House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know that it is very difficult to predict an act of insanity and that the gun registry is not a cure-all that will prevent violence in our society. But the public health association, the suicide prevention centre and the police all recognize that there has been a marked reduction in thefts, suicides and homicides involving firearms.

Why does the minority government not recognize that this registry is valuable, even if it saves just one life?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General said that there was a great deal of waste in the system: nearly a billion dollars. We will have a more efficient system. We will have more officers on the street in our communities, across the country. And we will have programs that can prevent tragedies such as these.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

September 18th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has decided to address the United Nations General Assembly instead of the House of Commons to present his vision for Canadian foreign policy. And yet, he heavily criticized his predecessor, who also announced his decisions outside the House of Commons.

Does the Prime Minister not have a duty to present his foreign policy to the House of Commons and the public first, including his view on the Afghanistan mission, the Darfur crisis, the WTO negotiations, UN reform and multilateralism?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the leader of the Bloc Québécois was when I addressed a number of these issues in the spring. This week is the annual week at the UN when government leaders arrive to talk about their concerns on matters of foreign policy. I plan to be there to defend the values of this government and of Canadians, including such values as democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have time to hold an emergency debate on this issue before Thursday.

The Prime Minister presented an overview of his foreign policy for the first time, not here but in London, England, on July 14, and those aspects of Canadian foreign policy for the most part fall into line with the foreign policies of the United States, Australia and Great Britain.

Is the Prime Minister not just moving away from the United Nations multilateral framework and into an alliance of countries that have broken from this framework, in particular on Iraq?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc should wait for my speech at the United Nations on Thursday to hear what I have to say.

Nonetheless, this summer I heard the leader of the Bloc say that our foreign policy is my policy and that of George Bush. But now that we have a very important foreign policy agreement on softwood lumber: it is mine, that of George Bush and of Gilles Duceppe.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sure the Prime Minister meant to say the hon. leader of the Bloc Québécois or the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie. I believe that was the very name.

The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government recently announced that it will deploy another 200 soldiers to join the troops already in Afghanistan.

Since the government has already authorized extending the mission in Afghanistan without giving us any information, we would like to know, today, if this new contingent is a one-time addition or if it is the first of what may turn out to be many.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to offer my condolences to the military families and their friends relating to the four casualties we had last night. It is a very sad event for the military.

In response to the question, the military made an assessment that it needed additional infantry and armour and engineers to fulfill its requirements in the area to provide better security for both our reconstruction effort and for our security forces. We have provided the military with what it needed.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past two weeks, the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that Canada was doing more than its share in Afghanistan. Now, all of a sudden, the government has decided to increase its commitment.

Can the Prime Minister explain why he is sending 200 more soldiers when the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have said that Canada is already doing its part? What changed for this to happen so suddenly?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these are two separate issues. One is that our troops on the ground said that they needed some improvements to improve their security, and we have done that. Quite separately, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are approaching NATO to encourage NATO countries to provide more resources to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear to Canadians that the government simply does not know what it is doing in Afghanistan.

First we were told that it would be a two year commitment, maximum; now we are being told it is a five year commitment, minimum. First we were told we had sent enough troops; now we are sending hundreds more. First we were told no tanks would be needed; now we are sending tanks. We were told that there would be no discussion with the combatants and now we learn that senior military officials were in discussions with the Taliban already.

Do our troops not deserve better than to have policy made up on the fly, copycat of U.S. foreign policy?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House will know that today in Afghanistan four Canadian servicemen were killed. Obviously, whenever we lose one of the fine men and women of our Canadian Forces, members on all sides of the House feel a great deal of sadness and also respect and honour for the sacrifice that the forces are willing to make for their country and for their fellow human beings. The circumstances of today's deaths, where our servicemen were in the process of distributing some candy to some children in a village and were killed by a suicide bomber when doing this, nothing more than this incident illustrates the evil that they are fighting and the goodwill and the nobleness of the cause that they are taking to the Afghan people.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the greatest respect that we can show for our soldiers serving abroad, and they are brave and they are courageous because they are doing what our country asked them to do, is to consider very carefully what we are asking them to do. Let me draw the House's attention to what Captain Leo Docherty, former aide-de-camp to the commander of British forces in Helmand province said on Monday. He said that the NATO-led mission is “a textbook case of how to screw up a counter-insurgency....We've been grotesquely clumsy...and sucked into a problem unsolvable by military means”.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his Minister of National Defence when he said that this mission cannot be won by military means?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it has been clear from the beginning that the United Nations effort in Afghanistan requires a multifaceted approach, not just security operations to end the remnants of the Taliban regime and its presence in the country, but also development work and diplomatic work, a whole range of skills of governance building to ensure that country moves forward as a peaceful and democratic society that does not ever again present a threat of terror either to the world or even to its own citizens.

What the men and women in uniform require is a Parliament of all parties that believes in what they are doing and sticks behind their actions.