QP: On "Feds pay $180K to run mining counsellor's office, with no counsellor"

January-30-15

Speaker : Mr. McKay
Time : 30/01/2015 11:53:53
Context : Question

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, five years ago the government set up a bogus corporate social responsibility office to deflect criticism of its own inaction. It was mandated to fail. During its long and illustrious history it handled a total of six files. When the counsellor bailed from boredom, the government decided not replace her. Now instead of wasting a million dollars a year, the government only wastes $180,000 a year. Is this what the government calls “respect for taxpayers' money”?

Mr. Parm Gill (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that claim is completely false. Following the departure of the former CSR Counsellor, the office continued to deliver on the mandate of CSR Counsellor workshops and regular meetings with industry, academia, and civil society.

The search process to find a new counsellor is under way, with interviews scheduled for February. During the 13 years the Liberals were in power, they never had a CSR policy. It was this government that introduced this very important strategy.

Hon. John McKay (ScarboroughGuildwood, Lib.): Yet another false claim by the members of the opposition, Mr. Speaker.

If it only stopped there: $700,000 to sue veterans, which makes the lawyers pretty happy; $7 million in partisan ads during sports events while members who are watching sports events go to the loo; $162,000 for a Toronto party, yet again to announce the CETA agreement—we cannot say Toronto is not a place to party—another $1.4 million for lawyers to fight refugees over their health care entitlements. No wonder the government is having trouble balancing the budget. 
Is this just party time for Conservative lawyers?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what is truly depressing. It was the legacy that was left behind by the Liberal Party: $40 million that we still have not been able to find, $50 billion worth of health care and education cuts by that party, a party whose only policy right now that it has put forward in front of Canadians is increased taxes and increased debt.

This is what we are doing: we are cutting taxes for families and doing it while balancing the budget; we have increased transfers to our provincial partners; unlike the Liberals, we are going to continue to cut taxes, not hike them; and we are going to balance the budget, not run high deficits and leave that legacy for our kids.