Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
RSS feed based on search criteria Export search results - CSV (plain text) Export search results - XML
Add search criteria
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-05-07 16:09 [p.27491]
Mr. Speaker, as always, I am very honoured to rise in the House today. I would like to say hello to the many people of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching. I saw them late last week at the Grand bazar du Vieux-Limoilou, the Patro Roc-Amadour community centre and the 52nd Salon de Mai craft fair, which was held at Promenades Beauport mall. Congratulations to the organizers.
I would also like to say that we are all very sad to hear that our colleague from Langley—Aldergrove is fighting a serious cancer. He just gave a powerful speech that reminded us how fragile life is. I even spoke to my wife and children to tell them that I love them. Our colleague gave a very poignant speech about that. I thank him for his years of service to Canada and to the House of Commons, and for all the future years that he will devote himself to his community.
Before I say anything about the Conservative Party motion now before us, I would like to say a quick word about what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday. At a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland, he had the gall to say that Canada’s claim of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage is illegitimate. He even compared us to Russia and China, referring to their behaviour and their propensity to annex territories, like Russia did in Ukraine. Personally, I find that shameful.
I would like to remind the U.S. government that we have been their allies for a long time. President Reagan and Prime Minister Mulroney reached an agreement, which both parties signed, and which stipulated that Canada indeed has sovereignty over the Northwest Passage. In the 19th century, we launched a number of expeditions and explorations supported by the British Crown, and Canadian sovereignty over the Northwest Passage and in the Arctic Archipelago is entirely legitimate.
Today we are discussing the importance of the oil industry and the importance of climate change. These two issues go hand in hand. They are key issues today and will continue to be in the future. Of course, I believe that the environment is extremely important. It is important for all Conservatives and for all Canadians. I remember collecting all sorts of bottles and cans along the roadside as a boy. I often did that with my father. He is an example for me in that respect. Throughout my life, I have always wanted to be a part of community organizations where people pick up garbage.
I am also very proud of most Canadian governments' environmental record. They have always endeavoured to meet the expectations of Canadians, for whom the environment is extremely important. Most of the time, the Liberals try to paint the Conservatives as anti-environment. I can assure my colleagues that I have never seen anything to support that in the Conservative Party. On the contrary, under Mr. Harper, we took important steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2.2% between 2006 and 2015. I will come back to that later.
There are two approaches being proposed in the current debate on climate change. This applies to several western countries. I say western countries because those are the countries affected, given that our industrial era has been well established for two centuries. There are some industries that have been polluting rather significantly for a long time. We have reached a point in our history where we realize that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are playing a very significant role in climate change.
Yes, we must act, but there are two possible approaches. One is the Liberal Party approach of taxing Canadians even more. The Liberals are asking Canadians to bear the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. The approach the Conservatives prefer is not to create a new tax or to tax the fuel that Canadians put in their cars to go to work every day.
Our approach is rather to help Canadians in their everyday lives and to help the provinces implement their respective environmental plans.
For example, I always like to remind the Canadians listening to us, as well as all environmentalists, that we set up the Canada ecotrust in 2007-08. This $1.3-billion program was meant to allocate funds to the provinces so that they could deal in their own way with the major concerns associated with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. That is a fine example of how we want to help people.
Jean Charest was premier of Quebec at the time. We provided $300 million to help Quebec implement its GHG emissions reduction plan. Mr. Harper and Mr. Charest gave a joint press conference, and even Mr. Guilbeault from Greenpeace said that the Canada ecotrust was a significant, important program.
We did the same thing for Ontario, British Columbia and all the other provinces that wanted to join the ecotrust. It is very likely that the program allowed the Government of Ontario to implement its own program and close its coal-fired power plants.
As a result, under the Harper government, GHG emissions in Canada dropped by 2.2%. It bears repeating, since that is the approach we will adopt with our current leader, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle. In a few weeks, we will announce our environmental plan, which has been keenly anticipated by all Canadians, and especially by the Liberal government. It will be a serious plan. It will include environmental targets that will allow Canada and Canadians to excel in the fight against climate change. In particular, we will maintain our sound approach, which is to help the provinces. By contrast, the government prefers to start constitutional squabbles with them by imposing taxes on Canadians, overstepping its jurisdiction in the process, since environmental matters fall under provincial jurisdiction.
I would like to use Quebec as an example, as my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent did this morning. I have here a report on Quebec's inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 and their evolution since 1990. It was tabled by the new CAQ government last November, and it is very interesting. In 2016, greenhouse gas emissions increased in Quebec, despite the fact that the carbon exchange made its debut in 2013. That is ironic. Despite the implementation of a fuel tax to cut down on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, emissions actually went up.
The same report also indicates that between 1990 and 2015, greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec decreased even though the carbon exchange had not been fully implemented. The conclusion explains how this happened:
The decrease in GHG emissions from 1990 to 2016 is mainly due to the industrial sector. The decrease observed in this sector resulted from technical improvements in certain processes, increased energy efficiency and the substitution of certain fuels.
That is exactly what we, the Conservatives, want to do. Instead of imposing a new tax on Canadians, we want to maintain a decentralized federal approach. We want to help the provinces adopt greener energy sources to stimulate even greener economic growth and the deindustrialization of certain sectors, create new technologies and increase innovation in the Canadian economy. That is the objective of a Conservative approach to the environment.
The objective of the Conservative approach to the environment is not to come down hard on the provinces and impose new taxes on Canadians. As we saw with Quebec, that did not have the desired effect. Our objective is to provide assistance while ensuring that our oil industry can grow in a healthy way. That is what Norway did. If I had 10 more minutes, I could talk more about that wonderful country, which has increased its oil production and exports and is one of the fairest and greenest countries in the world.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-05-07 16:21 [p.27492]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle for her question. I sat with her on the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. I have a great deal of respect for her.
Yes, the carbon exchange is a market-based approach. However, as we have seen, Quebec has not achieved the desired results. The purpose of the Canada ecotrust program created under Mr. Harper was to give the provinces a budget and allow them to come up with their own plans to tackle climate change. Canada's greenhouse gas emissions then dropped by 2.2%, a concrete and historic reduction.
What I find unfortunate is that the carbon tax is currently priced at $20 a tonne. It will go up to $50 a tonne by 2020. It seems likely that the Liberals will want to raise it even further if they stay in power in a few months.
What is even more unfortunate is that this tax will not apply to Canada's major emitters, big industries like cement, concrete and coal. They will pay only 8% of the total revenue from the carbon tax, while families and small businesses will have to pay the remaining 92%.
It has been said that it will not apply in Quebec because Quebec already has a carbon tax. However, as we have seen in recent weeks, the price of gas has gone up across Canada, including in Quebec and British Columbia, which already have carbon exchanges.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-05-07 16:24 [p.27493]
Mr. Speaker, what my colleague said about energy east is totally false. Energy east is dead and buried. However, he did say that the commissioner of the environment suggested the results might be due to the provinces' efforts. That is exactly how the Conservatives want to approach this. We think the provinces are in the best position to set standards for their industrial sectors and make appropriate changes based on their population, their industries and the environment.
That is exactly what we did. Under the ecotrust program, we transferred funds to the provinces so they could finance certain portions of their climate change programs. My colleague was right when he said the provinces did the work, but it is important to acknowledge that the federal government helped by doing exactly what the founding fathers intended back in 1867.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-04-29 13:17 [p.27091]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak to the NDP motion. I would first like to say hello to the many people of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us live or who will watch later on social media.
I just spent two weeks in my riding, where I met thousands of my constituents at events and activities organized by different organizations. Last Thursday, the Corporation de développement communautaire de Beauport, or CDCB, held a unique and innovative event. For the first time, all elected municipal, provincial and federal officials in the riding attended a breakfast meet and greet for constituents and representatives of organizations. It was a type of round table with elected members from all levels of government. It was an exemplary exercise in good democratic practices for our country. We had some great conversations. I would like to congratulate the CDCB for this very interesting event, which I hope will become an annual tradition.
I also want to mention that my beautiful Quebec is experiencing serious flooding across the province. When I left Quebec City this morning around six  o'clock I could see damage all along the road between Trois-Rivières and Montreal and in the Maskinongé area. There is always a little water there in the spring, but there is a lot of water this year. When I got to the Gatineau-Ottawa area I saw houses flooded. Nearly 8,000 people, men, women and families, have been displaced. These are tough times, and I want them to know that my heart is with them. I wish them much strength. I am pleased to see that the Government of Quebec has announced assistance, as has the federal government, of course.
The NDP's motion is an interesting one. It addresses the fact that the current Prime Minister of Canada tried to influence the course of justice a couple of ways, in particular with the SNC-Lavalin matter, which has had a lot of media coverage in the past three months.
The NDP also raised the issue of drug prices. Conservatives know that, in NAFTA 2.0, which has not yet been ratified by any of the countries involved, the Liberals sadly gave in to pressure from President Trump to extend drug patents. If the agreement is ratified, Canadians will pay more for prescription drugs. People are also wondering when the Liberals will initiate serious talks about the steel and aluminum tariffs and when they will bring NAFTA ratification to the House for debate.
The NDP motion also mentions Loblaws' lobbying activities. People thought it was some kind of joke. They could not believe their eyes or their ears. The government gave Loblaws, a super-rich company, $12 million to replace its fridges. The mind boggles.
The NDP also talks about banking practices in Canada. Conservatives know that banks are important, but we think some of them, especially those run by the government, are unnecessary. As NDP members often point out, for good reason, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is designed to help big interest groups, but Canadians should not have to finance private infrastructure projects.
We could also talk about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is totally ridiculous. Canada sends nearly $250 million offshore to finance infrastructure projects, when right here at home, the federal government's $187-billion infrastructure plan is barely functioning. Over the past three years, only $14 billion of that $187 billion has been spent. It is deplorable, considering how great the needs are in that area. The issue of banking practices mentioned in the NDP's motion is therefore interesting to me.
