question period — Justice

Bill C-7--Message from Commons

March 17, 2021


Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)
[14:24]

Honourable senators, my question, as usual, is for the government leader in the Senate. Senator Gold, there are many questions I could ask you today: questions about the third wave of COVID-19 declared here in Ontario; the four-month delay between vaccine doses; and the crisis in our military, among many others.

However, the most time-sensitive matter has to do with the question I asked you yesterday on Bill C-7, as the Senate will soon vote on the message from the House of Commons.

Senator Gold, I asked you yesterday — and you couldn’t answer and I asked you to get me an answer and I would like to give you the opportunity to respond — if the Minister of Justice, or any other minister or representative of the Trudeau government, contacted, called or lobbied honourable senators to accept the message from the other place on Bill C-7. Were any promises made by the Trudeau government in order to get the support of senators, and if so, leader, what were those promises?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate)
[14:25]

Thank you for your question. Honourable colleague, I have no information that any promises were offered. I do not have a definitive answer, but to the best of my knowledge no such promises were made.

[14:25]

Senator Gold, when we ask you a question about things that the government has done, usually it’s understandable that you need some time, but I’m sure you have the minister’s phone number in your Rolodex. This answer is unacceptable. Your job, leader, is to get answers to our questions. One phone call. If your government made promises to some senators about Bill C-7, everyone should know what those promises are before we vote today.

So much for accountability. So much for transparent and open government; it means nothing to this Trudeau government.

Did you contact the minister? Did you try to contact the minister or his office, leader? Did you try to contact any other minister’s office? If not, why not?

Senator Gold
[14:26]

As I answered yesterday, and just now, I have no information that any such promises were made. I cannot resist, though, commenting that this question is wrapped around innuendo, and it is, frankly, something that I find difficult to respond to calmly. But I did, and I shall.