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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-30 18:35 [p.747]
Madam Speaker, the member was quote focused on the Auditor General and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. My colleague and I thought maybe it would be more appropriate if I attempted to provide an answer, because it was not necessarily about canola.
Having said that, there is a difference on this side of the House, with the new government, since 2015. There is a much deeper respect for those independent parliamentary offices, such as the Auditor General of Canada. We all know that there is a process in which the Auditor General goes before standing committees and comes before Parliament in different ways, putting in requests and also making suggestions. Reports come out. There is a great deal of discussion and ongoing debate.
Even when I was an MLA, I always respected the independence of the auditor, whether at the national level or at the provincial level. They do a lot of fine work. I am sure that even with the resources they have today, they are able to meet their requirements.
I suspect if members were to check with any of our independent offices of the Parliament of Canada, or even those independent offices at the provincial level, they would find there is always a need for additional resources. I am sure if more money was offered, something that Stephen Harper never did to the best of my knowledge, it would at least facilitate some discussion.
With regard to infrastructure, I have noticed that many of the Conservatives like to talk about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. However, I can recall one of the incidents in the past where it actually invested in flood proofing for the Philippines. I believe that saved a great deal of material and provided financial help for a country that was really in need of some flood proofing.
To try to say that the Asian Development Bank is nothing but a disaster does it a disservice. At the end of the day, it was a wise investment from the Government of Canada.
There are many different ways we can provide assistance. Every year, whether it was a Conservative government of the past or the current government, we spend money internationally to support communities. We have done that. It is part of our obligations. All western countries, including the U.S., European countries and Australia, contribute to the bigger picture and try to make the world a better place to live. I suspect that, at least indirectly if not directly, the commitment to the Asian Development Bank assists in doing that.
The member made a brief comment on canola, and I can tell him that the government has long been a very strong advocate for our canola farmers on the prairies. In fact, shortly after getting into government, we had an issue with canola in Russia. We were able to resolve that. We continuously look at other potential markets around the world where canola trade could be expanded upon.
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