Libby asks for accountability from the Conservative government

House of Commons
February 18, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government House leader used the word “courageous” eight times during question period, once describing a wounded veteran, but seven times referring to the Minister of International Cooperation and twice already today.

Let us see, courage is misleading a parliamentary committee and pretending bureaucrats recommended this decision.

Real courage is showing leadership, acknowledging our mistake and taking responsibility. When will the government stop talking the mindless talking points and take responsibility for this gross misconduct?

Hon. John Baird (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC) :

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my friend from Vancouver East that I reject the premise of her question.

The minister has been clear that she took the decision on behalf of her department. The minister is not one to go along to get along. She is not afraid to take difficult decisions and I think she made a good decision in this regard.

Just because a non-government organization gets a grant from the government does not mean it has an entitlement to receive it in perpetuity.

The minister has done a lot to reform CIDA. She has done a lot to ensure that every single dollar that is allocated to support the most vulnerable in difficult and poor places on this earth, can get the best result for the Canadian taxpayers.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, is accountability a meaningless concept? Is answering a question actually beneath the Conservatives?

We have become accustomed to the Conservatives’ methods, promises of openness followed by secrecy, promises of transparency followed by withholding crucial financial information, promises to close revolving doors for lobbyists followed by unprecedented access to ministers, and now condoning unethical behaviour.

Will the Conservatives grow up and take responsibility for these mistakes?