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Results: 1 - 15 of 14372
View Harold Albrecht Profile
View Harold Albrecht Profile
2011-03-25 10:23 [p.9248]
Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague's remarks and I want to remind the House and Canadians about the process that was followed.
Mr. Speaker, you referred this issue to the procedure and House affairs committee. You said it was a prima facie breach of privilege, which means on the surface it appeared there was a breach of privilege.
I had the honour and privilege of sitting on that committee during a constituency week when members should have been back in their ridings. We listened to some great input in committee. We heard from Mel Cappe, a number of ministers, and many other witnesses during the two days of hearings, and then a third day for another matter.
The problem is that the decisions of that committee, which should have been made after the input was received, were made long before the committee ever met. At the end, the committee was presented with the demands of the coalition opposition, one of which was that there would be a maximum of two pages in the report, two days of hearings and two pages in the report. It is unbelievable.
What is worse, the coalition demanded that there be no summary of evidence presented at the meetings to the House of Commons. We can talk about democracy and the contempt of parliamentary process, but I would ask my hon. colleague this question. If we do not provide information on the process that the procedure and House affairs committee went through for three days here in Ottawa, is it not a contempt of the parliamentary privilege of the members of the House?
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 10:33 [p.9249]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague from Carleton—Mississippi Mills, the chief government whip.
I rise today to speak to the motion introduced by the Leader of the Opposition on a matter of non-confidence in the government.
I wish I could say I am pleased to make this speech today, but I am not. In fact, I am saddened that a Parliament, which has accomplished a lot recently, will come to an end because of the reckless actions of the Liberal, Bloc Québécois and NDP coalition in forcing an unwanted and unnecessary election on Canadians.
Yesterday, I listed 10 important government bills which had received royal assent this week, bills like Bill S-6 to eliminate the faint hope clause, Bill C-48 to eliminate sentencing discounts for multiple murderers and Bill C-59 to get rid of early parole for white-collar fraudsters, a bill the Liberal leader opposed. That was a very positive week.
We also tried to pass important bills like Bill C-49, which would crack down on human smugglers and those who would take advantage of our generous immigration laws, and Bill S-10, which would get tough on drug dealers and date rape artists who would target our youth. I stood in this place just yesterday and asked for those bills to be passed. What was the response from the opposition coalition in passing these bills? No. No to getting tough on human smugglers. No to getting tough on drug dealers.
Instead, we find ourselves here today faced with the most partisan of attacks from an opposition coalition bent on defeating this government at all costs.
I know the Liberal members over there claim that the government was found to have done something wrong. What they are not telling Canadians is that this was an opposition-stacked committee that used the tyranny of the majority to get the predetermined outcome it wanted. Let us be clear. It was predetermined. After all, the members for Kings—Hants, Ottawa South, Joliette and Acadie—Bathurst said so in the media.
In my speech I could focus on all the abuses of parliamentary democracy and the absolute contempt that the opposition demonstrated, not just at that committee but on virtually every other committee of the House in overruling chairs, in making political decisions, ignoring the rules of this place, and on and on.
One may ask why we have never heard about these things. It is because the opposition coalition has a majority on every committee. Its members were the ones who demonstrated real contempt for Parliament, and they will have to answer to the Canadian people for that.
Let us be clear about what this vote of non-confidence is really about. It is a vote against the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It is a vote against our low tax plan for jobs and economic growth. It is a vote against hard-working Canadians and their families. It is a vote that will weaken Canada's economic recovery.
It is a vote against the budget. It is a vote against our plan.
Let us be clear. The latest phase of Canada's economic action plan encourages owners of small businesses to hire more people. It provides potential employees with new opportunities to train and to hone those skills. It invests in innovation. It lays the groundwork for private sector growth to replace government stimulus. This is good for all Canadians in every region of our great country from coast to coast to coast.
For seniors across Canada, I am proud to report that our government is delivering once again. For the poorest of seniors, we are providing an important hike to the guaranteed income supplement. For people caring for infirm loved ones, we are providing support in the form of a $2,000 tax relief credit. For the many public servants who make their homes in my riding, we are providing a guarantee that we will not slash programs and eliminate jobs as the Liberals did in the mid-1990s. Instead, we will provide a strategic review to enhance efficiency and reduce overall overhead with minimal impact on service to Canadians.
I was pleased to see included a request from the Canadian fire chiefs to provide for our volunteer firefighters. Next week we could be enacting that tax credit in law, but it will not happen because of the Liberal-led coalition.
