House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Project Red Ribbon
Statements By Members

November 15th, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, impaired driving is a crime that is 100% preventable. That is why on November 13 volunteers for Mothers Against Drunk Driving from my riding of Prince Edward—Hastings launched their 2007 red ribbon campaign.

Last year this Conservative government introduced Bill C-32, which provided police with the tools to detect drug impaired driving. This bill, now part of Bill C-2, the tackling violent crime act, whose legislative committee I am proud to be a part of, authorizes police officers to conduct a series of tests to determine if a driver is impaired by a drug or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

There is general agreement in this House and in this country that drug impaired driving represents a serious criminal justice, health and traffic safety issue in Canada. Drug users are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents and impaired driving is still the number one criminal cause of death in Canada.

This Christmas season and throughout the year, I urge all Canadians to display a red ribbon in an effort to stop impaired driving.

Family Violence Prevention Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, November is Family Violence Prevention Month.

Family violence is about power and control, not just conflict or anger.

In 1998, the Statistics Canada report entitled, “Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile” showed that women still outnumber men two to one as victims of spousal abuse. It also indicated that three times more women than men were killed by their spouse or partner.

Today I wish to acknowledge Crossroads for Women, a transition house in my riding, which has assisted more than 7,500 women and their children living with family violence over the past 26 years. Crossroads for Women also offers the second stage facility of eight safe and affordable units with services for women and their children who want to break the cycle of family violence and live in a violence-free environment.

Let us pause and reflect on concrete actions we can take in all of our communities to prevent and eliminate domestic violence affecting women and their children.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the Conservatives in power, the Bloc is trying in every way possible to justify its presence in Ottawa. Today the leader of the Bloc and his current heir apparent are accusing the Conservative government of reducing Quebec's weight in this House.

Is it not ironic to see the Bloc worry about Quebec's representation within Canadian institutions? The hon. member for Joliette said, and I quote, “We are not here to reform Canadian institutions. We want out.” While the hon. member for Saint-Jean said that the future is in the National Assembly, not in Ottawa.

Considering that party's raison d'être, the Bloc is simply being hypocritical and inconsistent.

The Bloc should tell the truth and acknowledge that if it were anything more than a think tank, Quebec's representation in the House of Commons would go from 75 members to none at all.

Contrary to the Bloc's objective, our government is protecting the number of seats Quebec has in the House of Commons, which will never be less than the current 75.

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have been calling for a full review of the use of tasers since 2004, shortly after their implication in the deaths of two people who lived in my riding of Vancouver East.

We learned yesterday that after only 30 seconds on the scene at the Vancouver airport, the RCMP tasered Mr. Dziekanski at least twice, with charges of 50,000 volts. Moments later, he was dead.

In too many instances, tasers are being used on the homeless, people with mental health problems or drug use problems and essentially the most marginalized people in our communities.

There are no clear national standards for the use of tasers and little understanding of their impact. Two more men died in Quebec after being tasered earlier this year. We cannot wait for one more victim before action is taken.

Until strict standards are in place, until we can know that tasers are safe and until we can be sure that tasers are being used properly, they should not be in use. We call for a full and comprehensive review of the use of tasers.

Committees of the House
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, as parliamentary committees attempted to resume their work yesterday, evidence of the Conservatives' 200 page obstruction manual surfaced in full force: stacking procedural committees with government members; reducing quorum to require only one opposition member; allowing political staff from parties to attend in camera meetings; and destroying transcripts after only one year instead of the traditional 30 year period.

These are just a few of the proposals put forward by the government in an attempt to delay and destroy the work of parliamentary committees.

I urge my parliamentary colleagues to remain vigilant to ensure that the essential work of committees can proceed. Colleagues, stand warned.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, since September something very distressing has been going on in the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Conservative members have been systematically stalling committee work since the introduction of a motion requiring that the questionable accounting practices of the Conservative Party during the last general election be examined by the committee, on camera, so that Quebeckers and Canadians can see for themselves that the Conservatives' grand promises of transparency and honesty were nothing but smoke and mirrors.

This has been going on meeting after meeting. All the Bloc Québécois is trying to do is understand why the Conservative Party is the only party in the House whose expense claims were investigated by Elections Canada.

If the Conservative members truly believe they have nothing to hide, they should stop stalling committee work so that we can get to the bottom of this rather troubling issue.

