House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Frank McKenna was not mistaken yesterday in saying that Canada did not have to take any further action for the missile defence shield since the amendments were made to Norad.

Does the government intend to provide us with information on these amendments to Norad and tell us exactly what this means for Canada? We need this interpretation. Once we have this information, perhaps everyone will be able to understand what Frank McKenna said. We need the government's interpretation of the Norad amendment.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister read the press release we issued on August 5. This release was extremely clear on what the Norad amendment allowed in terms of sharing information. In that same release, we very clearly established that, regardless of this sharing of information, which was the reason for the amendment to Norad, Canada would one day make its decision on the missile defence shield.

That is exactly what we said quite openly, totally transparently, in the government's August 5 press release.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, totally transparently, the Canadian ambassador to the United States said the exact opposite of what the minister is now telling us.

If, against all expectations, Canada's involvement in the missile defence shield is limited to Norad, will the Prime Minister commit to tabling in the House all information about the true nature of amendments made to Norad, once and for all?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have here the press release of November 5, and, with the House's leave, I would be pleased to table it. May I have the leave of the House to table this document?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Right Hon. Prime Minister does not require unanimous consent to table a document. He can do so whenever he pleases. The document is therefore tabled.

The hon. member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Canadian Tourism Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the latest election campaign, the Liberal MPs from British Columbia promised that the Canadian Tourism Commission would be set up in B.C.

Can the Minister of Industry confirm that the commission's headquarters will remain in the Ottawa area?

Canadian Tourism Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think if you look at the numbers you will find that there has been an increasing percentage of federal government employees in the Ottawa area over the last 10 years. I am one of the members of the House who thinks that it has probably gone too far, that Ottawa is not Canada and we need more Canadian public servants outside of Ottawa.

Canadian Tourism Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Industry agree that there is no valid reason, for either the commission or the tourism industry, for the move to the west coast, other than strictly political considerations, as the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada has rightly pointed out?

Canadian Tourism Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think there are powerful logical reasons, powerful public policy reasons, and service delivery efficiency reasons to get more institutions out of Ottawa.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

February 23rd, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is no dithering with Frank McKenna. According to Canada's ambassador to the United States, it is a done deal. Canada has signed on to the U.S. missile defence plan.

In the throne speech the Prime Minister promised a full and open debate on the issue of ballistic missile defence followed by a vote in the House of Commons. Why has the Prime Minister reneged on that promise?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition correctly stated yesterday, “All parties in the House agreed that there would be a vote before we became part of missile defence”.

Should the government have an agreement to bring forward, we will respect our commitment, hold a debate and have a vote.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are asking what is this Prime Minister's word worth? On numerous occasions and in one very public forum, a CBC Town Hall , the Prime Minister promised that there would certainly be debate, a national debate, before any final agreement was signed on ballistic missile defence.

Why has he misled Canadians again?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I hope you take into account some of the words that the hon. member is using in your ruling.

Should the government have an agreement to bring forward, we will respect our commitment, which is to hold a debate and to have a vote.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when referring to the missile defence system, Canada's next ambassador to the U.S. clearly stated:

We're part of it now and the question is what more do we need?

Then the defence minister told us we are already involved because of our commitment to Norad.

Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians what benefit we can now expect to receive from his backdoor deal on missile defence after the disastrous way he has been dealing with it?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the benefit we will get out of entering into a Norad agreement is the benefit of participating with our strongest ally in understanding the threats to North America and doing what this government has always done, which is to be a loyal partner in the defence of North America, working with the Americans and ensuring that.

That is not the same as bringing forward an agreement respecting a different ballistic missile defence system. As the House leader has said, in the event of an agreement, of course the House will discuss it and of course we can have a vote.

The principal reason is we are loyal allies with the United States and will remain so in spite of the opposition's effort to divide us.