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

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the previous federal government closed the only francophone military college, that of Saint-Jean. The Conservative government changed the army's bilingualism policy to reduce the position of the French language. At Vimy, the French on the panels was incomprehensible. The importance of the language school in Saint-Jean is diminishing because of the military's new language policy.

In light of those facts, does this not demonstrate that the Minister of National Defence views French as the least of his concerns?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our government supports the Official Languages Act. We are applying the Official Languages Act within the defence department. We have a new plan because the previous Liberal plan failed year after year.

The member may note that more money is going into our site at Saint-Jean, and more students are passing through on language training.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

April 16th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, will the minister explain how a powerless investigator, who has no legal authorities, helps RCMP officers find out exactly what happened to their pension fund and their insurance fund? The minister's investigator is acting under no known statutory authority whatsoever.

When will the government call for a full judicial inquiry that would have the legal authority to call witnesses and records, as this official opposition has called for since day one?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we want answers quickly, the RCMP wants answers quickly and so do Canadians. A full public inquiry could take years. That is a possibility if we do not get the answers.

I appreciate the comments by the RCMP Chief Superintendent Fraser Macaulay who has said he is pleased that an independent investigator will look into these allegations. He is very involved in this and I appreciate his view on this.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the simple fact is the RCMP officers deserve better. They deserve the full support of Parliament, they deserve the full support of the minister and the minister is letting them down.

Why is the government only concerned about talking when it comes to supporting the police in Canada and not interested in walking the walk and calling a full public inquiry now? Do the job.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, any time improvements have to be made or any time questions are raised they should be looked into.

On the other side of the ledger, from time to time it would be nice to hear from the opposition the things the RCMP is doing. We did not get one positive comment about its recent cross-country crime operations against the Hells Angels, with 169 charges, 31 arrests, drugs, guns, vehicles and real estate.

When that member was the parliamentary secretary involved in legal matters and items related to policing, she did nothing to raise these questions.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this issue is not about blind partisanship.

Why is the government blocking efforts to expose the alleged fraud in the RCMP pension and insurance funds and to expose subsequent cover-ups?

This money belongs to front line officers. It belongs to the courageous RCMP personnel who protect our communities. They deserve our support and the Canadian public needs the cloud hanging over the RCMP to be addressed in a transparent and fulsome manner.

Why will the minister not scrap the idea of a powerless investigator and appoint a full judicial inquiry?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Again, Mr. Speaker, we want answers quickly. We do not want to have to wait for what could be two years or three years. If at the end of the next couple of months, it is deemed that there needs to be more powers to pursue this further, then we will take a look at that.

The commissioner has said and committed that every RCMP officer will be coming forward who is required to come forward. We are going to pursue this.

I am also glad the member raised the issue of the pension fund because at three o'clock I will be tabling the latest status of the pension fund. The dollars are safe and they are sound. We want to find out what the problems were in terms of the oversight of that.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives say that they want to deal with the issues quickly.

Last year whistleblowers raised shocking concerns with parliamentarians of all parties about fraud, nepotism and cover ups of criminality at the top echelons of the RCMP. Unfortunately, Conservative MPs on the committee blocked our calls to get to the bottom of the scandal for months.

Whistleblowers and investigators faced constructive dismissals, and now the minister is putting up a constructive roadblock.

Will the minister appoint a full judicial inquiry, or is Conservative law and order at the discretion of the minister?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are moving right ahead with this investigation.

I might appreciate my hon. friend's sincerity a little more if it had been shown that when he was in the party in government he would have raised these questions, but he did not. Instead his modus operandi is much like he did a little while ago. He went to the Middle East and all of a sudden broke out in a panic. He said that there was a problem in the Middle East and then he suggested how to fix the problem. He said, “Let's delist Hezbollah”.

I wish when he had been in government he would have raised these issues. Now I am asking him to help us get to the bottom of this.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government wants to help Quebec's regions.

In order to do that, we have to support the agricultural sector. We want to stop youth out-migration and rural depopulation.

Can the Secretary of State for Agriculture) tell us what the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and he are doing to help our farmers and our regions?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Secretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, for his excellent question.

Since coming to power, we have allocated no less than $4.5 billion to Canada's agricultural sector. I repeat: $4.5 billion. We have also kept our promises by protecting supply management and replacing CAIS.

Last week, in Sherbrooke, we announced yet another $3.2 million investment in research funding for 50 projects in Quebec alone. These promising projects will help our farmers and our regions.

Unlike the Bloc Québécois—which thinks, but does not act—and the Liberals—who do not want to do anything—we, the Conservatives, are coming through for the agricultural sector in Quebec and Canada.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats are proud of our influence in shaping the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and especially proud of Canada's women who demanded to be included.

What should be a 25th anniversary celebration of the charter is instead a scramble to protect advances gained by ordinary Canadians under the charter. Why? Because the government has shut down the court challenges program. Only the wealthy can afford constitutional challenges.

Will the Prime Minister today take a stand for the charter and reintroduce funding for the court challenges program?

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this party has an enviable record with respect to human rights in our country.

Just recently, for instance, to ensure that people's rights are heard, we have announced the federal victims' ombudsman so individuals who have concerns will have somebody advocating on their behalf. The budget just announced stable funding for legal aid. This provides people with access to the criminal justice system.

This party does not need to take any lessons from anybody in this Parliament on the subject of human rights.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the court challenges program was very important to Canada's francophone communities. Ordinary Canadians have to use their own money to defend their Charter rights.

Big corporations and wealthy people who want to circumvent the Charter have an advantage over ordinary Canadians.

Can the Minister of Justice tell us what he really thinks of the Charter?