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Results: 1 - 12 of 12
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, Admiral Norman is owed an apology by the Liberal Party leader. It is an absolute disgrace to the women and men who have served our country in uniform that the Liberal leader continues to refuse to apologize for trying to destroy the military career of an honourable gentleman. The fact the Liberal leader chose to run out of the House of Commons moments before the vote was taken on the motion by my hon. colleague from Milton speaks volumes to the character of the leader of the Liberal Party and those individuals in his party who still refuse to admit to the horrible wrong done to Admiral Norman. They are apology deniers.
I assure members of the Liberal Party that their shameful treatment of an honourable soldier has not gone unnoticed by soldiers and veterans. I was moved to tears, as was Admiral Norman, when he shared the story of a World War II veteran sending him $5, as that was what the veteran could afford, for the admiral's legal defence fund. It was necessary for members of the public to come to the aid of Admiral Mark Norman. The Liberal government was trying to bankrupt the admiral into submission by refusing to pay his legal bills, despite payment of the latter being the usual action taken when a Crown employee is party to legal action as a consequence of his duties as a public servant.
We live in a fearful time when someone of the stature of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman can be subjected to the type of political witch hunt he has been subject to by the Liberal Party. Given how hard the government is struggling to withhold evidence, the way it withheld evidence from Admiral Mark Norman's lawyers so that he could not properly defend himself, there must be something very terrible to be uncovered by the Senate investigation.
Political interference in an RCMP investigation and a court case is a slippery slope that no government in Canada should be sliding down. Canadians agree with Conservatives on this point. This is what some Canadians had to say in the May 22, 2019, edition of the Ottawa Citizen in response to its story on the Admiral Mark Norman Liberal scandal:
Your in-depth article on the two-year ordeal of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, his wife and daughter was incisive and clearly showed how politics drove this outrage.
More telling, though, is that our prime minister is always ready with an apology, a tear and a hanky for any pedestrian issue that provides an opportunity for a media photo-op —except when he is directly responsible for the debacle that affected the reputation of an officer with integrity.
Not only is Norman due an apology and compensation, he should be at National Defence Headquarters as Chief of Defence Staff, replacing Jon Vance, who should join Michael Wernick (formerly of the Privy Council Office) in obscurity and retirement.
Those were the comments of Adele White of Ottawa.
Then there were the following comments by Bill Russell of Ottawa:
A frightening attempt to hide records. Thank you for the most recent instalment in the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman story. There are many disturbing aspects to the tale of his defence. The senior echelons of the Canadian military have clearly not covered themselves in glory.
One of the most offensive and frightening revelations—reported in December 2018 and mentioned again in David Pugliese’s most recent contribution—relates to the actions undertaken within the Department of National Defence to stymie attempts by the vice-admiral’s legal team to obtain information deemed relevant to his defence from departmental files. The conscious effort to hide references to Norman in the records is a great concern for anyone who believes that the proceedings were about “justice.” The tone of arrogance and self-satisfaction in the words of the senior officer who is quoted in a Dec. 18 Ottawa Citizen story —“Don’t worry, this isn’t our first rodeo. We made sure we never used his name. Send back the nil return.”—is chilling.
Thankfully, the moral compass of a more junior staff member, whose name is protected by a publication ban because of fears of professional reprisal for coming forward, was not skewed.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 18:54 [p.28333]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question during tonight's adjournment debate. This is not the first time this topic has come up during the adjournment debate.
It is important to reiterate that the charges against Vice-Admiral Norman have been stayed. As the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed, every decision was made independently and no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any contact or influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence in either the initial decision to prosecute Mr. Norman or in the decision to stay the charges. We have said this a number of times in the House. Despite the opposition's efforts to raise this matter repeatedly, there was no political influence or any other kind of influence. We hope the opposition will respect the judicial process.
My colleague is well aware that the House unanimously adopted a motion to recognize Vice-Admiral Norman's service and to apologize to Mr. Norman and his family. The chief of the defence staff and Vice-Admiral Norman met last week and had a very cordial discussion.
With respect to legal fees, the deputy minister was very clear. She examined the current policy governing Vice-Admiral Norman's application for reimbursement of legal expenses. She shared her analysis with us, we agree with her and we are proceeding. Further information will be made available in due course as discussions are ongoing.