Another thing that really bothers me as a citizen is tax evasion. Combatting tax evasion should really begin with education in our schools. Unfortunately, that is more of a provincial responsibility. We need to put patriotism back on the agenda. Many wealthy Canadians shamelessly and unscrupulously evade taxes because they have no sense of patriotism. They have no love for their country.
Schools and people in positions of authority should have instilled this notion at a very young age by teaching them that patriotism includes making sure that Canadian money stays in Canada for Canadians, for our social programs, our companies, our roads and our communities.
In my opinion, a lack of love for one's country is one of the main causes of tax evasion. Young people must be taught that they should not be complaining about our democratic system, but rather participating in it. They should be taught to love Canada.
That is my opinion piece for today.
It is difficult for us to support the NDP's fine motion, however, because, as usual, it includes a direct attack against the Canadian oil industry and all oil-related jobs.
Canadian oil is the most ethical oil in the world. Of course, in the past, there were some concerns about how the oil sands were processed, but I think a lot of effort has been made in recent years to find amazing technologies to capture the carbon released in the oil sands production process.
Since the government's mandate is almost at an end, I would like to take this opportunity to mention that this motion reminded me of some of the rather troubling ethical problems that the Liberal government has had over the past few years.
First the Prime Minister, the member for Papineau took a trip to a private island that belongs to our beloved and popular Aga Khan. The trip was not permissible under Canadian law, under our justice system. For the first time in Canadian history, a prime minister of Canada was found guilty of several charges under federal law because he took a private family vacation that had nothing to do with state interests and was largely paid by the Aga Khan. It was all very questionable, because at the very same time he was making this trip to the Aga Khan's private island, the Prime Minister was involved in dealings with the Aga Khan's office regarding certain investments.
Next we have the fascinating tale of the Minister of Finance, who brought forward a reform aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, a reform that was supposed to be robust and rigorous, when all the while he was hiding shares of his former family business, Morneau Shepell, in numbered companies in Alberta. On top of that, he forgot to tell the Ethics Commissioner about a villa he owned in France.
The young people watching us must find it rather unbelievable that someone could forget to tell the Ethics Commissioner about a wonderful villa on the Mediterranean in France, on some kind of lake or the sea, I assume.
Then there is the clam scandal as well. The former minister of fisheries and oceans is in my thoughts since he is now fighting cancer. It is sad, but that does not excuse his deplorable ethics behaviour two years ago when he tried to influence a bidding process for clam harvesters in order to award a clam fishing quota to a company with ties to his family.
SNC-Lavalin is another case. It seems clear that there were several ethics problems all along. What I find rather unbelievable is that the Liberals are still trying to claim that there was absolutely nothing fishy going on. I am sorry, but when two ministers resign, when the Prime Minister's principal secretary resigns, and when the Clerk of the Privy Council resigns, something fishy is going on.
I want to close with a word on ethics and recent media reports about judicial appointments. There is something called the “Liberalist”, a word I find a bit strange. It is a list of everyone who has donated to the Liberal Party of Canada. Of course, all political parties have lists of their members, but the Liberals use their list to vet candidates and identify potential judicial appointees.
In other words, those who want the Prime Minister and member for Papineau to give them a seat on the bench would be well advised to donate to the Liberal Party of Canada so their name appears on the Liberalist. If not, they can forget about it because actual legal skills are not a factor in gaining access to the highest court in the land and other superior federal courts.
When it comes to lobbying, I just cannot believe how often the Liberals have bowed down to constant pressure from big business, like they did with Loblaws. It is a shame. Unfortunately, the NDP motion is once again attacking the people who work in our oil industry.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-04-29 13:29 [p.27093]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has no climate change plan. It has a taxation plan. That is exactly what it is doing.
On the reverse side, under Stephen Harper, a great and honourable Canadian, we had the ecoENERGY efficiency initiative. All the young guys listening to us should google that right now, please. The ecoENERGY efficiency initiative in 2007 was even recognized by Steven Guilbeault, a great ecologist in Canada.
The ecoENERGY efficiency initiative was a decentralized way of doing things in Canada to make sure that we were strong on the climate change problem in the world. For example, there was an envelope of $1.3 billion that was divided among the provinces. About $300 million or $400 million was sent to Quebec at the time, to the Charest government, which used this money to put forward the province's ecological plan. At the same time, there were other projects in Ontario that received money from the ecoENERGY efficiency initiative.
All that put together gave us one important result that Canadians should remember every single day: There was a reduction of carbon dioxide in Canada of 2.2% under the great leadership of the Conservative Party from 2006 to 2015.
We did not do that by taxing more Canadians; we did it through decentralization and through respect for federalism.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-04-29 13:31 [p.27093]
Mr. Speaker, I believe in a free market with safeguards to protect everyone's rights. However, we must never ignore the fierce global competition.
Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Harper's government eliminated many subsidies for big oil.
An article published by CBC this morning indicated:
The total volume of Canadian imports from Saudi Arabia has increased by 66 per cent since 2014...
Saudi oil accounted for roughly 10 per cent of Canadian consumption, up from about eight per cent in 2017...
Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of foreign oil for Canada, after the U.S.
Even human rights groups are saying that we need to stop importing oil from Saudi Arabia.
One of the reasons why I believe we need to support the Canadian oil industry is the great Canadian paradox. The article goes on to say:
Canada is the fourth-largest producer and fourth-largest exporter of oil in the world...and 99 per cent of Canadian oil exports go to the U.S.
Canada is also an oil importer, which is rare for an exporting country.
The paradox is that we have one of the world's largest energy resources. Importing oil for our country is ridiculous. We need to put an end to that.
Under the leadership of the Conservative leader, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, Canada would become self-sufficient. That is a commendable goal that everyone in the country should support.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:22 [p.25268]
Mr. Speaker, the 5,500 federal employees in Shawinigan and Jonquière will keep their jobs. We will ensure that they keep their jobs in the administrative agreements that we will sign as soon as we take office in October.
The member said that she would rather help 5,500 public servants, who are merely being asked to make a bit of a transition, than the 8.3 million Quebeckers who clearly stated during our “Listening to Quebeckers” tour that they want a single tax return. The member is also going against the 125 members of the Quebec National Assembly, who together represent the 8.3 million Quebeckers who said that they want a single tax return. She is going to protect 5,500 individuals at the expense of 8.3 million people.
Is that what the member is trying to tell us right now?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:33 [p.25269]
Mr. Speaker, I find this debate very interesting. What has been happening in the news in recent months or for a little more than a year is also very interesting. We can see that the very root, the core identity, of the Liberal Party has not changed.
Every time that Quebec asks the Liberal government for something, whether it is in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or today, the answer is always no.
Mr. Couillard, the former premier, asked if there could be a dialogue on Quebec’s place in the Canadian Constitution. The Prime Minister dismissed it out of hand. He did not even want to have a dialogue.
Recently, Quebec asked for more autonomy in immigration. The Liberals said that they would look into it, but that means no. The National Assembly, the 125 members representing 8.3 million Quebeckers, unanimously called for a single tax return, and the Liberals today are saying no, without any shame.
Why is it that the core identity of the Liberal Party of Canada since 1867 is still to answer no to Quebeckers and the province of Quebec when they ask for more power in their areas of jurisdiction?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:39 [p.25270]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable, who will certainly build on what I have to say.
It is always an honour to speak in the House. I want to say hello to the people of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us. Today, we are debating a single tax return for Quebeckers.
The member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges has said some pretty unbelievable things. He asked why the Conservatives raised this topic this year, which is an election year. In reality, we actually talked about this matter in May last year, at our general council meeting in Saint-Hyacinthe. There were 400 Conservatives at this meeting, including members of the Bloc Québécois who were tired of the pointless bickering. The Bloc Québécois will never be in power. At this general council, we adopted the motion calling for a single tax return. The motion received the support of the vast majority, 90%, of attendees. It was quite popular.
That said, introducing this motion at the Saint-Hyacinthe general council was not a casual idea plucked from thin air. Our political lieutenant for Quebec and other Quebec Conservative MPs held public consultations, consultations we called “Listening to Quebecers”.
We held consultations in about 40 municipalities all across Quebec, covering all of Quebec's regional districts. Quebeckers themselves told us they wanted us to simplify their day-to-day lives. Then, a month later, in May 2018, Quebec's National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government, regardless of the party in power after the October 2019 election, to start working on an administrative agreement that would enable Quebec to collect federal taxes and then transfer that money to the federal government. The ultimate goal was to make Quebeckers' lives easier and give them a much easier way to do things.
I would like to re-read the motion for those watching at home because it may not be written out in full at the bottom of their screen. The motion states:
That, given:
(a) the House has great respect for provincial jurisdiction and trust in provincial institutions;
(b) the people of Quebec are burdened with completing and submitting two tax returns, one federal and one provincial; and
(c) the House believes in cutting red tape and reducing unnecessary paperwork to improve the everyday lives of families; therefore,
the House call on the government to work with the Government of Quebec to implement a single tax return in Quebec, as adopted unanimously in the motion of the National Assembly of Quebec on May 15, 2018.
That is the motion that our political lieutenant, the member for Richmond—Arthabaska, moved this morning.
Why do we want the House to adopt this motion? As I said, over the past few months, we consulted with most Quebeckers as part of our province-wide consultation process. They told us that they needed this to happen because they are fed up. That is what they said. They are fed up with filling out two tax returns.
The Conservative Party of Canada has always had one fundamental goal, which we pursued under the leadership of Mr. Harper when we cut taxes through 163 different measures. Clearly, the most popular measures were the ones that cut the GST from 7% to 6% and then from 6% to 5% and those that sought to cut red tape in half for all federal departments. It just so happens that the Liberals kept this administrative formality because they know how important it is. It is one of the good things they have done so far.
