House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Security Certificate Detainees
Oral Questions

February 15th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not recognize the importance of the independent judicial system in this country.

We saw today what an independent judge does. He ordered the humanitarian release of one of the three Kingston hunger strikers. I do not expect the Minister of Public Safety to comment on the specifics of this case, but I do expect him to act responsibly.

An independent judge has made a determination that all people in this country should be held humanely. Will the minister set in place policy that will ensure that individuals confined under security certificates be treated humanely?

Security Certificate Detainees
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the security certificate process as introduced by the Liberals and supported by us has been held up a number of times by the Federal Court of Appeal. When people are detained it is under the most humane of circumstances and also in this case.

I will comment specifically because the judge has recognized that this individual is a person who is a security risk. That is why the judge has put 24 conditions on the individual's release, including being monitored by an electronic bracelet and he will not be released until he has agreed to all 24 of those conditions.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard the voice of democracy; democracy has spoken. The government will now be forced to take concrete action so that Canada can meet its commitments to the Kyoto protocol. The government does not have the choice. It can no longer say one thing and do another. Either it complies with the law, or it decides to waste the taxpayers’ money to defend itself in court.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to break the law, as his Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and his Minister of the Environment suggest? Is he above the law?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, obviously the bill passed by the House yesterday has to get through the Senate. And the Senate’s debates never move very quickly.

I will also give some other quotes. Tom Oleson of the Winnipeg Free Press said about the Liberal private member's bill, “The cynicism and hypocrisy of this is staggering”, and I agree.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the Minister that he will need more than a green tie and green underpants to convince us of his sincerity.

I am curious to know what the Prime Minister will say to the co-chair of his election campaign, John Reynolds, who said that denying the legitimacy of private members’ bills was the mark of dictatorships.

Can the Prime Minister of Canada now decide which law he will respect and which one he will break? Is he going to throw away the foundations of our democracy and close down Parliament? Is he going to say that democracy is over; long live his dictatorship?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I remind the member opposite that of course Parliament has not passed his legislation. On this side of the House we say that when a bill clears the House of Commons it is one-third of the way to becoming law because it still has two-thirds of its route through the Senate.

Let us look at what else our friend from the Winnipeg Free Press said in referring to the Liberal private member's bill. He said the Leader of the Opposition's “record as environment minister was abysmally bad, earning him a reputation as the Dr. Doolittle of climate change”, and I agree.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told us that he did not care about judicial independence and that he was seeking to appoint judges who would follow his ideology. Now we understand the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and his Minister of the Environment when they say that the government will not be bound by the bill by the hon. member for Honoré-Mercier, which was passed in this very place yesterday.

Is the Prime Minister sweeping aside the will of Parliament because of his ideology, in refusing to respect a law that requires a plan for the Kyoto protocol?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we take great interest in the comments by the member opposite.

On this side of the House we are going to take meaningful action to fight climate change and not make empty political promises.

The bill that has come before Parliament gives no authorization for the expenditure of funds. It has no regulatory power. Quite frankly, those of us on this side of the House are not prepared, while the Senate takes its time to pass the bill, to wait another 60 days to get a plan. We have a plan and we are acting on it today.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, someone once said, “I will always bear in mind that the people express their wishes as much through opposition as through the government”. Do you know who said that, Mr. Speaker? The Prime Minister.

Now, to deny the will of the House, his ministers mislead Canadians with talk of economic ruin. With its mechanism for a worldwide carbon market under United Nations rules, Kyoto is our best chance to tackle global warming as a global community through emerging global markets.

Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to understand this?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it was the member for Ottawa South who said that when Canadians see the cost of Kyoto, they are going to “scream”. It was the member for Ottawa South, the Liberal Party critic, who said that implementing Kyoto would cost $40 billion. It would be very easy to make an empty promise and to simply snap our fingers and make the Kyoto targets.

An empty promise on the environment is something that is very well known in the McGuinty family because it was the member's brother who promised to close all five coal fired generating stations by this year and he has not done it.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the European Parliament deplored the passivity and complicity of European states with respect to the secret CIA flights.

The O'Connor report said that Maher Arar was taken to Syria after stopping in Maine, on one of the CIA's prison planes.

Can the government provide us with assurance that this plane at no time used Canada's air space to take Maher Arar to Syria?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague and all Canadians that the Canada Border Services Agency has looked into exactly that question. I have its report here.

All flight plans were provided to Nav Canada in all cases. The pilots submitted the list of passengers, their dates of birth, their citizenship, their place of residence, the reason for travelling to Canada and the declaration of all goods being imported.

As well, on the question of the European study, Canada's name does not appear in it.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first question related to Maher Arar. Was he in one of those planes—yes or no?

We know the CIA flight numbers and the number of flights that have overflown Canada. An investigation into the Canada Border Services Agency has shed some light on this.

When the government of Canada says that there was nothing illegal when those planes used our air space, are we to understand that in each case, the planes were not transporting prisoners, that is, they were empty? Is that really what we are to understand? Can he tell me—yes or no—whether Maher Arar was in the plane that flew over Maine, alongside the New Brunswick border?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I was very clear, and I will repeat. All of the flights, all of the planes, have passengers. We have the list of their names and their reasons for travelling.

In Mr. Arar's case, we have no information or indication to suggest that he was in a flight that was in Canada. That was simply not the case.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I just returned from a meeting of women chiefs and councillors who are outraged about a letter written by the Minister of Indian Affairs . In his ignorance, he claims when first nations children are removed from their homes by authorities it is because “those people who are supposed to love them the most have defaulted”. This is shameful.

The minister's responsibility is to work in a cooperative process with first nations to ensure protection of families and children, but instead, he insists on insulting us and blaming victims. Why?