As we already addressed this matter in a previous adjournment debate, I would like to take this opportunity to speak about the investments and support our government is providing our men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, unlike the previous government, which repeatedly cut the defence budget and veterans' services.
Our government has made real progress on the single most important element of our defence policy: taking care of our people. We established the Canadian Armed Forces transition group to improve military members' experiences as they transition to life after military service. We also rolled out the seamless Canada initiative to improve the coordination of services across provinces and ease the burden of moving for military members and their families.
We have also enhanced services and expanded access to military family resource centres, and I had the opportunity to learn more about them when I visited the centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Their staff is doing amazing work in providing all the necessary services to the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces during their transition, particularly by helping them find housing and a family physician when they are posted to another military base.
We also expanded relocation benefits available for military members by updating the Canadian Armed Forces relocation policies. Furthermore, we enacted a retroactive pay increase for military members to ensure world-class compensation for our women and men in uniform.
Canadians can therefore be proud of the work accomplished by the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, whether it be responding to natural disasters, during overseas missions, providing search and rescue or defending our sovereignty. That is why taking care of our men and women in uniform has been of the utmost importance. The government and indeed all Canadians have a duty to recognize the incredible work and contributions of the members of the Canadian Armed Forces. We are very grateful for their work. We will invest as much as possible to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the tools and equipment necessary to do their jobs.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, finally, this is a letter from Joe Spence, from Ottawa:
I am a non-partisan person. I have voted for all three major parties in one election or another.
In October, I will be forced to vote against the Liberals because I want answers in the cases of Mark Norman and [the member from Vancouver—Granville]. The Liberals refuse to give me the answers, so I will have to vote for a party that I hope will.
I suspect that many people will be voting to get answers.
When will the Prime Minister apologize and have Vice-Admiral Norman reinstated as vice-chief of the defence staff?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-30 18:58 [p.28334]
Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times in the House, General Vance and Vice-Admiral Norman recently had a cordial discussion. We will have more information in the coming weeks.
With regard to the legal fees, the deputy minister reviewed the policy in place and found that Vice-Admiral Norman's legal fees could be reimbursed, and that is what we will do.
What is clear is that we respect the judicial process. We do not have the right to interfere in that process. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada was very clear: there was no influence, including political influence, in the case of Vice-Admiral Norman.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, veterans and their families deserve better. Since the Liberal Party stole power in the 2015 election, there have been four and a half veterans affairs ministers, including the time the portfolio was reduced to a part-time position. Even the Toronto Star calls the portfolio “a revolving door”, though it seems more like a trap door for government MPs who have fallen in disfavour with the ruling clique, like the former justice minister.
The Liberal Party has traditionally used the veterans portfolio as a dumping ground. Canadians remember all too well when the hapless John McCallum, who sent soldiers to Afghanistan lacking the proper equipment, was dumped out of the defence portfolio and into Veterans Affairs. His mistreatment of veterans landed him with a final reward as ambassador to China. Canadians across the country are paying the price for his failures there.
We know how the current Liberal Party leader feels about veterans after he told a veteran in Edmonton that veterans are asking for too much. That comment is rich coming from the Liberal Party, which gave $10.5 million to convicted terrorist Omar Khadr. All veterans are asking for is what was promised to them.
I know that some Liberal Party MPs, particularly those with prior military service, are in denial when it comes to their government's mistreatment of veterans.
I am now reading into Hansard a letter I received from a veteran, a retired sergeant major, which sums up the feelings of veterans who are contacting my office on a daily basis.
It states, “We're pretty much using the same failing strategy as we did in the mid-1800s. Boots are still an issue and our Navy just 'isn't'—we have some good equipment for the Army because they needed it so desperately when they didn't have it to fight a War we sent our troops to.
“The RCAF has just purchased museum quality jets from Australia and the Canadian Government tried to railroad a Vice Admiral for doing his job.
“We don't contribute our share to NATO and try our best to annoy the strongest democratic country on the planet and our closest neighbour just for good measure.
“The legacy of the injured from Afghanistan and the unit designed to transition them (the Joint Personnel Support Unit [JPSU]) has been the cause of incredible stress among injured and transitioning military families, only getting to its functional point in a year or so—six years after the conclusion of hostilities.
