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Results: 1 - 13 of 13
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-23 12:11 [p.23786]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding the following statements made by the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. On Thursday, November 22, she said:
It has been seven days since Ontario's Conservative government cut services for Franco-Ontarians, but so far, no one in the Conservative Party has condemned what is happening in Ontario. That is unacceptable.
Page 63, 22nd edition of Erskine May, refers to a resolution passed by the U.K. House of Commons: ministers have a duty to Parliament to account, and to be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments; it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament. Erskine May then states that ministers must correct the record at the earliest opportunity.
I would also like to draw the Speaker's attention to the Prime Minister's message to his cabinet ministers in the document “Open and Accountable Government”.
[Ministers must] answer honestly and accurately about [their] areas of responsibility [and] correct any inadvertent errors in answering to Parliament at the earliest opportunity...
The Minister's statement fails to reference my public condemnation and that of the political lieutenant—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-22 15:08 [p.23744]
Mr. Speaker, I have an obligation to tell you that the Minister of Official Languages misled the House today in question period when she claimed that no Conservative members of the House have publicly criticized the Ford government's actions in front of the cameras.
I did so, as did several members—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-15 13:27 [p.17281]
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Saint-Laurent certainly knows that the Liberals did not invent the wheel when it comes to the veterans reintegration, rehabilitation services, and vocational assistance program.
I was the veterans affairs critic in 2015-16. The hon. member for Saint-Laurent is a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. Perhaps she should do her homework. Maybe she did, but is not saying. She talked about the increased benefits under her government, and if that is true then that is great, but we did the same thing. We increased all the benefits. The first time the charter came into effect, in 2006, it was under Mr. Harper's Conservative government. Most benefits were increased.
However, we did not make sweeping promises during an election. We never over-promised anything, not for any sector of society.
Unfortunately, the hon. member did not touch on what we are talking about. I would like her to answer the following: does she think that it was honourable of the Prime Minister to solemnly promise in 2015, hand on his heart, that veterans should never, ever have to go to court to fight for their rights, when this very government has now allowed its Department of Justice to take veterans back to court in the Equitas Society case? Does she think that is acceptable and that the Prime Minister was right to break his promise to veterans? That was a solemn promise.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-15 13:32 [p.17282]
Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise today. I will be sharing my time with the member for Lakeland.
As usual, I would like to say hello to the many constituents of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching. Two months ago, as I was going door to door in Limoilou, I met a man who said that he listened to all of my speeches. He talked to me about how the festivals at Cartier-Brébeuf park cause noise disturbances. I want to say hello to him.
First, I would like to say that I am very passionate and care a lot about any issues that affect Canada's veterans, mainly for family reasons. On the Clarke side of the family, fathers and sons have served in the Canadian Armed Forces since 1890, and I was no exception. My great-grandfather, William Clarke, served in the First World War and the Boer War. My grandfather, Robert Clarke, served in the Second World War. My father, Patrick Clarke, served our country in Berlin during the German occupation in the 1970s. My brother, Anthony Clarke, served in Afghanistan in 2006 during the campaign in which most lives were lost. I served the country in the reserves and never went overseas. It is perhaps one my biggest disappointments that I was not able to serve this beautiful country in times of war.
My colleagues opposite say that we, as Conservatives, should be embarrassed about how we treated veterans. However, I just shared my family's and my history, and I am in no way embarrassed to be a Conservative. I assure my colleagues opposite that I am being sincere. If the Conservatives had acted poorly towards veterans, I would admit it, if I were minimally honourable and capable of analyzing public policy—which I am. This is not at all the case, however, and I will have to talk about everything that we did for veterans. This is not the primary focus of my speech, but I have no choice, because all the Liberal members have been saying since this morning that the Conservatives were horrible to veterans. Our treatment of veterans is not the focus of this opposition day. Today's focus is the following:
That the House call on the Prime Minister to apologize to veterans for his insensitive comments at a recent town hall in Edmonton and show veterans the respect that they deserve by fulfilling his campaign promise to them, when he said on August 24, 2015, that “If I earn the right to serve this country as your Prime Minister, no veteran will be forced to fight their own government for the support and compensation they have earned”.
Not only did the Prime Minister break this solemn promise in an egregious manner when he stated at a town hall in Edmonton that veterans were asking for too much, but he broke three other promises. The Prime Minister promised Canadians that, if they voted for him, he would restore lifetime pensions for veterans. He broke this promise because the lifetime pension established and presented by the Liberals before Christmas does not really restore the old lifetime pension. Most veterans who elect to pull out of the former system, which applies to those who fought before 2006, will not get 100% of the amounts they were receiving.
