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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Colleagues, before we begin our proceedings, I would like to say a few words regarding the special measures in place today.
Pursuant to an order made Tuesday, May 26, the application of Standing Order 17 will be suspended for the current sitting to allow members to practise physical distancing. Members desiring to speak and address the Chair may do so from any seat in the House.
Additionally, as members know, this will be a hybrid sitting of the House. Some members will be participating via video conference and some will be participating in person.
To avoid issues with sound, I remind members participating in person that they should not also be connected via video conference. For those joining via video conference, I would like to remind you that when speaking, you should be on the same channel as the language you are speaking.
Lastly, I ask all members who are tabling a document or moving a motion to sign the document and bring it to the Table themselves.
The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on a point of order.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-07-08 12:08 [p.2535]
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent to adopt the follow motion.
I move:
That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, during the debate on Government Business No. 8 later this day, a member of each recognized party and a member of the Green party may speak to the motion for not more than 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions and comments, provided that members may be permitted to split their time with another member and, at the conclusion of the time provided for debate pursuant to this order, the committee shall rise, the motion shall be deemed withdrawn and the House shall adjourn until Wednesday, July 22, 2020, pursuant to the order adopted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Normally when there is a request for unanimous consent, the Chair asks in the affirmative whether members agree.
Since this is a hybrid sitting of the House, if the Chair proceeds in this manner and there are any dissenting voices, especially from members participating by video conference, they might not be heard.
Therefore, for the sake of clarity, I will only ask for those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement. In this way, the Chair will hear clearly if there are any dissenting voices, and I will accordingly be able to declare whether or not there is unanimous consent to proceed.
All those opposed to the hon. minister's moving the motion will please say nay.
I am hearing no voices, so it is agreed.
The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.
Pursuant to an order made Tuesday, May 26, the House shall now resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The committee will begin its proceeding with the questioning of ministers on matters relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters for a period not exceeding 95 minutes.
The Chair will call members from all recognized parties and one member who does not belong to a recognized party in a fashion consistent with the proportions observed during meetings of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Each member will be recognized for not more than five minutes, which may be used for posing questions to a minister of the Crown. Members are permitted to split their time with one or more members by so indicating to the Chair.
Please note that we will briefly suspend this part of the sitting partway through to allow employees who provide support for the sitting to replace each other safely.
We will now begin.
The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is under investigation for granting a $900-million contract to an organization to which he has personal ties.
Did the Prime Minister officially recuse himself from the decision-making process to give a contract to a friend, yes or no?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-07-08 12:13 [p.2536]
Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.
The non-partisan public service clearly indicated that this was the only organization able to provide this service in the timeline needed. Obviously, the way this unfolded was not as intended, and that is why this charity is no longer administering the project.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was under investigation for the SNC-Lavalin scandal, he refused to give the Ethics Commissioner all the evidence that was asked for. He also prevented nine people from providing their full testimony.
I have a simple yes-or-no question. Will the Prime Minister commit today to waiving all privileges and confidences so that the Ethics Commissioner can do a full and proper investigation?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Actually, Mr. Speaker, it is the Prime Minister who said something that was not true. When he was under investigation the last time, he refused to waive full and complete privileges and confidences, preventing not only the former attorney general but also people within the PMO from being able to fully participate in the investigation. That is his modus operandi when it comes to a scandal investigation: He does everything he can to prevent the full truth from coming out.
I have a simple yes-or-no question. Will he waive all cabinet confidences and privileges this time?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-07-08 12:14 [p.2536]
Mr. Speaker, once again, in the last situation, we did the unprecedented step of waiving cabinet confidentiality and of waiving solicitor-client confidentiality in the situation so that the Ethics Commissioner could fully investigate the matter at hand. It was an unprecedented step we took because we deeply believe in transparency and accountability. That is what we did, and we will continue to work with all officers of Parliament.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, it was an unprecedented step because it was an unprecedented thing that the Prime Minister did. No other prime minister has tried to personally intervene in a criminal court proceeding, so pardon me for not giving him a gold star for handing over some documents to the Ethics Commissioner. We know that he will not waive full cabinet confidences and privileges, as he has refused to do so.
The Prime Minister claims that several organizations were considered to manage the grant program that WE Charity eventually got. Could the Prime Minister name the other organizations that were considered?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-07-08 12:15 [p.2536]
Mr. Speaker, the non-partisan public service made a clear recommendation that this was the only organization able to provide this service in the timeline needed. Obviously, the way this unfolded was not as intended, and that is why this charity is no longer administering the project.
We will work with the Ethics Commissioner and answer any questions the Ethics Commissioner may have, as we always do.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, this charity has received many sole-source contracts from the Prime Minister, some for millions of dollars. In the last few years, the real estate holdings that WE has accumulated have gone from $11.9 million to $43.7 million. That is 43 million dollars' worth of real estate holdings.
Could the Prime Minister inform the House whether any of the money that was allocated to this charity went to purchase real estate holdings?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-07-08 12:16 [p.2536]
Mr. Speaker, youth organizations in this country have done an exceptional job over the past years, and governments of all stripes have supported various youth organizations.
I can highlight, indeed, that the previous Conservative government provided half a million dollars in funding to WE over the period of 2012, 2013 and 2014. We believe in investing in young people, particularly during a time of pandemic, when they want to be involved and can be involved.
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