House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was resp.

Topics

Colombia
Oral Questions

November 28th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the human rights situation in Colombia is abysmal. According to Human Rights Watch, the Uribe administration is implicated in major drug trafficking scandals and there has been a marked increase in extra-judicial executions and assassinations of trade unionists.

In view of this terrible human rights record, why does the government wish to sign a free trade agreement with Uribe's Columbia knowing that even the U.S. Congress has refused to ratify the signing of such an agreement?

Colombia
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, a free trade agreement is currently being negotiated with Peru and Colombia. This accord will contain a parallel agreement in the area of workers' rights. Discussions are going very well with both countries. This will be one of the most robust free trade agreements we have ever negotiated.

Colombia
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is negotiating behind closed doors with Colombia to obtain a bilateral economic agreement. The Colombian government has one of the worst human rights records. This future agreement is being roundly criticized by human rights organizations because it would imply Canada's support for the Colombian government's abuses.

Will the government promise to not sign any free trade agreement with Colombia until this country provides guarantees that human rights will be respected?

Colombia
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the government believes that if we are going to pursue human rights, if we are going to pursue democracy, and if we are going to strengthen the governance and the democratic freedoms in a country like Colombia, we have to provide an economic basis that is legitimate, that is legal, and that takes the country out of the cycle of violence and poverty that it has been in.

That is what we are doing. We are working on trade. We are working across a series of initiatives that will help Colombia build capacity to have a healthy and strong democracy.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot pick and choose which Canadians it will defend when it comes to our citizens facing the death penalty abroad. The government continues to claim the law is clear, and it is. The charter says that Canadians have a right to life. The government is now facing a lawsuit over its sudden change in policy on the death penalty.

Will the Minister of Justice stand in this place and denounce the use of the death penalty in all cases?

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we indicated, I think very clearly over the last couple of weeks, the government's position on this matter, and inasmuch as the matter is now before the courts, I am sure she would understand that it would be inappropriate to comment.

Child Safety
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the father of three children, it is my duty to look out for their well-being. When purchasing products, all Canadians deserve to have confidence that what they buy will be safe for them and for their children. Parents want to know what their government is doing, what action it is taking to ensure our children's safety.

During the 13 long years of Liberal mismanagement, not once did the Liberals take action on this issue. Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health please let us know what the government is doing on behalf of our children?

Child Safety
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Parliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is in Beijing where he has met with China's minister of health. They have signed a memo of understanding on product safety. This will establish new mechanisms for information on issues such as regulatory requirements and testing procedures. The government is working to keep Canadian families safe. The government is getting the job done.

Darfur
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Darfur is again getting worse. In order for the UN peacekeeping mission to go ahead it needs helicopters. The UN Secretary General recently said the mission will be put at great risk if it does not receive the helicopters it needs.

Yesterday I asked government officials at committee if Canada would be providing helicopters for the new UN mission. The answer was no.

Could the minister tell the House and Canadians what the government is going to do for the new UN mission?

Darfur
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are working together with the African Union and with the UN forces to ensure that this country can find the path to peace and democracy. We are working on it. The negotiations began on October 27 and we were there to promote our common values of democracy and peace.

Darfur
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I asked a very specific question. Where is the money for the new UN mission? There is none. There is none on the books. The government is not giving any new money. We are asking for it. Canadians are asking for it. The world is asking for it.

Could the minister tell the House and Canadians why the government is not going to provide support for the new UN mission? That is the question. What is the answer?

Darfur
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we support the current activities in Africa. We are there with the other UN countries. We have a presence among the UN forces and we are working with the African Union forces to help that country find the path to democracy. That is what we are doing and we are proud of our work.

Darfur
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

That will bring to a conclusion the question period for today.

I remind all hon. members of the reception being hosted in room 216 if they wish to attend, the PH reception that the hon. member for North Vancouver and I are hosting and all are invited.

Statements by Members
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During statements by members, immediately before question period, I rose to speak on a very serious issue, and that is the issue of violence against women. I was interrupted by a total uproar in the House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker, we rely on you to keep order in both the House and in the gallery. I would like to know how this uproar was allowed to happen and I would also like to receive assurances that this kind of uproar will not be allowed to happen again.

I was talking about the horrendous issue of the so-called comfort women and the motion which will be before us momentarily. If we ever needed a graphic example of why these issues are ignored in our country and across the world, this House just gave a graphic example of that.

Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Mitchell, the past member for Vancouver East, stood in this House and raised the issue of wife assault, and she was laughed at.

The same experience happened in this House 25 years later and I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to ensure it never happens again.

Statements by Members
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam did get up. There was a round of applause in the House following the member's statement that had been made before, so I stood up and waited until it had subsided and then called on her. Thus, she got her full 60 seconds.

The hon. member says she wants me to stop uproars in the House. I do my best, but all we have to do is sit here through a Wednesday question period, as we have just done, and I think there were numerous uproars in the House throughout the time, despite my efforts to quell these disturbances.

I would appreciate the hon. member's assistance, and that of all her colleagues, in maintaining order in the House. I agree with her that maintaining order is important and I try to do it every time we are sitting, throughout the sitting, as do the Deputy Speakers, whose support I appreciate immensely on this.

The hon. NDP whip, on a point of order as well?