House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriage.

Topics

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has not accepted responsibility. On November 2, more than a month before Commissioner Zaccardelli testified again before committee, a letter was written to the government. In this letter from the commissioner, he outlines in clear detail the shocking reversal he was going to make public a month later. That is one month, not hours.

One month ago the government knew everything but did nothing until forced, nothing but continued statements of unconditional support for the commissioner it was bound to protect. Why did the government do nothing when it knew everything one month ago?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the so-called mystery letter, which has been widely publicized and very public, was sent to all members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety. As I understand it, it was a request from the commissioner to come to the committee to talk about the issues with which he had to deal. It is hardly a mystery.

Again, the only mystery that remains is why those folks across the way, when they were in government, refused to deal with it. Why did they let somebody languish in prison and never call in the authorities to ask what had happened? That is the question.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will table this letter. The letter will show that the government did know.

On September 28, I asked for the commissioner's resignation. I asked questions about the contradictions. The government members did not.

The Prime Minister said in question period yesterday, and repeated it today, “the government is surprised and concerned by the change of testimony” that occurred yesterday. It was an act. The letter of November 2 made it clear the commissioner had changed his testimony and the Prime Minister had known for a month.

All the mock surprise in the world cannot hide the fact that for one month the Prime Minister and the minister knew it all, yet they did nothing.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the previous regime did nothing on this file. As soon as we got the O'Connor report, we accepted all 23 recommendations. We made sure that Mr. Arar and his family name was cleared in terms of travelling across the border points. We made sure that discussions were going on right away in terms of a settlement.

We took action on all these. Apparently, the only person in the assembly here in the chamber who knew it all is the member asking the questions. If he knew it all, why did he not raise these issues a month ago?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has just woken up to the contradictory testimony by Commissioner Zaccardelli before the Standing Committee on Public Safety. It is a little late in the game.

As early as September 28, he acknowledged that he had done nothing to stop the suffering of an innocent man, whom he believed to be innocent and whose incarceration in squalid prisons, where he was tortured, was probably due to misinformation the commissioner's subordinates had given to American security services.

Why did the government not demand his resignation then?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

I am trying to work the question through, Mr. Speaker. The commissioner has submitted a letter of resignation. That has already taken place.

The questions posed by my friend, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, are good ones. They are some of the ones that we have raised ourselves. I appreciate his input on that committee. I think he will also recognize that when Justice O'Connor tabled the report, we took immediate action.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is more. All the ministers who handled the Arar affair have said that the commissioner did not inform them of the error his subordinates had made. They have all said that this information could have helped the government in its decision making. I believe that, too.

How could the minister have confidence in an official who hid essential information from the minister he reported to? Did the minister want to send the message that he prefers to be kept in the dark, or does he have another reason that he would like to conceal from us?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether my friend, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, was here a few minutes ago, when the Prime Minister read a letter stating that the commissioner had resigned. He no longer holds that position.

The member asked good questions, because it is true that former ministers never asked the commissioner or other officials questions. Why? Those are good questions.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

December 6th, 2006 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when we were questioning the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women about cuts to Status of Women's administration budget, she said, and I quote: "—money saved in administration is going...to help women in the community. For greater clarity, that means an additional $5 million allocated to projects for women".

We do not believe the minister was telling the truth because the budgets for women's programs have not increased. If she really did add $5 million, can she tell us where she put it? Perhaps she can tell us which programs she hid the money in.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, she is quite correct.

An additional $5 million will be going directly to women.

We have $10.8 million in the women's program. There is $5 million at Status of Women no longer being used for administrative purposes and is available now directly for women's groups. That is $5 million for women at Status of Women to help organizations help women directly in the community.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the day of remembrance for the École Polytechnique tragedy and a day of action on violence against women.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women promise not to take the senseless step of cutting Status of Women's research branch and its independent research fund?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we will utilize the money in a way that will help women. We know the facts. In fact, conditional sentences are used in sexual assault cases more often than in any other cases of violent crime. That is why this government put forward legislation to put an end to conditional sentences for sexual offenders.

This is a time to remember, but this is also a time for action. We ask members in this House to support us and act on behalf of all women. We have $5 million more available, action and resources now available.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, 17 years ago, on December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine killed 14 women at École Polytechnique. In 1995, the Liberal government adopted legislation to create the firearms registry. The Conservative government, led by its extreme right-wing ideology, decided to do away with that registry.

Why does this government refuse to listen to the families and loved ones of the victims of this tragic event, which we will never forget?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I fully agree with my hon. colleague regarding the sentiment felt today, on this truly very sad anniversary. Nevertheless, I do not agree with her remarks concerning the firearms registry. That registry still exists. We are going to strengthen the registry and establish a more effective system. It is not true that we abandoned the registry. It still exists.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the measures taken concerning the firearms registry by this minority government, with its extreme right-wing ideology, are likely to make the registry obsolete within a few years. Its decision regarding the firearms registry goes against Canadian values.

Nancy Burrows, of the Fédération des femmes du Québec, is calling on this government to reverse its decision. She said that the registry had considerably reduced the number of violent crimes committed against women.

Will the Prime Minister, who still refuses to meet with Hayder Kadhim, finally listen to these requests?