House of Commons Hansard #169 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, after 140 years of attempted assimilation, with first nations stripped of their lands, their rights, their hopes and their dignity, today's land claim announcement is a half measure in bringing about true reconciliation.

Where is the apology on residential schools? Where is the action on indigenous rights at the UN? Where is the housing strategy? Where is the clean water strategy? Where is the action to lift first nations children out of poverty?

After years of empty broken promises by Liberal and Conservative governments, why should anyone trust the government to get the job done for first nations?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, to correct the hon. member, there has not yet been an announcement with respect to reform of the specific claims process, but there will be one in the fullness of time.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the rumour mill is running wild over the land claims, so let us talk about settling land claims. It is only one step in the long journey to reconciliation.

Shamefully, Canada is one of only two countries in the world that opposed the rights of indigenous peoples at the UN. As well, despite the House of Commons adopting a motion of apology for the residential schools tragedy, the Prime Minister has yet to issue one.

Will the minister today commit to dropping objections to the UN declaration and call on the Prime Minister to make a full apology to first nations for the residential schools tragedy?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member could devote some of this new-found enthusiasm and fervour for human rights to the subject of first nations, particularly first nations women in Canada.

Bill C-44 has been before a committee of the House, including before the hon. member, for 83 days at this point, I am told. It is nine words long, including complicated words such as “is” and “the”. To this point, not a single amendment has been proposed by the hon. member or anyone else.

Perhaps she could dedicate the same enthusiasm to protecting first nation women in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the RCMP pension scandal, the minister said he wanted fast answers and announced his half measures investigation instead of a full judicial inquiry.

That report, the Brown report, is due on June 15, but there is no sign of any report and no sign of the answers Canadians want, this despite the minister's promise to make the full report public.

Can the minister guarantee that the Brown report will be available this Friday as promised and made public in its entirety as promised? We hope this will help restore some public trust.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of public trust, I was interested to see a poll three days ago about the RCMP. It indicated that over 80% of Canadians have very high confidence in the RCMP.

On the issue of the report, my colleague opposite stated that the report is due on June 15 and members have not seen it yet, but it is not June 15 yet. June 15 is coming. I have said all along that the report would be public and of course that report will be totally public.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is just not a good day for Conservative promises, so I hope that happens on Friday.

Even if this report is made public, the fact remains that new allegations continue to surface. There are many problems within the RCMP that need to be addressed.

We are in the last two weeks of the sitting of this Parliament. We know that Commissioner Busson will retire in just a few days. Will the minister guarantee to Canadians that a new RCMP commissioner will be named and on the job without any interruption?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Commissioner Busson. As the first female commissioner of the RCMP, she has done a tremendous job in the role. She will continue in that role until a new commissioner is named. That will be happening fairly soon. I cannot say the exact date, but it is going to be happening soon, and I think Canadians will be pleased with that.

I think Canadians are also going to be pleased with the results of the Brown report. We are taking an approach that gets us some answers in a relatively short period of time in order to deal with issues that are of concern to men and women in uniform and to Canadians. We want that done in a short period of time. We do not want to take up years and millions of dollars as the Liberals have done.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

June 12th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us that his government is “working closely” with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross regarding allegations of torture.

Under the detainee agreement, the Red Cross has no obligation to monitor detainees. The human rights commission is a paper tiger with no power to compel production of evidence. How can the Minister of Foreign Affairs expect an independent investigation by the Afghan government in a country full of corruption?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing to hear what a short term and narrow view the Liberals are taking in terms of the accomplishments being made in Afghanistan when we consider that for decades or perhaps centuries it has been a feudal society with successive regimes that have had little or no respect for human rights.

Now, in a period of a few short years, largely because of the work of Canadians and others, there is actually an Afghanistan human rights commission. It is opening its prison facilities there, with wide open access to us and to other individuals coming in there, and with registries for the prisoners. There is huge progress being made. It is not perfect, but he should acknowledge progress.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, for over two months the official opposition has been asking questions in the House regarding the allegations of torture by the Afghan detainees. Yesterday, of course, the government came full circle in its stories with the Minister of Foreign Affairs suggesting that the Red Cross is involved in the investigation. It is not and the Red Cross said so the last time.

With the allegations of torture to be investigated by a system that is rife with corruption, will the minister guarantee a full, fair and independent investigation of the serious allegations of torture?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to that whole process. Again, I would encourage members opposite to acknowledge every now and then, just occasionally, what positive things are happening.

At the committee meeting last week, we were there for two hours and those members continued to try to split hairs and talk about some problem with the facts. In terms of detainees who have expressed concerns about allegations of torture, the foreign affairs minister said that two plus four equals six. I said that four plus two equals six. All they could say was that we were not saying the same thing.

Why do we not start acknowledging the great progress that is being made in Afghanistan and acknowledge our troops--

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, Amnesty International has denounced Canada's systematic opposition to negotiations of the rights of indigenous peoples at the United Nations. Of the 47 member countries of the Human Rights Council, only Russia and Canada voted against the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last June.

Why has the government, and particularly the Prime Minister's office, been using all its political and diplomatic artillery to undermine the rights of aboriginal peoples this past year?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's question. If the Bloc members say they are in favour of human rights, they should support Bill C-44 dealing with the rights of women and children. We still have not heard from the hon. member on this matter.