House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber companies are asking us to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Their money is there: $5.3 billion is dormant in the United States and the previous government is to blame.

We will correct the situation and act according to the demands of the industry and in the interest of Canadians.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 11th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night we had a debate on Afghanistan and a number of questions were asked, questions about the goals and the nature of the mission, questions about the command structure, about the way we would measure progress, about a definition of success, and about an exit strategy.

The problem was that we did not get answers to these questions. Can the Prime Minister tell us when will Canadians get answers to these fundamental questions about our mission in Afghanistan or will he leave us in the dark as the Liberal Party did before him?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we know why we are in Afghanistan. We are in Afghanistan as part of a global effort to fight terrorism and to protect ourselves from both terrorism and the drug trade.

We are also in Kandahar province providing international leadership to these efforts. We are bringing democracy and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. We are assisting the Afghan forces with the building of security in their own country. We are going to be there until we succeed in these goals.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, apparently we are not going to get answers to the very questions that were asked by the Minister of National Defence when he was in the opposition benches.

Let me ask the Minister of National Defence because perhaps now he is prepared to finally give us some answers. What is the command and control structure? What are the criteria for success? What will be the definition of progress and how is it going to be reported back to the Canadian people? What is the exit strategy?

Will the minister give us these answers or will we continue to face the obfuscation that we heard last night and once again here today?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have the answer to all those questions but 35 seconds kind of limits me. We have an integrated command structure from NDHQ all the way to a private on the ground. We have set the goals for what we have to achieve. We know what the allies are doing. We have the robust rules. We have the policies. We have everything we need to be effective in Kandahar, so within 35 second I cannot do more than that.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the media have exposed the obvious conflicts of interest of the Minister of National Defence on his procurement files involving his former clients. The minister says we should trust him because he complies with the conflict of interest code by, thank God, not owning any shares in defence companies.

The question is not if, but when will the minister step aside from these files?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that question is rather ridiculous. We have raised the bar when it comes to ethical conduct. We have raised the bar for the first time in Canadian history by enshrining into legislation a real conflict of interest law in the country.

We are also expanding the capacity of the individual who will be able to oversee this law for both the House and the Senate. That individual will be someone with judicial or quasi-judicial experience.

I have every confidence that the defence minister will continue to follow all of the code and then once again will follow the law when it is enshrined by the House.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the same day that the Prime Minister is tabling his selective accountability act, he refuses to accept that he made a mistake in appointing a lobbyist as Minister of National Defence.

Will the Prime Minister live up to his own standards and order the minister to step aside from these defence procurement files?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, this member and others keep repeating that ridiculous allegation. Here is something else they should keep repeating. The Minister of National Defence is somebody who has dedicated his life to the best interests of this country and that should be applauded by everyone across this country.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, in his speech on the selective accountability act, the Prime Minister stated, “Politics will no longer be a stepping stone to a lucrative career lobbying government”.

I am glad to hear the enthusiasm over there for this important principle. Given this enthusiasm, could the Prime Minister please explain why he thinks that recently departed senior Conservative MPs and their staff should not also be banned from lobbying?

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this morning the government tabled the most comprehensive reforms to regain the public trust that was so egregiously violated by the Liberal Party in its 13 years in office. We are bringing in substantial reforms for the first time to have a five year cooling off period for anyone who works in the executive branch, whether they be ministers, ministerial staffers or senior governmental officials. We will ensure that the only motivation governing the people in those positions is the public interest and not wanting to further their own private interests.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, those are noble words from the minister of selective accountability.

Let us look at the selective nature of what is being proposed. Dozens of Conservatives' ex-staff have relationships of influence with cabinet ministers and even the Prime Minister, and are lining up as lobbyists. The Prime Minister's former policy chief is a lobbyist whose client list includes major communications, energy and investment companies, each of which is currently making representations to the government on the development of key legislation.

Does the Prime Minister think that this is appropriate?

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what is appropriate is that we fulfill our election commitments by ensuring that everybody respects the Lobbyists Registration Act and that we put real teeth in it. That is what we have done.

If the party opposite wants to suggest that every member of Parliament, not just government ministers, should be covered by the Lobbyists Registration Act and cooling off periods, they can propose that and, frankly, they can apply it to all the Liberals who are out there working in lobbying firms out of their government.

UNESCO
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, during his election campaign the Prime Minister made a major promise to Quebec that it would have a place in UNESCO similar to the one it had during the summit of the Francophonie.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs agree that Quebec is entitled to speak at UNESCO as it is at the summit of the Francophonie?

UNESCO
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the minister, Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay, and I are discussing the details of Quebec's role at UNESCO. We expect to reach an agreement quickly.