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Results: 1 - 44 of 44
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2019-06-19 14:39 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the first in Canadian history to be found guilty of violating the Conflict of Interest Act not once, but four times. He took $215,000 of taxpayer money to travel illegally with his family and friends to the Aga Khan's private island. These offences could constitute a violation of subsection 121(1) of the Criminal Code.
I have one simple question for the Prime Minister. How many times did he meet with the RCMP and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-05 14:37 [p.24445]
Mr. Speaker, a director from a company with ties to the Liberals, notably the Minister of Innovation, made a really good deal. He bought land from the Ontario government for $3.3 million and sold it a back a few months later for $4.4 million. Talk about a deal. It is so questionable that the City of Brampton asked the RCMP to investigate.
Now that we know this director went on the Prime Minister's disastrous trip to India, we would like to know who invited him.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-05 14:38 [p.24445]
Mr. Speaker, allow me to refresh the Prime Minister's memory.
This administrator, Bhagwan Grewal, is a former Liberal association president. He is a Liberal Party donor. He went on the India trip and even took the time to have his picture taken with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development so he could keep a nice souvenir of that great trip to India.
If the Prime Minister has nothing to hide, when will he present the official list of all his VIP guests who were with him on his trip to India, which was paid for by Canadian taxpayers?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-04 14:29 [p.24404]
Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals think they can threaten and bully the members on this side of the House into silence, they are profoundly mistaken.
Yesterday, the Minister of Innovation refused to answer simple questions relating to a National Post article about a troubling, sketchy transaction that took place in Brampton. The municipality even filed an official complaint with the RCMP.
Here, again, is my question. What is the Minister of Innovation's connection to that company?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-04 14:31 [p.24405]
Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons can talk louder, shout or make threats all she wants, but I can assure her that our knees are not knocking. On the contrary, we are going to stand tall on this side of the House.
If the Minister of Innovation does not want to disclose what ties he has with that company's executives, can he tell us why several of the company's directors took part in the Prime Minister's disastrous trip to India?
Why did this minister take a photo with one of these directors, who is a former member of a Liberal association?
Why have this company's executives made donations to the Liberal Party?
These are all legitimate questions.
Has the Minister of Innovation been contacted by the RCMP? If so, when?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-03 14:19 [p.24314]
Mr. Speaker, according to the National Post, the City of Brampton asked the RCMP to investigate a troubling situation.
Two Liberal members, including the Minister of Innovation, received confidential information about the price the City of Brampton offered the Ontario government in a land deal. What happened? A private sector company purchased the land only to resell it quickly at a huge profit.
My question for the minister is simple. How is he connected to that company?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-12-03 14:20 [p.24314]
Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the minister is being so defensive. If he has done nothing wrong, why will he not answer the questions he is being asked? At least one of the company's directors took part in the Prime Minister's disastrous trip to India. The minister even took a photo with one of the company's directors, who is also a former Liberal riding association president. On top of that, many of the company's directors are Liberal Party donors.
It is a simple question. Did the RCMP contact the minister and, if so, when?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-11-28 14:37 [p.24091]
Mr. Speaker, this week, The Globe and Mail reported that not only did the Liberal member for Brampton East gamble away millions of dollars at casinos—and by the way, we wonder where he got all that money—but he was also under RCMP investigation for months. This is an extremely worrisome, even troubling, situation. This is another case of a Liberal MP caught up in some wild shenanigans.
My question for the Prime Minister is simple and is the same as the one my colleague asked just now.
When did the Prime Minister find out that the RCMP was investigating this member?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2018-11-28 14:38 [p.24091]
Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a Liberal MP. Last I checked, he had not been expelled from caucus. He was part of the delegation that went to India, the disastrous trip the Prime Minister organized with several other members, in case anyone has forgotten. The Liberal member even invited his old boss to come along. It is actually rather ironic, when you think about it. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Finance and was asking the RCMP about how it investigates money laundering. The Prime Minister is telling us today that he has known about this situation only since last week.
