House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first, the Military Police Complaints Commission has not even determined whether it will get involved. It is investigating it right now.

However, I can assure the member that any board of inquiry, any reports that come from the investigations will be made public.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a question regarding those allegations of possible violence by the Canadian Forces toward detainees under their guard.

According to article 7 of the Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees Between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Canadian Forces must keep written records of detainees such as medical condition. Now it appears that some of these reports are missing.

Will the Minister of National Defence immediately table these missing reports and was he aware of these allegations before the official complaint of Mr. Attaran?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, there are two investigations going on, and perhaps three investigations, to find out whether there is any truth to this allegation. At the moment we have an allegation, which will be investigated. If there is truth to it, corrective action will be taken. If there is no truth to it, it will pass away.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our support for our soldiers in Afghanistan is undeniable. I know they have to do superhuman work in extremely difficult conditions. However, the allegations on the condition of certain Afghan detainees are troubling. Our fellow citizens expect our Canadian Forces to reflect our values abroad and to respect international conventions.

I have two questions. When the Minister of National Defence caught wind of these allegations, was he already aware the situation before Mr. Attaran complained? And what does he intend to do to shed light on the matter?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that there are two investigations, possibly three investigations, going on which will determine whether records have been adjusted or not. We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigations.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

February 6th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Indian Affairs was given an opportunity to address the problem of the number of aboriginal children in care. He could have said that he would immediately examine the abysmal situation. He could have said that it was inexcusable. He could have pledged to find a solution for this blight on Canadian society. Instead he chose to blame the victim.

Could the minister explain why, instead of trying to rally support for a solution, he has decided that the status quo is acceptable?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, my friend goes too far. She knows perfectly well that I also stated yesterday that after I became the minister, this issue is one of the first on which I asked that an evaluation be conducted.

In addition, Phil Fontaine said yesterday, in the Ottawa Citizen:

It's not because we have a Conservative government in power that has caused us to take this action. This has been building up over a number of years...

There is ample responsibility to be shared. The number of children in care is too high. The effectiveness of the $416 million that the government currently spends needs to be studied. I indicated that will be done. It is being done.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, currently more aboriginal children are living away from their homes in care than at any time during the residential schools era. Yet this does not provide enough motivation for the Conservative government to act.

The minister chooses to nitpick at the details rather than confront the situation. The national chief, and I can quote him too, was right in calling the minister's comments unconscionable.

When will the minister stop the petty buck passing and when will he give the situation the attention it deserves? Children's lives depend on it.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear on the facts. The number of first nation children in care is 9,000. It is not 27,000, which was the figure put forward yesterday.

The government is spending $416 million on this issue. In addition, there are 105 service agencies that deliver these services to first nation children. Seventy-five per cent of the kids receive their service from a first nation delivery agency.

In closing, I ask the member this. It is this government that has proposed an amendment to section 67 that would allow first nations to bring this complaint forward. That is a Conservative initiative. Does the member support it?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the child care issue is a good example of a provincial responsibility for which a limit on spending powers should apply.

Will the government agree that if it follows through on the recommendation to reinstate the Canada-wide plan for child care, it must allow Quebec to withdraw with full compensation and without conditions?

Child Care
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, upon being elected, the government moved immediately to ensure that parents across the country had more options when it came to child care. We immediately provided the universal child care benefit to families across the country, including in Quebec.

Under Quebec's $7 a day day care plan, our new universal child care benefit would buy 171 days of day care every year in Quebec.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to funding post-secondary education, there is rare unanimity among the provincial governments and all the stakeholders to bring federal transfers back to the levels at which they were indexed to the cost of living in 1994.

The Prime Minister says he is seeking unanimity to resolve the fiscal imbalance. Well, here it is: he has unanimity for funding post-secondary education.

Accordingly, can he promise to resolve this issue quickly and out of respect for the unanimity of the stakeholders? In other words, will he transfer the $5.1 billion, including $1.2 billion for Quebec?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we had very constructive discussions with the finance ministers at Niagara-on-the-Lake and in Vancouver in December precisely with respect to this issue. The member is correct. There is a significant degree of agreement among the various governments in Canada that we must do more for post-secondary education in Canada, and we will.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the media reported that Canadian soldiers in Kandahar mistreated Afghan prisoners. Such accusations are troubling and require speedy action on the part of the government.

Will the government commit here and now to fully investigate these serious accusations and not to imitate the Liberals who did everything in their power to hide the reprehensible conduct of soldiers during the events in Somalia?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, there are two investigations going on and potentially a third. Whatever results we get from these investigations will be made public. We will get at the root of the matter, if there is something to get at.