House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I met earlier with the president of the International Red Cross. We talked about a number of issues. We did not talk about that specific issue.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the House that this telephone conversation took place on September 26, 2006.

The Minister of National Defence does not want to come clean about the situation with the Afghan detainees. We know for a fact, thanks to a tip, that four detainees disappeared after we transferred them to the Afghan National Army. We arrested them because of the threat they posed to our troops and the Afghan people. Now they are back in the field against us because there is no or not enough monitoring.

I look the former arms' dealer straight in the eyes. Why will he not tell us what is really going on in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this particular incident is being investigated by the NIS at this time.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in January the Military Police Complaints Commission received a complaint about allegations of abuses suffered by Afghan detainees captured in April 2006 by members of the Canadian Forces. As part of a regular National Defence policy, the minister was informed about the fate of these detainees in a confidential report. Why did the minister wait for months before investigating these reports?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all these various issues are under investigation. When the results come out, we will all learn the truth.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask how many investigations there were; I asked why it took him so long to start the investigations.

The Chief of the Defence Staff submitted reports directly to the minister about the transfer of Afghan detainees and the health of those detainees. It took a complaint from an Ottawa professor to force the investigation.

Is the minister incompetent, or is he deliberately misleading the House, as he has done before?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the member's earlier statement where she talks about abuse. There is no proof of abuse at this time. We must wait for the outcome of the investigations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the arrangement for the transfer of Afghan detainees several times. Each time, the Minister of National Defence responded with falsehoods that the Conservatives whole-heartedly supported.

How could the Minister of National Defence, who was speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, tell so many falsehoods about these detainees?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this morning in my statement I apologized to the House fully and completely for providing inaccurate information. This inaccurate information was provided in good faith. I have recently learned that the information concerning the monitoring of the Red Cross was not as I understood it. We have taken corrective action in the House to correct the records.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, how could the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for international treaties signed by Canada, be guilty of such negligence and go as far as giving his full support to his National Defence colleague, who has misled this House so many times in the past few months?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Minister of National Defence answered the question and gave parliamentarians enough information to understand the situation.

Like the Minister of National Defence, we responded at the time with the information that was given to us. This has since been clarified. A more fulsome answer has been provided. There are ongoing investigations which will shed further light on this issue.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

March 19th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has been worried ever since we had the debate on Afghanistan. The opposition parties expressed their concerns regarding the treatment of Afghan prisoners.

How can the Minister of National Defence rise in the House today and not resign when, in fact, he misled us at least ten times, and not just once, with regard to our concerns?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, recently we made an agreement with the Afghan human rights commission. It has undertaken to inform us of any abuse of prisoners within the Afghan system, as well as any abuse on our side.

I have talked to the representative of Kandahar province. I have also talked to the national representative of this organization. I have spoken to the defence minister and the president. They have all agreed that they will meet the requirements of our agreements.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence told us in this House that everything was going very well and that was not true. He told us that there was an agreement with the Red Cross, and that is not the case. He told us that he knew the location of the prisoners, and that is false.

Does the minister realize that, if he were still in the army, he could be court-martialled for such behaviour?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government set is a very important requirement that we ensure that detainees are treated properly in accordance with international law. Our troops, the men and women over there in Afghanistan whom I visited last week, are of the same mind. We treat prisoners properly. We have now engaged the Afghan human rights commission to ensure that they can be monitored through the entire system.