Can he confirm the date?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-12-13 14:55 [p.16369]
Mr. Speaker, facts are facts. They can be checked.
Let us look at the Minister of Finance's record: he imposed a tax reform to raise taxes on small businesses; he was fined by the Ethics Commissioner because he failed to declare one of his companies that owned one of his villas in France; he failed to put his assets in a blind trust; he sold $10 million worth of shares in his company days before introducing tax measures that he himself put in place; and he introduced Bill C-27, which earned his family's company more than $5 million.
When will the Prime Minister call for his Minister of Finance to resign?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-12-04 14:21 [p.15920]
Mr. Speaker, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner has asked for another meeting with the Minister of Finance to discuss whether he is in conflict of interest. This is becoming a habit for the Minister of Finance.
I would like the Minister of Finance to answer this simple little question: is he the one who sold 680,000 shares worth more than $10 million just before introducing tax measures that he himself would benefit from?
The question is simple: did he do this while he was both the Minister of Finance and a shareholder of that company?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-12-04 14:22 [p.15920]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their finance minister to have integrity and to be accountable and transparent.
However, over the past two years, the minister has been fined for having hid his French villa in one of his foreign companies; he is under full investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner; he refuses to disclose the content of his many numbered companies to Canadians; and he forgot to put his shares in a blind trust.
Now, the question everyone is asking is this: When will the Minister of Finance step down?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-30 14:22 [p.15810]
Mr. Speaker, all week, we have been asking the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance a very simple question: who sold the 680,000 Morneau Shepell shares one week before the implementation of tax measures that affected the company? That enabled this person to save thousands of dollars.
Funnily enough, Global News reported today that another individual close to the Minister of Finance apparently sold 200,000 shares. We are talking about the finance minister's father. Either he is very lucky, or very well informed.
What is the Prime Minister waiting for to fire his minister—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-30 14:24 [p.15811]
Mr. Speaker, I challenge the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to answer the very simple little question they were asked: who sold the shares?
Canadians have the right to an honest, responsible finance minister who takes his responsibilities seriously. Right now, we have a finance minister who is not above suspicion and who is not leading by example.
The countdown has begun. It is not a question of if, but rather when, the Minister of Finance will be replaced. When will the Prime Minister act responsibly and do the right thing, which is to fire the Minister of Finance?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-29 14:35 [p.15734]
Mr. Speaker, in Canada, financial executives have to disclose any transactions they make on the stock market. These measures were put in place to prevent insider trading.
The Minister of Finance is Canada's chief financial officer. He is the one who makes the rules. Consequently, he must be above reproach and lead by example.
If the Minister of Finance does not want to be transparent with Canadians, how can the Prime Minister still trust him?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-29 14:36 [p.15735]
I have some facts for you, Mr. Speaker. Over the past two years, it has been proven that the Minister of Finance violated ethics laws. He forgot to put his assets in a blind trust. He forgot to declare his villa in France. He refuses to disclose his numbered companies. The cherry on top is this business with his block of 680,000 shares worth over $10 million that were sold just before a measure was introduced in the House. No one trusts this finance minister anymore.
What is the Prime Minister waiting for to fire him?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-28 14:28 [p.15685]
Mr. Speaker, here are the facts: in December 2015, the Minister of Finance still owned thousands of shares in Morneau Shepell. On November 30, 2015, someone just happened to sell 680,000 Morneau Shepell shares worth $10 million. On December 7, one week later, the minister introduced tax measures that resulted in a 5% drop in the stock market, allowing this individual to make half a million dollars.
Given that the Minister of Finance owned Morneau Shepell at that time, can he tell us who sold these shares?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-28 14:29 [p.15685]
Mr. Speaker, all Canadians want is simple answers to simple questions. If the minister has nothing to hide, all he has to do is answer this question. A week before he introduced tax measures affecting his own company, someone sold a block of 680,000 shares worth $10 million, neatly sidestepping a $500,000 loss when the stock market dropped.
