House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government committed to ensuring that Afghan prisoners would not be tortured and that they would be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention until their transfer to Afghan authorities. Amnesty International deplores the lack of compliance with that convention.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell us why Canada refuses to follow the example of the Netherlands, which obtained the right to follow up on prisoners transferred to Afghan authorities, in order to ensure that they are treated humanely, that they are not tortured and that their rights are respected?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the current arrangement for detainees was made by the previous government. In that agreement, the International Committee of the Red Cross is mandated to visit and monitor detainees to ensure that they are treated in accordance with the standards of the Geneva Convention. The arrangement also recognizes the role of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission with respect to human rights and detainees.

Last fall the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said that Canada was scrupulous in notifying the Red Cross when it took prisoners and handed them over. We are satisfied with the current arrangements.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to Amnesty International, Louise Arbour, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that cases of extortion, torture, prolonged imprisonment without trial, and the systematic violation of the rule of law are frequent. The U.S. Department of State has reached the same conclusions.

Given these worrisome findings, what is the Minister of National Defence waiting for to put an end to his wilful blindness and immediately emulate the approach taken by the Netherlands with respect to the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are in Afghanistan in support of the Afghan government. When lawbreakers come into our hands, we hand them over to the proper authorities. As I previously explained, they are handed over with all the protections of international laws on prisoners.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

February 21st, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have been part of this Parliament for 11 years. I have never seen anything as low as what the Prime Minister tried to do against a member of this House.

It is unbefitting a prime minister. I am asking the Prime Minister to apologize and retract his comments.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is trying to follow through on anti-terrorism measures adopted by a Liberal government and supported by the Liberal Party until a few weeks ago, a few days ago in fact. Because of the actions of the Liberal Party, police investigations are in danger. It is the Liberal Party that should apologize and offer an explanation to Canadians for its irresponsible positions.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at that time, some members of the Conservative Party voted against these two dispositions. They voted for the sunset as well.

That is not the point. The point is the Prime Minister tried to tarnish the reputation of a member of the House. It was so low. Many of us have never seen it in 11 years in Parliament. The Prime Minister must withdraw and he must apologize.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition said that some members of the Conservative Party voted against something about four or five years ago.

It seems to me that those members have a lot of explaining to do when they told the Canadian public, in the last election, that they wanted to get tough on crime and they wanted to increase mandatory minimum sentences. What have they done? They have fought our attempts to get rid of house arrest for serious crimes. They have fought our attempts to increase mandatory minimum sentences. They want to weaken terrorism laws. The only thing they have been consistent about is they have been complaining about police officers every day for the last three weeks.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a prime minister is supposed to represent all citizens in this country, all Canadians. We expect a prime minister to behave like a head of state. Today, the Prime Minister uttered words unbefitting a prime minister.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Fortunately we were here to prevent him from saying even more, Mr. Minister of Transport.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for what he dared to do in this House?

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has not had the opportunity to say anything because of the actions of the Liberal Party. I simply want to say that because of the actions of the Liberal Party caucus, we have put police investigations in danger with respect to the Air India case, the largest act of terrorism in Canadian history. Because of an irresponsible and inexplicable policy, where the Liberal Party decided in caucus to vote against its own—

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, all those who are watching this question period and those who will read the transcripts of this question period will know what the Prime Minister's intention was. It is very clear. This is unparliamentary.

Today he is trying to completely change the story. We even asked him, at first, how he could put his ideology ahead of judicial independence.

Then he made allegations about an hon. member of this House, who was democratically elected, and he is not even able to apologize—

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Justice.