House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was atlantic.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is just more hypocrisy because the government's story changes on a daily basis.

Yesterday the defence minister said that neither the Americans nor other NATO forces in Afghanistan published their list of prisoners. He is wrong again. The fact is the U.S. issues a press release about every detainee it captures.

Why does the minister refuse to be as transparent as the U.S.? Why is he hiding behind the excuse of operational security? Most important, why is the government refusing to tell Canadians the truth?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in Afghanistan each country determines its policies. In the case of Canada, the military has determined that the public release of information on detainees would be detrimental to its military operations.

The operational chain of command has a responsibility for deciding what type of information is releasable or not. It is a military decision, not a political decision. We do not intend to do anything to impede military operations in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that in April and May of 2006, there were 40 detainees. Thanks to our colleague from Pierrefonds—Dollard, we just managed to find out that our concerns about the allegations of torture and abuse of Afghan prisoners were well founded.

The government's lack of transparency, its inability to provide accurate information and its ongoing desire to hide the truth simply confirm how deeply it is involved in this scandal.

I have two questions for the government. First, how many Afghan detainees have we transferred? And second, do they intend to take custody of transferred detainees who have been subjected to abuse and torture? No more cover-ups.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, this is an operational security issue. Our military has determined that it would be counter to its operations to reveal any information about detainees. We will not impede its operations. Therefore, no details with respect to detainees will be released.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, in April 2006, Canadians had 40 detainees. There was no security issue then.

Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us that there had been four allegations of torture since February. One of the detainees was in Kandahar and three were in Kabul. These detainees had been captured by Canadians.

However, in April, the Minister of Public Safety told us that two of the alleged torture cases had taken place in the Kandahar prison.

Once again, the information is unclear. Given that this government has already admitted to losing prisoners and to being unfamiliar with the role of the Red Cross, we have every reason to doubt what it says.

My question is simple. How many allegations of torture and abuse have there been, and where?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was at the committee yesterday. I am surprised he is still confused about this. What I said is that since the new agreement has been put in place, there have in fact been four allegations. They came to our attention very recently during visits to a Kandahar and Kabul facility.

We followed the process that we put in place as pursuant to this new agreement. This provides greater access and greater interaction with the Afghan government, as well as bringing into the fold the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross.

A report will be tabled back from that investigation. We will receive that information and act accordingly.

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the CSN, the FTQ and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association have all said they are in favour of quick passage of the bill on wage earner protection, provided that the jurisdictions of Quebec and its Civil Code are respected. This morning, the National Assembly of Quebec also voted unanimously in favour of this.

In this context, should the Minister of Labour not change his position and table his bill to protect wage earners whose employer declares bankruptcy?

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member again for her question.

I want to remind her that it was the House of Commons that unanimously passed legislation in the last Parliament to protect the wages of employees in bankruptcy situations. This House unanimously passed that legislation.

Then the Senate unanimously passed it as well after calling for technical changes to the legislation. That is what we tabled before Christmas.

Since then, the Bloc Québécois has been inconsistent. It is changing its mind and wants to amend the legislation.

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour is saying that he cannot table his bill because his colleague, the Minister of Industry, is opposed to the Bloc Québécois amendment. That is just an excuse. What is the purpose of this amendment? It is to protect the workers and the Civil Code of Quebec.

Why is the Minister of Industry opposed to such an amendment? What interests is he defending?

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, this legislation is currently on track and the Bloc Québécois wants to derail it.

We are ready to fast track this legislation through first, second and third readings. We are prepared to include this morning's resolution by the National Assembly, as well as the suggestions by the Bloc Québécois, to bring everything to the Senate so that it may consider the point of view expressed by the National Assembly. If they want, we can proceed this very afternoon.

The Dollar
Oral Questions

June 7th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to stiffer competition from developing countries and rising energy costs, the manufacturing sector is now grappling with the devastating consequences of a soaring dollar. The Prime Minister said that he would not intervene.

Is the Minister of Finance aware that the Prime Minister's statements have given the green light to a speculative increase in the value of the dollar and have thereby compounded the misery of manufacturing companies and contributed to job losses, according to experts?

The Dollar
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question.

The matter of monetary policy, of course, as the member knows, is the responsibility of the Bank of Canada. We recognize the challenges faced by manufacturers over the past several years. The Canadian dollar, more than any other currency, has borne the brunt of the depreciation of the American dollar.

That is why in budget 2007 we brought in a dramatic increase in the capital cost allowance for manufacturers, at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion, a direct writeoff over the course of the next two years, so that they can acquire more efficient--

The Dollar
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

The Dollar
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, those measures are not enough.

According to a study by the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the dollar's 8¢ rise this year has cost the industry $1.2 billion and eliminated 15,000 jobs. The same thing is happening in other sectors. The Prime Minister has said that he sympathizes with people who have recently lost their jobs.

Isn't it time for this government to do better than offer sympathy, to abandon its laissez-faire attitude, and to implement a real plan to help the industry through this crisis? That is its responsibility.

The Dollar
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the recommendations of the industry committee of the House were unanimous on this issue, and that includes the party of the member opposite who has asked the question.

That is why, because we are concerned about manufacturers and the health of the manufacturing industry, particularly in central Canada, in Quebec and Ontario, we brought in this dramatic change in capital cost allowance.

With respect to employment, since this government was elected there are more than 450,000 more jobs in Canada today.