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View Harold Albrecht Profile
CPC (ON)
View Harold Albrecht Profile
2013-06-18 10:04 [p.18505]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
In accordance with its order of reference of Monday, June 10, 2013, your committee has considered Bill S-15, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and agreed on Monday, June 17, 2013 to report it without amendment.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-06-18 10:05 [p.18505]
Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and I am hopeful that you could find unanimous consent for the following motion:
That Bill S-15, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 may be taken up at report stage later this day.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the signatories on this petition range from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, to Quebec. They are calling upon the federal government to replace the chief firearms officers from the provinces and territories with a single civilian agency that is service oriented, so that federal law is applied evenly from coast to coast to coast.
View Wladyslaw Lizon Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by many Canadians residing in Ontario, many of them Venezuelan Canadians. They would like to bring to the attention of this House the fact that since the last presidential election in Venezuela, democratic, human and electoral rights have been shamefully violated.
The petitioners are asking our government to take a strong stand and help to peacefully resolve the current crisis in Venezuela.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-06-18 10:22 [p.18508]
moved that the bill be concurred in.
The Deputy Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2013-06-18 10:22 [p.18508]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to participate in the third reading debate on Bill S-14, the fighting foreign corruption act. I would like to thank members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for considering the bill so quickly and our witnesses for their thoughtful contribution to discussion. I note the chairman of the foreign affairs committee is here, and I just want to say to all the members of the House what a superb job he does chairing that committee.
Corruption, in all its unsavoury forms, is an affront to the values of good, honest and hard-working Canadians. Our government's position of zero tolerance in this area is clear. Canada needs to work to root out corruption wherever it lies, and these amendments to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, or the CFPOA, offer a vital contribution in this regard.
Before I address the important amendments proposed in Bill S-14, I would like to first provide a sense of the considerable efforts Canada is already making in this area. It is a good story for Canadians and for Canadian businesses, and our government is convinced that the enactment of Bill S-14 would only make it better.
I would like to first establish where we are now; that is, firmly committed to combatting foreign corruption in all its guises. Our government's approach to tackling foreign bribery centres on two main thrusts, its prevention and its enforcement. This draws on contributions from a wide spectrum of stakeholders including federal departments, crown corporations and other agencies, all of whom collaborate closely. These actors have all worked constructively together to develop and implement the range of regulatory and legislative tools already in place to advance this worthy and indeed critically important cause. Canada is truly engaged in a whole of government approach to combatting corruption.
Clearly, the best means of addressing corruption is working to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Consultation and outreach figure heavily in such preventative work, and a number of government stakeholders are already engaged in this area. I would like to highlight a few of them and their contributions.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, for one, looks to prepare its diplomats to deal with the issues of corruption, before they serve abroad. Through the provision of information and training, the department educates its ambassadors and political and trade stream officers concerning the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and Canada's international obligations in the area of corruption.
In March 2010, DFAIT adopted and provided to its missions around the world the policy and procedure for reporting allegations of bribery abroad by Canadians or Canadian companies. That policy was adopted and circulated to provide guidance to Canada's missions on what they should take as appropriate measures when confronted with allegations that a Canadian business or individual had bribed or attempted to bribe a foreign public official and/or committed other bribery-related offences. The policy essentially instructs Canadian officers at mission to relay any such information received to departmental officials back in Ottawa, who in turn transmit the information to law enforcement authorities here, as per an established set of standard operating procedures.
It should also be noted that DFAIT regularly dispatches its legal officers abroad to deliver presentations and serve as panellists in various fora with a view to advancing the anti-corruption cause and building awareness of the wide range of Canadian activity in this area. As just one example, Canadian legal experts from DFAIT delivered a presentation to the 2011 Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption concerning legal mechanisms for freezing the assets of corrupt foreign officials and for combating the bribery of foreign public officials.
As noted earlier, DFAIT is joined by other departments and stakeholders in such important preventative work. Public Works and Government Services Canada, for example, recently added the bribing of a foreign public official under the CFPOA to the list of offences that render companies and individuals ineligible to bid on contracts. That change became effective in November 2012, and it is hoped that it will serve as an added deterrent to companies and individuals contemplating or engaging in such activity.
