House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was competition.

Topics

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

February 25th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, there were reports today that the murder of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal reporter who was brutally slain by his al-Qaeda captors, may have been planned or directed from Canada. One of the suspected murderers may have received his orders to kidnap and kill Pearl in calls made from Pakistan to Canada.

It seems that the government's post-September 11 efforts have been for nothing. How can the government repeatedly assure Canadians that terrorists are not operating from within this country when the killers of Daniel Pearl may have received their marching orders from the al-Qaeda masters here in Canada?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague certainly is well aware that I am not going to comment on any investigation.

He is also well aware that we have a very efficient RCMP and security intelligence agency. He is aware that they deal with their counterparts around the world. They will all make sure that these individuals who should be brought to justice will be brought to justice.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government has been warned repeatedly. Even CSIS has told the government that terrorist networks are operating within this country. The Ressam case made it clear that terrorists are operating here.

Last week we learned that the RCMP intelligence section was not even talking to its CSIS counterparts and has not been doing so the whole time the Liberal government has been in power. Now the murder of Daniel Pearl may have been planned or directed from this country.

How can the government possibly assure Canadians that it has not dropped the ball on the war against terror at home when it appears that the murder of Daniel Pearl may be tied to terrorists operating in Canada?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that my hon. colleague would use so much speculation. The fact is that what he has commented on is a report from CSIS and the RCMP that is two or three years old.

I met with the commissioner of the RCMP today. He indicated to me that CSIS and the RCMP co-operate very well. They also co-operate with other agencies around the world.

We are not in this place to play games. We are here to make sure that the safety of Canadians and citizens around the world is preserved and we will do that.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Liberals made a formal promise to Quebec of $3.5 billion for roads.

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister is refusing to respond in any way to our questions. The people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, Montérégie, Bas-du-Fleuve and the Outaouais have had it up to here with the Liberal government's unkept promises.

How much money are they going to put on the table to make good their promises? That is what we want to know .

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the people of Lac-Saint-Jean and Chicoutimi have been promised for the last—

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

25 years.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

—25 years, by the former member for Jonquière, that there would be roads. Now that they have a Liberal MP, there is hope.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Roberval.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Prime Minister that the same member was there between 1984 and 1993, with zero results. However, that was before he changed political hats.

Might I just remind the Prime Minister that his ministers, the ministers of justice and of immigration, along with the members for Chicoutimi--Le Fjord and Beauharnois--Salaberry, have made formal commitments, which were featured in campaign literature.

What we want to know now is how much cash there is on the table. That is what we want to know.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yes, the hon. member was previously a Conservative MP. There was also a certain Mr. Bouchard, who was a Conservative MP and then become Premier of Quebec, and he never did a single thing about the highway between Chicoutimi and Quebec City.

That hon. member had the right idea, however; he opted for the Liberals and now the region has some hope again.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently insulted those of us who have been calling for a strengthening of investment in defence as “a bunch of guys who are lobbyists who are representing those who sell armaments”.

The Prime Minister's comments are an insult. They are an insult to the majority of Canadians who want us to be able to stand up for ourselves in the world. They are an insult to the men and women of the Canadian forces both past and present.

Commander Mike Jeffery has said that this government is “driving our personnel into the ground”.

Will the minister dismiss this distinguished Canadian's comments as those of just a lobbyist, or is the general right?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the general has pointed out that there are indeed some challenges for the army. The government recognizes this.

The government has ensured that in any of the deployment overseas our men and women have the tools they need to do the job. We have increased the defence budget for the last four years. We have $5 billion more coming in the next five years. We now rank sixth in NATO in terms of defence expenditures.

Most important is what the men and women of the Canadian forces with the support of the government have been able to produce. We have the third largest force on the ground in Afghanistan. We are playing a very meaningful role.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

More government spin, Mr. Speaker.

Here is what Canadian forces people are saying. Major General Ed Fitch has said that the army is on starvation rations. Brigadier General Ivan Fenton has said that the army is very overstretched due to benign neglect. The commander of our army, General Mike Jeffery, said on Friday that the army is living on borrowed time.

We ask a lot of our Canadian troops. When will the government start to show some respect for them? Serving Canadian military officers rarely speak out against the decisions of their political masters. Why are they speaking out now?