Here is the simple question. He owned the company. Can he tell us who sold that block of 680,000 shares?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-27 14:17 [p.15616]
Mr. Speaker, the opposition has been speaking out about the Minister of Finance's conflicts of interest for three months now. Canadians are becoming increasingly concerned and now we learn that a number of Liberal members are embarrassed by his complete lack of ethics. On the condition of anonymity, many went so far as to say that the minister should be assigned to another position. It is madness. Now Liberal Party members are disavowing the Minister of Finance.
Does the Minister of Finance realize that Canadians have completely lost confidence in him?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-27 14:18 [p.15616]
Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is trying to sweep this whole thing under the rug by repeating that everything is fine now, as though he can snap his fingers and magically become a person of real integrity and transparency after being in a conflict of interest for two years.
Since the Minister of Finance did not place his shares in a blind trust, does that not mean that he was in fact in a direct conflict of interest for the past two years?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-27 14:19 [p.15616]
Mr. Speaker, if this minister insists that he has nothing to hide, let him prove it. Last Thursday, we moved a motion calling on him to reveal all assets he has bought or sold within all his private holdings since he became finance minister. That is the only way to know whether the minister's personal interests conflict with his public duties as finance minister.
The question is simple: will the Liberal members across the aisle show transparency and integrity by voting in favour of our motion this evening?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-22 14:32 [p.15423]
Mr. Speaker, every week brings new revelations about the Minister of Finance's conflicts of interest.
First, there were his undeclared shares, then his villa in France, and now, we have the bill he created, Bill C-27, from which his own family and his company, Morneau Shepell, directly benefit.
Will the Prime Minister step up and order his Minister of Finance to show some transparency and disclose all of his assets?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-22 14:33 [p.15423]
Mr. Speaker, the reality is that 81% of Canadian families are paying more taxes under this government.
My question is simple and perfectly valid, especially considering that we know this minister has been in a direct conflict of interest for the past two years.
If he has nothing to hide, will the Minister of Finance be honest and disclose, once and for all, his assets, companies, shares, and everything he is hiding from Canadians?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-21 14:31 [p.15372]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance swore that he put his shares in a blind trust and then we learned that he never did. The Minister of Finance assured us that he had declared all his assets and then we learned that he was fined by the commissioner for failing to disclose a company. From the beginning of the session, the minister has repeated that he has always worked with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and, oddly enough, today we read in the Globe and Mail that the minister never worked with the commissioner on his Bill C-27.
Can the Prime Minister tell us why Canadians would still trust the Minister of Finance?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-21 14:32 [p.15372]
Mr. Speaker, the finance minister's so-called ethical screen gets weaker every day. After introducing Bill C-27, which helps his own family business, the only argument the minister has left is to say that he now miraculously has some integrity because he sold his shares and made a donation. What does the government have to say about the level of integrity he has shown over the past two years?
Will the Prime Minister finally admit what all Canadians know, that his finance minister has been in a direct conflict of interest for the past two years?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-20 14:31 [p.15288]
Mr. Speaker, in 2014, when the Minister of Finance was the executive chair of Morneau Shepell, he participated in a forum on pension plan reform that advocated for the measures he included in his Bill C-27.
Interestingly, in the days following the introduction of his bill, Morneau Shepell share values surged by nearly $1 million. It is therefore not surprising that the minister is now the subject of an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner. I have one simple question.
When the minister introduced his bill, did the Prime Minister know that he was in direct conflict of interest?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-20 14:32 [p.15289]
Mr. Speaker, I will rephrase my question, so perhaps I can actually get an answer.
For nearly two years, the Minister of Finance owned shares valued at nearly $21 million that he never put in a blind trust. He promoted a pension plan reform that served his own interests and the interests of his Liberal friends. Now the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance are being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner.