Our government, through the combined initiative of several federal departments, also took steps in early 2012 to host a workshop in Ottawa on the subject of foreign bribery, with invited experts from various sectors including NGOs, academic institutions, Canadian companies and law firms. The workshop, entitled “New Ideas for Canada's Fight Against Foreign Bribery” was designed to help innovate and develop better measures for enhancing efforts in this area and saw more than 30 participants join officials in a discussion of several foreign bribery-related areas of interest.
The consultation covered topics such as the recognition of and resistance to the solicitation of bribery, voluntary disclosure, books and records offences, the discouragement of facilitation payments, advocacy concerning SMEs, education, training and focused awareness raising, as well as a discussion of the possibility of amending the CFPOA.
The consultation enabled the government to register preventative messaging with Canadian companies first-hand and to really contemplate how to best improve the enforcement of the CFPOA and seek stakeholder support in working to prevent bribery before it occurs and to detect it when it does. The workshop provided a pivotal platform for enhanced engagement and co-operation with these stakeholders as we look to upgrade efforts in this area. We continue to draw on the invaluable input received. The amendments before us today reflect some of that solicited feedback, and we will probably mine some of the good ideas heard for some time to come.
Prevention is only half of the story. Our government is working hard to ensure that we effectively enforce what already exists in the way of legislation and other instruments established to advance the fight against foreign corruption.
Of course the legislative centrepiece of Canada's work on foreign corruption is the CFPOA, which has been in force since 1999. I believe we are all familiar by now with the reasons for the CFPOA's development and its role in honouring Canada's international obligations in this area, as well as the principal purposes it serves and the main activities it criminalizes. I will not repeat those here.
Rather, I would like to use some of my time today to very briefly flag the indispensable contributions that our key law enforcement agencies are making to the enforcement of that existing legislation governing the corruption of foreign public officials. The RCMP serves as the primary enforcement body for the CFPOA and since 2008 has had an international anti-corruption unit in place enforcing and raising awareness about the CFPOA. With teams placed in both Ottawa and Calgary, the latter owing to its position as the largest hub for Canada's extractive industries and related business, this unit would only get better and more effective with the benefit of Bill S-14's enactment.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada works hand in hand with the RCMP to tackle corruption. Since 2006 and its creation, the PPSC has stationed one of its counsel in Ottawa with the explicit mandate to advise and assist the RCMP's two teams in Ottawa and Calgary with their anti-corruption investigations. This collaboration is paying off. We have seen 3 convictions, and there are another 2 cases pending and 35 more under investigation. The penalties are increasing significantly with each conviction, and we can expect this trend to continue as our legislation gets tougher and we get better at identifying and holding these offenders to account. We are on the right track, and Bill S-14 would only drive us further in that positive direction.
Having touched on what exists already and where we are at, I would like to turn now to where we are going next. Bill S-14 is fundamental to our continued progress, and these reforms would make a significant contribution to our ongoing work to ensure that Canadian companies refrain from bribing foreign public officials and continue to act in accordance with the highest legal and ethical standards in the pursuit of freer markets and expanded global trade. This bill is compelling evidence of our government's commitment to this work, and its passage would send a crystal clear signal to other countries of our expectation that they should hold their own companies to the same account.
These six amendments seek to introduce nationality jurisdiction, specify which authority can lay charges, eliminate the facilitation payments exception, clarify the scope of the CFPOA, increase the maximum penalty and create a new books and records offence.
If I may, perhaps I will just refresh the House's memory as to what each of these amendments would provide for, in turn.
The first amendment, which would introduce nationality jurisdiction, seeks to expand the limited reach of the existing act. The CFPOA's current requirement that the prosecution demonstrate a “real and substantial link” between Canadian territory and the offence charged effectively acts to circumscribe the number of corruption cases we can bring to justice. The assertion of nationality jurisdiction would allow us to tackle possible foreign bribery engaged in by Canadians or Canadian companies regardless of where that bribery might take place, by enabling us to prosecute them on the basis of their Canadian nationality alone.
The second amendment would provide the RCMP exclusive authority to lay charges under the act. This would permit the RCMP to ensure that there is a uniform approach taken to the pre-charge stages of the CFPOA cases throughout Canada. It would also put Canadian businesses on notice that it is clearly the RCMP that is the lead law enforcement agency as far as investigations are concerned.
