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 loans.

Topics

André Boisclair
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Charlottetown.

University of Prince Edward Island
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday, May 12, the University of Prince Edward Island will confer degrees to the class of 2007. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the graduates and wish them success as they continue in their chosen fields.

As well, the university will confer honorary degrees upon four outstanding individuals during this convocation ceremony. The honorary graduates will be Paul Giannelia, Donna Jane Campbell, Richard Homburg and Kay MacPhee. Each recipient has made an excellent contribution to the Island way of life in their chosen fields.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the honorary degree recipients and the newest graduates of this great university.

Senate Tenure Legislation
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the truth is getting out from behind the closed doors of the Liberal caucus. Apparently, the Leader of the Opposition has reportedly ordered the senators to pass the Senate tenure bill, a bill that has been obstructed in the Senate for almost a year now.

However, the unelected and unaccountable Liberal senators have told him what he can do with his quaint notion of supporting a modest, democratic reform measure. The Liberal senators are in open defiance of their helpless party leader.

Canadians want to know: Why is the Liberal leader so weak and powerless? Why is he impotent in the face of a challenge of the superannuated wing of his own caucus? Why can the Liberal leader not just get up and get the job done on Senate term limits, and on so many other issues?

On May 30 we are planning a party for the Senate term limits bill. It will be one year since the bill was first introduced in the Senate. We hope the Liberal leader will come; after all, it will be the one year anniversary since he said that he supported Senate term limits.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is constantly contradicting itself. Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that it was pointless to notify NATO that our mission in Kandahar was ending in February 2009, because all anyone needed to do was read the newspapers. Yet on April 19, in the debate on the Liberal motion, Conservative members repeatedly stated that the mission must not have a time limit.

I call on the Prime Minister to put an end to this cacophony and tell us whether he is talking to our NATO allies to find out who will replace our troops in February 2009.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are clear. Parliament has decided to extend the mission until February 2009. NATO is not waiting for an answer from this government about an extension. But I can assure this House that our position is that the decision rests with the Parliament of Canada. It was the Liberal government that decided to send troops to Afghanistan, to Kandahar, without Parliament's support.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it was the present Prime Minister who decided to continue the mission until February 2009. He has the responsibility. There is a precedent. In 2003, when it was time to find a replacement force for our troops, we secured it well before the end of our one year mission in Kabul. These things take time.

Is the Prime Minister only speaking to our allies? Is he acting responsibly to ensure we have a replacement force for our troops in Kandahar in February 2009?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our NATO allies are not seeking a Canadian decision on this at this time. I think what our NATO allies are seeking is the same thing the Canadian population is seeking, which is clear support for the Canadian troops who are in the field right now. The Liberal Party should give them that support.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, to support our troops we need to be clear but the Prime Minister is not being clear. On the one hand he says that we do not need to engage NATO because it is clear that it is February 2009, while on the other hand he is saying that no decision has been made.

Is the end of the combat mission in Kandahar in February 2009, yes or no? If the answer is yes, will he engage right away with our allies about it?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will just say it once again. Our allies are not seeking any such commitment from Canada at this time. I think what our allies would like and what our Canadian soldiers would like is to hear just once in a while a little bit of a thank you for the great work they are doing over there. They do not get it on the other side but they should be getting it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the detainee debacle has exposed the government's broader mismanagement of the Afghanistan mission.

On the ground, insurgents are crossing freely from the border with Pakistan. We have no strategy on the poppy trade. We have no diplomatic strategy and no development strategy. Here in Ottawa, departments are feuding with each other, we have evasions in the House and the Minister of National Defence cannot even get up on his feet and defend the policy.

Will the Prime Minister do his job, give our soldiers the civilian leadership they deserve and fire that Minister of National Defence?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon., and obviously very popular, Minister of Foreign Affairs is rising to answer the question but we need to be able to hear the answer.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 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 a decade or more we have not seen more clear, unequivocal support for the Canadian armed forces than we have seen for many years.

We have a very clear, decisive policy with respect to our foreign affairs commitment in Afghanistan. We have a very clear level of support for our Canadian Forces. This Prime Minister, this defence minister and this government have been unequivocal in our support for the important work that is being done militarily and on the development and reconstruction side in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government does not understand that without leadership in Ottawa, we will fail in Kandahar. The NATO secretary general said earlier this week: “The final answer in Afghanistan will not be a military one and cannot be a military one”.

When will this government finally balance our defence, development and diplomacy efforts?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition clearly does not understand the current mission. This government has taken a very balanced approach. It has increased its support for the mission in Afghanistan by more than $200 million.

We have taken a very balanced approach, with development and reconstruction well under way. Our provincial reconstruction team is doing admirable work in the field. All of this takes place under the secure environment being provided by our military.