House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

The Governor General
Statements By Members

September 25th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, there were many developments last week following the publication of The Globe and Mail article, but nothing could have prepared us for the surprising statement by the Governor General to mark the first anniversary of her installation. This weekend, Ms. Jean stated, among other things, that it was time for Quebeckers to stop looking for what makes them distinct.

The Bloc Québécois will not stop explaining why Quebeckers form a distinct society in Canada. We will continue to do so because our values, our culture, our way of doing things are distinct. For the Governor General, as the representative of the British monarchy — and not elected for that matter — to preach to Quebec goes well beyond her mandate. If she feels like taking up politics, then she should run for office, get elected and only then will we be interested in having a debate with her.

Darfur
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to the escalating crisis in Darfur and I call on the government to take immediate action toward stopping the genocide.

More than a quarter of a million civilians have been murdered, thousands of women and young girls raped, and millions forced from their homes. As the United Nations has clearly stated, it is “the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world today”.

Last month, the Sudanese government rejected the UN resolution to send UN peacekeepers to the region to stop this carnage. It is clear that Khartoum has absolutely no intention of stopping the continual atrocities. At a rally I recently attended with Senator Roméo Dallaire, he said Darfur will become another Rwanda if action is not taken now.

The government needs to take a leadership role, together with the UN, immediately imposing sanctions against those responsible for the genocide. Canada must deliver on our initiative, the responsibility to protect. Lip service here at home is just not good enough.

Western Provinces
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, for years the relationship looked to be nearing an end. With all that cheating, lying and verbal abuse, the western provinces were ready to pack their bags and leave.

Under the leadership of the previous Liberal government, the western provinces had been forced to consider the only option that seemed left: permanent separation. There had been good years, oh yes, and there had been good times, no doubt, but they were only a memory now.

Remaining in a union with such a dishonest and disrespectful partner seemed to be unreasonable, but on January 23 everything changed. Under the leadership of the new Prime Minister, Canada's new Conservative government engaged in a positive relationship with all regions of Canada, including the west. This relationship is characterized by honesty, respect, good communication and trust.

Just eight short months ago, 36% of western residents were ready to pull out and pull the plug. Today, far fewer want to separate.

We know that every damaged relationship takes time to rebuild trust, but we know that this government and this Prime Minister are committed to rebuilding and maintaining a strong, united Canada, one that includes the west.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since the Prime Minister took office Canadians have become increasingly concerned about the PMO's obsessive control of government communications. Today we have reached a new low, where that approach is affecting the ability of Canadians to understand an issue of fundamental importance.

The former RCMP commissioner, Norman Inkster, said yesterday that the current commissioner, like so many other ministers and deputy ministers under the Conservative government, has been constrained from speaking to the public. Why is the Prime Minister at this time deliberately muzzling an important official of the government, the RCMP commissioner?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is obviously doing no such thing. In fact, Commissioner Zaccardelli, I gather, will appear before a Commons committee to answer questions this week.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this government--

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

An hon. member

This new government.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Toronto Centre, ON

This new government--

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Toronto Centre, ON

--has a bad case of new muzzlemania.

The former commissioner of the RCMP also said that it displayed a pattern of behaviour by the government of preventing people who have the facts from speaking out on them in public.

Does the Prime Minister not recognize that he is undermining our democracy when he silences officials like the head of the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no such silencing has taken place. In fact, I would encourage the hon. member and his colleagues to attend the Commons committee on public security hearings later this week when they can ask Commissioner Zaccardelli any questions they want.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in this government, the Prime Minister has silenced his Minister of Public Safety; the Minister of Public Safety has silenced the Commissioner of the RCMP, and so on. This is definitely something new for our system.

When will the government stop muzzling the Commissioner of the RCMP and allow government officials to speak freely to the media?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is just another example of speculation on the part of the Leader of the Opposition that is equally false in English and French.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this minority Conservative government is engaging in political interference concerning the Commissioner of the RCMP. Police officers, the former Commissioner of the RCMP, and the former chair of the commission for public complaints against the RCMP all agree that the Commissioner is not the kind of man to remain silent.

Will the Prime Minister, who has a habit of controlling information, tell us why he is preventing Commissioner Zaccardelli from speaking and immediately explaining himself to Canadians?