The Prime Minister also promised that veterans would not have to fight their own government to obtain the support and compensation they deserve. Yesterday, my great colleague from Barrie—Innisfil introduced a bill that proposes a covenant. It is a commitment, an agreement, or a contract. My colleague from Barrie—Innisfil probably wanted to enter into a proper contract with veterans by changing the Department of Veterans Affairs Act and compensation for the Canadian Armed Forces by amending section 4 of the act by adding the following:
...the Minister shall take into account the following principles:
(a) that the person, as well as their dependants or survivors, is to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness;
It is interesting, because the Prime Minister delivered a big speech here yesterday about the relationship that his government and Canada have with our brave indigenous peoples, who have been here for thousands of years. He said we do not need to change the Constitution, because section 35 already says that we recognize the rights of indigenous peoples. The Prime Minister said that instead, we need to change the way we view indigenous peoples and treat them with dignity and respect, and that is how we will give them the recognition they want.
However, that is exactly what my colleague from Barrie—Innisfil wrote in his motion on veterans. His motion called for the concept of treating veterans with dignity and respect to be incorporated into the act, so that bureaucrats and judges would take that concept into consideration when making decisions about veterans' benefits. Sadly, the Prime Minister voted against that motion yesterday. Is that not a shame?
I am disappointed, not only because the Liberals voted against this motion, but also because day after day in question period, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Prime Minister, and his veteran colleagues trot out the same hogwash about how the Conservatives treated veterans disgracefully. Those are lies.
Ours was the first government to implement the new veterans charter. We significantly increased virtually all of the compensation amounts. Every day in question period, rather than actually answering questions and apologizing for what the Prime Minister said, the Liberals spout off this kind of nonsense when what they should be doing is explaining how they intend to respect veterans, some of whom are meeting with a number of my colleagues outside.
Another thing I am disappointed about has to do with Bill C-357, a bill I introduced to create a grandfather clause for veterans wanting to transition to the public service. They could thus avoid having to work another five years to collect full retirement benefits. It is a very simple bill.
I have repeatedly requested a meeting with the Minister of Veterans Affairs. I even told him to forget about my bill and incorporate its amendments into the Treasury Board rules so that the 80 veterans who have to work an extra five years in Canada's public service to retire with dignity can benefit from the grandfather clause. The Minister of Veterans Affairs refused to meet with me. This would cost about $2 million. That is peanuts.
As a final point, in response to my colleagues, I want to point out what we, the Conservatives, have done since 2006. First, we created the position of veterans ombudsman. Second, we announced clinics for veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Third, we established the Veterans Bill of Rights, which is on my desk in Beauport—Limoilou. On top of that, we announced additional funding to support operational stress injury clinics.
Furthermore, we created the atomic veterans recognition program. We launched an outreach campaign with community partners to identify and support homeless veterans in the Montreal area. In addition, in 2010, we created a community war memorial program, because once again, veterans often need recognition. We also introduced benefits for seriously injured veterans, including the earnings loss benefit, to increase monthly financial support.
All of that was introduced by the Conservative government, and that is not all. We also improved access to the career impact allowance, another measure created by the Conservative government. Is that not incredible? We also created a $1,000 supplement to the career impact allowance for the most seriously injured veterans. That is another Conservative government measure. Lastly, let us not forget the flexible payment options for veterans and Canadian Forces members who are receiving a disability award. That is another Conservative government measure. Is that not incredible, Mr. Speaker?
Despite everything I just said, the bottom line is that the Prime Minister made a solemn promise in 2015, hand on heart and surrounded by top military brass who are now MPs. He said that veterans would never, ever have to fight in court for their rights.
That is what is going on. He broke his promise. There is nothing honourable about that. It is most unfortunate.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-15 13:43 [p.17283]
Mr. Speaker, we did not leave a mess. Concerning the Equitas Society, the hon. member for Durham came to a truce with them with dignity and respect, and said that when the Conservatives came back as the next government, they would continue to discuss together how to deal with this situation, which did not happen.
The reality is that the Prime Minister went further in his campaign and did politics on the backs of veterans, on the back of this court case, as he did politics this week on the back of a court case in Saskatchewan. He is always doing that. He did that with Equitas. This is the basis of the discourse today. With his hand on his heart, he said that veterans will never, ever have to fight the government for their rights. Then he broke his promise. This is what is happening today. This is what we are fighting against.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-15 13:47 [p.17284]
Mr. Speaker, I too have a great deal of respect for my NDP colleague who makes very impassioned speeches.
I have two answers that are short and to the point. The new veterans charter is a new paradigm for the treatment of veterans. It is not perfect. I would say that if it were up to me, I would get rid of the new veterans charter and go back to the old system, which had better pensions. A veteran should not have to prove that he suffered. When he returns home from war let us just give him what he is owed.
