House of Commons Hansard #138 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

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, last March we pointed out the dangers of turning over prisoners to the Afghan authorities. In April, we took it a step further and referred to a report by the U.S. State Department, which listed all the corrupt practices found in Afghan prisons.

What has the minister done since then? Nothing, even though a colonel responsible for human rights in the Afghan forces stated, “In some cases, individuals have to be tortured, otherwise they do not talk”.

In light of such serious accusations, the minister did nothing. There is only one thing for him to do—resign.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in fact, our government has done something. We have signed an agreement with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and it has promised to inform us of any abuses of detainees in its system. This is a unique agreement that only Canada has.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's representatives advised the prisoners to provide true information in order to avoid being mistreated. Even the Minister of Public Safety was informed of this on his last visit to Kandahar.

Why did the Minister of National Defence not take action sooner? What is the Prime Minister waiting for to ask for the resignation of the Minister of National Defence?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have an agreement with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. It will inform us of any abuses in the system.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence no longer has the credibility to manage this department. He has been hiding the truth for several months.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Will he assume his responsibilities and does he intend to take action so that Canada will stop transferring prisoners to the Afghan authorities until such time as he has negotiated a new agreement that guarantees the safety of prisoners?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as has been stated a number of times already by both the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence, Canada does take its responsibilities very seriously. These allegations that have been published today have not been confirmed by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

We are looking into the issue. I fully intend to take this up with my counterpart. Other officials will be consulted as well. Canada will continue to do its best to see that definitively Afghan prisoners are not tortured nor abused.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot get out of this one because he is responsible for the application of international treaties. Other countries, the Netherlands in particular, have succeeded in ensuring the safety of prisoners. I would like to remind you that Canada is a signatory to the Geneva Convention against torture.

Will the minister undertake to do everything possible to stop the transfer of prisoners until he obtains an agreement with guarantees, like those the Netherlands has achieved, to monitor and have access to prisoners no matter where they are in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I said that the Government of Canada still intends to work with the other countries and participants in this agreement. Obviously we still need to research the information and consult with the other countries and other people, particularly those from the government of Afghanistan.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of moving forward on the fully funded 2005 climate change plan and keeping Canada on track to promote a strong low carbon economy and meet Kyoto, the Conservatives have systematically killed each and every single program.

On the heels of his Chicken Little report, does the minister think that Canadians are not intelligent enough to see through his shock and awe delay tactics? How much longer will he insist on employing doublespeak to mask 15 months of incompetent Conservative inaction?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, imagine that, a Liberal trying to make recommendations on the environment.

After 13 years of doing absolutely nothing, we now have a government that is moving forward, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cleaning up the environment.

I have a very interesting quote. This is from the Commissioner of the Environment speaking about the Liberal Party. It says, “There is a gap between what the government said it would do and what it is actually doing”. Good intentions are not enough. We are getting it done.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised Canadians that new air quality legislation would be part of his plan, and that the bill would be referred to a House committee in order to find consensus on what action to take. Today we learn that the Minister of the Environment has abandoned the air quality legislation because he did not like the way the House committee had amended it.

Why should Canadians believe that a real plan will be implemented when this government outright refuses to accept the recommendations of the committee that it supported?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest maybe that member is a little frustrated because we are getting the job done.

He said that when Canadians find out what it is going to cost for their plan, they are going to scream. The Commissioner of the Environment said, “When it comes to protecting the environment, bold announcements are made and then often forgotten as soon as the confetti hits the ground”.

It was shameful what the Liberals did. We are getting the job done.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the government ran the entire Bush playbook, trying to scare Canadians into opposing Kyoto with torqued and distorted information.

Canadians do not need to be the Prime Minister's psychic to know that the environment minister's fearmongering was a diversion, an attempt to disguise the fact that the government does not have a plan to fight climate change and will not cap emissions until 2020.

When will the environment minister stop misleading Canadians and offer something more than just fear and repackaged programs?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that was one of the questions that was asked of the sponsor of Bill C-288. We asked, what is the cost? Unfortunately, the Liberals would not bring the cost, so we had to do the work for them, as it is too often.

This is what Mark Jaccard said:

--the Kyoto Protocol is likely to trigger a major economic recession. From what I understand of our legal options for compliance with Kyoto and my knowledge of the energy-economy system, I concur with this conclusion.

He is right. The Liberal way does not work.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government introduced a deeply flawed clean air act. It sent it to committee for Parliament to fix. Parliament did its job. After much work and compromise the committee approved a bill that would take real action on climate change.

Today we learn the response of the government, which is to toss it in the garbage and to disrespect the House and Canadians who elected a minority government. The Conservatives ditched project green, now the clean air act, and have left us with nothing.

Will the minister now say in public what he has said privately, that he has killed the clean air act and abandoned the work of Parliament?