“The current Government and Canadian Armed Forces leadership is acting like all the adults left Parliament Hill for the weekend and they have taken it upon themselves to run the levers of Government in their absence.
“Not knowing what they're doing, they are making an incredible mess of things while having a jolly great time of it, but this one particular Mess with our Country's Defences must be corrected—now.
“Too many people have given their futures for this beautiful Country and its people—it's time to respect their sacrifice by not allowing another circumstance to swallow another generation in the absence of adults.”
On behalf of Canadians, I thank the sergeant major for his service to our country.
I asked a question in question period, which the leader of the Liberal Party was too ashamed to answer. How many taxpayer dollars were wasted wrongly prosecuting an innocent man, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-14 17:22 [p.27784]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to take part in the adjournment debate this evening. My colleague raised the issue of Mr. Norman's case. As the member knows, based on last week's decision, the charges against Vice-Admiral Norman have been stayed.
As confirmed by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada last week, every decision was made completely independently. As the PPSC also indicated, no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any contact or influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence in either the initial decision to prosecute Mr. Norman or in the decision to stay the charge. Any accusation to the contrary is absurd.
The only other thing I will say on the matter is that, also based on last week's decision, the deputy minister has reviewed the policy in place regarding the request to have his legal fees paid as they relate to this case. She provided us with her opinion, and we agree with her. In addition, General Vance will speak with Mr. Norman about what comes next.
Since my colleague raised the topic of taxpayer dollars, I want her to know that our government is committed to having the care for our women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces at the core of everything we do. After a decade of cuts under the Harper Conservatives, we are delivering results for our women and men in uniform and their families.
Some of our measures include tax-free income for members deployed on international operations, $155 million to safeguard the digital privacy and security of Canadians, $198 million to improve access to health care and implement a joint suicide prevention strategy, and $6 million per year in new funding to military family resource centres, which means more child care hours. I had the opportunity to visit one of those centres in my province, New Brunswick, and they do amazing work. I thank them for the work they do for our men and women in uniform.
Our government is re-engaging on the world stage and getting our women and men in uniform the equipment they need. That is why budget 2019 is supporting important measures for our Canadian Armed Forces, namely close to $19 million in support of Canadian Armed Forces members transitioning over to civilian life.
Unlike the previous government, which cut defence funding, our government is returning Canada to a leadership role internationally. We are achieving this through our defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. We have committed to increasing defence spending by more than 70% over the next 10 years. That is in stark contrast to the Conservatives' record.
Unlike the previous government, which repeatedly cut funding to the military, and unlike the Leader of the Opposition's most recent vision, which is, as usual, without specifics, our government has rigorously costed its policy at more than $32 billion.
What is disappointing, however, is how the Conservatives have repeatedly voted against making the funding available to implement our policy and provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the resources they need. The Conservatives spent dozens of hours voting against funding the very operations we send our members of the Canadian Armed Forces on.
Despite Conservative voting against funding its protection, Canadians can continue to rely on our strong electoral process, and a strong military.
In closing, I would like to thank the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for the work they do every day for Canadians.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, how many taxpayer dollars were wasted wrongly prosecuting an innocent man, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman?
Considering the fact that Vice-Admiral Norman was forced to rack up nearly half a million dollars in legal fees to defend himself, I have no doubt that millions were wasted on the Liberal Party's witch hunt of an honourable gentleman. The money wasted should have been used to meet the government's obligation to a veteran, retired Warrant Officer Roger Perreault, for the critical injury benefit he deserves for injuries sustained serving his country in Afghanistan. Veterans and their families deserve better.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-05-14 17:27 [p.27784]
Madam Speaker, as we have said over and over, no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any outside contact or influence, political or otherwise. Based on the decision, the deputy minister has reviewed the policy in place regarding Vice-Admiral Norman's request to have his legal fees paid for as it relates to this case. We will take her advice.
It makes me chuckle to hear a Conservative member talk about helping veterans, since we know just how much the Conservatives cut from veterans services. They shut down offices that provided support to veterans, and they slashed budgets at the Department of National Defence. That is the complete opposite of what we are doing.
We are reinvesting in the men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces. Our defence policy puts our men and women in uniform first and provides unprecedented investments. This is in stark contrast to the previous government, which repeatedly cut funding and left the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces out in the cold.