The third amendment proposes to eliminate the facilitation payments exception currently provided for under the CFPOA. In essence, any payments made to expedite or secure the performance by a foreign public official of any act of a routine nature do not constitute bribes for the purposes of the current act. Such facilitation or grease payments to move along a foreign public official's performance of something he or she is already beholden to perform are plainly open to abuse and should also be characterized as bribes, which are payments specifically made to extract a business advantage and are already illegal under the act.
Indeed, bribes are illegal under the legislation of every OECD country. This is important in light of any concerns that this amendment would place Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage internationally. As noted in the bill, the entry into force of the specific amendment would be delayed to further address any such concern in recognition of the fact that some other countries continue to permit facilitation payments and, most importantly, to provide Canadian companies with a fair and reasonable amount of time to adjust their own practices, internal policies and operations should that prove necessary.
The fourth amendment, which proposes the elimination of the words “for profit” from the definition of business would ensure that the reach of the CFPOA is not unduly restricted. It clarifies that the scope of the CFPOA is plainly not limited to bribes paid to for-profit enterprises or in the course of profitable businesses. This is key if we are target those who pay bribes on behalf of companies that may not earn a profit in a given year, as well as organizations with a not-for-profit raison d'être. These entities would be caught within this proposed change.
The fifth amendment is straightforward: an increase in the maximum jail term for a foreign bribery offence under the act to 14 years. It is currently set at five. The current possibility of unlimited fines for such offenders would remain untouched.
The new books and records offence that composes the sixth proposed amendment is meant to prevent individuals and companies from cooking the books. While there are offences under the Criminal Code that criminalize the falsification of books and records, they are not specific to foreign bribery. Canada is required to put such specific measures in place in order to honour its obligations under international anti-corruption treaties to which it is a party. The amendment would add another enforcement measure to our tool kit and would be punishable by a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment and unlimited fines; the same severity that is in place for the offence of foreign bribery.
Bill S-14 was adopted by the other place as tabled and I would offer that it is plainly in the national interest that the House do the same. If adopted, the amendments I have just described would clearly and unequivocally demonstrate to interested parties in Canada and abroad that corruption is simply not the Canadian way of doing business, nor should it be the way of doing business anywhere. Ensuring a level playing field for international business is crucial to the global fight against foreign bribery. Legislation such as Bill S-14 is vital if economic growth and expanding global trade and prosperity are to flourish. Indeed, foreign bribery works to undermine that growth, trade and prosperity and to corrode the rule of law that is the foundation for the market freedom so absolutely vital to a trading nation such as Canada.
Bill S-14 seeks to ensure that our companies continue to embrace the highest legal and ethical standards in pursuing their business internationally. Canadians expect no less, and rightly so. Our government firmly believes that Canada can compete with the best and win fairly. Bill S-14 is an expansion of that belief and of our twin commitment to both strengthening the fight against corruption and securing jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians. I ask all hon. members in the House to work with us to ensure its passage into law as quickly as possible.
View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2013-06-18 10:38 [p.18511]
Mr. Speaker, as the member knows from the hearings at the foreign affairs committee, this legislation arose out of some criticisms that were made about the current Canadian legislation by the OECD in its report in 2008.
We heard testimony from a number of witnesses, including Ms. Janet Keeping, president, Transparency International Canada, that this legislation addressed those criticisms that were raised in the OECD report. That was also reiterated and confirmed by government officials who had drafted the legislation based on the OECD report.
It does address the outstanding issues with our current Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. In addition, the government has created the special enforcement unit at the RCMP to deal specifically with foreign bribery. There 50 staff members working there, in Ottawa and Calgary. There are also special legal experts at the Department of Foreign Affairs and at other departments, such as the Department of Justice, who are made available to the RCMP and all government departments to deal with allegations of foreign corruption.
There is always more that can be done. The Prime Minister made a very important announcement on transparency in London last week, and legislation will be coming forward with respect to requiring Canadian companies to disclose what payments they make to foreign governments.
There is always more that can be done. We are certainly open to suggestions from that hon. member, his party and any international organization that sees a way we can improve our legislation. Of course, this is a key to Canada succeeding as a trading nation. Canadians can compete fairly and succeed, they do every day, and we want to enforce that all the time.
View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2013-06-18 10:41 [p.18511]
Mr. Speaker, the member is right that Canadian companies are amongst the largest and most prolific in the extractive industries in the world. A statistic I heard recently was that 50% of all the major mining companies in the world are actually Canadian-based, which I think is something to be very proud of.
