House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat again that this Parliament extended the military mission in Afghanistan to February 2009. If the government wants to extend it further, it will seek the approval of Parliament to do that.

That said, members of the Canadian Forces who are in Afghanistan are not escalating anything. They are there to defend our national interests and protect the population of Afghanistan. It is the Taliban who are committing violence against our troops and the Afghan people and this Parliament should be supporting our men and women in uniform.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's military commitment in Afghanistan is supposed to end in February 2009, but the government is now indicating that it has no intention of honouring that timeline.

Last week the Minister of National Defence suggested that Canadian troops could be withdrawn from Afghanistan by possibly as late as 2015, and the minister also admitted that cabinet had not even discussed an exit strategy.

Why can the minister not be clear with Canadians about how and when this mission will conclude?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member got some of her information, because it is totally false. Our military commitment in Afghanistan is to the end of February 2009.

I will say it again for those who have not heard it: the end of February 2009.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the end of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is really going to be the end of February 2009, notice will need to be given in just nine months from now.

Are Canadians really supposed to believe that the government has not even discussed an exit scenario or is the minister simply softening up Canadians for an extension of this mission?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again: our commitment is the end of February 2009.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, a revealing report from the Ontario ombudsman shows how the government has failed the families of service personnel at CFB Petawawa.

The dramatic increase in the number of Canadians killed over the past year has caused children at the base to suffer extreme emotional distress out of fear for the safety of their parents, so I ask the minister, how can he plan to extend their parents' mission indefinitely when he is only offering one time funding to support services for these children?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I find it outrageous that the member is playing with the soldiers' commitment to Afghanistan and their families. I have said a number of times that our commitment is to the end of February 2009.

On the matter of looking after the families in Petawawa, we have transferred $100,000 to the Ontario government, which has full responsibility for this matter.

I would ask that member to stop playing with the lives of families.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the children of our military personnel should not need an ombudsman or a lobbyist to get what they need from their government. Families of military personnel on all Canadian bases have close ones in Afghanistan.

When will the government act to ensure that children on every military base have equal access to mental health care, before they suffer from the stress generated by Canada's most dangerous mission in 50 years?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, this government supports the children of military families.

I suggest the hon. member refer to budget 2007 which makes it clear that not only as the hon. member indicated we are supporting directly with operational funding, but we also have in the budget five new operational stress injury clinics to be located where military forces are to help the children, the families and the members involved in the military. That is the commitment of this government to the military of Canada.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 16th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, defence representatives for countries present in southern Afghanistan met in Quebec City last week to discuss Afghanistan and military issues.

Did the Minister of National Defence take this opportunity to inform his allies that Canada's deadline for involvement in Afghanistan is February 2009, and that is that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, all our allies, all NATO allies, including the group that met in Quebec City, know that our military commitment is to the end of February 2009.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that there is a serious shortage of troops in Afghanistan.

Did the Minister of National Defence bring up this important issue with his allies last week in Quebec City? Did he take advantage of that wonderful opportunity to get help for Canadian soldiers who are currently paying a very steep price in southern Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our soldiers are the best equipped in NATO. Other nations come to see our equipment and they admire the equipment we have. We have provided the very best equipment to our soldiers.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the handling of bilingual signage on the display panels at Vimy during the 90th anniversary celebrations speaks volumes about this government's concern for the French language.

How can the Minister of National Defence explain to this House that no one in the Canadian military is capable of writing the panels in proper French? Do we not all agree that this is an affront to the French fact within the Canadian military?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest
New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the member would know, when that was brought to our attention, we took action immediately to have those signs removed. We did that immediately, long before it was brought to the attention of that member. We did the right thing.