I hope Canadian colleges and universities will drive innovation and help Canada forge closer ties with promising markets like India's. Carleton University made a great proposal to do just that, but it will have to wait. We will certainly be supporting our students in new ways.
I am especially proud to say that our government is providing real support to people who find their pensions at risk because their employer goes bankrupt. The budget would provide at least some help from the federal government to the former Nortel workers, despite the fact their pension plans were provincially regulated. It is something.
Unlike previous but misguided efforts in this place, this will not hurt Canadian businesses.
In short, Canada's economic action plan is another huge help for people in my riding of Ottawa West—Nepean. It will be a huge help to my home province of Ontario. We are working closely with the government of Dalton McGuinty to cut corporate taxes to make Ontario and Canada a magnet for jobs, investment and opportunity. It will be a huge help from coast to coast to coast right across our great country. It will help secure our economic recovery. It will help create jobs and it will support all Canadians.
By voting against this motion of non-confidence in our government, the opposition coalition can stop this unnecessary and unwanted election later today. I want to urge the opposition to reconsider its support for an unnecessary and costly election. I hope it will vote for the things Canadians find truly important, for the measures that will help so many right across the country.
I move:
That this question be now put.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 10:42 [p.9250]
Mr. Speaker, what the Liberal Party is doing today is the first act in a reckless coalition with the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois.
Let me say, particularly to the member for Toronto Centre and very directly, we have seen what bringing the NDP members into the cabinet room in Ontario can do. They over-governed Ontario. They over-regulated in Ontario. They killed jobs. They killed opportunities.
Most importantly, wherever the NDP has been in power, it has stolen the soul of the Canadian dream, the soul of the Canadian people.
We will not allow opposition members to do it lightly. We will take our case to the Canadian people and say that this reckless coalition is wrong for Canada, bad for the Canadian economy and bad for Canadian jobs. Simply put, we will not let them get away with it.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 10:45 [p.9251]
Mr. Speaker, I have great regard and great respect for the member for Vancouver East.
However, if she wants to talk about the record of the government, let me be succinct, 19 months, 480,000 net new jobs. That is the priority of Canadians. That is what they sent us here to do. That is the job that we want to move forward with, with the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.
We can start on that path. We can start on Monday, or we can start it in two months, but we are committed to jobs, the economy and economic growth.
View Gordon O'Connor Profile
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to a motion put forward by the leader of the opposition. I must state at the outset that I find it strange that we are debating this motion when the Liberal member for Kings—Hants introduced a motion in the House two days ago relating to the same matter.
Why did he do that? He did it to avoid debate on the issues that matter to Canadians. He did it to avoid debate on the excellent budget that was introduced by the Minister of Finance and our government. He did it to avoid having a vote on the budget that is in the best interests of Canadians, including his own constituents. That is shameful.
The Liberals, Bloc Québécois and NDP coalition have been caught up in political and partisan games at the expense of the best interests of Canadians. We have seen them time and time again play these games both in the House and in committees. They are the ones who have contempt for this House and for Canadians by forcing an unwanted, unnecessary election. I suppose we should expect nothing less from them.
Let me address the report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. It is a report that in no way reflects the committee's hearings. Despite receiving all of the information requested and hearing clear, reasonable testimony from ministers, public servants and independent experts, opposition members were determined to rig the outcome of the committee hearings. It was a true kangaroo court.
However, they were not content with that alone. Now they want to act as judge and jury for the Minister of International Cooperation. They want to use their tyranny of the majority to find her guilty when the evidence from committee shows quite the opposite. There is nothing so blind as a closed mind.
Let me speak for a minute about the Liberals. The Liberal Party should not be speaking about ethics. This is the same party that stole $40 million from Canadians. While it paid back a measly amount, much of it remains unaccounted for. I understand that 13 ridings benefited from this scandal. That is a lot of envelopes filled with tainted money funnelled through back doors of the Liberal Party. I ask the Liberals, where is the $40 million?
When one is asked, “What first comes to your mind when you hear Liberal at the federal level?”, the answer certainly is not ethics. The answer is corruption.
The Liberal plan is tainted. This is the ad scam party that opposes laws that would prevent drug dealers from targeting children outside their schools. This is the ad scam party that opposes laws to end early parole for criminals who prey on seniors who have worked all their lives to comfortably retire. This is the ad scam party whose own members cannot even play by the rules. They want to talk about ethics.
When the Liberal immigration critic said that calling so-called honour killings barbaric went too far, what did the leader do? Nothing.
