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Results: 1 - 28 of 28
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2020-07-22 14:26 [p.2725]
Mr. Speaker, it has been reported that this trip had a price tag of around $41,000. I cannot help but think how many veterans that would have helped, how many people who are living in deep poverty and who are disabled would have helped.
We heard the previous speaker talk about trying to get money out the door as fast they could. The government had an opportunity to do that. Had it applied CERB universally to all people who needed it during this time without restraint, without delay, we would not be four months into this crisis with the people needing it the most still struggling to get by.
How does the hon. member feel about a minister taking a $40,000 trip at a time when people are struggling to get by and the Liberals are patting themselves on the back for a $600, one-time donation to the most vulnerable Canadians?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-07-21 14:28 [p.2691]
Mr. Speaker, apologizing means nothing if the Prime Minister keeps on breaking the rules to help his wealthy friends.
Here are the facts. The Prime Minister's family has earned over $300,000 in speaking fees from this organization. WE officials have said that they do not normally pay speakers a fee. On top of that, giving a billion dollars to create a brand new program makes no sense when there are so many existing ways to help students that are faster and that are proven. Will the Prime Minister admit that this was never about helping students, and that it was always about helping his wealthy friends?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2020-07-21 14:43 [p.2694]
Mr. Speaker, like many Canadians, I would love nothing more than to provide our full attention to the COVID crisis at hand, but while people are worried about having enough money to make it to the end of the month, they see the Prime Minister and his Liberal cabinet focusing on helping themselves and their friends instead of people.
There is alleged irregular lobbying, contracting and pecuniary conflicts of interest related to the Prime Minister and the Liberal cabinet. Taking responsibility means holding accountability. This is the third time the Prime Minister has been under an investigation for breaking the rules.
What exactly has he learned?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-07-20 14:25 [p.2603]
Mr. Speaker, the WE scandal is another example of the Liberal government saying all the right things in public, but working for its close friends behind closed doors.
If the Liberal government really wanted to help students, it could use existing programs.
Will the government admit today that the point of this scandal was not to help students, but rather to help its close friends?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-07-20 14:26 [p.2603]
Mr. Speaker, there were lots of ways to help students; this was not it. What this was was a billion-dollar bailout of close friends of the Liberal Party and of the Prime Minister. People with disabilities were told to wait for months before they could get help. People who saw their CERB about to end were also told to wait. People who needed help were told again and again by the government to wait, but when close friends of the Liberal government and close friends of the Prime Minister needed help, they jumped in with nearly a billion-dollar bailout.
Will the government admit that this was not about helping students but about helping its close friends?
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-07-20 14:42 [p.2606]
Mr. Speaker, once again, the Liberals are in trouble after handing over almost a billion-dollar contract to their friends at WE. Meanwhile, students have to wait to get paid for the time they have already spent working in their communities. That time was given in good faith.
During COVID, students are facing disruption of their studies and lack of employment opportunities. Their futures are at stake, but Liberals prefer keeping their wealthy friends wealthy, instead of helping students make ends meet.
When will the Liberals put the future of students ahead of the interests of their friends and the well-connected?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2020-07-20 14:43 [p.2606]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that giving an apology is not the same as taking responsibility, yet the Liberals continue to refuse to take responsibility for this disturbing pattern of self-dealing that now sees the Prime Minister and the finance minister under an ethics investigation. It is as if the Liberals think the rules do not apply to them, that they get to do favours for their family, the wealthy and elite and get away with it with the magic words “I'm sorry”, but that does not cut it.
Will the Prime Minister finally take responsibility and agree to waive the cabinet confidentiality, attend the ethics committee and fully co-operate with the Ethics Commissioner's investigation into the WE Charity scandal?
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this is unprecedented in Canadian history.
For a third time, the Prime Minister is under investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
Yes, this is the third time. It has to be done.
He bypassed the public service and granted an untendered contract worth nearly $1 billion to an organization with which he has so many links that it looks like a huge spiderweb. The Liberals have such a sense of entitlement that they ignore the rules when it comes to awarding contracts to their cronies.