We are also moving forward with that, because it reflects the desire of all elected officials from Quebec. That desire was reiterated a year ago, as I said at the start of my speech.
There is a bit more of a personal reason that residents of Beauport—Limoilou may not be familiar with. I have knocked on 40,000 doors in my riding. I continue to do so. I even did it this Saturday in -20°C weather. I once again thank the volunteer who was with me that day. He was brave to follow me. The member for Louis-Saint-Laurent also went door to door. All the Conservatives in Canada did that.
Saturday, I knocked on the doors of about 50 homes and the topic came up many times. That idea was put forward publicly by the Conservative Party before the Bloc Québécois began talking about it and well before the unanimous motion in Quebec’s National Assembly, because we had heard about it on the ground and we respect Quebeckers. Our fundamental goal in politics is to make life easier for all Canadians, and particularly to avoid them having to pay for the Prime Minister's mistakes in the future.
Today, we have learned something important in the House, and I asked the member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges a question about this, namely, the fact that the true identity of the Liberal Party of Canada is clear for all to see. Perhaps it does not reflect on all of its individual members, although they are part of it, as they are involved in it, but fundamentally, it is a centralist party that does not care about the demands of Quebeckers for greater control. It does not care about the constitutional anguish and anxiety of Quebeckers. In particular, there is no desire to improve the lives of Quebeckers and Canadians through its government policies.
On the contrary, we have never seen a government spend so much money on so few results for individual Canadians. We sometimes get the impression that the government is working for the bureaucracy and government programs instead of working for Quebeckers and Canadians in general. We have seen that identity throughout history. In 1867, George Brown and the Red Party did not want a large federation like Canada created by two founding peoples working hand in hand
From 1867 to today, we Conservatives have maintained our constitutional and political openness to the grievances of both founding peoples and the legal grievances of the Province of Quebec. Remember the total affront by the Liberals in 1982 when they repatriated the Constitution without the consent of Quebec’s National Assembly. We see history repeating itself.
In 1982, Quebec’s National Assembly did not sign the Constitution. As the bastion of the Francophonie in North America, Quebec certainly had a prominent place at the table. Even political conventions and jurisprudence clearly reflected Quebec's crucial role in the matter of the repatriation of the Constitution, but the Liberals, in their arrogance, brazenly repatriated the Constitution without Quebec’s signature, just as they are now brazenly and shamelessly dismissing the unanimous request by the National Assembly regarding a single income tax return.
Under Mr. Mulroney, we resumed an honourable and enthusiastic dialogue. We made every possible effort, despite the extreme pressure on all sides from the elder Mr. Trudeau. We reached the Charlottetown and Meech Lake accords; we tried to bring Quebec into the fold. Later, Mr. Harper entered into administrative agreements, because the time was not right. People did not want a constitutional debate. Just as our leader, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, would like to do, Mr. Harper entered into administrative agreements that helped Quebeckers in their everyday lives, while waiting for the time when we might see a constitutional debate. Later, he got a seat for Quebec at UNESCO, the last thing the Liberals would have done, and the Bloc Québécois would never have had the power to do, as they will never be in power.
Not only did we get a seat for Quebec at UNESCO, but we also acknowledged the existence of the Quebec nation in this assembly, in this Westminster Parliament, on North American soil. We acknowledged that the Quebec people formed a nation within a united Canada. Mr. Harper did that. It was not the Liberals or the Bloc Québécois, who could never do it, as they will never be in power.
What party increased its number of seats in Quebec in the last election? It was not the Bloc Québécois, it was the Conservative Party, which won 12 seats. Unfortunately, due to their many promises, the Liberals were able to win many seats. However, that will change, as they are unable to keep their promises. As the deficit will not be eliminated this year, they will raise taxes over the coming days, months and years if they are re-elected.
By all appearances, this is the same party as it was back in the day. By its very identity, the Liberal Party of Canada has no respect for Quebeckers or for areas of jurisdiction.
A few days after being elected, the Prime Minister and member for Papineau went to New York and told a newspaper that Canada had no national identity. Really? Canada has no national identity? That is not what Quebeckers think. Quebeckers will never be well served by the Liberal Party of Canada. With our leader, the member for Regina—Qu’Appelle, we will give them more independence in their areas of jurisdiction when they seek it.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:50 [p.25272]
Mr. Speaker, I know the member and respect him. We were on the OGGO committee together. He spoke to me in French so I will speak to him in English.
Do members know why the Liberals speak about the technicalities of the matter? It is because they do not want to talk about the matter at hand, which is whether they are for or against our ideas. They are against them. Every time the government talks about complexities and technicalities, it is because it does not want to face reality.
This is a good idea. It does not come from them. It comes from us. More than that, as I said during my speech, it is not possible for Liberal MPs in this land to do differently from what they are doing today, because this is part of their core identity.
They do not want to respect decentralization. They do not believe in federalism. They do not believe in this country. They believe that everything should be centralized in Ottawa. First and foremost, they do not believe in French Canada.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:52 [p.25272]
Mr. Speaker, how typical of Canadian socialists. It is the opinion of the majority, because Quebec's National Assembly voted unanimously for a motion asking the federal government to begin administrative-level talks on a single tax return. It is always the same thing: every time the majority goes against what they believe in, Canadian socialists say that the majority's opinion is hogwash.
I am not the one pitting Quebeckers against each other; the Liberals are. I am not the one disrespecting Quebeckers; the Liberals are. The Liberals are not the ones who will increase Quebec's jurisdictional powers; the Conservatives will be, after October 21, 2019.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-05 13:54 [p.25273]
Mr. Speaker, it is this party which has repatriated the Constitution without the Quebec National Assembly. It is the Trudeau father who put huge pressure on Newfoundland not to open on the day of the Meech Lake vote. This is the reality of history.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-02-04 16:59 [p.25225]
Madam Speaker, the member for Louis-Hébert said that we were giving tax credits to wealthy families. After knocking on 40,000 doors in my riding, I found that, on the contrary, the families using our tax credits were not wealthy. Under the member's government, 46% of these families are $200 away from insolvency at the end of the month. Perhaps they could have used some tax credits.
I have a very specific question for the member. We signed Canada onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the CETA, which are major forward-looking projects. We also developed a shipbuilding strategy to ensure that Canada is prepared to defend itself in the world.
Can the member name a single visionary project, not for today, but for 50 years from now, that his government could have developed? I would like to hear him name just one.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-01-29 16:27 [p.24989]
Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise here in the new House of Commons. Looking down, it feels like we are in the old chamber, but looking up, that is clearly not the case. It is certainly a lot brighter here than in the old chamber, so bright that it is difficult to look up at the sky.
I am honoured to rise on behalf of the 100,000 people of my riding, Beauport—Limoilou. Now that it is 2019, we are slowly but surely gearing up for an election campaign. Personally, I intend to be re-elected, if my constituents would once again do me the honour, but since we can neither know what fate has in store nor determine the outcome, I will, of course, work very hard. For that reason, I am savouring this honour and this opportunity to speak here for yet another parliamentary session.
Today, I would like to clarify something very important for the people of my riding. This morning, the member for Carleton moved a motion in the House of Commons, a fairly simple motion that reads as follows:
That, given the Prime Minister broke his promise to eliminate the deficit this year and that perpetual and growing deficits lead to massive tax increases, the House call on the Prime Minister to table a plan in Budget 2019 to eliminate the deficit quickly with a written commitment that he will never raise taxes of any kind.
My constituents may find it rather strange to ask a Prime Minister to promise not to raise taxes after the next election, if he is re-elected. He might even raise taxes before the election. After all, the Liberals tried to raise taxes many times over the past three years. I will say more about that in my speech. However, we are asking the Prime Minister to make this promise because we see that public finances are in total disarray.
In addition, the Prime Minister has broken several of the key promises he made to Canadians and Quebeckers. Some of them were national in scope. For example, he promised to return to a balanced budget by 2019, which did not happen. Instead, our deficit is nearly $30 billion. The budget the Liberals presented a few months ago forecast an $18-billion deficit, but according to the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer—an institution that forces the government to be more transparent to Canadians and that was created by Mr. Harper, a great Prime Minister—the deficit would actually be around $29 billion instead of $18 billion.
The Prime Minister quite shamelessly broke his promise to rebalance the budget, since this is the first time in the history of Canada that a government has racked up a deficit outside of a war or serious economic crisis. There was a big economic recession when the Conservatives were in power between 2008 and 2012.
I like to remind Canadians who may be listening to us that accountability is a key part of the Westminster system. That is why we talk about the notion of government accountability and why we have question period every day. It is not all about the theatrics, I might add. We ask the same ministers, although sometimes other ministers, questions every day because one day they are going to slip up and tell us the truth. Then we can talk about responsibility and accountability.
In short, the Prime Minister broke his promise to balance the budget by 2019. He also broke his promise to change our electoral system, which was very important to a huge segment of the Canadian left and Canadian youth.
He also broke his promise about the Canada Post community mailboxes. Although we believe that Canada Post's five-point action plan was important for ensuring the corporation's survival in the long term, the Prime Minister nevertheless promised the return of community mailboxes. I travelled across the country with my colleague from Edmonton and other members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. All Canadians told Liberal members of the committee that they hoped the government would restore community mailboxes. However, the Liberals only put in place a moratorium.
The member from Quebec City and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development said that the state of the Quebec Bridge was deplorable, that the bridge was covered in rust and that some citizens were concerned about security and public safety.
I would like to reassure them. Our engineers' reports states that the bridge is not dangerous. That said, it is a disgrace that this historic bridge is completely rusty. The Liberals promised that this would be taken care of by June 30, 2016. That was over two years ago.