This new paradigm was put in place by the Paul Martin government in December 2005. Ours was the first government to work with this new paradigm, whereby veterans carry the burden of proof. They have to prove that they suffered mentally or physically. That is the problem. In the United States, the government has the burden of proof. If the Liberals want to improve the situation, they have to reverse the onus.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 14:43 [p.10889]
Mr. Speaker, I would like the minister to answer my question.
Ministerial responsibility is a long-standing political convention in our political system. Ministers are honour-bound to uphold such conventions, or else resign.
From the outset, the Liberal government has repeatedly said that all that is required to end the crisis of confidence is an apology. This political approach is not in keeping with the convention we have in the House.
Why is the minister hanging on to his position, when it is obvious to all Canadians that he should resign immediately?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 15:31 [p.10900]
Mr. Speaker, during his speech, the member suggested that members from this side of the House had only put up examples coming from anonymous sources. That is not true. We spoke about retired Lieutenant-General William Carr, who said that the defence minister's search for recognition was a national embarrassment. We also spoke of retired Major Catherine Campbell, who has also spoken on the subject, and she is quite disappointed.
The member also said the same thing when the MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles gave his speech. He accused us of talking against the service of the minister. That is not the case. We are arguing that the minister has falsely exaggerated his role during Operation Medusa in Afghanistan. We are not talking about his honourable service to our country, but to his false exaggeration of being the architect of Operation Medusa.
When will the member correct his statement?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:04 [p.10904]
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by simply saying that the Minister of National Defence must resign, not only because of numbers or political decisions, but because of ministerial responsibility, a very important constitutional convention in this country. Since he does not want to follow that convention, we need to use an opposition day today to call for his resignation, which is coming soon. By the end of my speech, members will understand why.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the men and women who serve their country in the Canadian Armed Forces for the hard work they do every day, as demonstrated recently when they took quick action to help address the flooding in many regions of Quebec and Ontario.
I would also like to thank the members of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment, with whom I had the honour of serving our country, for the dedication they have shown since the regiment was created to the homeland and in every conflict.
Like my other opposition colleagues, today, I want to talk about our motion, which reads as follows:
That the House has lost confidence in the Minister of National Defence's ability to carry out his responsibilities on behalf of the government since, on multiple occasions the Minister misrepresented his military service and provided misleading information to the House.
This is really very serious. It all began with earlier issues, which I will talk about shortly. First, I want to explain a little about what has brought us to this opposition day, namely Operation Medusa, which took place in Afghanistan in 2006.
The minister’s political career began recently, in 2015. Before the November 2015 election, he was still in the Canadian Armed Forces. In a speech in New Delhi, India, for the second time in his political career, he stated that he was the main architect of Operation Medusa. This was not an inadvertent error, since he had made the same false statement, the same exaggeration, previously, during the 2015 election campaign, in an interview with a journalist.
Operation Medusa was one of the most important operations conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. It has contributed to our national pride, since it was a success, according to a majority of analysts.
Since making that false statement, the minister has been severely criticized for this lie by the media, the opposition, and numerous active or retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Today, my colleagues have clearly shown this by referring to a number of retired members of the military who are disappointed and stunned by this minister’s conduct.
What is unfortunate, but what reinforces our position on this opposition day, is that the Minister of National Defence is setting a trend in terms of how he performs his ministerial duties.
Right at the beginning of his term as minister, in December 2015, when the newly elected government decided to end our CF-18 campaign in Iraq, the Minister of National Defence held talks with certain members of the Iraqi government. When the minister returned to Canada, we asked him several times whether he had actually heard any comments about the withdrawal of our CF-18s in Iraq, and he said that was not the case. However, thanks to the good work done by journalists, we recently learned that, on the contrary, the Iraqi government had informed the minister on numerous occasions of its concerns regarding the withdrawal of the CF-18s. That is the first point on which the Minister of National Defence misled us.
The second example of the trend that the minister is setting relates to Kuwait. We have armed forces personnel in Kuwait, and, since October 5, 2014, they have received tax relief that was put in place by the Conservative government, as is often the case for other missions.
Responding to questions on the Order Paper, the Minister of National Defence acknowledged that the Conservative government had in fact put that tax relief in place. In spite of the minister’s clear statements saying that members of the military deployed in Kuwait were entitled to tax relief offered by the previous Conservative government, he kept saying, several months later, falsely, that those soldiers were deployed without receiving tax relief from the Conservative government. Why did he change his mind? Did his parliamentary assistants not bother to tell him that he had signed a paper saying that in the House? That is probably what happened, and that is another example of incompetence.
The third thing that further highlights the minister’s pattern of misleading conduct toward Canadians and the House is our fighter fleet’s lack of capacity. There is no such thing. The commander of the air force, Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, said when he appeared before the Standing Committee on National Defence, as my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles who sits on that committee and was there can attest, that there was no lack of capacity when it comes to Canada’s fighter fleet.