Why is it that young people and students have to pay the price for the Liberals' irresistible desire to give their buddies presents?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-07-20 15:28 [p.2621]
Mr. Speaker, what we have seen in this scandal is a clear example of Liberal rhetoric: the words members use about who they are working for in public, and when the doors are closed. In public the Liberal government has certainly said a lot of very positive things, but behind closed doors it turns out they are actually working to help out their closely connected friends.
In the WE scandal it is very clear that this was never about helping students. The government had ample opportunity to extend the Canada summer jobs program and help students struggling with debt when they go to university, or to help students get into post-secondary education and reduce barriers by providing additional grants.
There is so much that the government could have done, but instead of actually helping Canadian students, it leapt to the aid of well-connected friends of the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister, to give them nearly a billion-dollar contract. That is flagrant. It shows that the Liberal government really wants to work for its closely connected friends, how quickly it will work for them, and how it will tell Canadians who are struggling to continue to wait.
That is the contrast and I think that is completely unacceptable.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2020-07-20 16:21 [p.2629]
Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of sitting in on the ethics committee and I know the hon. member heard long stories. We heard stories in Latin. We heard biographies. We heard everything and anything from the Liberal side except holding the government to account. There was an understanding that a deal was struck that the Prime Minister would indeed be invited to this committee to be held accountable in that regard.
Given the hon. member's experience on the ethics committee, what does he have to say about the long-standing tradition of prime ministers simply shirking their responsibility to be accountable at committee? Does he believe the Prime Minister has a duty to report to the ethics committee to allow that committee to seek out its mandate in holding the government to account?
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I would also like to take this opportunity to ask him a question.
Why does he think the Liberal government awarded a nearly $1-billion sole-source contract to administer a government student assistance program to a charity that had no prior experience?
Does he think that not trusting the public service, not putting out a tender, and giving a contract to friends of the Prime Minister's family is a good use of public money?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I did not personally hear that comment.
We will listen to the recording and then discuss it.
Does the NDP leader wish to comment?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I have noted your comments. I asked the member to apologize. I will take this under advisement and return to the House shortly.
Does the hon. member wish to rise again?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I have asked the member to apologize. Until he does, he will be unable to address the House.
The Speaker will deliberate on the question and will comment on it as soon as possible.
We will now go into committee of the whole.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I will report the matter of decorum that was raised to the Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with you a point of order that has been raised. The hon. member for Burnaby South called another hon. member a racist and did not want to apologize. I submit this point of order for your consideration.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I would remind members that we are in debate. When someone has the floor, they must not be disturbed.
I would remind the hon. member for Jonquière that he must address the Chair and not the member directly.
The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, you can also refer to me as the NDP whip. Hopefully, that will help with this process.
I rise on a point of order. I too just want to thank the Conservative whip for his intervention. This does send a very chilling tone to this House. When we are in a minority Parliament it is important that we work collaboratively together and not see this kind of standing up in the House and, in my estimation, accusing another member of behaviour unbecoming. Therefore, I hope that the member will take the point to reflect, and allow you, Mr. Speaker, to do the job that you were elected in this place to do and not put those kinds of ramifications.
The reality is that for the NDP there is a strong desire to see some reconciliation done in meaningful ways, specifically around the issue of indigenous children. I certainly hope that the tone of this place would reflect what, hopefully, is all of our intention, which is to support indigenous children.
Hopefully, we will hear back from you, Mr. Speaker.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I am not going to point out anybody at this point because I know most of the people who were doing it are quite seasoned in the House and already know what the rules of the House are.
The hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-02-18 10:23 [p.1120]
Mr. Speaker, I do not know if I have had the opportunity to do so, but I would like to congratulate you on your excellent position as my neighbour and as Speaker of the House.
As we are talking about the relationship between first nation people, I rise on a question of privilege pursuant to Standing Order 48, to state that I believe my parliamentary privilege was violated by the Minister of Justice and his staff.
It is my belief that the minister and his staff misled the House on a fundamental issue, which is the legal cost of fighting indigenous children at the Human Rights Tribunal and in federal court. I consequently believe that, because they have provided this misinformation, the minister should be held in contempt of Parliament.
