House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the hon. member. Our government always honours its commitments. The Prime Minister

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Minister of International Cooperation has the floor. We have to be able to hear her response.

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Josée Verner Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we are doubling aid to Africa by 2008-09 and we will be doubling all international aid by 2010-11. We have taken these measures and included them in the budget.

As for HIV-AIDS, the government already announced a number of initiatives, including a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and another partnership worth $120 million, announced last December.

National Defence
Oral Questions

June 11th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the media have been reporting that 40% of the contracts awarded by the Department of National Defence are awarded without competitive bidding. This is twice as many as two years ago. Despite claims by the government, emergencies and Afghanistan do not justify this way of doing things. We know that the Minister of National Defence is a former lobbyist, so one has to wonder to whom the minister is looking to give an advantage.

Should such a questionable choice for awarding defence contracts be blamed on favouritism or the incompetence of the minister?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the member brought up the subject of procurement because we are quite proud of our procurement. Our government is committed to rebuilding the armed forces and day by day we are doing that.

Since we have been in power we have acquired additional guns for the artillery and additional Nyala armoured vehicles for the infantry. We have ordered strategic airlift. We have ordered tactical airlift and medium to heavy helicopters. We have ordered 2,300 commercial and military trucks. We have ordered supply ships and tanks.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are always in a hurry to help out their buddies, but when it comes to, for example, respecting Quebec's 55% share of the aerospace industry, we are handed a line about the free market.

If the minister really wants to leave things to the market, why does he not accept the offer of Airbus, which says it can invest 55% of the spin-offs in Quebec and which would also save taxpayers $2 billion?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of re-equipping our military because it is needed, after 13 long years of Liberal government cuts. We needed to re-equip our military. We are in the process of doing just that, using open procedures that respect all the jurisdictions and accountability legislation.

Everything we are doing is in the best interests of Canadians and our military.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Minister of Foreign Affairs was once again forced to admit that his testimony before a joint committee on the Afghan detainee scandal was not entirely accurate.

The minister claimed that I was confused last week when I told him that the number of alleged cases of torture did not correspond to what he was saying. It is clear that he is the one who was confused. He now admits that not four, but indeed six alleged cases of torture were identified.

How many times have the three amigos of defence, foreign affairs and public safety misled the House without facing the consequences?

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 was crystal clear then, as I will be now, in stating that there were four complaints that were received by Canadian officials after the enhanced agreement of May 3. There were two prior to that. There is no misunderstanding whatsoever. The only confusion that exists on this file is in the mind of the member opposite.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems he is the only one who thinks that.

The deception, cover-ups and misinformation that come from the government are a slap in the face to our soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan. The time has come to stop misleading and come clean with the Canadian people.

Between 2002 and April 2006 we know that Canadian troops transferred 40 detainees. How many of these Afghan detainees alleged torture and abuse by the Afghan authorities, and how many since?

What is the government's plan to deal with the Afghan detainees captured and transferred by our troops if they allege that they were tortured by the Afghan authorities? Canadians deserve the truth. Where is the plan?

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, the plan obviously consists of improving upon the shortcomings that were left by the government opposite.

We signed a new enhanced agreement. There have been since that time four allegations which we have passed on to Afghan authorities. We have involved the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission as well as the Red Cross. Prior to that we had received two.

We are following this improved process that provides for greater transparency and openness. This is exactly what we have attempted to do from the very beginning, unlike the member opposite who is continuing to spin out misinformation that is not in keeping with the truth. That is what the hon. member opposite is doing. We are dealing with it in a truthful fashion.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat, last week the Minister of Public Safety said that four allegations of detainee torture had come to light in Afghanistan. The Minister of Foreign Affairs said there were six in total. His staff had to clarify it twice later on.

Is any one of them right? Do they even know which one of them is correct, if at all? Which of these ministers is actually in charge of this important issue of detainee torture?

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 will speak slowly so the member opposite will understand. There were four, plus two, which equals six.

I would like to point out that since the signing of the new enhanced agreement just a month ago, in addition to the visits, Canada has worked with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. We have worked with the government of Afghanistan, including conducting workshops on human rights as well as working with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to set up a human rights mandate for Afghanistan organizations.

We are making great progress in that regard. The member opposite is trying to cast aspersions and trying to bring some kind of misunderstanding. He is not helping our efforts in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we have seen in the bungling on the detainee torture issue, no minister appears to be in charge of this file. We know from the foreign affairs department's own report that torture is all too common in Afghanistan and corruption is rampant in that country. TV stations are raided by the attorney general for being critical of him.

Under these circumstances, could the Prime Minister guarantee that detainee torture allegations will be vigorously and independently investigated?