House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trafficking.

Topics

Northern Lights Trade Show and Conference
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, this week, the nation's capital is playing host to the Northern Lights 2008 trade show and conference.

Northern Lights is a multi-industry event which is bringing together business, community and government leaders from Labrador, Nunavut and Nunavik to highlight the economic opportunities of these northern regions of Canada.

This initiative of the Baffin Regional and Labrador North Chambers of Commerce will build links between the corporate world of the Canadian south and the emerging economic and resource powerhouses of the Canadian north.

Northern Lights will also showcase the artistic and cultural richness of these regions through visual and performing arts.

At its heart, Northern Lights is about resilient and aspiring peoples whose rich history have helped shape this great country and whose future is as bright as the amazing aurora borealis on a clear winter's night.

I welcome my fellow northerners, some who are in the gallery today, and congratulate the organizers on putting together an informative and diverse package of speakers, workshops, sessions and entertainment.

I extend an invitation to all members to take in Northern Lights 2008.

Fleur-de-lys
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 21, 2008, Quebeckers celebrated the 60th anniversary of their national flag, the fleur-de-lys.

On January 21, 1948, at 3 p.m., the national flag of the people of Quebec was raised atop the Quebec National Assembly for the first time. That very morning, the government had granted it the status of official flag of Quebec. The flag is only a little over half a century old, but all Quebeckers can identify with it.

A number of events were held to celebrate the 60th anniversary, bringing together citizens of all backgrounds and beliefs in testimony to our allegiance and attachment to Quebec, the Quebec nation and our flag.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Statements By Members

January 31st, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, after the Shermag plant shutdowns and the temporary closures, today the AbitibiBowater plant in Dalhousie is closing.

This closure affects the Restigouche area, where nearly 1,000 jobs depend directly or indirectly on the plant, and represents an economic loss of close to $70 million. It is truly an economic and human disaster.

Instead of taking action months ago, the Prime Minister waited until the crisis had affected thousands of people before offering assistance. Even worse, he politicized the issue by making the financial aid conditional on the adoption of the budget. What is more, the Conservative government eliminated the $1.5 billion in aid announced by the Liberal government in 2005, which could have prevented these tragedies.

The Conservatives' aid announcement has not stopped the plant closures and the layoffs, and there is proof of this daily. There is nothing for plant workers, nothing for workers at the port of Dalhousie, nothing for forestry workers. All the Conservatives should be ashamed of abandoning the communities, the workers and their families.

Leader of the Opposition
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, once again we are seeing weak leadership from the Leader of the Opposition who has failed to make passing our tackling violent act a priority.

Our government's Bill C-2 would better protect our children from sexual predators, protect society from dangerous offenders, get serious with drug impaired drivers and toughen sentencing and bail for gun crimes.

Bill C-2 was passed by this democratically elected House and has widespread support from Canadians and yet the Leader of the Opposition has failed to direct his Liberal senators to pass this legislation quickly.

Why is the Liberal leader so allergic to leadership? Why does he refuse to stand up for the safety of Canadians? The opposition leader is weak and could never be entrusted to lead our country. Furthermore, he has revealed the true agenda of the Liberals. They are just like members of the NDP. They talk tough when it is time for an election but Canadians know they are soft on crime.

Only one party continues to stand up for safe streets and communities and--

Leader of the Opposition
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. Oral questions.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today we heard reports that the government was allowing Afghan forces to take detainees directly during joint operations alongside Canadian mentors.

Because this is not technically a transfer, the detainee transfer agreement does not apply, but beyond technicalities are the immoralities of this practice.

Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians if this unacceptable practice is occurring, yes or no?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we train the Afghan forces to take more responsibility for the security of their own country, I think it can be assumed that they would also be taking more responsibility for all aspects of the mission.

I must admit that I am completely baffled by the perspective of some in the opposition that somehow Canadian Forces would not do any military operations in Afghanistan but we would take prisoners.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadians have heard their Prime Minister refuse to answer a very clear question. I will therefore repeat it in French so that he may clearly answer whether or not, during joint operations, it is being left to Afghan forces to take prisoners and then transfer them to the Afghan detention system where they could be subjected to torture by that government. Yes or no?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I assume that if Afghan forces take prisoners, they are responsible for the detention of these prisoners. If we take prisoners, they are our prisoners and we have an agreement with the Government of Afghanistan governing the nature of these transfers. Our Canadian Forces can transfer them if they believe it is in their operational interests.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we will get there. The Prime Minister understands the question very well. We are speaking of joint operations. During joint operations, who takes the prisoners? Do the Afghans or the Canadians keep them under their protection? It is a simple question. Prime Minister, what happens during joint operations?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition knows very well that he is to address his questions to the Speaker even if they are for the Prime Minister.

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, these are operational matters. I would assume that if Canadian Forces seize the prisoners they are in Canadian custody and if Afghan forces seize the prisoners I would presume they are in Afghan custody.

As we train the Afghan forces to take over more and more of the responsibility for their security operations, of course they will be taking over more and more responsibility for these various aspects of the security operation.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians continue to learn the truth about the situation in Afghanistan from the newspapers because the government will not tell them the truth.

The government's attempt to circumvent the military's decision to stop detainee transfers is absolutely troubling.

Will the Prime Minister finally come clean with Canadians and admit that it was his government that issued this new policy to circumvent the detainee ban?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, in short, no, we will not admit this because the policy has not changed.

The Prime Minister has clearly stated, as I have stated, that the policy remains the same. Operational matters around the subject of transfers of prisoners are in the hands of the best people in the world to do so, and that is the Canadian Forces.

We stand behind the Canadian Forces.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know the government will never admit the truth. We know that and Canadians know that. The government has never levelled with Canadians on the transfer of detainees.

I will turn to the Minister of Public Safety and ask him a question. We know Canadian Forces conduct joint operations with Afghan soldiers. There are prisoners detained by those Afghan soldiers. Do Correctional Service Canada officials have access to and the ability to inspect those detainees?