We have had a lot of talk this week about the importance of the rule of law. I find this issue especially pertinent when we are talking about the actions of the justice department and the Attorney General, who apparently believe they are above Parliament when it comes to their obligation to respond to Order Paper questions on fundamental questions of fact, not opinions on facts. If you will indulge me, Mr. Speaker, I will present the facts of this case as succinctly as possible.
On December 9, 2019, I gave notice pursuant to Standing Order 39 of a written question seeking information regarding the legal fees for the hours and the associated costs the government has incurred due to legal proceedings related to Human Rights Tribunal cases against first nation children between 2007 and 2019. The Department of Justice provided a written response to this question in late January 2020 stating, “Based upon the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $5,261,009.14, as of December 9, 2019.”
As a stand-alone figure, the idea that the federal government would have spent $5.2 million fighting the rights of the most vulnerable children in this country is shocking. However, it has come to my attention that these numbers are extremely misleading. I have brought this forward because evidence contrary to the justice official's came out last week when I was representing Canada in Washington, so this is my first opportunity to address this.
Ms. Cindy Blackstock, who has been involved in this case from the beginning, has tabled documents she has received through multiple ATIPs from the justice department about the costs incurred between 2007 and 2017. The number Ms. Blackstock has provided, through the justice department's own documents, is $9.4 million spent fighting indigenous children in court.
APTN has analyzed the numbers and has come up with a slightly more conservative figure of $8.3 million as of 2017, but that is still substantially higher than what the Minister of Justice stated the department has spent up until now. This does not include any of the costs incurred after 2017.
I will remind the Speaker that when the government was found guilty of reckless discrimination against first nation children in 2016, the Prime Minister made a solemn vow that he would respect the rulings of the Human Rights Tribunal. He said he would address this and would not fight this.
However, there have been nine non-compliance orders, as well as a battle in federal court attempting to quash the ruling and deny the rights of children who are in the broken child welfare system. It is clear the numbers we have up to 2017 from the Minister of Justice's office are higher than $8.3 million and higher than the false $5.2 million he provided through the Order Paper.
How can the House make sense of these contradictory numbers? We are not talking about opinions. The issue goes to the heart of the Prime Minister's promise on reconciliation to create a new relationship based on trust. It must also be based on the trust of parliamentarians, when they use tools like the Order Paper question to get factual responses so they can do their jobs.
This ongoing legal battle against first nation children has had a corrosive effect on the Prime Minister's brand and it would appear to me that it cannot be explained away as a matter of opinion attempting to downplay the numbers.
Page 111 of Erskine May: A treatise on the law, privileges, proceedings and the usage of Parliament explicitly states that misleading the House can be considered an issue of contempt. It states, “The Commons may treat the making of a deliberately misleading statement as a contempt.”
Similarly, page 82 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice quotes the United Kingdom Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege in listing various types of contempt, which includes “deliberately attempting to mislead the House or a committee (by way of statement, evidence or petition)”.
We know being wrong is not a matter of privilege, but misleading the House is. That is why various Speakers, your predecessors, have used the test laid out in page 85 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice. It states:
...the following elements have to be established when it is alleged that a Member is in contempt for deliberately misleading the House: one, it must be proven that the statement was misleading; two, it must be established that the Member making the statement knew at the time that the statement was incorrect; and three, that in making the statement, the Member intended to mislead the House.
I believe these tests can be met in this case.
First, if we review the criteria that I have just read, the statement given to me was misleading because there exists in the public domain, in the documents of the Minister of Justice, conflicting information regarding these documents. The minister only provided me with the costs of the hours recorded, but not with the associated legal fees.
Second, the minister knew that his statement was misleading since the ministry with which he is charged provided different information to Ms. Cindy Blackstock, yet his signature on the document was tabled in the House.
Third, the minister intended to mislead the House since he intentionally avoided answering parts of the question that would provide clarity, a point made clear by the fact that the minister omitted to mention all additional legal fees and only provided the cost of hours.
This is not about being wrong; this is about the fundamental question of the obligation of the government to speak truthfully in this chamber.
