House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know whether Canada has handed prisoners over to the Americans without first determining their status, as required by the Geneva convention. Who determined this status, and on what basis?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this matter has been conducted entirely within international rules and Canadian law. We have transferred those detainees to the United States as is covered in international law. They are the ones who have to determine through a competent tribunal the status of the particular detainees. They are the ones who establish the military commissions.

All of this needs to and will be done in a fair and humane way. That has been understood right from the beginning.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

But Mr. Speaker, right from the beginning, from the time the detainees were captured, Mr. Rumsfeld was saying that they would not be respecting the Geneva convention and Mr. Powell was saying that they should. Saturday, what was said was that Mr. Bush would be the one to make the decision.

Am I to believe that, when the detainees were taken prisoner and handed over to the Americans, the Canadian soldiers knew, when Mr. Powell did not, nor Mr. Rumsfeld, and the decision had not been made by President Bush? Is that what we are meant to swallow?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all. The United States has made it clear from the beginning that it would follow international law.

There is a difference in terms of the classification of people who are prisoners of war versus those who in fact are unlawful combatants. That is to be determined by an appropriate tribunal. That is clearly the law, the law that Canada follows and the law that the United States will follow.

Crown Corporations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of everything stated yesterday that crown corporations relied on their appraisers to establish the value of property. Then they liberally appraised and sold $12 million worth of property for only $4 million.

It is not hard to sell land for one-third of its value. It is kind of like selling $100,000 homes for $33,000. Why is the minister's office not investigating this creative Liberal fire sale?

Crown Corporations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, if the member is interested, I have a bridge that he might like to purchase. Frankly on the property he is talking about, this property was advertised in many newspapers. Six proposals were received. The best one was negotiated up from $3.3 million to $4 million. The amounts were consistent with appraisals that were obtained.

As I said yesterday, it sounds like he expects us to have sold the property for more than the best offer.

Crown Corporations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister of all stated that he had reviewed the facts in the Canada Lands file and that the Liberal rules were followed.

Canada Lands sent to the minister answers to questions that I have requested under House rules of proceedings. The rule is that an answer be given within 45 days.

Why did the minister break this House of Commons rule, and what other House rules are being broken in order to hide this fact from the House?

Crown Corporations
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, perhaps they tried to find me in Kabul with the answers but failed to do so. If the documents were prepared I would have received them as soon as possible after the cabinet shuffle.

I am sure he can expect to get the response in an appropriate timeframe, but I can assure the House that there is no intention on my part to withhold any appropriate information from the hon. member.

Afghanistan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, even before the September 11 terrorist attacks the people of Afghanistan were facing a severe humanitarian crisis as a result of two decades of conflict, violations of human rights, poverty and drought.

Would the Minister for International Cooperation inform the House how her department and the Government of Canada will be involved in the reconstruction of Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to represent Canada at the Tokyo conference on the reconstruction of Afghanistan where I pledged on behalf of Canada $100 million as part of the international effort to rebuild Afghanistan. This is in addition to the $16.5 million we have provided in humanitarian assistance since September 11.

It will allow Canada to continue to build on its long history of support for the Afghani people in areas of health, child survival, gender equality, security and protection. We will be there to assist the people of Afghanistan.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister in his capacity as the minister overseeing security matters.

I wonder if the Deputy Prime Minister is aware of the suggestion being made by United Steelworkers and others that there is a need for the federal government to show leadership in establishing a regulatory framework for security guards and the provision of security services in this country, for training and for standards.

I wonder if the minister could tell us whether he is willing to meet with stakeholders in that industry to discuss such a strategy and whether any of the money, that $12 or $24 a trip, will go to establishing that kind of regime with respect to security.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we shall shortly be introducing legislation to deal with the new security agency. It mandates a number of changes. There will be federally regulated employees discharging security rather than what is done now.

We believe that this allows airport authorities and various security regimes across the country the flexibility that is required to operate a very good and safe system but, more important, the security oversight, which we maintain has always been very good, of airport security will be enhanced by this new agency, financed by this new charge.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Prime Minister. The government's position on prisoners in Afghanistan is not only legally indefensible but it is morally bankrupt.

If Canada is not prepared to allow prisoners that are captured to be executed, why is it that we are prepared to turn over those same prisoners to the United States to be tried before a military tribunal and by a majority vote to be sentenced to death? Is that not the ultimate in outsourcing of our moral obligations?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government of the United States has the same obligation as Canada to respect the Geneva convention and other international laws.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Question Period

January 29th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, when he was opposition critic the current minister of public works demanded that the RCMP investigate allegations of corruption, patronage and conflict of interest.

Similar allegations are now plaguing his government. Sweeping Alfonso out of cabinet and under the carpet does not hide the truth. Will the minister of public works take his own advice and request an RCMP investigation?