I have given three flagrant examples that show that the minister has misled the House of Commons, the parliamentarians who must vote for or against the government’s decisions. His pattern seems quite obvious to me, and that brings me to the second part of my speech.
I want to come back to the convention of ministerial responsibility. If there is one fantastic thing bequeathed to us by mother England, and its fantastic mother of parliament, Westminster, it is ministerial responsibility, which rests, first and foremost, on the honour of a man or woman, the honour of serving and of acknowledging that, when the time comes, he or she must resign from his position or her position.
I have to say that Canada has an interesting history when it comes to ministerial responsibility. I am going to give all the examples of ministers who have resigned, since 1867, for reasons ranging from the trivial to the most serious.
I thought that the change in the political culture that had taken place since the 1950s should have meant that very few ministers had resigned recently. We treat politicians as we treat products of mass consumption: we toss them out when they are no longer good. Contrary to what I thought, until this millennium, ministers have had the courage to resign for much more trivial reasons than we are currently discussing in the case of the Minister of National Defence.
Mr. Galt, one of the founders of the nation, resigned in 1867 because he no longer had the support and confidence of his cabinet colleagues, who held his policy responsible for the collapse of the Commercial Bank of Canada.
In 1878, Mr. Vail, defence minister, resigned because he had violated ministerial directives by being a shareholder of a company that had received government printing and advertising contracts.
In 1907, the minister of railways and canals, Mr. Emmerson, resigned because he had been accused of going to a Montreal hotel with a person of ill repute. Is that not unbelievable?
In 1965, the secretary of state of Canada, Mr. Lamontagne, resigned because he had been accused by the opposition, not by a court, of being involved in the scandal relating to a bankruptcy close to the prime minister.
Mr. Dupuis, a minister without portfolio, resigned in 1965 after exerting undue influence in the matter of a race track in Saint-Luc.
In 1986, the minister of regional industrial expansion, Mr. Stevens, resigned because he was being investigated in relation to conflict of interest allegations, which is much more serious.
In 2002, the solicitor general of Canada, currently Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, resigned because he was being investigated in relation to conflict of interest allegations.
In 2005, the present member for Humber River—Black Creek resigned in the midst of allegations of improprieties.
Last, in 2010, minister of state Helena Guergis resigned because she was being investigated regarding allegations relating to her conduct.
As we can see, for various reasons, trivial or otherwise, ministers have followed a very important convention in our country, a constitutional convention that requires a man or woman who holds office as a minister of Canada to resign when the members of the House question their confidence in him or her. Here, it is not only us; it is the entire Canadian Forces that are questioning their confidence in the minister. He should simply resign.
When we learn the truth about all of the issues that concern us, and if he did not in fact lie to Canadians, he will be able to return.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:15 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, the member is simply trying to create a diversion. In my speech and during this opposition day, what is important is talking about a minister. Like all his predecessors, the minister should follow the constitutional convention of ministerial responsibility, and, most importantly, honour it. Right at the outset, in December 2015, the Prime Minister told the House that he was not like Mr. Harper and he had a cabinet government. A cabinet government takes responsibility, and when a minister is in the wrong, he resigns.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:17 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting theory. I hope it doesn't, but if it holds true, the minister must be having a difficult time. That being said, there is no law requiring that he agree to his Prime Minister's request that he not step down.
On the other hand, he ought to respect and apply a constitutional convention endorsed for centuries in our British parliamentary system and resign when faced with a loss of confidence brought on by his actions.
Personally, I detest conspiracy theories. That said, I hope that this is not the case here.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:18 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, in 1848, the issue was responsible government. I am talking about ministerial responsibility, which is a convention pertaining to a minister who is at fault. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can keep placing his trust in him, that goes without saying. However, the minister must realize, on his own, as a man or woman of honesty and dignity, that no one is listening to him anymore.
The defence report that has just been released paints the picture of a terrible Conservative government, even though that was not the case at all. The Canada First defence strategy meant $20 billion more for National Defence. Who is going to believe that report now, dear colleagues? No one. That is the reality. That is why the minister has to resign. He is compromising the work of all of his colleagues, mainly that of the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister has not shown him the door in a few weeks' time, the situation will fester and the government will begin to rot from within.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-02 14:38 [p.10651]
Mr. Speaker, Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt.
“Whither right and glory lead” is the motto of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment, where I had the honour of completing my formal military service. Non-commissioned members like myself follow orders not because we fear officers, but because these orders ensure the protection of the federation and the honour of our homeland.
The Minister of National Defence has breached that trust. Since his moral authority is gone, will he do the right thing and step down?
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