I note that previous Speakers have ruled that in the event of contradictory information, the matter can be brought to the House to be dealt with.
For example, the Speaker, on March 3, 2014, stated:
...the fact remains that the House continues to be seized of completely contradictory statements. This is a difficult position in which to leave members, who must be able to depend on the integrity of the information with which they are provided to perform their parliamentary duties.
Accordingly, in keeping with the precedent cited earlier in which Speaker Milliken indicated that the matter merited “...further consideration by an appropriate committee, if only to clear the air”.
I believe that the same situation exists today and that the remedy should therefore be the same.
The fact that the Canadian government even spent a cent fighting the most vulnerable of its own citizens in court to deny them their indigenous rights and human rights is callous and shameful. However, the fact the government misled the House and provided incomplete or inaccurate information regarding the amount of money that it has wasted on such reprehensible actions is unacceptable. I asked the government to answer these fundamental questions. We need to know that the government will respond with true and accurate figures to an Order Paper question about how much money was spent at the Human Rights Tribunal.
That is in accordance with page 63 of Erskine May's Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, which states that “...it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.”
Also, I am demanding that the Minister of Justice explain to this House and the Canadian public why the information that was provided in response to the Order Paper question differs so much from the information that was provided to Ms. Cindy Blackstock through multiple ATIP requests in his own department. The Canadian people have a right to know.
I will wrap up here. In conclusion, this matters because what we are dealing with are the lives of children. It mattered to Kanina Sue Turtle, Tammy Keeash, Tina Fontaine, Amy Owen, Courtney Scott, Devon Freeman, Chantell Fox, Jolynn Winter, Jenera Roundsky, Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace, and all the other children who have been broken in this system that failed them. Parliament needs to know that these children were loved. We had an obligation to do better.
The Parliament of Canada called on the government and the justice minister on December 11, 2019, just after we learned the horrific details of the death of Devon Freeman, to end his legal battle against the children. He has ignored the rule of Parliament. He has ignored the obligations under the Order Paper question. I ask you to address this.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
View Jack Harris Profile
2020-02-04 13:04 [p.892]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I listened to the hon. member's response to my colleague's question, and he made a very unparliamentary remark. He seems to be suggesting that the hon. member asked this question because she had a particular interest in a certain line of work. That is insulting and unparliamentary, notwithstanding the fact that the hon. member recognized that sex workers who are in great danger in this country are, in fact, workers.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for bringing this to our attention.
The NDP would like to come back on this and have that opportunity if that is possible.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-12-12 12:18 [p.325]
Mr. Speaker, I also want to add my voice in acknowledging the cordiality in the chamber today. As well, I want to acknowledge the solidarity in recognizing the difficulty and the challenges that public life presents.
I want to thank the leader of Her Majesty's official opposition for taking up that mantle, for being in public service not only as the Leader of the Opposition but also as Speaker and the representative of Regina—Qu'Appelle. It is a big sacrifice, and the member and his family know that very well.
I want to also acknowledge what the Prime Minister alluded to, that being the idea that we not only represent and work for the benefit of people in our ridings but for the benefit of Canadians around the country.
I really enjoyed the sentiment and the spirit behind the idea that the member is doing this for a better future for his kids. I know that is true for the member and true for the Prime Minister, and hopefully one day it will be true for me too.
I want to take a moment to touch on what the leader of the third party mentioned.
Of course we have our differences of opinion, but what unites us is the idea of working for the common good. We may take different approaches, but I think we share the same desire to help ordinary people, change policies and resolve issues to help everyone. I know that is something that unites all of us.
I think that is something that we all share in this chamber.
It is a very difficult decision to take, and I want to acknowledge the hard work that the Leader of the Opposition has put in during all of his roles and the years of service that he has provided. We speak as a united voice in acknowledging that. I thank the member for his service.
I thank all members in the chamber for taking up that mantle. Today is a day to acknowledge the Leader of the Opposition and thank him for his service and his contribution to political life in Canada.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2019-12-11 15:28 [p.277]
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House as the dean of the New Democratic caucus to pay tribute to the late dean of the Conservative caucus.
