House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I know people are in very good spirits today, but it is question period now and we must have some order. The hon. member for Bourassa has the floor.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our troops need a defence minister. They do not need a seat cushion.

What we need right now are answers. We do not want to know how the polls are going, because I think that if we were talking about polls the Prime Minister would have some problems.

The question is clear. We want to know if there are negotiations with NATO right now, because the government is negotiating with NATO--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think it would be inappropriate for me to completely ignore the remark that was made by the hon. member in talking about the Minister of National Defence as an arms dealer, a man who served his country in uniform for 30 years.

That is the kind of language that the other side uses toward the men and women who wear the uniform of the Canadian Forces. It is unacceptable. If the member will not withdraw it, his leader should make him withdraw it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, with their defence minister often muzzled in the House, Conservatives have confirmed to Canadians the total mismanagement of the Kandahar mission from top to bottom, with detainees botched and bungled, defence and foreign affairs at war with each other through the press, blackouts and secrecy instead of real information on the mission, and a defence minister who is usually benched. I am sorry, but that is true.

When will the Conservatives show some real loyalty to the troops and name a defence minister who can actually do this job?

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, what absolute rubbish is coming from members opposite. This government has been decisive in its action with respect to the issue of detainees. We now have an enhanced agreement in place that protects Canada's interests as well as those of detainees.

We have taken decisive action to give the men and women of the armed forces the equipment they need. They have support, at least on the government side, with respect to the important mission that is taking place in Afghanistan.

We have millions of dollars in aid and in the reconstruction that is happening to help elevate the lives of the Afghan people. We can ask men and women in Afghanistan if they want Canada's participation. They will say yes, regardless of what the opposition is saying.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, again we have heard from the wrong minister.

The bungles continue because the defence minister is not doing a full job. What Conservatives do not realize is that civilian military control is an important principle of democracy. Do Canadians not deserve a real defence minister, one who asks questions and can actually answer them?

How can Canadians have confidence in the government to manage the combat mission when its defence minister is so clearly a political dead man walking?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I dare say that in our country's history never have we had a Minister of National Defence with a more in-depth working knowledge of the Canadian armed forces.

In addition, what we have undertaken in Afghanistan is to help assist the people of Afghanistan build a functioning country, securing their borders, building infrastructure, building vocational programs and building good governance practices. This is a whole government approach that is working.

We are there under a UN mandated NATO mission, making a huge difference in elevating the lives of the people of Afghanistan.

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, several large Canadian corporations have been taken over, or are about to be, by foreign companies. Nearly all these take-overs have been in the natural resources sector. This trend could seriously jeopardize our economic development and even Bay Street is concerned.

What does the government intend to do to ensure that Canada does not become a branch plant economy?

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague about a recent study by Competitiveness and Prosperity. The study confirms that foreign acquisition of Canadian companies translates into more head offices and more jobs created right here in Canada. Therefore, if my hon. colleague is concerned about the fact that this creates jobs and generates wealth in this country, I would remind her that foreign investment is healthy and that it must comply with Canadian legislation. We have legislation in place that ensures a good bottom line for Canada anytime a foreign investment is made here.

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the minister that this is not the case when it comes to the regions. This foreign ownership of our natural resources means that they are processed elsewhere, which undermines the manufacturing sector a little more, with disastrous consequences for employment and the resource regions.

Will the minister finally show that he cares about employment?

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, here on this side of the House, we care about employment and future investments in this country. The Bloc Québécois has done nothing about either in the past 13 years. It is important to point out that, in 13 years, the Bloc Québécois has achieved nothing concrete for Quebeckers.

Speaking of foreign investments, I would like to remind my Bloc Québécois colleague that direct investment abroad by Canadians is greater than foreign investment in Canada, by $74 billion. What does this mean? This means that, in Canada, we have first-rate businesses, businesses that are able to invest abroad, around the globe, and generate wealth.