They also promised to help the middle class. In fact, to some extent, they followed in the footsteps of Mr. Harper's Conservative government, which also focused on helping Canadian families as much as possible. I held three public consultations in 2018. It is already 2019. Time flies. I called those public consultations, “Alupa à l'écoute”.
I will table my report in a month and a half. It will express my willingness to suggest to my leader to either table a bill or include in his election platform measures to address the labour shortage and to help seniors return to the labour market without being further penalized. I go door to door every month. What is more, during my public consultations, what I heard most often from my constituents, who I thank for coming, is that they are surviving. Their lives have not improved at all in three and a half years. On the contrary, they are facing challenges as a result of the Prime Minister's repeated failures.
I said we needed the Prime Minister to promise not to raise taxes either before the election or, if he wins, after. We all know what he has done over the past three years. He tried to tax dental benefits. He tried to tax employee benefits and bonuses. For example, some restaurant owners give their servers free meals. That is what happened when I was a server. The Liberals wanted to tax that benefit. They tried to tax small and medium-sized businesses by taxing their revenue as capital gains, and that was a total disaster. They wanted to tax every source of income businesses could use to prepare for bad times or retirement so they would eventually be less of a burden on the state.
The Liberals also significantly increased taxes. Studies show that 81% of Canadians have to pay more than $800 a year in taxes because the Liberals got rid of almost all of the tax credits the Conservatives had implemented, such as those for textbooks or public transit. They got rid of the tax credits for sports and for families. The Prime Minister and his Liberal team got rid of all kinds of family credits, which significantly increased taxes. Furthermore, they tried many times to significantly increase other taxes. They also tried payroll deductions, like the increase to the Canada pension plan. If we really take a look at the various benefits or income streams Canadians receive, we can see that their taxes have increased.
We do not trust the Prime Minister when he says he will not raise taxes after the next election if he is re-elected. We know he will have to raise taxes because of his repeated failures. In economic terms, there is an additional $60 billion in deficits on top of the debt. His deficits now total $80 billion after three and a half years. I am also thinking of his failures on immigration and on managing border crossings. Quebec is asking for $300 million to make up for the shortfall it has suffered because of illegal refugees. I am also thinking of all the problems related to international relations. I am also thinking of infrastructure.
How is it possible that the Prime Minister, still to this day, refuses tell the people of Beauport—Limoilou and Quebec City that he will agree to go ahead and help the CAQ government build the third link? All around the world, huge infrastructure projects are under way, yet over the past three years, the Liberal government has been incapable of allocating more than a few billion dollars of the $187 billion infrastructure fund.
Canadians are going to pay for the Prime Minister's mistakes. We want him to commit in writing that he will not raise taxes if he is re-elected.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-01-29 16:39 [p.24991]
Madam Speaker, it is quite simple. We will do as we did before: We will have responsible management of our finances here in Canada.
We will never cut services to Canadians; we will cut and stop the increase of money flowing to the bureaucrats. We have never seen in the history of Canada so much money being spent on deficits by a government, with so little result for Canadians individually. We gave the Liberals a surplus of $3 billion while having child benefit measures and one of the best OECD numbers of economic development and while being the first country to get out of the financial crisis of 2008.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-01-29 16:41 [p.24991]
Madam Speaker, I go door-knocking every month and I can tell you that Quebeckers have no appetite to see their tax bill constantly go up and their quality of life go down.
I would like us to focus on more important things. When we look at the state of international relations, whether with China, Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, Asia or Europe, we see countries that have plans to address the great challenges of the 21st century. Here, the government is barely capable of drafting a plan to balance the budget.
How will this government prepare for the great challenges of the 21st century when it cannot even come up with a plan to balance the budget?
If my NDP colleague conducted a survey in his riding, I am sure that everyone would tell him that the government has to stop raising taxes. That is what is important.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-01-29 16:43 [p.24991]
Madam Speaker, I do not know what world the member lives in, but maybe she should cross the floor, because she seems to be attracted to the way they manage the economy on the Liberal benches.
I want to speak about the veterans file. To the contrary, my colleague was the minister before the last election and did an amazing job making sure that we had new benefits. There were dozens of new benefits given to veterans under the Conservative government, and that is the truth. It is just outrageous to see the Liberals lying like that on the backs of veterans.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 15:52 [p.23549]
Mr. Speaker, I must be mistaken, or maybe I went outside to the lobby, but I must have missed the part of the hon. member's speech when he was talking about when the government will balance the budget. I have never seen a budget speech that did not include a date, or anything like a date, confirming when the budget would be balanced. Therefore, I would like the member to rectify the situation. I must have been somewhere else or not listening. I am very sorry. When will the government balance the budget?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:03 [p.23551]
Mr. Speaker, as usual, I am very pleased to rise today.
Without further delay, I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
As always, I extend my warmest greetings to the many people in Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us today.
Today's debate is very interesting. An opposition motion was moved in the House by the Conservative Party, of which I am of course a member. It reads as follows, and I quote:
That the House call on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced, and to do so in this week’s Fall Economic Statement.
Canadians may be wondering what is happening and how it is possible that we still do not know when the government will balance the budget. That has always been a basic concept for me, even before I got into politics.
It seems to me that any reasonable, responsible government, whether it be Liberal or Conservative—and I was going to add NDP, but that has not happened yet at the federal level—with nothing to hide should indicate in its policy statement, budget, and everyday political messaging a date on which it will balance the budget, or at least a concrete timeframe for doing so.
There are two rather surprising things about the Liberals' refusal to give us a timeframe for returning to a balanced budget. There are two historic elements with regard to the practice that they are currently using.
As the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent keeps saying, we have never seen a government run a deficit outside wartime or outside an economic crisis.
According to Keynesian economics, it is normal to run deficits. Keynes made some mistakes in several of his analyses, but there is one analysis he did that several governments have been adhering to for 60 years now. According to his analysis, when an international economic crisis is having an impact on every industrialized country in the world, it is not a bad idea for the government to invest heavily in its community, in its largest industries, in every industrial region of the country, to ensure that jobs are maintained and that there is some economic vitality despite the crisis.
For example, we Conservatives ran a few deficits in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 because the country was going through the worst economic crisis ever, the greatest recession since the 1930s.
Our reaction was responsible. Why? First, because there was a major global recession. Second, because even though we were a Conservative government, we embraced Keynesianism because we felt it made good economic sense. Through our strategic reinvestment plan, we managed to maintain 200,000 jobs. Not only did we maintain jobs across Canada, but we also repaired infrastructure, bridges and overpasses.
Two years ago, when I was a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, I read a report that noted this was the first time an economic recovery and stimulus plan had been implemented so quickly. In three or four years, we invested $80 billion in infrastructure to help Canada weather some rough economic times.
The first surprise from the Liberals was that they ran up massive deficits of $20 billion this year, $20 billion last year, and $30 billion in 2015-16, even though there is no major crisis or war going on.
There is a second surprising thing. Let us go back to the time when lords were waging wars against the king of England, which is in the 13th century. In 1215, the Magna Carta resulted from several confrontations between the lords, the capitalist bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, all pleading for their interests with the king. The idea was to create an assembly where they could present their admonitions and complaints to the king and could limit the outrageous sums the king wanted to spend on the holy crusades. That is when our parliamentary system was born.
When I was first elected to the House of Commons, I learned Parliament's primary function. My university professors knew I liked philosophy, but they said I would soon come to realize that, in the House of Commons, discussions are about money, the economy, the country's economic situation and public finances. I learned that, in the House of Commons, debates are almost entirely about public finances.
That is as it should be, since the philosophical and political foundations of the British parliamentary system are accountability and the principle of responsible government allowing citizens to know what their money is used for. In those days, it was the capitalist bourgeoisie who wanted to know, whereas nowadays all citizens expect it. Nevertheless, the process and the principle remain the same. We want to know what happens with our money. Why are there deficits, if any, and most importantly when is the government going to balance the budget? Deficits involve our money, and it is commendable and reasonable to know when the budget will be balanced.
My colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert was just saying how absurd this is. What would a government MP do if an ordinary Canadian asked him to simply tell him when his party would balance the budget? For three years, members of Parliament have not really been allowed to answer such a question, yet it is quite a normal question. They have to come up with foolish answers, think about something else or say that everything is fine because they have been cutting taxes, when in fact each citizen in Beauport—Limoilou pays $800 more every year in income tax.
That amounts to almost $2,000 per family, not to mention the tax credits they axed, the oil that is not being shipped out of the country, all the cuts in exports to the U.S., all the U.S. investment in Canada that has been lost while Canadian investment in the U.S. has increased, not to mention the fact that household debt is at an all-time high. The OECD remarked on this recently. In short, I could go on for a long time without even talking about the USMCA.
Nonetheless, there are some surprising things. What is incredible, and I repeat this every time I give a speech about Canada's economy, is that, in 2015, the Liberals were smart enough and had enough honour to explain why they were running a deficit even though we were not at war or in an economic crisis. At the time, the member for Papineau, under a gigantic crane in Toronto—I remember watching on television from my campaign office in Beauport—Limoilou and that it was partly cloudy and it rained a little—announced to Canadians that the Liberals would run a deficit of $10 billion in the first two years and then a deficit of $6 billion in the third year. He promised a deficit. Everyone was surprised that he was promising a deficit. It was a first.
He added that the Liberals would run a deficit in order to invest in infrastructure, which, he said, had been abandoned, and to invest more in infrastructure in general across the country. At least he was consistent in his comments once he was elected. He announced that they were creating a historic infrastructure plan—everything is always historic with them—worth $187 billion, which is not bad either. That was a continuation of what we had done. We had invested $80 billion over the course of the six previous years. It is only natural to continue to invest in infrastructure in Canada. Some even claim that Canada exists thanks to the railroad. Infrastructure has always been foundational here in Canada.
