMF. Who would believe that the likes of Paul Volcker or the representative of the Japanese Financial Services Agency who, incidentally, spoke excellent French, Standard & Poor's president Deven Sharma, the chief operating officer of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the president of the International Federation of Accountants and the president of the French Autorité des marchés financiers, that all these individuals would want to waste their time? The member can still attend the international conference underway in Montreal.
I did not see anyone from the federal government there yesterday. Why fix something that is working? The member should put on his glasses or borrow his colleague's glasses and take a look. It is working.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 11:19 [p.3644]
Mr. Speaker, in response to the member's question, the first thing we have to look at here is whether this has potential.
At a press conference where his remarks were translated by another minister, the Minister of Finance clearly said that he would not accept the mutual recognition of passports by different authorities, which currently works well in Canada. In other words, he would not accept what already works between Canada and the United States.
I am familiar with financial products in Canada and the United States, and there was the U.S. wrap. It worked. The minister said that he would never accept that. But in his draft legislation on a Canadian national securities commission, he took the various authorities hostage on the issues of fraud and fraudulent practices, telling them that if they opt in or opt out, there will be enforcement. That is unacceptable.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 11:22 [p.3645]
Mr. Speaker, I urge the NDP member to put all the pressure he can on the member for Macleod, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. I would like all of us to call on him to listen to Alberta's finance minister, Ted Morton, and not to the former Ontario finance minister. He should go visit him on the weekend; he has the time. He should visit Alberta's finance minister, and I am sure that the minister will convince him that the former Ontario finance minister is leading us into a trap. The same goes for the people of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Are all of these people wrong?
I urge the member for Macleod, for whom I have a great deal of respect, to go see Alberta's finance minister.
Yesterday, I spoke to Quebec's finance minister, and we shared the same opinion. I hope that next Monday, the member for Macleod will return to the House and say that he spoke to his finance minister in Calgary and that he agrees that the former Ontario finance minister is wrong.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 11:42 [p.3647]
Mr. Speaker, up until near the end of his speech, I believed that the respect that I have always felt for the Alberta member was reciprocated, but when he said that this is useless because the Bloc does not listen, I would ask for some courtesy. It is easy to throw out quotations, and I believe his speech had 72 or 80, but I would like to know what he thinks and not have him quote umpteen people. I, too, could join in the quote contest.
I have a quotation about an unprecedented power grab and that if it is not broken, do not try to fix it.
We could take bets on who said that. It was his friend, Alberta's finance minister. So I am telling him no. I am sorry, but I do not want to be a local office. I do not want to be a branch within a system that I do not recognize and that does not recognize me. Once he has understood that, then we can make some progress in this debate. Just because we have debated this one, two, three or four times does not mean that we will stop. No, we will keep going until you understand. I am hoping that, in his great intelligence, he will finally admit that, at the very least, we are listening and that we understand. Even if we have to agree to disagree, that would represent some progress.
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 12:05 [p.3650]
Madam Speaker, the Liberal Party's finance critic is hiding behind the Supreme Court's decision. Much like his leader, he is saying that they plan to wait, and once they find a way out, they will take it. They do not know what they will say or do, but they will do something. The Liberals are trying to come up with a way out, and when they find it, they will take it.
I would like the member to tell us his opinion now. As he said, the banking system and regulations weathered the crisis, so nobody would consider changing that system now. The securities system also weathered the crisis. So why change it? Why apply different reasoning to that?
I am appealing to his sense of reason as a financier. We come from the same background and we have the same training, though not the same political allegiances. Why consider changing something that is working very well? We do not even need to know what the Supreme Court has to say. He could just say that if the Liberals form the government one day and he becomes the finance minister, they would try to fix things that are broken and not mess with this. Why not say that right now?
View Daniel Paillé Profile
View Daniel Paillé Profile
2010-06-10 12:36 [p.3654]
Madam Speaker, the member used a French expression “bottines suivant les babines” that brings some particular movies to mind, but I am sure the hon. member for Outremont was not referring to Quebec cinema, where the image would then be about a skunk trailing along after a simpleton. All joking aside, this is where we see the two solitudes within Canada.
I wonder if he could repeat his arguments in French. We recognize the area of expertise but not the jurisdiction. The members across the floor, probably innocently, are giving a false impression, which has become a false representation, saying that if they had been there, Earl Jones would not have had any victims and none of it would have happened. The hon. member for Outremont has very clearly demonstrated that this is false. I wonder if he could repeat that in French.
View Robert Carrier Profile
View Robert Carrier Profile
2010-06-10 12:43 [p.3655]
Mr. Speaker, I commend my colleague from Outremont on his fine presentation and his insight. This adds to the importance of our motion today. This morning, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance listed all the good reasons for establishing a single regulator. He said that it was in the best interests of what is good for the country as a whole.
Given that 155,000 direct financial sector jobs in Montreal, Quebec, and another 300,000 jobs in the financial sector as a whole are being jeopardized by this government initiative, could the member sum up the government's thinking, which is basically that it wants our money and will get it?
View Robert Carrier Profile
View Robert Carrier Profile
2010-06-10 12:46 [p.3655]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.
This morning, my colleague from Hochelaga, with whom I have the pleasure of sitting on the Standing Committee on Finance, moved the following motion:
That this House denounce the government’s unrelenting efforts to marginalize the Quebec nation, in particular by depriving it of the major economic lever of securities regulation, a matter that is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces and for which they have established a harmonized regulatory system recognized for its effectiveness by the OECD and the World Bank, among others, and that it demand, along with Quebec’s National Assembly and the business community in Quebec, that the government immediately withdraw its draft bill.
