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

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers in Afghanistan.

Corporal Aaron E. Williams, 23, and Trooper Patrick Pentland, 23, were from Lincoln and Geary in my riding. Private David Greenslade, 20, Master Corporal Allan Stewart, 30, Corporal Brent Poland, 37, Sergeant Donald Lucas, 31, and Private Kevin Kennedy, 20, all served at CFB Gagetown also in the riding of Fredericton. Corporal Christopher Stannix was serving with the Halifax-based Princess Louise Fusiliers.

I ask the families and friends of those courageous soldiers to please accept our prayers and sympathies.

For our troops still in Afghanistan we send our hopes for a safe return. Canadians are proud of their dedication and unwavering commitment to serving Canada proudly.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, more than 60 years ago, between 1940 and 1945, millions of Jewish men, women and children from various Nazi-occupied European countries, along with homosexuals and political dissidents, perished in Hitler's death camps.

On this Holocaust Memorial Day, it is good to remember that at the end of the second world war, the world, stunned by so much horror, asked itself how such a death machine could have been developed and sustained. People needed to understand and name what had happened. The word “genocide” was coined in 1945.

The Shoah—the Holocaust—made it imperative not to forget. Remembering is one way to prevent other genocides. The international community and the United Nations extended the desire to protect against genocide to war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing and, in 2005, adopted a resolution on the responsibility to protect.

Virginia Tech University
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was with shock and grief that we learned of the terrible shootings on the university campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia this morning. Such a senseless act leaves Canadians stunned and horrified.

We extend our sympathy to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives and to the students and staff of the university whose lives have been altered forever by this tragedy. For those who have been injured, we offer sincere wishes for a swift recovery.

We are reminded today in this House that life is both precious and fragile. We renew our commitment, wherever we are, to reduce gun violence in our homes, on our streets and on our campuses.

Our thoughts are with those scarred by the tragedy and we vow to rededicate ourselves to prevent such tragedies from occurring in our own communities.

Anti-Terrorism Act
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Air-India inquiry is investigating the worst terrorist act in Canada's history: the murder of 331 people. Shockingly, the Vancouver Sun today reported that the Liberal opposition leader still opposes investigative measures under the Anti-terrorism Act, measures that he himself supported. Now he claims that they were never used in a useful way.

Since when is the Liberal leader an expert on terrorism? Today he admitted that he has never once spoken to the RCMP about the worst crime in Canada's history. In fact, he has not even asked the RCMP for a briefing note.

Maybe the Liberal leader should listen to the RCMP's Gary Bass who said that the inquiry had, without a doubt, suffered “a serious and damaging blow”. Even B.C.s solicitor general was shocked by the Liberal leader's refusal to allow investigative hearings into this terrorist act.

Do the families of the victims of this horrendous crime trust the Liberal leader? Do Canadians believe that the Liberals can protect them against terrorists? The answer is a resounding no.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of National Volunteer Week, it behooves me to highlight the invaluable contribution of volunteers who work with our children, the hungry, the lonely and seniors, those who improve our environment and collect funds in order to support aid agencies in our communities.

This unheralded army of citizens is made up of men and women of all ages and from all backgrounds, young people and seniors, workers and the retired, our neighbours or members of our families. They all help make our communities stronger.

They contribute two billion hours of labour to Canada annually. All these individuals, those in my riding and in other regions, deserve our support and our thanks for the difference they make to the daily lives of so many individuals.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 16th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week all Canadians mourned the loss of eight Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

We on this side of the House have a duty to demand clarity and accountability from the government and the defence minister has demonstrated a very poor grasp of his responsibilities. Last week he said this about the death of those soldiers: “I've got my fingers crossed that this won't happen again”.

Canada deserves a defence minister who does more than cross his fingers and hope for success. When will the Prime Minister replace his incompetent Minister of National Defence?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we obviously all mourn the loss of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, who are there protecting our interests, doing the work of the United Nations and also protecting the Afghan people.

Obviously the Government of Canada is doing everything it can to help National Defence pursue this mission. We have been very generous in terms of new equipment.

They are constantly reviewing their practices to ensure the utmost safety, but nothing can change the fact that this is a very dangerous mission in a very dangerous part of a very dangerous country.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to refuse to be straight about its intentions in Afghanistan. First the defence minister said Canada will be there until the progress is irreversible. Then he said we may withdraw by 2010, but only if certain conditions are met. Now we learn that the Conservative cabinet has not even discussed the issue of withdrawal and will not do so until next year.

There are too many different answers to the same basic question, which is how long we are going to be there. When will the government begin to level with the Canadian people about its intentions in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I think the government has been extremely clear. We brought forward a motion to the House to extend the current Afghan mission to February 2009. That was in fact supported by the deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

The government has been clear that if it were to seek further extensions, it would come to Parliament to do that, and that remains our position.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again the answer is not clear. It leaves open the possibility of extension.

This government refuses to take the necessary action to ensure that our allies can take over from us when our commitment in Kandahar ends in 2009. The government is postponing talks on this issue until next year, when it will be too late.

Why does this government not pledge to end this mission in 2009? Does it intend to extend it?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this Parliament extended that mission to February 2009. If the government wants to prolong the mission beyond that date, it will make proposals after assessing the situation over the next two years.

But I must say, in looking at the new Red Green show over there on the Liberal side these days, I note that the policy of Elizabeth May and the Green Party is to cut the Canadian Forces budget by 50%. I can say with some degree of certainty that if that were the policy of the government not only would we not prolong this mission, we would have to close most of the bases in this country.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems to be working, because the Prime Minister looks quite red today.

The Minister of National Defence should know that the cold war is over. He firmly believes that we must send more tanks to Afghanistan. He forgets that the Afghan guerillas had a field day against Soviet Union tanks, in the eighties. There is a budget of $650 million for tanks, which says something about our new way of dealing with conflicts in the future. Afghanistan takes a lot of flack. Through this measure, the general is contributing to the escalation of the Afghan conflict, instead of working to contain it.

Instead of grandstanding at the expense of taxpayers, will the Minister of National Defence recognize that his decision to send these tanks is a strategic mistake and it only gets Canada more bogged down into this mission—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no escalation. We have a squadron of tanks over there now, Leopard 1s. We are going to replace them with a squadron of Leopard 2s, which are more modern and overcome some of the technical problems we have had, so there is no escalation whatsoever.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

No escalation, Mr. Speaker. I am very impressed. Finally this weekend the Minister of Defence allowed us to understand--