However, the Parliamentary Budget Officer—which, I repeat every time, as we must not forget, is an institution created by Mr. Harper, a great democrat who wanted there to be an independent body in Parliament to constantly hold the government to account—informed us in a report that, of the $187 billion invested in infrastructure, only $9 billion has actually been spent over the past three years. If I am not mistaken, $9 billion divided by three is $3 billion. The Liberals have invested $3 billion a year in infrastructure, and yet, they ran a $30-billion deficit in the first year.
Let us not forget that the $10-billion deficit was supposed to be for infrastructure. However, in their first year in office, the Liberals ran a $30-billion deficit and only $3 billion of that went to infrastructure. The second year, they ran a $20-billion deficit with only $3 billion for infrastructure, and they did the same again this year. Obviously, we have never seen a government put so much energy into spending so much money in such a reckless and dishonourable way while achieving so little for the economic well-being of the country and Canadians at home.
In closing, setting a deadline for paying off debt is something that Canadian families do at home all the time, for example when paying off their mortgages or their car loans. When people borrow money for a car, the dealer does not just say, “Have a good day, sir. See you around.” He tells them that they need to take out a bank loan and that they have four years to pay it back. There is a deadline for all sorts of things like that.
When will a balanced budget be achieved?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:15 [p.23552]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member completely misconstrued what I said. I was not talking about investments. These are deficits.
SMEs at the heart of job creation in my riding, Beauport—Limoilou, do not borrow money to invest in their projects, they use their profits for that. It is important to reinvest budgetary surpluses. In 2015, we left $3 billion to the Liberals when they came to power and they spent it all in just a few months.
If investment is truly what the government is after, then why did the Liberals say that they would run a $10-billion infrastructure deficit? Why are the deficits not being used to invest in infrastructure, as the Liberals claimed they wanted to do in 2015? It is because the Liberals' deficits are not being used to improve infrastructure or Canadians' lives. They are being used to please the lobby groups that have always supported the Liberals.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:17 [p.23553]
Mr. Speaker, I wish I could say the government could be more transparent, but that would surprise me. There is a lot of back and forth between the Liberals and the Office of the Ethics Commissioner. Transparency is not this government's strong suit.
My colleague talked about investments, but why is the army underfunded? According to another recently released report, the Canadian Forces had a $2-billion shortfall last year alone.
Also, why is the government not doing anything to reduce delays associated with the national shipbuilding strategy? The price tag for the 15 Iroquois-class frigates that are scheduled to be built in Halifax has gone up from $30 billion to $60 billion.
When will the Liberals give us the date the budget will be balanced? That is a simple question, and it boils down to being accountable to Parliament.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-10-22 17:44 [p.22697]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to clear something up.
I think the way the Liberals and Canadians use the word “radicalization” is dangerous. Let me explain why. It is a way to deny an important reality. One hundred and ninety Canadians have travelled overseas to commit acts of terrorism and contribute to a political movement.
Let us not forget that there are concrete ideologies based on arguments that can seem rational and objective to some. They want to create an Islamic state, and there is a political will to achieve that goal.
Some of those 190 Canadians went there not because they were reckless, had a troubled soul, or had been radicalized or brainwashed. We need to acknowledge that, on the contrary, some of them were fully conscious of what they were doing and knew exactly what they were going to be doing there. Their actions were objective and rational. They wanted to be part of a political movement that is probably anti-capitalist, anti-liberal democracy, and even anti-Christian.
My colleague from Winnipeg North needs to realize that some Canadians went there not because they were crazy, mentally ill or radicalized, but for rational reasons, because they were against our political system.
What does he have to say to that?
How would he suggest that we deal with these individuals?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-10-22 18:01 [p.22699]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak this evening. I want to acknowledge the people of Beauport—Limoilou watching us in real time or watching a rebroadcast on Twitter or Facebook.
Dear citizens, this evening we are debating a very important motion on a topic that is very sensitive for all Canadians given that we are talking about other Canadians. We are talking about Canadian combatants who have joined the Islamic State since 2013. More than 190 Canadians have made the solemn decision to join the ranks of the Islamic State, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes fully consciously. We condemn their decision to go overseas to join Daesh, better known as the Islamic State, which shrank in size considerably following the western coalition attacks. The group is located primarily in Syria and Iraq, in the Middle East.
These 190 Canadians decided to go overseas to join the Islamic State, which fights western countries and their values, including liberal democracy and gender equality. These are values that are dear to Canadian parliamentary democracy.
Today, the member for Winnipeg North and a number of his Liberal colleagues stated that these 190 Canadians were radicalized on the Internet, by reading literature or by ISIS propagandists on social networks. The Liberals are telling us that we should help Canadians who went to fight against Canada's military members and liberal democracy. Who knows. Perhaps they went to fight in order to one day destroy Canada's political system because they espouse different views. Every time, the Liberals tell us that we need to take pity on them and hold their hands because they were radicalized.
Today, we have moved our motion to address the following reality. Some of them were radicalized. However, I would venture that the vast majority of Canadians who went overseas to join Daesh did so of their own volition and for reasons that are rational, objective and politically motivated and that they believe are good reasons. They did not do so because they were alienated or radicalized. They perhaps want to destroy liberal democracy and gender equality around the world. They had several reasons for joining ISIS. They are not necessarily crazy or alienated.
How are we going to deal with those Canadians who return to Canada? I am not talking about those who left because they were suffering from mental illness or alienation, but rather those who went to the areas where ISIS attacks and counterattacks were taking place, and went of their own free will, to fight Canadian soldiers and soldiers of our allied military partners.
Today the Liberals are saying that the Conservatives are inventing numbers. Journalist Manon Cornellier, a director with the parliamentary press gallery, is highly regarded in the journalism community. She is very professional. In her article in Le Devoir this morning, she writes:
Some 190 Canadians are active in overseas terrorist groups such as Islamic State, also known as Daesh, mostly in Syria and Iraq. About 60 have returned to Canada, but only four have faced charges to date.
A professional journalist, employed by a highly respected newspaper that has been around for decades in Canada, must check her sources and facts before publishing any articles. Ms. Cornellier is reporting exactly the same figures as the official opposition. These are concrete numbers: 190 Canadians left; 60 of those terrorists, who have deliberately committed horrific crimes like raping women and killing children, have returned to Canada; four of them have faced criminal charges; and no one knows where the other 56 are.
What we are asking for is perfectly reasonable and normal in a country governed by the rule of law like Canada. We are asking the government to bring forward a plan within 45 days for determining the whereabouts of the 56 terrorists, both known and unknown, and others who may be coming, finding out what they are doing, and making sure that in the days, weeks or months to come, they are formally charged for what they did. Many of them did what they did for objective, political reasons. They were on a kind of campaign or crusade that went against Canadian and international law.
I will continue quoting from Ms. Cornellier article's in Le Devoir:
Daesh meets the definition of a terrorist organization, and its actions meet the definition of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Under the international law that Canada helped formulate, a country can prosecute anyone who committed such crimes and is physically present on its territory, regardless of where the acts were committed. Furthermore, Canada passed its own universal jurisdiction law in 2000 after ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It used that law in 2005 to prosecute Désiré Munyaneza for crimes against humanity for his role in the Rwandan genocide.
This is not a first. She also writes:
According to Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Canada must not allow Canadian fighters to return to Canada or be repatriated without holding them responsible for the atrocities they helped perpetrate. They must be prosecuted to deter others from committing such crimes.
In other words, Ms. Cornellier and the executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies are saying exactly what we, Her Majesty's loyal opposition, are saying: these crimes must be punished by the courts.
Here is one final excellent quote from her article that shines a light on what we are saying today:
Investigations and the gathering of admissible evidence are indeed difficult, but the government is responsible for finding a solution. It must devise a legal process that operates in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and overcomes the unique constraints that interfere with punishing these crimes. Without that, there can be no justice, and barbaric acts will continue to go unpunished.
That was written by Manon Cornellier, who is with a rather left-wing paper, Le Devoir, and is a director of the Parliamentary Press Gallery here in Ottawa.
That was not the Conservatives talking. It was a professional journalist who provided the same figures we did and who, like us, says that these 190 Canadians who participated in attacks in Syria or Iraq with ISIS committed barbaric acts. She is saying that the government must absolutely bring these people to justice when they return to Canada, that it is a matter of fundamental principles and Canadian history.
I would like to read the motion we moved today and that the Liberals have agreed to support. That said, they have decided to support our motion on a number of occasions and then failed to produce any meaningful action. The motion reads as follows:
That the House support the sentiments expressed by Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who in her book entitled The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, stated: “I dream about one day bringing all the militants to justice, not just the leaders like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but all the guards and slave owners, every man who pulled a trigger and pushed my brothers’ bodies into their mass grave, every fighter who tried to brainwash young boys into hating their mothers for being Yazidi, every Iraqi who welcomed the terrorists into their cities and helped them, thinking to themselves, Finally we can be rid of those nonbelievers. They should all be put on trial before the entire world, like the Nazi leaders after World War II, and not given the chance to hide.”; and call on the government to: (a) refrain from repeating the past mistakes of paying terrorists with taxpayers’ dollars or trying to reintegrate returning terrorists back into Canadian society; and (b) table within 45 days after the adoption of this motion a plan to immediately bring to justice anyone who has fought as an ISIS terrorist or participated in any terrorist activity, including those who are in Canada or have Canadian citizenship.
That is the motion that we moved this morning and that we will soon be voting on.
Starting next week, if possible, we want the Liberal government to focus on bringing perpetrators of genocide and terrorist acts to justice and ensuring that courts have access to evidence gathered against suspected terrorists.