The elected members of this House must have their say on this issue, because as we know, on May 26, 2010 the Conservative government introduced proposed legislation that would create a Canadian securities commission. The Bloc Québécois is strongly opposed to this attempt by the federal government to interfere in Quebec's jurisdictions. Under the Constitution, Quebec and the provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over securities regulation. The federal government's proposed Canada-wide securities commission ignores the fact that Quebec has responsibility for property and civil rights.
In addition, the current passport system works. With this system, a company that registers in one participating province can do business with people in all the other participating provinces.
This Canada-wide commission will strip Quebec of a very important economic tool. Major decisions will be made outside Quebec. As everyone knows, the Autorité des marchés financiers, Quebec's securities regulator, has a knowledge of Quebec's distinct nature and needs that a single commission in Toronto will not have. Jobs in the financial sector are threatened. This is a key sector of Quebec's economy that accounts for 155,000 direct jobs. In all, 300,000 jobs in Quebec are connected with the financial sector, which gives an idea of the impact of creating a Canada-wide commission.
With their proposed Canada-wide commission, the Conservatives are trying to do Montreal out of what it has for Toronto's benefit and are encroaching on Quebec's jurisdictions. For these reasons, the National Assembly and the business community in Quebec reject the proposal.
Voluntary membership is a ploy. By destroying the passport system and counting on conflicts among the regulatory bodies, the Conservative government is creating a reason for issuing organizations to turn to the national commission. Contrary to what the Conservative government is saying, the existence of such a commission would not have prevented investors from being fleeced by white-collar criminals such as Earl Jones. He was a criminal who was not registered anywhere. In Montreal or in Toronto, he would have committed his crimes the same way. It is up to the RCMP to hunt down criminals. Similarly, the existence of a single commission in the United States did not prevent Bernard Madoff from defrauding investors of over $50 billion.
It is obvious that this commission will also be detrimental to the use of French in business. It is unlikely that companies registered with the single national commission, whether or not they are from Quebec, will be required to publish in English and French.
The Bloc Québécois reiterates its opposition to the creation of a national securities commission. The Bloc Québécois supports the current harmonization of the rules governing the financial system. The passport mechanism maintains the autonomy and jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. This mechanism has existed since 2008 and is also used in the European Union.
Creating a national securities commission goes against the wishes of the National Assembly, which unanimously adopted a motion in that regard on May 27, the day after the introduction of the Conservative government's draft legislation to create a national securities regulator:
That the National Assembly denounce the obstinacy of the federal government in tabling unilaterally a bill to create the Canadian Securities Commission; that it denounce this invasion into the fundamental jurisdictions of Quebec; that it recall the opposition of the Quebec business community; that, finally, it urge the Canadian government to reconsider this decision and, failing that, the Canadian Parliament not to pass such an act.
The Bloc Québécois position also acknowledges the growing concern of the business community with regard to the Canada-wide commission. The president of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, Françoise Bertrand, said:
In addition to potential job losses resulting from this project, we are also concerned about a significant transfer of decision-making positions and expertise out of Quebec. Montreal, as a financial centre, and Quebec will be weakened.
A coalition of representatives from Quebec's business community is opposed to a national securities commission
Here are just a few of them: the Québec Mineral Exploration Association, the Québec Bar, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Cascades, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, the Quebec City chamber of commerce, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, the Chambre de la sécurité financière, the Conseil du patronat du Québec, the Fédération des Chambres de commerce du Québec, the Power Financial Corporation, the Solidarity Fund QFL and Le Groupe Jean Coutu. I will not go on because the list is too long. The entire business sector is opposed to a centralized securities regulator.
I would now like to read a Government of Quebec news release dated May 13, 2010. I think this is important because it sums up the Government of Quebec's official position and is not subject to interpretation.
Quebec's Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand, condemned statements by a number of Conservative government ministers and members who are using weak, questionable arguments in an effort to sell their proposal for a centralized securities commission and denigrate the perfectly functional existing system.
The minister pointed out that, in Canada, securities regulation falls under the constitutional jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. The minister emphasized the fact that, “The OECD has ranked Canada second in the world [as previously mentioned] with respect to the quality of its securities regulation, while the World Bank has ranked it fifth for investor protection, placing it ahead of the United States”. He added, “Given these international organizations' approval of Canada's financial system, it is clear that the provinces are fulfilling their responsibilities under their constitutional jurisdiction. Provincial commissions, which are in touch with consumers and work with their counterparts, provide the best possible protection to consumers in Quebec and the other provinces”.
The minister noted that the federal government has structured its disinformation campaign around a document filled with unfounded hypotheses. The government is falsely suggesting that Canada's current system increases the cost of raising capital, claiming that this leads to major financial losses and a negative impact on employment in the sector. Mr. Bachand emphasized that several analyses show that costs in Canada are equal to or even lower than those in the United States.
In conclusion, Minister Bachand said:
I am appealing to the sense of responsibility of the federal Conservative government's ministers and members, whose negative and irresponsible comments about this matter have created instability and tarnished Canada's reputation for securities regulation.
I ask the members of the House to support this motion if recognizing the Quebec nation means anything at all to them.
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