How can Canadians continue to trust the government across the aisle?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-08 14:27 [p.15129]
Mr. Speaker, on Monday, we learned that Stephen Bronfman, a close friend of the Prime Minister, was named in the paradise papers.
The Minister of National Revenue promised an independent investigation of these documents. Today, the Prime Minister said that he was satisfied with the explanations from his friend and Liberal Party bagman.
Could the Minister of National Revenue just tell us whether she agrees with her Prime Minister that his friend should not be investigated?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-08 14:28 [p.15129]
Mr. Speaker, the minister can keep repeating the same talking points, but Canadians are no fools.
The Prime Minister's political interference on behalf of his close friend is a clear signal to investigators that there is one rule for Liberals and another one for every other Canadian who pays taxes. The Prime Minister has the nerve to tell us that he is satisfied with the assurances that he has received from his friend and top Liberal Party fundraiser, who wants to avoid paying taxes like every Canadian does.
Is there a single member across the way who can look at us and have the courage to denounce this unacceptable situation?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-02 14:27 [p.14884]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the opposition was levelling baseless accusations. Today, the Liberals are accusing the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of providing false information about their own minister's situation. I wonder who are the ones making baseless accusations in the House.
My question is simple: now that we know that his finance minister is in a direct conflict of interest, I would like to know why the Prime Minister misled Parliament and all Canadians.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-02 14:28 [p.14884]
Mr. Speaker, the minister is absolutely right. Canadians' trust is not a game. It is to be safeguarded, but right now, the minister is undermining it. For the past three weeks, the Prime Minister has gone on ad nauseam about how he trusts the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. Now that the commissioner is saying there are two, three, or maybe four ministers playing the same game as this minister and hiding their assets from Canadians, all of a sudden the Prime Minister is saying she is wrong.
My question is simple. Was the Minister of Finance actually in conflict of interest? When did the Prime Minister know about it?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-01 14:32 [p.14798]
Mr. Speaker, for three weeks now the Prime Minister has been telling us that his Minister of Finance is not in a conflict of interest. Just yesterday, he even repeated it several times throughout question period. Now that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has sanctioned his finance minister for conflict of interest, the conclusion is clear: we know that the Prime Minister was aware of it.
I have a simple question. At what point did the Prime Minister know that his finance minister was in a direct conflict of interest and was breaking the law?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-11-01 14:33 [p.14799]
Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to the day when the Prime Minister learns to answer simple questions. The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner confirmed that the Minister of Finance broke the law. She even confirmed that the penalty for the offence had been paid, proving that the Prime Minister was already aware of the commissioner's decision yesterday.
The Prime Minister can do whatever he wants in an attempt to deny the facts, but his efforts will change absolutely nothing: his minister broke the law.
Is the Prime Minister telling us that his Minister of Finance is above the law? Would he like to say that directly to Canadians?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-31 14:28 [p.14761]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance spent months calling small business owners, farmers, and everyone who creates jobs in our regions tax cheats while he was peddling his tax reforms. Today we are learning that it was the Minister of Finance himself who has been exploiting tax loopholes for his own personal benefit. To make life easier for the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, who is currently investigating the finance minister's case, will he disclose the assets he has hidden in 2254165 Ontario Inc.?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-31 14:29 [p.14761]
Mr. Speaker, let me explain the difference between the members of this side of the House and the Minister of Finance. First of all, no one on our side hid a villa in France. Second, no one took two years to report their assets, which is just outrageous. Third, no one over here created a law that would benefit themselves personally.
Coming back to the main question, will the Minister of Finance tell us what he is hiding in the companies numbered 2070689 and 2254165?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-30 14:28 [p.14675]
Mr. Speaker, we have now seen the executive chair of the Institute for Governance, Yvan Allaire, express his clear opinion on the Minister of Finance's conflicts of interest. Last week, Yvan Allaire told RDI that for the past two years the finance minister has without a doubt been in conflict of interest.