Airbus
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I, as do many Canadians, ask the Prime Minister to provide the public the full details of the cash that former prime minister Brian Mulroney received from Karlheinz Schreiber in 1993-94.

The public is demanding answers.

What was the money paid for? Why was it paid in cash? Why was it paid in hotel rooms? Why did Mr. Mulroney not pay taxes on the money until it was disclosed to the public later on? What was the purpose of the meeting in Zurich? Why did the Prime Minister not do anything when his office was notified in March of this year?

Until these answers are provided, there is a dark cloud over the government and over all government agencies and departments.

For example, Revenue Canada will have difficulty auditing other Canadians. How can it charge other Canadians? How can it penalize other Canadians? Canadians will use this excuse: “Give me the same deal that was given to Mulroney”.

I hope the Prime Minister, for the sake of the government and for the sake of this institution of Parliament, will ensure that Canadians are given these answers as soon as absolutely possible.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, in recent years a growing number of Canadians have come to realize that the Liberal Party does not actually stand for anything, but who would have guessed that this fall it would turn “not standing” into its defining characteristic?

First the Liberals abstained from the Speech from the Throne. Next they abstained from the ways and means motion to reduce the GST to five per cent. Yesterday they extended their abstention strategy beyond just confidence votes to abstain on a Bloc opposition day motion.

Where I come from, there is a commonly shared principle that if one does not vote one cannot complain. I know the whole concept of principles is not really high on the Liberal Party's priority list and that the whole priorities thing does not come easily to the Liberal leader, but until the Liberals develop a list of priorities that they can stand up for one way or another, perhaps they should offer up their official opposition status to a party that actually knows what it believes.

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants to limit the political fallout from the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, so he prevents Dr. Johnston from investigating the behaviour of the Conservative government over the last 22 months.

The terms of reference for Dr. Johnston include only specific financial dealings between Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Schreiber. They do not include any negligence, wilful blindness, interference, invasion or concealment by the Prime Minister, his office, his ministers or Conservative insiders.

Why did the Prime Minister exempt himself from this investigation?

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we did no such thing. Mr. Johnston is free to propose any terms of reference that are in any way connected with the events in question.

Canadians understand that the events in question occurred between 10 and 20 years ago. These are rather pathetic attempts by the opposition to link them to this government.

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is not Dr. Johnston's credibility that is at stake here; it is the Prime Minister's.

Dr. Johnston has been hired to look only at Mulroney-Schreiber financial dealings, nothing more. He cannot examine Privy Council officials or political staff about the paper trail into the Prime Minister 's Office. That would be beyond his mandate. He cannot find out who ordered the justice department to stop a fresh investigation, which the department began last year, because that would be beyond his mandate.

What is the government so afraid that he will find?

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, Professor Johnston can recommend any terms of reference that are in any way related to the affairs at hand.

I would not say the only person's credibility, but one of the people's credibility who is very much in question this week is the member for Wascana, who actually suggested that the government would break the law and release private tax records.

When we hear that kind of recommendation, we understand why the previous government had to pay out $2.1 million in taxpayer money.

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the question was whether Mr. Mulroney complied with the law.

The Mulroney-Schreiber issue reignited in the media only days after the government came into power. There are damning letters in the Prime Minister's Office, but the paper trail is hidden.

Ministers deliberately refused to be briefed. A justice department review was started and then suddenly stopped. Some ministers consult Mr. Mulroney daily. He has numerous personal encounters with the Prime Minister. Was Mr. Schreiber ever discussed?

Will the Prime Minister change the mandate to include specifically whether the government was involved in a cover-up?

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all the allegations made by the member for Wascana are completely baseless. They are complete fabrications.

All they are is designed to try to prove that other people are just as corrupt as the Liberal Party of Canada. I am afraid the Liberal Party of Canada has the trademark on corruption.

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that by not asking Mr. Johnston to investigate the actions of the current government, the Prime Minister is trying to do some damage control. His government's actions with respect to this issue have been questionable.

The Prime Minister admitted to having met with Brian Mulroney at Harrington Lake in the summer of 2006, as Mr. Schreiber indicated. However, we still do not know whether they talked about Mr. Schreiber. Mr. Johnston's terms of reference do not allow him to investigate that.

What is the Prime Minister trying to hide from Canadians?