When one of its members was charged with a criminal offence, what did its leader do? Nothing.
That is some ethics.
Now I turn to the Bloc. Who do the Liberals want to form a coalition with? The Bloc Québécois, a party whose primary goal is to stand against Canada, a party whose members, like the member for Sherbrooke, have attended events and fundraisers organized by the RRQ, a group that includes neo-FLQ terrorists, a party whose policies are all about metropolitan Montreal, forgetting the regions of Quebec.
It is our Conservative government that has delivered for every part of Canada and every region of Quebec.
We gave Quebec a seat at the UNESCO table.
We recognized “les Québécois” as a nation within a united Canada.
We have delivered on the infrastructure priorities of Quebec's towns and cities.
We have celebrated Quebec's history and culture, including Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.
The Bloc Québécois is purely trying to distract Quebeckers from the fact they have done and can do nothing for the province of Quebec.
It voted against our world leading economic action plan.
It voted against opening trade with the world for Quebec businesses.
It also voted against legislation that would impose mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of child trafficking.
Bloc members sit in the House and collect their salaries. They sit in the House and will collect their pensions, yet they do nothing for Quebec. It is shameful.
The NDP members support an opportunist election that would not only kill the government's legislation, but also the legislation they have introduced. They would stop a bill that would provide low-cost drugs to Africa, a bill the member for Ottawa Centre now sponsors. They clearly planned on campaigning on the introduction of their private members' bills, but not on the passage of these bills. How is that for ethics.
Why would they introduce legislation they do not care about? Probably for the same reason they invited media to tour their war room a few months ago. They have obviously been scheming with their coalition partners for this election for months. The same plan they revealed to Canadians in 2008, a coalition with Liberals in the driver's seat, the NDP spending taxpayers' money with abandon and the Bloc Québécois with a veto on every policy of the coalition.
When it comes to following up on promises, the NDP cannot be trusted. An example is the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore, who flip-flopped on his position on the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry when it came down to the final vote. The minute that his vote would make a real difference for law-abiding duck hunters and farmers in this country, what did he do? He jumped ship. He turned tail. He is not the only one. The members for Welland, Sudbury, Timmins—James Bay, Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing and Nickel Belt all flipped their votes. I hope their voters will flip them.
How can seniors and families in their ridings trust them to make the best decisions when they flip-flop on policy because parts of their caucus are worried about losing their seats? I do not want to hear them talk about misleading. What they have done is misleading their constituents.
I believe that we have accomplished a lot in this session. Just this week, 12 new laws have been granted royal assent. These new laws are repealing the faint hope clause, cracking down on crooked consultants and protecting children from online sexual exploitation. Unlike the other parties, our Conservative government is here to make Parliament work, and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
The motion before us makes a mockery of Parliament. Canadians expect and deserve better. For the last five years we have delivered. We have steered Canada through the great recession. We have cut all forms of taxes the government collects. We provided seniors with pension income splitting. We reduced the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%. We introduced important tax credits: the Canada employment credit, the work income tax benefit, the child tax credit. The budget before the House goes even further while making targeted investments in people and our economy.
The other parties have no plans and no ideas to offer, so they resort to smear and slander. We have witnessed committees they control turned into kangaroo courts. We have seen them use the cover of privilege to try to convict the innocent. We are now seeing them force an unwanted election on Canadians and mislead them about their intent to form a coalition of the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.
One last jarring thought: If the coalition were to come about following the election, picture the Bloc in charge of public security, the NDP in charge of finance and the Liberals in charge of accountability. God help Canada. But enough fiction. Canadians are smarter than that. They can count on a Conservative government to stand up for their priorities and stand up for Canada.
View Gordon O'Connor Profile
Mr. Speaker, according to a recent poll, the Liberals are the fourth party in terms of trust in this Parliament. They are fourth.
Do members know why Canadians do not trust the Liberals? It is because their brand is tainted; it is a corrupt party.
When, during the election, the matter of ethics comes up, I would expect Liberal candidates to put bags on their heads.
View Gordon O'Connor Profile
Mr. Speaker, we do live in a democracy. Anyone legitimately elected from Quebec is legitimately here.
However, I am questioning the Bloc. Its members have been here for 20 years. They have been here, gaining their pensions, et cetera. What have they achieved? Nothing.
They basically have no function. They have no purpose. They are nothing. I would hope the voters of Quebec make better choices.