We want the Liberal government to keep Canadians safe from those who are suspected of committing acts of terrorism and to take special measures, like our previous Conservative government did in the wake of the terrorist attacks that took place here on Parliament Hill and nearby in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. We responded by bringing forward Bill C-51.
We want the Liberals to encourage greater use of the tools to place conditions on those suspected of committing terrorist acts or genocide, as we did with Bill C-51.
We want the Liberals to institute processes for bringing perpetrators of atrocities to justice, since the current process is too slow, fails victims and prevents them from going home.
Lastly, we want the Liberals to support initiatives like those proposed by Premier Doug Ford, to ensure that terrorists returning to Canada are restricted from taking advantage of Canada's generous social programs as part of their reintegration.
In my riding, every weekend, whether I am at a spaghetti dinner or going door to door, my constituents ask me how it is possible that the Liberal government's primary goal continues to be helping people who are not yet citizens or helping Canadians who have fought against our own soldiers.
In Canada, above all we should help Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet or to find employment, as well as those having a hard time joining the workforce because of disability or other reasons.
We hope that beyond their support for our motion, the Liberals will come up with a real plan to address the problem of returning Islamic combatants, those Canadians who sadly decided to fight our values and our country.
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
2018-02-06 13:37 [p.16820]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Durham for his excellent speech.
This matter involving the Prime Minister and the Aga Khan’s island is very unfortunate, but something positive has come of it. It has allowed us to see through the government and all of its Liberal MPs who have been claiming to have a monopoly on virtue since 2015. They have been playing games with Canadians for the past two years, claiming day after day, year after year, in a disgusting and apolitical manner, that we Conservatives are not working for the well-being of all Canadians.
The Prime Minister’s 2016 vacation on the Aga Khan’s island is so troubling for Canadians that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner found four violations of the law. It is now obvious, after this trip, that the Liberals no longer have the monopoly on virtue.
All Canadians can now see the Liberals’ true colours: a political, post-modern and radical left made up of social engineers who want to change our beautiful country’s customs and traditions merely for the sake of change.
Thank God for opposition day. Thank God, because when he was found guilty of four violations of the Conflict of Interest Act, the Prime Minister merely apologized, saying that he would not do it again.
If the Liberals were in opposition, they would do exactly what we are doing right now. Incidentally, this is not a tactic to divert attention from the country’s finances, which are regrettable on several levels. We are doing our democratic and parliamentary duty. We must enlighten the many Canadians and citizens of Beauport—Limoilou who are listening. We must explain that this is the first time in the history of Canada, since its creation in 1867, that a prime minister has broken a federal law.
How did he break the law? The Ethics Commissioner explained it very simply by referring to the four sections violated. She wrote, “I [also] found that...he contravened section 5 for failing to arrange his private affairs to avoid such an opportunity.” She also said that she found him “in contravention of section 11 of the Act when members of his family accepted the Aga Khan’s gift of hospitality and the use of his private island in March 2016 and when he and his family accepted the Aga Khan’s gift of hospitality in December 2016.” She concluded by saying that “[the Prime Minister] contravened section 21 of the Act when he did not recuse himself from discussions that provided an opportunity to improperly further the private interest associated with one of the institutions of the Aga Khan....”
The Canadian government gave the Aga Khan tens of millions of dollars, my friends, and your political leader went gallivanting around on his billionaire’s island.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-06 13:42 [p.16821]
Madam Speaker, my colleagues on the other side of the House are laughing, and meanwhile their leader has violated four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act. They are laughing, and meanwhile their government has entered talks involving tens of millions of dollars. In fact, it has already given tens of millions of dollars to the Aga Khan's causes. Whether or not these causes are worthy matters little. In the meantime, the Prime Minister was gallivanting around his private island.
Lastly, the commissioner found that “Mr. Trudeau contravened section 12 of the Act when his family travelled on non-commercial aircraft chartered by the Aga Khan”. I am pleased that Ms. Dawson, the Ethics Commissioner, had the courage to write this incriminating report which says, in black and white, just how the Prime Minister violated four sections of the act.
This is all terrible, but there is something else that bothers me even more and that makes me sad. I do not say this lightly, and I rarely say this in politics, but I am sad, as all Canadians should be. I genuinely do not understand how a prime minister of our great federation could not only decide to take his Christmas vacation outside Canada, which is already a shameful and dishonourable thing for a prime minister to do, but also to travel to a billionaire's island.
I knocked on doors throughout the Christmas break. I met one constituent who lives in affordable housing. He had tears in his eyes as he told me that he had almost no teeth left. He has had toothaches for years, he needs dentures, and he has a very low income, but his honour prevents him from requesting social assistance. However, he still cannot afford dentures and cannot afford to replace his teeth. He spoke to me about his teeth for 15 minutes, because it was such a big part of his life. What he is going through is terrible.
Across the country, Canadians are living in poverty. People are starving and freezing to death in Toronto, in Montreal, and in Vancouver. They are not dying because they have mental health issues or addictions. They are dying because of sociological problems such as lack of education. Poverty is a real issue in Canadian society, but not only is the Prime Minister not encouraging Canadians to stay here, he himself is spending time on a billionaire's tropical island.
Seriously, people are dying of hunger in Canada, but our shameless Prime Minister had the nerve to take a vacation that cost taxpayers $200,000. The worst part is his total contempt for Canadians. He should never have done that. As Prime Minister, he should at the very least avoid vacations like that during his four-year term. Four years is not a long time in the life of a man who could live to the age of 90. He could not wait four years to go gallivanting around on a tropical beach while people here at home in eastern and Atlantic Canada are dying of hunger because of the employment insurance spring gap, not to mention the indigenous peoples on every reserve in the country.
The Prime Minister says that his most important relationship is the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples. This is ridiculous, since his most important relationship should be with all Canadians and not with any one group in particular. He is constantly spouting his lofty ideals, saying that he works for the middle class and for Indigenous people on reserve, and that he will make investments for Canadians, and then he vacations on a billionaire's private island. Talk about setting a good example. This just makes me sad.
Since 1867, and I think it is written in the Constitution, all governments are required to operate in accordance with the notion of peace, order, and good government. However, so far, the Liberals have been unable to form a good government. They continue to run deficits, when there is no war and no economic crisis.
They keep breaking promises. I will conclude by saying that, yesterday, the Minister of International Trade proudly announced that his program was huge in comparison with free trade. They have done absolutely nothing for free trade. That is why we introduced the TPP. The President of the United States is the one who began renegotiating NAFTA. Were is this Liberal free trade agreement I have heard so much about? It does not exist. We must denounce the Prime Minister’s attitude and behaviour, and that is what we are doing today.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-06 13:48 [p.16822]
Madam Speaker, who, in 2008, offered a national apology for residential schools? Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Who met with the Assembly of First Nations each year? Prime Minister Harper. We were not making grand speeches, we were working for the well-being of all Canadians without exception. We did not have a special relationship with any one group. We were working for all Canadians. That is what we were doing.
I believe that it is a matter of honour. It is completely unreasonable for the Prime Minister to go gallivanting around a billionaire’s island when Canadians are dying of hunger. It is unacceptable.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-06 13:50 [p.16822]
Madam Speaker, I wish I had a recorder when I saw that on TV.
Yes, I was discouraged by it. However, no report from the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner was made or put forward on that particular issue. I trust the parliamentary agent, and nothing was produced in regard to the issue he is speaking about. However, something was produced in regard to the trip of the Prime Minister to the Aga Khan's island.
However, beside this matter of equality, my main argument today is that it was completely dishonourable for the Prime Minister to go to an island in the south. He should stay here.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-02-06 13:51 [p.16822]
Madam Speaker, the member is right. We try to set an example for our kids. I have two kids myself. One day I will speak to them about this issue, but I prefer to talk to them about the greatness of this country, the constitution, and what we can do for French Canadian people in this country.
I completely agree with my colleague. It is unfortunate. However, I will teach my kids how to be honourable in life and how to not ask for rights but for duties. It is what I can do, not what I can have. I will tell them to be responsible individuals.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-23 11:05 [p.15478]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Louis-Hébert and I are about the same age. We are both involved in our communities and in politics, as evidenced by our presence here as members of the House of Commons.
At the very beginning of his term in office, I remember the member for Louis-Hébert telling the media loud and clear that he wanted to fight cynicism, which he felt was rampant in our society. Perhaps if he takes a step back, he will see that he is not living up to that ideal and that he is actually contributing to the cynicism he says he wants to fight.
Although his government has done some things that make sense and are good for Canadians, today we are debating a very important motion, one that will help fight cynicism and make the Minister of Finance realize that he has done things to undermine Canadians' confidence.
The member for Louis-Hébert came very close to having a question of privilege raised against him, which is very serious, when he shamelessly said that the Minister of Finance had disclosed everything to the Ethics Commissioner, which was not the case. He did not disclose his villa in France, which earned him a $200 fine. I would therefore ask the member for Louis-Hébert to redeem himself and to openly acknowledge that he knows that today we are debating one very specific thing, namely the Minister of Finance's responsibility to be 100% ethically clean. What we want him to do as parliamentary secretary is to assure us that the Minister of Finance does not have any assets that could put him in a conflict of interest situation.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-23 12:02 [p.15486]
Mr. Speaker, a lot of people in Beauport—Limoilou are listening to us right now, and I want to say hello to them.
Our political system is a parliamentary democracy. I believe that it is the best system in the world, and I think all members of the House would agree.
In this system, ministerial responsibility is the most important thing we carry out every day, primarily in question period and through opposition days like today. Ministerial responsibility was acquired as a result of long debates and long military campaigns.
Les Patriotes were not all French Canadians; they included some English Canadians, too. They fought in the 1820s and 1830s to obtain ministerial responsibility, which the British monarchy and British Parliament granted us with the Act of Union, creating a united Canada in 1841.