The member mentioned threshold levels. I am not quite sure what he is referring to. The legislation does not set any minimum amount for bribery. All bribery is illegal, whether it is $1 or many millions of dollars. We do not have any minimum standard. We expect all Canadian companies, large and small, to live up to the highest ethical standard.
There is a very strict focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. I mentioned that in my speech earlier. We have done a lot of training and outreach to small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada to make sure they are also aware of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and their obligations thereunder.
We will continue to do so. Enforcement is important. As I said, there are 50 individuals in the RCMP, based in Ottawa and Calgary, and legal officers who are looking at the corruption of foreign public officials full-time, ensuring that Canadian companies, large and small, continue to live up to the highest ethical standards.
View Julian Fantino Profile
CPC (ON)
View Julian Fantino Profile
2013-06-18 10:43 [p.18512]
Mr. Speaker, as someone who has come from a law enforcement background, I can well appreciate and fully support the thrust of this bill, what it intends to do and how it is in keeping with the kinds of standards that we are employing in our dealings with development aid and so forth.
Could my colleague also speak to the co-operation that I know exists between the international law enforcement community and the Canadian enforcement community? How would Canadian enforcement of this initiative play into the international law enforcement community to investigate, track and chase down some of these allegations and the need for international investigations?
View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2013-06-18 10:44 [p.18512]
Mr. Speaker, Canada and the RCMP are members of Interpol. We have officers stationed with Interpol in various places around the world. We co-operate with Interpol and other foreign police forces to deal with allegations of bribery.
In addition, all of our diplomats abroad have been specifically trained on the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and investigate any allegation they hear from anyone in the countries where they serve. Any Canadian or Canadian business involved in bribery or attempted bribery is reported to the RCMP, which then takes it forward with its counterparts in whatever country the bribery is alleged to have taken place.
It is obviously very important that international police forces co-operate very closely on these types of allegations to ensure that the evidence is discovered to bring forward successful prosecutions. I believe that is happening now. That is why we have seen several successful prosecutions recently and I understand there are at least 35 more investigations currently under way.
View Bob Dechert Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Dechert Profile
2013-06-18 10:47 [p.18512]
Mr. Speaker, enforcement is very important. The Prime Minister made a very important announcement in London last week about legislation that will be presented soon requiring Canadian companies to disclose all payments that they make to foreign governments. That is a big step forward.
The enforcement provisions under Bill S-14 and its penalty provisions are very important. They would be among the highest penalties in the world. Some have wondered why they should be. In fact, the penalties under Bill S-14 would be higher in some cases than the penalties for domestic corruption, but that just means that the Canadian Criminal Code probably needs to be updated as well.
We are setting the bar higher with the bill and we are sending a clear and strong message to Canadian companies and to people all around the world that Canada will not tolerate this kind of corruption, either here at home or abroad.
Another measure that I mentioned in my speech is that Canadian companies that engage in foreign bribery and are convicted of foreign bribery will no longer be able to bid on Canadian government contracts. That is a huge disincentive for them to do these kinds of things abroad. We think the combined suite of penalties and enforcement mechanisms we are introducing today would send a really strong message to Canadian companies and everyone in the world they need to compete fairly and ethically to succeed.
View Julian Fantino Profile
CPC (ON)
View Julian Fantino Profile
2013-06-18 11:09 [p.18515]
Mr. Speaker, I trust the member opposite knows better. Quite frankly, I find his broad-brush accusations of corruption in the other place obscenely disingenuous.
People who live in glass houses should not be casting stones. I happen to know that the overwhelming majority of Canadians, senators included, are decent, hard-working, honest people who deserve much more respect than the member opposite has decided to cast their way. For the member opposite to suggest otherwise is nothing more than a mean-spirited political exercise in character assassination.
In light of the member's self-defined righteous value system, can he then explain to Canadians how it is that his leader failed to immediately disclose his involvement in an attempted bribery offer some 17 years ago? How can the member consider such hypocrisy worthy of this honourable place?
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-06-18 11:50 [p.18519]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to respond briefly to last night's further intervention by the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands on the question of privilege respecting Bill C-54, the not criminally responsible reform act. My intervention will be brief and I hope it will be the final of many interventions on this point.