View Paul Calandra Profile
View Paul Calandra Profile
2011-03-25 10:58 [p.9253]
Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of talk today. It is funny to hear the NDP members talk about ethics because when they had an opportunity in 2004 to throw out one of the most corrupt governments in Canadian history, they went and signed a deal with it.
We have a Liberal Party that, of course, campaigns constantly on things. It campaigned for child care. Did it do it? No. It said it would cut the GST. Did it do it? No. It said it would kill free trade. Did it do it? No.
It said that it would not cut health care and social spending. Did it? Yes. It cut $25 billion from the provinces in health care and social services. That is the legacy of the Liberal Party--
View Gordon O'Connor Profile
Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a few comments about the NDP.
With the NDP, there is drama, screaming, yelling and outrage. It voted against seniors. It voted against students. It voted against medical care. It voted against trade bills. It voted against crime bills. It worked to obstruct the progress in Parliament.
All I ever hear from its members is talk, talk, talk.
View Greg Rickford Profile
View Greg Rickford Profile
2011-03-25 11:06 [p.9254]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize youth from across Canada, as well as seven members from the great Kenora riding, visiting Ottawa for the Town Youth Participation Strategies Conference.
Since 1993, youth from across Canada have been researching and developing programs to reduce behaviours that put youth at risk. Their conferences and workshops held nation-wide are helping bring youth community groups together to discuss issues like drug use, suicide prevention and bullying.
TYPS focuses on issues that are critical to all Canadian communities. Initiatives such as their teen anti-smoking videos, after-school recreational programs and youth centre science clubs have received federal and provincial support.
This year's conference is being held in Ottawa with workshops dedicated to stress management, teen homelessness and substance abuse.
I ask all members of this House to join me in recognizing the courageous work being done by these future community leaders. These kids are just another example of what makes the Kenora riding so great.
View Dean Del Mastro Profile
View Dean Del Mastro Profile
2011-03-25 11:11 [p.9255]
Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday our government presented the next phase of our economic action plan, a low tax plan for jobs and growth.
Shockingly, the opposition coalition of the Liberals, the NDP, and the Bloc Québécois did not even bother to read it before rejecting it. No wonder those guys cannot get a number straight.
In rejecting the next phase of our economic action plan, the opposition parties are rejecting the needs of families, seniors, and all Canadians, including the hard-working people of Peterborough.
Let us be clear: this is their election. Their reckless coalition is threatening our economic recovery with their unnecessary election. They will do it all by hiding their true intentions. Shame on every one of them.
It has been said there are two doors in this election, but even you know, Mr. Speaker, that lurking behind that red door are socialists and separatists plotting for cabinet seats.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 11:18 [p.9257]
Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. That information has been tabled not just in committee but also in this place.
The leader of the Liberal Party wants to talk about contempt. It is the Liberal Party that is demonstrating contempt for the Canadian electorate. It has said that it will not accept the results of the next election and it wants to form a coalition government with the NDP and the Bloc. The worst part of that contempt is that those members will not be open, honest and transparent with the Canadian people. Shame on them.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 11:19 [p.9257]
Mr. Speaker, with respect to that coalition, we know the leader of the Liberal Party sent a letter to the Governor General endorsing a coalition between the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP. Just this week, when asked about whether he would revisit that coalition idea, he ran away from the media.
Not being honest, not being upfront, and not being transparent with Canadians will not work. The leader of the Liberal Party can run away from the media, but he cannot run away from Canadians.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 11:21 [p.9257]
Mr. Speaker, what Canadians want is stability. They want a steady hand on the wheel. They want a strong government that will focus on jobs, the economy and economic growth.
Again, the member mentioned choices. The choice will be clear. Do Canadians want a government led by this Prime Minister and the Conservative Party, or do they want an unstable, risky, reckless coalition with the Liberals and their friends in the Bloc Québécois and the NDP?
We saw in Ontario how badly the NDP did for this country. We saw how bad it was for this country in British Columbia. We will not let the socialists take power in Canada.
View John Baird Profile
View John Baird Profile
2011-03-25 11:22 [p.9257]
Mr. Speaker, this government has brought forward major reforms to the justice legislation to ensure that violent offenders who commit offences against children spend more time in jail. We are pleased with those reforms.
We believe that tax cuts are an important part of economic growth. That is why the Ontario Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty was supporting those tax cuts with us every step of the way.
We also believe that when men and women sign up for the Canadian Forces, the Canadian people should stand behind them. We do not want to turn the Canadian air force into a no-fly zone like the Liberal Party would.
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