House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was measures.

Topics

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 always difficult to take questions like this from the Liberal Party because its position is actually different every day. In fact, one national leader has said, “We can't give up on the mission until we have deployed everything to ensure it works”. Who said that? It was the Liberal leader just six months ago.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to hear different answers to very simple questions. The Prime Minister is saying that it is too early to say whether he plans to honour his own withdrawal date in 2009. At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is telling this House that talks are under way with NATO about committing troops to Afghanistan.

Is Canada already in talks with NATO about rotating our troops out of Kandahar in 2009?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 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, we on this side of the House have made it clear, when we put forward a resolution to the House, that our troops are there on a commitment until February 2009. That is the commitment of the government right now. Obviously, when it comes time to re-evaluate that, we will come back to the House.

There is one difference between the approach of this government and the approach of the previous Liberal government. The Liberals sent the troops there. They sent them into the south of Afghanistan. They never once came to the House for a vote approving those decisions.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. House leader can do his best to brush this matter off, but the fact is we know in the House that the highest loyalty to our troops is if we do our job here to hold the government to account for the very mission that they risk their lives for every day.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that his consistent partisan attacks on the patriotism of those who sincerely support our troops while having legitimate concerns about how the mission is being managed are undermining support for the mission in this country and failing the very troops that the Conservatives use as a cover to stifle debate on this crucial issue?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 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, I have a great deal of respect for the member for Toronto Centre, former minister of defence, former interim leader of the party.

When the question about supporting the mission to February 2009 came up for a vote in the House, that very member, who was interim leader of the party at that time, supported the commitment to keep the troops there until 2009. However, his subsequent leader, the current Liberal leader, voted against it that very same night.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the consistent approach of the member and the government is to stifle legitimate debate about this mission and impugn the motives of members of the House, who are every bit as patriotic as the Prime Minister and every person sitting over there.

I call on the Prime Minister to change his approach before it is too late. His attacks are undermining the foundation of our democracy, which is informed debate in the House. Our troops know that. They are fighting in Afghanistan for those principles.

Do they not realize the ultimate betrayal of their sacrifice is to stand well back, not hide behind them, but stand so far back? They know how far back—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. the government House leader.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 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, when it comes to consistency, the people of Canada know where this government stands. We stand firmly, clearly behind our troops and behind their mission. It is not like the Liberal Party or its leader which change their position all the time. We are proud to stand behind our troops, the way our Prime Minister did at that rally on Friday. It would have been nice if a Liberal member had bothered to show up at that rally.

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

May 14th, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker—

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, some people like to boast, but we will see what Quebeckers decide in the next election in Quebec.

Speaking of elections, last week, the government announced changes to provincial electoral boundaries that will reduce Quebec's electoral weight. In fact, if the government's bill is adopted, Ontario will get 10 additional seats and Alberta and British Columbia will each get five new seats.

If the nation of Quebec is so important to the Prime Minister, why is he proposing a reform that marginalizes Quebec and reduces its political weight?

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see the Leader of the Bloc Québécois with us today. My goodness, it is as though he never left.

In answer to his question, I want to remind my hon. friend that the principle behind the government's approach is representation by population, which is based on principles.

We promised not only to correct the fiscal imbalance, but also to correct the electoral imbalance.

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, democracy consists of more than just those principles. There are also principles underlying the recognition that Quebeckers form a nation. That recognition must find practical expression.

Does the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the political lieutenant for Quebec, realize that recognizing Quebec as a nation means not reducing its political weight? Yet this is what will inevitably happen.

I would like to know whether the principles behind recognizing Quebec as a nation can find expression here.

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:25 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, the principle that we support is the principle of representation by population. That is a clear, simple principle. Quebeckers can be glad because the bill guarantees that Quebec will continue to have 75 seats.

Electoral Boundary Readjustment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the more time passes, the more Quebeckers are realizing that this government's claims of greater openness towards Quebec are nothing more than smoke and mirrors used during the election campaign to appeal to Quebeckers.

If the Prime Minister planned to marginalize Quebec, as the bill for reform of democratic representation introduced here in this House will certainly do, why did he not show greater transparency and talk to Quebeckers about this during his speech in Quebec in 2005?