If the finance minister still claims that he has nothing to hide, can he prove it by telling us what he is holding in his numbered company 2135042 Ontario Inc.?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-30 14:29 [p.14675]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance keeps telling us he is not in conflict of interest, but his actions prove otherwise. On October 27, Yvan Allaire even said that it would have been wise—and should have been mandatory—for the finance minister to sell all of his shares upon entering politics.
If the Minister of Finance is really being honest, can he tell us about his holdings in another numbered company, 2070689 Ontario Ltd.?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-26 14:24 [p.14576]
Mr. Speaker, it is fascinating to see how proud the Liberals are of supporting the aerospace sector in Alabama and, I might add, in Europe.
The bottom line is that Morneau Shepell has ties to Bombardier, the Bank of Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Senate, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. All told, Morneau Shepell's contracts with the government are worth $14 million.
What more will it take for the other side to understand that the Minister of Finance is in a direct conflict of interest?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-20 11:21 [p.14336]
Mr. Speaker, speaking for myself, I do not need the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to tell me whether I am acting ethically or unethically.
The finance minister has spent the past two years concealing his financial situation and profiting from measures being implemented by his own government. For three weeks now, he has been trying to defend his handling of his assets. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has struggled to defend the indefensible by telling everybody over and over that his minister follows all the rules. It took three weeks of relentless grumbling from the Canadian public for him to admit the truth and pledge to make the necessary changes.
Will we have to wait another three weeks before this minister finally comes to his senses and does the right thing by apologizing to all Canadians?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-20 11:22 [p.14337]
Mr. Speaker, I am fascinated by the parliamentary secretary's ability to keep standing up for his Minister of Finance.
Canadians have learned that the Minister of Finance is in a direct conflict of interest. To make matters worse, the media reported this week that his own company has an $8-million contract with the Bank of Canada for pension services. It is reported that the finance minister has received more than $65,000 a month in dividends from own company since becoming an MP. No wonder people are cynical about politicians.
Is the minister aware that he is in a direct conflict of interest?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-19 14:23 [p.14286]
Mr. Speaker, this morning The Globe and Mail reported that the Minister of Finance told his former colleagues two years ago that he would be placing all of his holdings in a blind trust. He even said the same thing to the media. Suddenly, he has woken up. A light has gone on. Two years later, he has just realized what every member of this House already knew: that the law requires all holdings to be declared within 60 days. All of a sudden, a light has gone on.
We would like to know exactly when the Minister of Finance made the Prime Minister aware of his conflict of interest.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-19 14:24 [p.14286]
Mr. Speaker, it took him two years to get the picture. The mandate letter the Prime Minister gave his Minister of Finance reads as follows: “you must uphold the highest standards of honesty and impartiality, and...the arrangement of your private affairs should bear the closest public scrutiny.” Who am I talking about? About the Minister of Finance, the same man the Prime Minister stood up for as recently as yesterday here in the House.
When did the Minister of Finance tell the Prime Minister that he was in conflict of interest?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-10-18 14:37 [p.14211]
Mr. Speaker, it is incredible.
The Minister of Finance is supposedly driven by a sense of fairness in his tax reform, or so the Prime Minister would have us believe.
Is it fair to propose a reform that will benefit his own personal interests by attacking SMEs, our workers, farmers, mechanics, restaurant owners, and the middle class?
I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. Is it too much to ask for him to get his Minister of Finance to disclose all his assets to the Canadian public?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2017-05-30 23:02 [p.11723]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-45, on which I worked very hard. This bill will allow the Liberal government to legalize marijuana; for those who might not know, the substance has been illegal in Canada for 94 years. To top it off, the government hopes to accomplish all this in under a year.
That is a very tight timeline for a subject as complex as this, especially when we take the time to look at what other countries have done. Why the rush? One has to wonder, given that the government keeps repeating over and over again and shouting from the rooftops that it has two main objectives, which are to restrict the activities of organized crime, perhaps even to wipe it out entirely, and to keep the substance out of the hands of children.