On the report tabled on Thursday, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage pointed out last night that the hon. Minister of Justice had sought, and did in fact receive, unanimous consent to table that document. For example, page 433 of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, at footnotes 111, 112 and 113, notes several examples when documents have, with unanimous consent, been tabled in only one official language.
Mr. Speaker, in the case currently before you, the Minister of Justice sought such unanimous consent to table the report for the very reason that it was produced in only one official language. Otherwise, he would not have had to seek such consent in the first place. The minister did so in the fullness of transparency, to provide members with the document as quickly as possible. Of course, once the translation is complete, the document will be tabled in the other official language as well.
On the tabling of a Microsoft Word track changes version of the document, it is my understanding that this was deliberately chosen as the means by which the House could most easily, readily and quickly determine what had changed between the two versions of the report. Rather than the member opposite trying to ascribe the most nefarious possible motivation to the minister tabling the track changes version, I would suggest that he, instead, consider the most plausible explanation: the minister was simply trying to be as transparent as possible. What he did was provide the House with an easy-to-reference version specifically highlighting the differences. For those not satisfied with that, he also provided the website address where a clean print of the updated version of the report could be located.
It is important to bear in mind that the original version of the report, which I will note was marked as final by the author in November 2012 and with consent to release, as tabled in a response to Order Paper Question No. 1169, was upward of 200 pages in length, thus making the need for track changes or the benefit of track changes rather obvious.
On the matter of the response to Order Paper Question No. 1169, I would refer to what was asked in the order paper question itself. In paragraph (a), the government was asked for certain information relied upon “in developing this legislation”. That is a very important part of the question. The material that was provided in answer to that was the earlier version of the report. I am left wondering how data received well after second reading debate started—that is, the revised report—could be responsive to a question related to the development of the bill, which was the question on the order paper.
Despite that, my colleague should be commended for noting in his response to that order paper question that a revised version of the report had been received. Therefore, not only was he responsive to the question, he was also transparent and open at the same time.
Finally, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands offered some comments on a systemic remedy, which he proposed. Despite his creativity, I disagree that there is a prima facie case of privilege to be found here. As such, I need not respond further to his suggestion on how to craft an order of reference to the procedure and House affairs committee.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
I presume the member was not asking me the question, but rather his colleague.
The hon. member for Vancouver East.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the member opposite spoke very well. I am pleased that her party supports this legislation.
However, I am concerned about the contradiction in the bill. Companies are forbidden to pay bribes to officials, but should NGOs be allowed to pay bribes to police at checkpoints where they do the shakedowns?
Police are supposed to uphold the rules of law. Some of the NGOs are actually tasked with the job of introducing, implementing, and helping out with democratic principles in these countries. Having the law on the side of the travellers, wherein they are not allowed to pay bribes, can help to act as a shield.
Letting the employer or a government get away without paying proper wages is not our role. How can the NDP support letting the employers of the police get away without paying the proper wages?
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
Order. The hon. member for Burlington is rising on a point of order.
View Mike Wallace Profile
CPC (ON)
View Mike Wallace Profile
2013-06-18 12:32 [p.18525]
Mr. Speaker, there has been consultation among the parties and I believe it is possible that you could find unanimous consent for the following motion:
That Bill S-15, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and to make consequential amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, be taken up at the report stage later today.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to propose the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin): The members have heard the terms of the motion. Does the hon. member have unanimous support for the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
Order. Once again, I presume that the member is not asking the Chair the question but, in fact, would like it redirected to his colleague, the hon. member for Beaches—East York.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
Order, please.
The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2013-06-18 13:09 [p.18529]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech and some of the questions she answered. We talked a bit about Canada taking a leadership role. Our government has been very forthright in moving forward around the world to negotiate trade agreements. One of the important things, when we take a leadership role, is to ensure that when deal with other countries, we set the bar fairly high so the countries we do business with have an idea of how Canada will operate. We have taken a leadership role in that regard. Each and every time we have tried to negotiate these trade agreements, except for once, the NDP has always voted against it.
We have before us an excellent bill, Bill S-14. One of the people she quoted was Janet Keeping, the chair and president of Transparency International. She said:
Transparency International Canada is delighted that the federal government is moving to strengthen the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), in accordance with Canada's international obligations, and encourages the government to ensure that the RCMP have the resources necessary to enforce the CFPOA effectively.
Considering that Canada is taking a leadership role, does this mean now that the NDP will be supportive of the government's actions to reach out around the world to increase trade with different countries?