I know that Deepak planned on running again and was looking forward to the campaign in the hopes of returning to the chamber this fall. His sudden illness and passing shocked us all. I wish to extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, his colleagues and the people of Calgary.
As we have heard from the tributes in the House, we have lost a remarkable colleague. His accomplishments were significant.
Deepak Obhrai served the House with distinction for 22 years. He was elected seven times, becoming the longest-serving MP of South-Asian descent. Over the years, Deepak served as parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, international co-operation and international human rights. He represented Canada ably on the world stage. The New Democrats may not have interpreted the world the same as Deepak, but we respected him and his service, as did all of us, for our Canada.
When Deepak was appointed to the Queen's Privy Council by former prime minister Stephen Harper, he was proud to have “The Hon.” title and never shy to remind anyone, especially during hallway debates in the parliamentary corridors.
The story of Deepak is not only about a Canadian's service to his country. It is also the story of perseverance by a Canadian who faced racism in all aspects of his life, including his professional and political life. In fact, he ran for the leadership of his party because it was important for him to send a message to Canadians that every Canadian, irrespective of his or her ethnic background, should have an equal opportunity to participate in every facet of Canada's political process.
During this campaign, media characterized his campaign as “The Fun Uncle Who Keeps Stealing the Show” and “charmed”.
We are fortunate he lived long enough to see a racialized Canadian elected as a leader of a major federal party. While he rarely agreed with the NDP, he understood and appreciated the importance of a diverse House of Commons that respected all.
We will miss his trademark scarves. The one I wear today has the saying, “Deepackage” on it. I wear it with humility and pride for a man who showed us great respect in the chamber. We will miss his humour and his laughter.
Parliament and all of Canada lost our “Fun Uncle”, but not before he mentored us all.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2019-12-11 15:42 [p.279]
Mr. Speaker, at the outset, let me formally congratulate you on the important role of the Speaker, representing the wonderful region of northern Ontario, and my next-door neighbour. I want to welcome you in your new Chair.
I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for this motion:
That the House call on the government to comply with the historic ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering the end of discrimination against First Nations children, including by:
(a) fully complying with all orders made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal as well as ensuring that children and their families don't have to testify their trauma in court; and
(b) establishing a legislated funding plan for future years that will end the systemic shortfalls in First Nations child welfare.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present an electronic petition that was signed by over 1,100 Canadians from coast to coast, from British Columbia right through to Newfoundland and Labrador and up to the territories. I would like to thank Lesslie Askin, a local constituent, who is the instigator behind this petition.
The petitioners, as residents and citizens of Canada, call upon the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to completely waive all solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality so that the member for Vancouver Granville may speak openly about the SNC-Lavalin matter, and launch a public inquiry under Canada's Inquiries Act into whether the Prime Minister's Office or the Prime Minister politically interfered in the court case against SNC-Lavalin.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-12-05 13:00 [p.9]
Thank you so much, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of the New Democratic Party and its MPs, I would like to congratulate you. You have a very important role to play, and I am certain you will do it.
I congratulate all members in this House, as well as all Canadians who participated in the election. I congratulate them on having the opportunity and privilege to serve in this House.
I am truly honoured and humbled to again have the honour to serve the people of Burnaby South, and I want to thank them for continuing to put their confidence in me.
I would also like to thank all the other candidates and congratulate them on being nominated and participating.
Particularly, I want to thank the member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing for putting her name forward. I agree with the member about the importance of women being in positions of power. It would have been a beautiful thing to see her in this seat, but again, congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker.
I want to highlight the fact that Canadians sent a pretty powerful message in this election by sending us here in a minority government. A lot of responsibility will fall on your shoulders, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that in a minority government all voices are heard and all voices are respected. While Canadians sent a message of a minority government, they also sent a message that they want us to work together, but not just for any purpose. They want Parliament to work for people, because those at the top have had too powerful a voice for far too long.
I call on you, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that the people have a voice in this chamber, that the people of Canada are who we work for. I congratulate you on your election and congratulate all members on returning. I look forward to working in this minority government and making sure that the government serves the will and the needs of the people who brought us here.
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