I will speak to a few different points. First, organized crime will not back off. Furthermore, young people will have even greater access to marijuana, there will be an increase in impaired driving, and workplace safety, which is nowhere to be found in this bill, will take a turn for the worse, endangering workers. Many business leaders are quite concerned about this. Housing-related problems will rise too. We will be faced with serious problems, and yet no one is talking about it. Among other things, there will be an increase in hospitalization rates and in calls to poison control centres, while ethical problems will grow.
Conservatives are not the ones saying all this, and I am certainly not pulling these facts out of my hat; these are the conclusions of studies done by experts who are not financed by pro-marijuana lobbies. These are the facts. These studies were conducted by experts and health professionals, and the results were presented by actual scientists. I would also add that there are real examples of places where governments legalized marijuana. I will go through them all one by one.
First, with regard to organized crime and according to my own research, no marijuana legislation will succeed in wiping out organized crime. In Uruguay and in some of the U.S. states that have legalized marijuana, black markets have only grown.
I will now quote someone who is not a Conservative MP or a mean old Conservative, as the Liberals like to put it.
Despite having legalized recreational marijuana use, Colorado has seen a rise in black market activity. The state is the second largest producer of illegal marijuana after California.
Who said this? The chief of the Denver Police Department.
Criminals are still active on the black market. We have a whole range of cartels active in Colorado, and illegal activity has not dropped one bit.
Who said this, now? The Colorado Attorney General.
The decriminalization of cannabis use has not eliminated organized crime. It has merely adapted and managed to gain a foothold in coffee shops, while retaining control over cannabis production.
Who said that? A criminologist analyzing the situation in Uruguay. Again, this person has is a non-partisan opinion.
Let us now talk about protecting children. I think it is completely inconsistent for the Prime Minister to want to limit access to cannabis for young people while allowing people to grow up to four plants in their own house or apartment.
Even worse, he makes it legal for kids under 18 who are not even supposed to be allowed to use marijuana to have five grams in their pockets. It is illegal, but who cares, kids can have five grams. It boggles the mind.
This government claims to make science-based decisions, but what does the science say? It says that marijuana is dangerous for young people under 25. What is the government's response? It says that it does not matter and that the legal age will be 18. If they had the courage, the Liberals would stop quoting scientists and stop trying to sell this nonsense to Canadians.
I have a few more quotes. I did not make them up, but they come from surprising sources.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of marijuana because adolescence is a critical time for brain development.
I found that quote on Health Canada's website. It is from the government's own public servants, who are neutral and have nothing to do with the Conservative Party.
Here is another quote. In Colorado, the number of patients admitted to hospitals after the legalization of marijuana increased dramatically. It almost tripled, from 803 diagnostics per 100,000 people from 2001 to 2009 before legalization to 2,142 diagnostics per 100,000 people after legalization.
That is from a Colorado Public Safety report.
Here is another good example. Calls regarding overdoses made to poison control centres rose by 108% in Colorado and by 68% in Washington State since 2012.
These numbers are from the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. Would anyone say that these are not credible sources?
The safety of our roads and drug-impaired driving is another major cause of concern in my view. It is already a terrible problem. There are almost as many accidents caused by drug-impaired driving than by alcohol-impaired driving, and the numbers will increase. The facts are clear.
In Washington State, after legalization, fatal accidents caused by impaired driving doubled. In Colorado, they tripled.
Here are a few more quotes:
CAA-Québec members are worried by marijuana becoming legal in Canada. [We could do the same survey in other provinces and I am convinced the results would be the same.] Some 73% of respondents to a survey done by the organization expressed concerns that this measure proposed by the [Liberal] government would negatively impact road and highway safety.
Here is another one, from a surprising source: “The number of car accidents in Colorado increased because of marijuana usage.” Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to Barack Obama on drug policy, is the author of that quote.
