House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bank.

Topics

400th Anniversary of Quebec City
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2008, Quebeckers will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. As North America's first francophone city, it is the birthplace of French America and the seat of the Quebec nation.

The mayor of Quebec City, Andrée Boucher, is here today to draw attention to the magnitude of this event. Governments from around the world, including the City of Bordeaux and the Government of France itself, have confirmed that they will participate.

The Bloc Québécois is working to ensure the success of the celebration. Several projects have yet to be completed. We will ensure that the federal government fulfills all of its responsibilities.

The Quebec bridge, PEPS stadium and various heritage sites under Parks Canada's jurisdiction are among our priorities.

We wish the provincial commissioner and the president of the Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec all the best for a successful event.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a Muslim Bangladesh journalist and editor of a daily Bangladesh publication, is standing trial on charges of treason, sedition and blasphemy for promoting Muslim, Christian and Jewish dialogue, peace with Israel and seeking to attend a conference in Israel for the promotion of peace.

Mr. Choudhury has also been personally beaten, his life threatened and his office vandalized while none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice and a former Bangladesh home minister has indicated that there is no basis for the charges.

As counsel for Mr. Choudhury and as one who, while as minister of justice, was engaged in a joint Canada-Bangladesh rule of law project, I call upon the Bangladesh authorities to respect the rule of law, to review and, as appears just and appropriate, to drop the charges while working to apprehend those who have violated Mr. Choudhury's rights.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, a historic event occurred three years ago today. What skeptics said was impossible came to fruition. Led by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and our Prime Minister, the Canadian Alliance joined forces with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

Much has been accomplished in three years. In June 2004 a massive Liberal majority was reduced to a minority. In January of this year, Canadians from coast to coast to coast cheered as the Conservative Party of Canada became Canada's new government.

The future looks strong for our country and our party, as we are one election away from forming a majority that will benefit all Canadians. While we are still cleaning up Liberal corruption, Canada is better off knowing that Liberals no longer control the country's purse strings.

On behalf of Conservatives across the country, I thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for their courageous actions three years ago today. Our party is better off and, more important, our country is better off.

New Member
Routine Proceedings

December 7th, 2006 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Glen Pearson, member for the electoral district of London North Centre.

Glen Pearson, member for the electoral district of London North Centre, introduced by the Hon. Stéphane Dion and the Hon. Karen Redman.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said, “I became aware of the differences in the story when everybody else did”, but the facts tell a different story. The commissioner admitted today that he told the public safety minister, after his first appearance in September, that he needed to change his testimony.

Now that the facts contradict him, is the Prime Minister ready, just like Mr. Zaccardelli, to change his story?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Of course not, Mr. Speaker. That is not what the commissioner said.

In any case, I think the House is well aware of the fact that the Commissioner of the RCMP tendered his resignation after some consideration. It was the honourable thing to do. We accept that resignation and thank him for his service to the RCMP and to the country. I would note the commissioner said that he had no political interference in this matter.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the excuse of political interference does not hold water because, since the first testimony in September, the minister and the commissioner worked together to prepare the testimony. Thus, there was no political interference at that time any more than there was today.

The facts do not add up. The Minister of Public Safety was informed that the commissioner's testimony was going to change. The Prime Minister's chief policy adviser was told that the testimony was going to change.

Is the Prime Minister finally ready to do as Mr. Zaccardelli did and change his version of the facts as well?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition are completely false. This government did not meddle in the affairs of the RCMP like the previous Liberal government tried to do. Our government did not do that. We did not interfere in the RCMP commissioner's testimony. The commissioner said so himself.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister and the commissioner worked very closely together on the commissioner's testimony. The Prime Minister must surely have known about it.

Canadian Press reported today that three senior ministers, including the Minister of Public Safety, pleaded with the Prime Minister to fire the RCMP commissioner months ago, but the Prime Minister refused.

Could the Prime Minister explain to Canadians why he rejected the advice of these ministers and what did these ministers know at that time to warrant their intervention? Is the Prime Minister ready, like Mr. Zaccardelli, to change his story, yes or no?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, one can only imagine the howls of outrage from the opposition if the Prime Minister had politically intervened and fired the Commissioner of the RCMP before he even testified at a parliamentary committee. Could you imagine, Mr. Speaker?

Instead of these ridiculous rumours, what we do know for a fact is that the member for Malpeque, a former solicitor general, wanted to fire the Commissioner of the RCMP because he allowed the RCMP to criminally investigate the Liberals' actions in the sponsorship affair. This is the kind of dangerous political interference for which that party stands.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner should have been fired on September 28 and the Prime Minister knows it.

Today in committee the public safety minister refused to answer a very simple question I asked him four times. The question was this. Did the minister urge the Prime Minister to have the RCMP commissioner released or fired this fall? There was no response from the minister.

Canadian Press reports that the public safety minister, the foreign affairs minister and the justice minister each privately called for the commissioner to be let go some time this fall. Will the public safety minister now answer the question? Did he push the Prime Minister to release the commissioner this fall, yes or no?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the newly elected member from the London area wants to get a lesson in the way not to pursue a question, he just got one over there. The member opposite failed to say what I did say.

There was a response. Therefore, what everyone just heard was inaccurate. I did respond. I asked the member to continue reading from the newspaper article, which was his secret source, about the particular story because my quote was very clear. I said that the story was utter fabrication. When he was just asked on the news what his secret source was, he had to cough up and say, “Oh, I guess it was that newspaper article”.

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only source on this issue is Sandra Buckler, who is part of the Prime Minister's spin machine. That is the only response that has been given.

This is a very easy question. Either the minister challenged the Prime Minister's unyielding desire to protect the commissioner or he did not. This minister has never responded. I want an answer from the minister right now, right here, on the public record. Did the minister push the Prime Minister to release or fire the RCMP commissioner at any time prior to last Monday, yes or no? Why is he afraid to answer?

RCMP Commissioner
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, while responding to Perry Mason, I mean to the member opposite, Mr. Speaker, I said that was utter fabrication, but the question that keeps coming to my mind is, why do this member and some of his colleagues continue to pursue these little notions, conspiracies and secret letters that the whole world had?

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that as soon as we got Justice O'Connor's report about the mess that the previous government had handled, we accepted all 23 recommendations immediately while their government did nothing. I wonder if that is what they are actually trying to hide.