What we are doing today with our opposition day is exercising that ministerial responsibility and ensuring that it is fulfilled. One of the ways this is done is through investigative journalism, which is very important and which we on this side of the House take very seriously. In fact, with the help of its sponsor here, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, a senator in the other place managed to get a bill passed that provides greater protection to whistleblowers and the confidential sources of investigative journalism.
What have investigative journalists discovered in recent months? The Minister of Finance did three things, or overlooked three things, or made three serious mistakes.
Need we remind members that the finance minister is second in command in the Government of Canada. He is second in command not because he is more important than other ministers, but it can still be argued that a country's finances are critical given their implications for education, health, and the well-being of Canadians. For that reason, the position of finance minister is held in high regard and the incumbent must do everything possible to ensure that Canadians' confidence in the minister is never in doubt or undermined.
Unfortunately, the three things that the finance minister did in two years, which were reported by investigative journalists in recent months, have slowly and surely undermined Canadians' confidence in the minister.
In my view, the attitude, behaviour, and actions of all members in their day-to-day activities both inside and outside the House must always be guided by three principles: a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of honour.
I urge my Liberal colleagues to listen carefully. The Minister of Finance, like all of us, had the solemn, legal duty to disclose his assets to the Ethics Commissioner right away. He had six months to do so, using a form that is pretty easy to fill out. It may have been more difficult for him, since he has so many assets. However, he had a duty to disclose all of his assets, in black and white, clearly and openly, leaving no doubt and leaving nothing out. He had a duty, and he did not properly fulfill it. I will get back to this and explain why.
The minister also had the responsibility, and still does today, to inform the Ethics Commissioner of any changes to his personal situation throughout his term. Such changes would include a new acquisition, a boat in the Bahamas, or, who knows, a second villa in France.
As a member of Parliament, I receive updates from the Ethics Commissioner reminding me of my responsibility and duty to disclose any new assets, throughout my term. For example, I recently declared that I purchased a home for my lovely little family; I was happy to do so. All members of Parliament have this responsibility.
In my opinion, however, honour is even more important than duty or responsibility. When members of Parliament are guided by a sense a honour, their actions are naturally guided by a sense of duty and responsibility. The Minister of Finance failed in his duty and his responsibility as an elected official, minister, and member of Cabinet over the past two years, and I will talk about this failure in a few seconds. Unfortunately for him and for this government, he sullied his honour.
First, two years ago, when he was made to fill out the much-discussed form disclosing his assets, interests, and so on to the Ethics Commissioner, he forgot, nay, omitted to declare a company incorporated in France that owns a luxurious villa in Provence in the south of France. I imagine it is very luxurious and quite expensive. That is unbelievable.
I have here a public notice of penalty issued under the authority of the Conflict of Interest Act. This is not a joke. These are not allegations or opposition attacks. This is fact. The Ethics Commissioner issued a penalty just a few weeks ago and fined the Minister of Finance $200 for violating paragraphs 22(2)(a) and 22(2)(d) of the Conflict of Interest Act by failing to include in a confidential report a corporation established in France and an estimate of its value and, crucially, by failing to include in the report his directorship in that corporation. This is serious business.
The Minister of Finance, an important businessman from Bay Street in Toronto who manages a huge family business, somehow forgot to report that asset in France, although he claims it was just an administrative oversight. That is a first. This actually happened; he paid the fine. He was caught and had to face the music, although only administratively. Of course, these are not criminal charges. That was his first dereliction of duty and breach of Canadian laws, the first stain on his reputation, and the first thing that shook Canadians' confidence in him.
On top of that, he did not put his shares in Morneau Shepell, worth $20 million, in a blind trust. He hid them in a numbered company in Alberta and has made millions on them over the past two years. Thank goodness he donated it to charity. It was the least he could do, but he still has not apologized and he refuses to talk about the fact that he has been violating the spirit of the law over the past year.
Lastly, he is once again being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner regarding a conflict of interest, because he introduced Bill C-27, which makes changes to pension plans and will benefit the family business started by his father. He is therefore in a direct conflict of interest, he failed in his duty and his responsibilities, and his honour is besmirched.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-23 12:13 [p.15487]
Madam Speaker, I mean, the facts could not be clearer. The minister has not divulged to the Ethics Commissioner his holdings and the value of his holdings; for example, the villa in France. He has not divulged this. He did not say that he had, up until last month, $20 million worth of shares in Morneau Shepell hiding in a numbered company in Alberta. He did not say that in the past months when he was putting together a proposed law that would directly benefit three specialized enterprises or companies that work for pension plans in Canada, one being Morneau Shepell, which he owned until he was minister.
The member said that there are no facts, but there are facts. There was a penalty of $200 from the Ethics Commissioner. It is significant.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-23 12:16 [p.15487]
Madam Speaker, yes, that is the case. I can confirm for the hon. member that last week, when we were all in our ridings, I met many constituents who all told me that it is outrageous, and that it is even more outrageous to see the Minister of Finance acting as if nothing was outrageous.
There is a clear conflict of interest here, and we should always remind Canadians that the Prime Minister sent a mandate letter to each minister stating in the first paragraph that not only did he want them to follow precisely each article of the law, and most concerning is this one today of the Ethics Commissioner, but he said to go above and beyond the spirit of the law. Well, I can say that the minister went above and beyond physically by putting all his shares in a hiding company in Alberta. He has put together an action that brings a great distrust of the government from the Canadian people. As the opposition, we have the duty, the responsibility, and the honour to hold the minister to account.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-18 10:55 [p.11394]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and the work that he does on this issue.
I missed the better part of his speech, so he may have already gone over this, but beyond the monetary investment that the Liberal government should be making in this area, what else can it do to proactively help those suffering from autism spectrum disorder? I imagine that there is something more tangible than monetary investments that the government should be providing. I wonder if the hon. member could elaborate on that.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-11 12:28 [p.11065]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
Out of the $120 billion promised and planned by his government after the election, how much, to date, has been taken out of the treasury to be invested in infrastructure? To my knowledge, it is almost nothing.
How is the infrastructure bank going to make sure that the $120 billion promised for infrastructure is distributed to the various projects as quickly as possible?
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
2017-02-16 11:27 [p.9018]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert for his speech. I have enormous respect for him.
He is entirely right. Every democratic state, especially liberal democracies, must exercise great vigilance toward all hateful or radicalizing trends, but also toward all political agendas of any religion whatsoever.
All the same, I would like to ask him a question. For him, what exactly is Islamophobia? Does he not think that in the Liberal motion it would have been appropriate to clearly define what Islamophobia is, as such?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-09-22 13:26 [p.4971]
Mr. Speaker, I, too, believe that I am the voice of the people of Atlantic Canada, where I lived between the ages of two and 11. Acadia is still very much a part of me, and that is why I absolutely had to speak about it today.
Right in the middle of summer, the Prime Minister arrogantly and unabashedly announced that he intended to change the historic process for appointing Supreme Court justices that has been in place since 1875.
More than any other, this government announcement has made me dislike the political party that currently governs our great country. Yes, like many Canadians, I am outraged by such actions and attitudes that show the true arrogance of this government.
I am saddened by this unsettling desire, so brazenly expressed by the Prime Minister, to radically alter our constitutional customs, the very customs that have informed government policy for so long in Canada.
If this Liberal government decides to change the constitutional convention for choosing Supreme Court justices without first obtaining the consent of all parliamentarians in the House, it will be going too far. Therefore, and I am choosing my words carefully, this government's actions in the past few months make me fear the worst for the federal unity of this great country.
The Prime Minister is not just interfering in provincial jurisdictions whenever he feels like it, but also interfering in his own areas of jurisdiction by planning to make sweeping changes without even consulting the opposition parties or the public. This is nothing short of anti-democratic. There are other examples of this.
First, the Prime Minister plans to change Canada's nearly 150-year-old voting system without holding a referendum to do so. It is no secret that he and his acolytes are doing this for partisan reasons and to protect their political interests as well.
Then, this same Prime Minister shamelessly suggested just this morning that he wanted to put an end to a 141-year-old constitutional convention. I am talking about the constitutional convention whereby a Prime Minister selects and appoints a judge to the Supreme Court when a seat becomes vacant while ensuring that the new appointee comes from a region similar to that of the person who occupied the vacant seat.
The purpose of this constitutional convention is to guarantee that the decisions rendered by the highest court in the country reflect the regional differences in our federation. Must I remind the political party before me that Canada has five distinct regions and that those regions are legally recognized?
The fact is that Jean Chrétien's Liberal government passed a law that provides for and gives each of the regions of Canada a quasi-constitutional right of veto. Accordingly, the Atlantic provinces, and their region as a whole, do have a say when it comes to the Constitution Act of 1982.
What is more, the British North America Act guarantees the Atlantic provinces fair and effective representation in the House of Commons. For example, New Brunswick is guaranteed 10 seats. The same is true in the Senate, where it is guaranteed just as many seats. Under the same convention, each of the Atlantic provinces holds at least one seat on the Council of Ministers.
How can our friends opposite justify threatening, out of the blue, to reduce to nil the Atlantic provinces' presence in the highest court of the country? If the government moves forward with this new approach, will it do the same to Quebec, the national stronghold of French Canadians? That does not make any sense.
I invite the government to think about this: can the Supreme Court of Canada really render fair and informed decisions on cases affecting the Atlantic provinces without any representation from that region?
Justice for Atlantic Canadians means treating them as equals. It seems the Liberals could not care less about the regions even though every one of them includes distinct communities that want Supreme Court decisions to reflect their values, goals and ideas about the world.
For the Prime Minister to suggest, if only in passing, we defy the convention whereby one seat on the Supreme Court of Canada's bench is reserved for Atlantic Canada is offensive to many legal experts and associations, including Janet Fuhrer, a past president of the Canadian Bar Association, and Ann Whiteway Brown, president of the New Brunswick branch of the Canadian Bar Association.