“Close to half of Canadians who drive while under the influence of cannabis think that they are not a danger on the road.”
That is over 50%. In his budget, the government is setting aside $1.9 million for awareness campaigns in the entire country, knowing full well that legalization will occur within a year. That is absolutely ridiculous. Half of marijuana users currently consider that they are not dangerous.
Let us now turn to workplace safety. Many Canadian business leaders are concerned that the legalization of marijuana could lead to workplace safety problems. Many business owners and experts spoke to this in recent months.
“'It's so dangerous.' With cannabis becoming legal, he feels that the problem could get worse and he doesn't feel prepared.” This is a quote from Alain Raymond, owner of a roofing company.
“We know that cannabis can have an impact on concentration and reflexes. We also know that cannabis can be detected 15 to 30 days after use. How about an employee who uses marijuana on the weekend but doesn't want his or her employer to know? What does that person do?” That is from Hugo Morissette, a human resources consultant.
Judging by the Colorado experience, these concerns are justified. The number of employees affected by marijuana has risen dramatically in Colorado, from 2.7% in 2011 to 7.5% in 2015, after legalization. The numbers have tripled. It is not insignificant.
The CEO of GE Johnson even said that it was so difficult to find employees that could pass a mouth swab test for marijuana, that he had to hire people from outside the state.
In short, considering the obligations of every employer in Quebec and in every other province, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will expose employers and employees to many legal and other associated risks, such as the risk of more workplace accidents, increased employee absenteeism, and lower employee productivity. Employees would also be at risk of developing a marijuana addiction, which would in turn require that employers provide proper accommodation. Lastly, there would be a risk of increased health care cost-related claims. That is yet another aspect of the marijuana legalization issue that is far from settled, and the bill does nothing to settle it.
I will now return to the issue I spoke of early on in my speech, that of rental properties. Not a single word on this can be found in the bill. Marijuana legalization complicates the management of rental properties. Landlords fear that growing these plants indoors, up to four per housing unit, will cause damage to the units. What is more, dangerous modifications to existing electrical systems will lead to an increased risk of fire and accidents. Those hoping for an earlier harvest will undoubtedly attempt to tinker with their grid.
I will move a bit more quickly through the other parts, as I do not have many people to persuade. Marijuana's effects on health are particularly troubling to me. Medical experts agree that marijuana is a dangerous drug for children and teenagers; I would add that it is dangerous for all vulnerable persons. Whether for or against legalization, everyone can agree on that.
The Liberals are reluctant to admit that cannabis consumption has the same effect on teenagers, unlike alcohol, and that is to cause permanent damage to the brain. The Canadian Medical Association has already warned the government that occasional cannabis use can have severe psychological repercussions on the brain's development, even up to age 25.
The Canadian Medical Association recommends a legal minimum age, and it would even agree to drop that number down to 21, if that would help the government make a wise decision. What was this irresponsible government's response? Eighteen years. The Liberals have the nerve to say they base their decisions on science and on experts, but the truth of the matter is that they base their decisions on their friends who will benefit from the legalization of marijuana. I will return to this a bit later.
Today, Colorado ranks first in cannabis consumption. Before legalization, and for 10 consecutive years, it took 14th place. How can the Liberals assure parents that legal marijuana will stay far, far away from the children? On that, the Liberals are radio silent and offer no assurances.
How can the Liberals claim that legalizing marijuana and allowing the personal cultivation of up to four plants per housing unit will lead to limiting children's access to marijuana? Once again, the Liberals are radio silent. They are keeping mum on the real issues, which raises some serious questions as to the government's true intentions.