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
The hon. member for Beauséjour is rising on a question of privilege.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
The Chair appreciates the intervention by the hon. member for Beauséjour and will take that under advisement.
Questions and comments for the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs.
View Barry Devolin Profile
CPC (ON)
Before I go to the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, I would like to remind all hon. members that the matter before the House is Bill S-14 and that their questions and comments and also the responses ought to be related to that somewhat directly.
The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.
View David Sweet Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, people in the Hamilton area, and most certainly their families, were relieved to hear the news last evening that the charges against two Hamilton men in the Dominican Republic were dropped after they reached common ground with the other Canadian involved, and they have been released.
We give thanks to the efforts of the Canadian consular officials in the Dominican Republic, who were praised by officials from the Dominican justice system, and to the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for Americas and Consular Affairs and her hard-working staff for their engagement on behalf of all Canadians involved.
Our citizens have been through an ordeal that we certainly hope no others have to suffer. I think this is a good reminder to all Canadians, as we head into the summer travel season, that when travelling abroad, one is subject to local laws and local justice systems, which are different from our own.
Travelling abroad is a wonderful opportunity, however, please be aware of the precautions and advisories that the Department of Foreign Affairs provides. The booklet that is available at all passport offices, MP constituency offices and the Foreign Affairs website is chock full of valuable travel information and tips.
Our government wishes that all Canadians have a great and refreshing holiday. They should get informed, travel safe and bon voyage.
View Bernard Trottier Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bernard Trottier Profile
2013-06-18 14:14 [p.18538]
Mr. Speaker, last week, the Leader of the NDP did a Reese Witherspoon imitation saying, “Don't you know who I am?” A female RCMP member was forced to chase him around Parliament Hill after he decided security measures did not apply to him. Once he was confronted and given a warning not to repeat this stunt, the Leader of the Opposition moved on to intimidation, threatening this front-line officer that she would get in a lot of trouble.
Parliament Hill's bearded bandit is not above the law. He can run, but he cannot hide. The NDP leader thinks he is above the law and disrespects those who put their lives on the line to keep Canadians safe. That attitude shows a lack of judgment and makes it clear why the NDP leader is not fit to govern.
View Daryl Kramp Profile
CPC (ON)
View Daryl Kramp Profile
2013-06-18 14:16 [p.18538]
Mr. Speaker, as members of Parliament, part of our job is to work with the pillars of our communities to help make them better places for everyone.
In 2010, just two years after being elected, the leader of the Liberal Party spoke to a professional development conference for teachers in my riding and educational staff from local prisons, as many of us do. I would say bully for him.
However, did he do it out of the goodness of his heart or for the betterment of my community or other communities? Sadly not; he did it for $15,000 of taxpayers' money. This is on top of the generous salary he already received as a member of Parliament.
Canadians know there is only one taxpayer and this type of double-dipping is reprehensible. The Liberal leader has clearly shown that he puts his own financial interests ahead of education and that he is just in over his head.
View Chris Alexander Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Alexander Profile
2013-06-18 14:18 [p.18539]
Mr. Speaker, as you know, childhood is a sacred time for Canadians. It is a time when friendships are forged for life, so imagine our surprise last week when a defiant millionaire Liberal leader sent out his childhood friend from across Sussex Drive, the member for Beauséjour, as the sacrificial lamb to defend his exorbitant speaking fees scammed from charities.
The member for Beauséjour demanded apologies from those who called the Liberal leader out for ripping off charities. For a few short hours, that childhood friend, the member for Beauséjour, was the one person in Canada who did not feel ripped off by the Liberal leader. That all changed when the Liberal leader abandoned his position and hung his childhood friend from Rideau Hall out to dry.
Make no mistake, the Liberal leader will not think twice about scamming the most vulnerable in our society or abandoning his best friend, if he thinks he can make a buck. The Liberal leader's favourite cause is a long way from charities or childhood. It is the Liberal leader.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-06-18 14:34 [p.18542]
Mr. Speaker, our government took on this mandate with a commitment to Canadians to deliver on the number one priority for Canadians: jobs and economic growth.
As a result, we put forward an agenda in a series of budgets and other bills to do exactly that. The results are apparent. Canada is leading the world with over a million net new jobs. Our government is delivering on what really matters to Canadians, while they stand in the way.
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