Echoing this sentiment are the Law Society of New Brunswick, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association, and the Société nationale de l'Acadie, which advocates on behalf of Acadians worldwide.
Disregarding this constitutional convention is tantamount to stripping four out of ten provinces of their voice in the highest court in the land.
Must I also remind members that the Atlantic provinces have a large pool of extremely qualified legal professionals who come from every region and background and who are perfectly bilingual? More importantly, these are candidates who have a vast knowledge of the Atlantic provinces' legal systems and issues. Is there anyone in this House, or elsewhere, who would dispute that?
Even more importantly, there are a few significant constitutional cases on the horizon that could have major repercussions on the Atlantic provinces. Consider, for example, the case referred to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal regarding the elimination of protected Acadian ridings. Hearings on this are currently under way.
Is the Prime Minister really thinking about having judges from other regions rule on a case that deals with how Acadians are represented, when Acadians have been fighting for their survival on this continent for generations?
Is that really what our friends across the aisle want? Do the Liberals from Atlantic Canada really want to muzzle New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, two founding provinces of this great country?
The change that the Prime Minister wants to make to how judges are lawfully appointed to the Supreme Court is essentially a total and complete reversal of this country's established constitutional practices. How shameful and how arrogant.
It would seem the son is following in his father's footsteps. Do hon. members not see what is happening? Just like his father before him, the Prime Minister wants to alter the constitutional order of our country.
Fear not, however, because we in the Conservative Party are not buying it. We not only see what this Prime Minister is doing, but we also see know full well that behind this change in convention is a much greater ideological design.
There is an underlying desire to profoundly change Canadian constitutional arrangements and replace them with a post-materialist world view that is a departure from our constitutional traditions.
In this world view, the main objective is to eliminate from our government institutions, in this case the Supreme Court, the historical and traditional community characteristics that have defined Canada since day one by replacing them with individual and associational characteristics.
In other words, the Prime Minister obviously wants to eliminate the political predominance of certain constituencies in the Canadian constitutional order, at the Supreme Court in particular. He wants to promote a new political predominance, that of associational groups that bring together individuals who share individual rights rather than constituent rights.
Although that may be commendable in some ways, it is a major change because the Prime Minister is ensuring that the very essence of political representativeness and the concept of diversity within the judiciary is changed. The Prime Minister wants a representativeness based on a concept of individual diversity and fragmented by idiosyncratic characteristics.
In light of this potential change, Canadians across the country, including those from Atlantic Canada, must protest and call on the Prime Minister to answer for this. The Prime Minister cannot act unilaterally in this case and must involve all the players concerned.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-09-22 13:36 [p.4973]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to my dear colleague from Louis-Hébert that it is all well and good that the committee will consider regional representation, but that it should not be a consideration. It should be a given for the government, which would do well to accept it and choose a judge from Atlantic Canada.
As for the new consultative groups, I believe that they are puppets whose role is to hide the true interests of the Prime Minister.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-09-22 13:39 [p.4973]
Mr. Speaker, I agree with everything my colleague said. The important thing to remember is that, in a letter published in a newspaper, the Prime Minister announced his intention to change the process for selecting Supreme Court justices in Canada. That is what we need to remember.
Just this morning, the member for Louis-Hébert mentioned that his colleagues were going to support the motion, but they announced it this morning. This is not just about supporting a motion. It is about appointing a judge from Atlantic Canada to fill the next vacancy in the Supreme Court of Canada.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-09-22 13:40 [p.4973]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.
I completely agree with her, particularly since, if we want to be completely loyal to our colleagues from Atlantic Canada, we need to recognize that, since 1867, the Atlantic region has been shortchanged within the Canadian federation. It has been shortchanged in terms of public contracts and wealth creation. The government therefore needs to recognize constitutional conventions, not just in institutions such as the House of Commons and the executive branch, but also in the Supreme Court. These constitutional conventions are extremely important even if it is only to leave a little bit of room for the Atlantic provinces, which are at a numerical disadvantage.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 13:51 [p.233]
Mr. Speaker, like many of my colleagues, I want to speak in this honourable House today to talk about ISIS. To do so, I must first address some of the consequences of the very existence of this terrorist group, specifically for free societies around the globe. Second, it is important to discuss the need for us, Canadians, to respond decisively to the international challenges that can arise at any time, especially those that can have dangerous consequences for this country and for our allies.
As I have previously indicated, my family has served in the Canadian Armed Forces since the 1890s. It should therefore come as no surprise that many of the decisions recently made by this government regarding our armed forces and their overseas engagement are particularly important to me.
I am referring of course to the hasty decision made by this government to withdraw Canadian CF-18s from the combat mission currently under way in Iraq as part of a coalition led by the President of the United States.
Colleagues, for both historic and contemporary reasons, this decision strikes me as misguided and ill-considered. Need I remind the House that our country has never shirked its duty to the international community? Need I further remind the House of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere around the world?
Colleagues, ISIS controls several cities in Iraq, many of which are home to dozens or hundreds of thousands of people. In those cities, the so-called Islamic State has set up tax collection systems, a major economic activity within the area it controls. It has a stranglehold on the region's economy and even hands out parking tickets.
The self-styled Islamic State is pillaging many regions of Iraq and Syria, appropriating the resources and destroying cultural and historic property. Let us not forget one more important fact: this terrorist group collects billions of dollars a year, enabling it to recruit thousands of people to its cause around the world every year. Because of that, this group is a major threat to our country, Canada.
The election is over. As the President of France said, we are at war against terrorism. Canadians understand that. Does the Prime Minister understand that? Does the Prime Minister and this government realize that following the recent terrorist attacks on its soil, in the city of light no less, France effectively asked for help and expects us to stand by its side?
We on this side of the House want to know: when is Canada going to offer its unwavering support to a country that has been an ally at every moment of Canada's history?
Hon. members of this House need to understand that terrorist attacks are looming. The threat is not limited to some faraway place on another continent. On the contrary, terrorism can strike anywhere here in Canada, even at the heart of our democratic institutions. Need I remind hon. members that terrorism has already targeted us more than once and spit its venom right here in the Parliamentary precinct?
What the official opposition wants is simple. We are calling on this government to get serious on both domestic issues and international issues. We are calling on this government to take the right approach to terrorism, and to acknowledge that it is a serious problem and that ISIS is the brains behind these low-lifes.
We must remain strong in our belief that we are right. We must remain determined to make no concessions to those who want to destroy us. We must remain united in the face of this threat. That is why we must hit the terrorists precisely where they are plotting against us, before it is too late.
My colleagues opposite are saying that we need to combat ISIS more effectively. We agree. Indeed, we should help train local anti-terrorism forces. We should increase aid to the hundreds of thousands of poor people driven from their homes by terrorism. That is all good. We must increase our efforts, not reduce them. Everyone agrees on that, of course. However, that would also mean that we need to keep our fighter jets where they are. Our colleagues opposite keep repeating over and over that the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation is basically not very significant and that they simply do a few strikes here and there. I want to ask these members what they are waiting for to take action, to do something and to reverse their decision to recall the Canadian CF-18s currently participating in the mission. As a G8 country, should we not contribute to this international mission in every way we can?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:15 [p.247]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad I can continue my speech.
To explain my position to those of my colleagues who feel that we should be doing more, I said that we should reconsider the decision to end the CF-18 mission. As a G8 country, should we not contribute as much as we are able to this international fight?
Have we forgotten our traditional allies, our most precious alliances, and our friends? France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States have answered the call for air strikes. Other countries are sure to join them soon.
While the international community rallies to a common cause, will Canada beat a retreat? To withdraw our fighter jets and our courageous pilots would be to send the wrong message to ISIS. We might as well be saying that it is not important to fight terrorism and support our allies and that we could not care less about ISIS. We need to take this more seriously.
No self-respecting government can act on a whim, not when it comes to ISIS and certainly not when it comes to the safety of Canadians.
That the government think before it acts is not too much to ask. Let us wait before taking any ill-conceived action. We need to begin by listening to and consulting Canadians, our allies, and first and foremost, this House, in the spirit of collaboration and transparency.
Here on this side of the House, the only message we want to send beyond our shores is that Canada is standing up. If Canada will not stand up to ISIS, who else will?
We have the means, the materials and the equipment. Our soldiers are very well trained, and in that regard, as a former soldier myself, I know what I am talking about. We have everything we need to do our part with pride and conviction. Imagine what a difference we could make. After all, that is what Canadians expect from their government.
At the end of the day, what is the Prime Minister so afraid of? Is he afraid of terrorism or is he afraid of being wrong?
In closing, and in keeping with the mood here as this session begins, I urge all members of the House to reflect carefully on the thoughts and criticisms my colleagues and I have shared here today.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:19 [p.247]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the very good question.
If the member had been here for the beginning of my speech, he would have heard what I said about his government, namely that it should take note of how international relations are developing right now. As we know, there have been a number of attacks in recent weeks, including one in Paris.
Under the previous Conservative government, we had a three-pronged strategy: bring in refugees, provide humanitarian assistance to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and go into battle with our CF-18s.
Today we are not asking the government to break any promises. We are just asking the government to recognize the current chaotic reality of international relations and reverse its decision.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:21 [p.248]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent, whose riding is quite close to Beauport—Limoilou, for his question.
I find that way of thinking shameful. I would like to reiterate that, in those 2% of cases, 100% of the individuals are serving our country and putting their lives in danger every day to protect our freedoms.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:22 [p.248]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for that very good question.
I will not comment on American politics or on the U.S.'s decisions on international relations. I do not understand “reconsider the focus” to mean redefining the U.S. air strike approach, so I do not see how that changes what we are saying here.
Results: 1 - 53 of 53