View Sylvie Boucher Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, as usual, I am pleased to rise in the House. I see that my colleague is still here so I want to say hello. I imagine he is the one who will be answering my question.
This evening, I am going to talk about Liberal appointments. During the last session, I was asked many questions about the partisan appointments the Liberals were making. Members will all recall the appointment of a former Liberal minister who had just left her job as an Ontario minister. She was angling for a Senate seat but instead was appointed official languages commissioner. She had met a huge number of people from the Liberal Party since she had contributed to the Prime Minister's election campaign. If that is not partisanship, I do not know what is.
The opposition parties all joined in strongly condemning that appointment since, in our opinion, a high-ranking Parliament of Canada official should never, and I mean never, be associated with any party, whether it be the Liberals, the Conservatives, or the NDP. Such officials really need to be non-partisan. When Ms. Meilleur withdrew her candidacy, which was very commendable of her, the government told us that the selection criteria had been revised, even though it had previously boasted that the criteria in use were the very best.
As of today, September 20, no one has been appointed as Commissioner of Official Languages; the position is being temporarily filled, and no one knows what the selection process is. I was familiar with the last process because I used to work on the official languages file. I now look after rural affairs. I know that some senior Liberal Party officials will be going over these appointments, but I would hope that this process will be much more transparent this time and that people in the opposition will be asked to provide names of candidates.
Both sides of the House need to ensure that the next person appointed Commissioner of Official Languages or any other Officer of Parliament is non-partisan. It is essential that these people maintain a certain degree of independence. When we appoint a Commissioner of Official Languages, we are accountable to linguistic minorities. It is not about talking on behalf of a party. This has to be—
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2017-09-20 18:43 [p.13308]
Mr. Speaker, when it comes to national government appointments, I suggest that it is actually a good news story. I sat in opposition and witnessed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper make many appointments. When it comes to appointments, it is a good news story, and let me explain why.
This government put in place a new appointment process that supports open, transparent, and merit-based selection processes. When we talk about being open, this what we mean. Selection processes are open to all Canadians to provide them with the opportunity, should they be interested and have the required qualifications, to participate in their democratic institutions by serving as a GIC appointment. When we talk about being transparent, we are talking about clear information about the requirements and steps involved in the selection process being readily available to the public in order to reach as many Canadians as possible and attract a strong, diverse field of highly qualified candidates. Appointments are publicly available on the Privy Council Office orders in council database.
With regard to merit, let us think about the selection being designed to identify highly qualified candidates who meet the needs of the organization and are able to perform the duties of the position to which they would be appointed. It seeks individuals who have the qualifications, including education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, and personal suitability to fill the position, and who are also able to meet any statutory and/or other conditions that may be required. This new process will help strengthen trust in our democracy and ensure the integrity of our public institutions. Our aim is to identify high-quality candidates who are committed to the principles of public service and embrace public service values.
Under this process, we have made well over 200 appointments. It is important for us to recognize the mix of those 200 appointments: 60% are women, 10% are visible minorities, and 10% are indigenous people. This truly reflects Canada's diversity. It is something I am very proud of, especially if we contrast the new process that we have put in place since the current Prime Minister made a commitment to Canadians of being open, transparent, and merit based when it comes to national appointments, with the previous one. That is why I say it is a good news story. When we do the comparison, hands down everyone will realize that this government takes its commitment very seriously, and by the results that I just listed, everyone will see that we have maintained that commitment.
View Sylvie Boucher Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am flabbergasted to hear my hon. colleague talk about transparency. Let us settle something once and for all: stop talking about the former government. The Liberals have been here for two years now.
If there had been transparency, the opposition would not have needed to stand up in the House to condemn the partisan appointment. If they want to have transparent appointments, then the Liberals need to talk to us. The last time I talked to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Ms. Ambrose was still here as acting leader. We received the letter two days before Mme. Meilleur's appointment. If that is what they call transparency—
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2017-09-20 18:48 [p.13309]
Mr. Speaker, to be very clear, Canadians can in fact continue to apply for positions on commissions, boards, crown corporations, agencies, and tribunals across the country as the selection process for more positions continues to be launched. Let me be very clear that we have a process that is open, transparent, and merit based. This new process will help strengthen trust in our democracy and ensure the integrity of our public institutions. As I say, it is indeed a good news story.
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