I am now getting to the really juicy part of my speech. I got a call from a friend of mine last week. He is always on top of the news cycle. He asked me to explain to him why, despite all the warnings, the Liberal government had decided to go forward with its legislation. I answered that there definitely had to be a reason. The reason is simple: the government has friends who will benefit from this move. It is a lucrative business for marijuana production company CEOs. This week, we learned that a third of these companies have at least one major Liberal Party donor on their board of directors. Those are the facts. These companies are run by people close to the Liberal Party. I will name a few. I will add that I did not even have to dig too deep, because the story is getting quite a bit of media coverage these days.
Here is one of the quotes:
The co-founder of The Hydropothecary, the only licensed producer of medical marijuana in Quebec, Adam Miron, was the national director of the Liberal Party of Canada and the national director of the Young Liberals of Canada.
That is something else, is it not? The only licensed producer in Quebec is part of the Liberal Party of Canada. Here is another quote:
At Aurora Cannabis, which is trying to open a plant on Hymus Boulevard in west Montreal, Chuck Rifici, who was on the board of directors, was the chief financial officer of the Liberal Party of Canada until last summer.
Last summer is not very long ago. I think that people know him, but we do not have the right to say these things about him outside the House because he files lawsuits against us if we name him. At least here I can say these things. Here is another quote:
Mr. Rifici was working for the Liberal Party of Canada when he co-founded Tweed, which became the largest producer of medical marijuana in the country, with a market capitalization of over $1 billion.
We need not look very far to see why the government is in such a rush to legalize marijuana. All of the research and statistics show that marijuana is dangerous for children and that we do not have enough information. However, no measures have been put in place to ensure that children will be protected against this product. There is also no evidence to show that there will be fewer motor vehicle accidents. Our police officers do not even have the proper equipment.
I sponsored Senator Claude Carignan's bill in the House, and it is already pretty far along in the process, but the government plans to vote against it, even though it could speed up the process if for no other reason than to ensure that our police officers are properly equipped and to give them the training they need so that they are able to actually take action on July 1 if the government goes forward with this.
Since a Conservative senator was the one who introduced the bill, the government decided not to support it. Instead, it decided to come up with another bill to draw things out, even though Senator Carignan's bill had the unanimous support of the Senate, including that of independent Liberal senators, or maybe they are not independent. We no longer know. The reality is that we are not going to be ready.
I will return to the topic at hand. It is also about ethics. President Barack Obama's former adviser on drug policies, Kevin Sabet, says that they were fooled. He believes that the legalization of marijuana in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and the State of Washington is all about money and benefits private equity firms, and that the decision had nothing to do with public health. He says that there is a huge industry in Colorado, which is like the tobacco industry and has its own lobbyists.
That is the reality. It has nothing to do with good intentions that go over well when the Liberals talk to Canadians. The reality is that what they are saying is false and that there is a lobby that is applying pressure. Every U.S. state where marijuana was legalized or is in the process of being legalized held a referendum. Moreover, in the states where marijuana was legalized, it was by a narrow margin of 50.5%, 51%, or 52% of the vote. Who provided the information? It was always the big marijuana lobby. That is the reality.
What is happening in Canada is surprising. I believe I spoke about this earlier. I named names, and I am not going to return to that. However, I have some interesting information about the person who will certainly ask me a question, and that is the parliamentary secretary responsible for the legalization of marijuana. He is being investigated by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner with respect to a fundraiser attended by Liberal donors who are lobbying for the legalization of marijuana. He will ask me a question, and I will enjoy answering him.
One person at the fundraising cocktail party attended by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, who was the special guest, and also responsible for the legalization of marijuana, pointed out that there were many other people from the cannabis industry that were trying to get his attention. I think we are starting to get the picture.
A recent article in La Presse revealed that former Liberal politicians and former senior Liberal Party officials sit on the boards of directors of the largest cannabis producers in the country and make donations to the Liberal Party. It could not be any clearer. Pretending that the government is presenting a bill that will protect our kids and keep our roads safe is disingenuous. It is not true.
If the Prime Minister used his notoriety to promote healthy life choices, it would be much more useful and a lot less young people and other individuals would be smoking marijuana.
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