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Results: 1 - 15 of 44
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Last week, on Friday, Statistics Canada was to release labour force survey data at 8:30 a.m. eastern time, one of the most important and market-moving indicators of the month, but someone in the government leaked that information ahead of time, almost 45 minutes ahead of time, and exclusively to Bloomberg terminal users on Wall Street and on Bay Street, who pay thousands of dollars a month for those terminals.
Moving markets, the Canadian dollar moved eight basis points in that short period of time and billions were made or lost on the market. Section 34 of the Statistics Act makes it a criminal offence for someone to leak information that might influence stock, bond or currency markets.
Has the government notified the RCMP about what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I'd like to thank the honourable member for his question.
I, too, share the same concerns that he's highlighted with regard to this leak. This is completely unacceptable. That is why we're going to make sure that a proper and thorough examination is done, and going forward we want to make sure that no such breach or leak occurs.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, Statistics Canada said that staffers and ministers' offices, including the Prime Minister's office, the finance minister's office, the employment minister's office and the industry minister's office, would have received this secret information no earlier than 2 p.m. the previous day.
Statistics Canada has also indicated that it has begun an internal investigation. Will the minister commit to fully co-operating with this investigation?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'd like to remind the honourable colleague that our government has supported Statistics Canada. We're the ones who reintroduced the mandatory long-form census. We're the ones who funded more money for Statistics Canada. The member opposite knows that we'll be fully co-operative in any such investigation into any leak.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, the member opposite knows full well that there are proper processes and protocols in place when it comes to such sensitive matters, and we will ensure that those processes and protocols—
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I hope there is no double standard for ministers' offices and the public service, because it was only about 13 years ago that a public servant was criminally charged and convicted for using top secret information in the markets.
I hope that in this investigation, and in the release of the information concerning this investigation, ministers' staffers aren't held to a different standard than the public service has been held to.
This leak speaks to the integrity of the government. Intelligence at the Five Eyes.... Our four allies have been telling us for years that one of the top two or three threats that democracies are facing is declining public confidence in our key institutions. Democracies have been blindsided by misinformation, disinformation and cyber-attacks, and now we are being blindsided by the misuse of information by this very government.
That doesn't even.... The government's own national statistics-gathering agency doesn't trust this cabinet or this government, and that's why they announced several days ago that they would suspend the pre-release of information to the cabinet.
What is the government going to do to restore public confidence in our institutions?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, our government has remained steadfast in its support for Statistics Canada. I'd like to remind my honourable colleague that we are the government that brought forward legislation to strengthen the independence of Statistics Canada. We're the government that brought forward measures to make sure they have additional monies for conducting the proper mandatory long-form census as well.
When it comes to the leak that the member opposite is talking about, we're not going to prejudge the outcome. We have been very clear that the proper processes and protocols that are in place will be followed.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I hope the government will call the RCMP and notify them about what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act, because it was a previous Liberal minister who himself was subject to a lot of misinformation and was a target of improper allegations about his office's use of information that leaked about the income trust changes that the previous Liberal government had brought in. The RCMP began an investigation and, in the course of the investigation, they charged a public servant who was ultimately convicted of breaching that secret information.
I hope the minister holds his office and the offices of his cabinet colleagues to the same standard, calls in the RCMP and makes them aware of what appears to be a criminal breach of the Statistics Act.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
I appreciate that very much.
Again, I want to take this opportunity to say that leaks of this nature are completely unacceptable. We've been very clear that we are going to take the appropriate steps. Statistics Canada is taking the appropriate steps.
I want to remind the member opposite that we're not going to prejudge any outcome at this stage. Again, it is our government that has been consistently supporting Statistics Canada in its work through the previous years.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair, last week markets were shocked when leaks regarding the state of our economy came to light before the market even opened. This caused worry to investors at home and abroad about the integrity of our markets and the nature of the leak, which is, in itself, unprecedented.
Section 34 of the Statistics Act indicates the following:
Every person who, after taking the oath set out in subsection 6(1), is guity of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to impreisonment for a term not exceeing five years or both:
(a) wilfully discloses or divulges directly or indirectly to any person not entitled under this Act to receive the same any information obtained by him in the course of his employment that might exert an influence on or affect the market value of any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article, or
(b) uses any information described in paragraph (a) for the purpose of speculating in any stocks, bonds or other security or any product or article
My question for the minister is this: Does the government consider this case to be subject to paragraph 34(a) or 34(b) and a criminal offence, yes or no?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, my hon. colleague is absolutely right that the current situation with regard to the COVID crisis is deeply problematic, and we want to make sure that any information we share with the Canadian public with regard to economic measures or labour market numbers follows the appropriate process. The breach that occurred is completely unacceptable. Our government has denounced this breach. That breach was not the way to deal with such sensitive information.
The member has alluded to several paragraphs within the Statistics Act. I can assure him that we are looking into this matter and that Statistics Canada is looking into this issue as well. Going forward, we will ensure that such a breach does not occur again, because it's important that we continue to have the confidence of Canadians during this current health care crisis.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay, I will take that as a yes.
So this matter should be investigated, yes or no?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
As I have indicated very clearly, what has happened is completely unacceptable. This breach should not have occurred. This matter is being looked into, and we want to assure Canadians going forward that—
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
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