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

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Liberal leader emerged from one of his party's regular, “What can we say to get elected” meetings, and announced that his party would get tough on crime, honestly, for real this time.

The Liberal leader says that the only way to protect our homes and our rights is to “catch and convict” more criminals. This is from the same party that completely gutted Bill C-9 which would have ensured that people who commit serious crime would not go back into the community but would actually serve their time behind bars.

While the Liberal leader used the phrase “catch and convict”, I would suggest that, based on the Liberal record, what he meant was catch and release.

Time and time again during this Parliament we have seen Liberals obstruct justice legislation which they said they supported during the last election campaign.

Given their current leadership void, I have some advice for Liberal organizers if they are planning to force an early election. Perhaps they might consider printing a “dry erase” version of the red book, complete with a marker and eraser so Canadians can keep their Liberal platform up to date with each new Liberal flip-flop.

Economic Prosperity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I spent the last two weeks talking to hard-working families in Hamilton Mountain. They are increasingly recognizing the existence of a prosperity gap in Canada. They do not feel that they are benefiting from the economic growth they keep hearing about.

They are right. The numbers back them up. Not only is there a growing gap between the rich and the poor, there is also an alarming erosion of economic security for middle class Canadians.

Here is what my constituents want to see in the budget: property tax relief through federal investments in urban infrastructure; a manufacturing sector strategy and help for building trades to secure decent paying jobs; fairness at the gas pumps instead of billion dollar subsidies to the oil and gas industries; a $10 minimum wage so that no Hamiltonian working full time is still living below the poverty line; investments in green technology and post-secondary education to help climate change and our kids; assistance for cleaning up Randle Reef; timely access to public health care; pension protection and income security in retirement.

In short, Hamiltonians can do without flashy pre-election announcements. All that working families want is fairness from their government. Surely that is not too much to ask.

Minister of Finance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks, we have witnessed a flood of prebudget spending on the part of the government: money handed out right and left with no financial framework and no long term vision, in other words, spending to buy votes.

When he was the Ontario Minister of Finance, the current federal minister said that everything was fine in the province. Soon after that, Ontario found itself with a $6 billion deficit. Therefore, it is worrying to now hear him say that everything is fine in Ottawa. It brings back bad memories. It also reminds me that, shortly before his last budget, the minister tried to be reassuring, just before making deep cuts to social programs. He took advantage of that budget to target the poor, women, aboriginals, the illiterate and minorities. He cut recklessly and blindly in the environment, and let us not forget also that he had said he would reduce our taxes, when he in fact increased them.

Robert Lalonde
Statements By Members

March 19th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, as part of the Francofête 2007 celebrations, Robert Lalonde received the award for Mérite du français dans la culture during the Gala de la Francoville. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Union des artistes, the Union des écrivaines et écrivains québécois, the Société des auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma, and the Office québécois de la langue française.

Robert Lalonde joins a prestigious list of recipients, including Gilles Vigneault, Clémence DesRochers, Richard Desjardins, and Fred Pellerin. Robert Lalonde is known for his contribution to theatre, his roles on the big screen and the small screen, and his critically acclaimed writing. The Bloc Québécois and I would like to acknowledge Robert Lalonde's remarkable dedication to the promotion of the French language throughout his career.

Cabinet Ministers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not impressed by the three Conservative amigos left over from their days as provincial Ontario ministers.

Like a bad dream, the Harris triplets are trying to take Canada “back to the future”, undermining the social and economic progress of hard-working Canadians.

The anti-Kyoto environment minister, so puffed up like a blowfish on his own hot air, greenhouse gas at its worst.

The hospital hunting health minister handing contracts to long term friend Gordon Haugh. No accountability there.

The blarney fuelled finance minister still searching for his pot of gold at Canadians' expense.

Just like in Ontario, Canadians are gathering strength against the three Harper triplets. Canadians will not allow the three amigos to do damage to Canada like they did to Ontario.

This party, the official opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada, will prevent it from happening.

Cabinet Ministers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am not sure what reference the hon. member had but it sounded as though he was referring to the Prime Minister by name and if that were the case, I know he knows that is contrary to the rules and he will not want to repeat that mistake.

The hon. member for Fundy Royal.

Crime Legislation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, one day last week, the Leader of the Opposition woke up and decided to become tough on crime.

Canadians can see through this blatant Liberal hypocrisy since this is coming from the same member who voted against funding for 1,000 new RCMP personnel, the same member who blatantly ignored the Liberals' own election platform in which they promised to double mandatory minimums for gun crimes and whose party is now blocking our Bill C-10 and the same member whose party gutted this government's bill to crack down on house arrest.

The Leader of the Opposition is clearly only pretending to be tough on crime because Canadians are fed up with a Liberal justice system that, according to the Liberal Ontario Attorney General, is stuck in the summer of love.

I know the Liberal leader finds it difficult to set priorities but will he for once make the safety of Canadians a priority and tell his MPs to stop blocking this government's justice agenda?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have great confidence in the work of the men and women serving our country in Afghanistan, but they no longer have confidence in the minister overseeing the mission.

The Minister of National Defence has apologized for providing inaccurate information to the House about the situation of prisoners of war, but the questions remain.

How can the Prime Minister and Canadians continue to have confidence in a minister who has been so careless about the safety of human beings and Canada's responsibility to uphold human rights and international law?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, we have made human rights a cornerstone of our foreign policy.

It is our policy in Afghanistan to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with the Geneva conventions. We have an agreement with the Afghan government that it shall do that. We expect it, as a sovereign government, to honour that agreement.

We have recently entered into an agreement with the Afghan independent commissioner of human rights. This will also ensure that we have another check to ensure the human rights of detainees are respected.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence spoke with absolute certainty each time he made one of his many erroneous statements about the role of the Red Cross with respect to Afghan detainees. Why is that?

The minister has 30 years' experience as a commander. He is supposed to know the Geneva Convention inside out.

I am once again asking the Prime Minister how could the minister have made such a mistake?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that the International Committee of the Red Cross has a very real role to play with respect to the question of overseeing the rights of detainees. That is part of our agreement with the Afghan government. The Minister of National Defence has made the nature of that arrangement clear.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is given full access to those detainees under that agreement. We expect the government of Afghanistan to respect that. We now have an arrangement with the Afghan human rights commissioner to ensure that is in fact the case and that human rights are respected.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there was no answer to my question on how the minister could have been mistaken for so long.

Let us talk about the new agreement. How can the Prime Minister have any confidence in the ability of the Minister of National Defence to uphold basic human rights when his alternative to the Red Cross, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, admits that it is unable to do the job?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, part of the reason we went to Afghanistan was at the request of the Afghan government as part of the United Nations' mission, together with 36 other allies, in order to ensure a democratic government could result.

Part of our program there is to help build the strength and capacity of that government, including the question of human rights. We have supported, and will continue to support, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission so it can develop that capacity in Afghanistan, something we believe in strongly.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the role of the Red Cross is not the only issue on which the minister is misleading Canadians.

Last week we learned that the Minister of National Defence was challenging the jurisdiction of the Military Police Complaints Commission to investigate alleged abuse of detainees in Afghanistan. The minister's action contradicts the commitment made in the House, “there are three investigations going on. We are not going to interfere with those investigations”.

Why did the minister mislead the House saying he would not interfere when he is interfering?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am not interfering in any of the ongoing investigations. There are four ongoing investigations and they will continue.