House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are saying anything they can to distance themselves from the Rosdev affair. Former counsellor Tamburello, potential Conservative candidate Marcel Tremblay and party fundraiser Leo Housakos have all been named.

Which one of them will agree to take the rap for Mr. Soudas? Who approached the Prime Minister's Office on Rosdev's behalf, and under what circumstances?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the circumstances are not the same as they were, for example, in the case of the Liberal member for West Nova, who, as minister responsible for ACOA, gave a grant to a harbour for which his brother-in-law has a monopoly, or the member for LaSalle—Émard, who introduced legislative amendments and tabled a bill that benefited CSL, despite his own leader's concerns. That was a rather divisive decision.

That is the Liberal record: a record of scandals. This is completely different.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government's excuses over the Soudas affair are weak, are unravelling in a heap and are resting squarely at the Prime Minister's feet.

It is clear that Mr. Soudas tried to exert pressure over Public Works officials. They were being lobbied to rethink the government's position by Rosdev's lawyer, a Conservative Party bagman and one of the Prime Minister's senior staff.

If this was not influence peddling, how else were they to interpret being called to the PMO? Was it for tea?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, apparently my friend thinks the Prime Minister's Office should have nothing to do with running the government or asking questions about the government.

What is of interest to Canadians is that no special political favours were handed out in this case. None. That is what Liberals think is scandalous.

God forbid that becomes the practice because when the Liberals are in office they will have nothing to offer their supporters. It will not be business the way it always was under the Liberal Party. There will be no reason for the Liberal Party to even exist.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Soudas meddling could end up compromising the government's position in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. None of the people involved were registered to lobby. It is a clear violation of the law.

When will the government stop serving up nonsense and demand some real accountability from the Prime Minister's own staff?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we have had full accountability and nothing untoward occurred. No favours were handed out.

When we talk about concerns, I look at this entire affair. Only one person has had to apologize under this entire sad episode, this invented scandal by the Liberal Party. Only one person has had to retract what he did. Only one person has had to back off.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Who?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

The leader of the Liberal Party.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

February 1st, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government denies that there have been cases of torture in Afghanistan. Yet it has heavily censored the documents provided in accordance with the Access to Information Act, thereby protecting the torturers.

How can the government have denied for one year that there have been cases of torture when, at the same time, it censored proof of the activities of the governor of Kandahar province, who is suspected of having tortured prisoners?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I should not have to remind the member opposite that it was the Government of Canada and the Minister of Foreign Affairs who revealed here on the floor of the House the fact that we had uncovered a credible allegation of mistreatment. That happened and that is undeniable.

Let us retrace what has been going on here. We put in place a new agreement. It leads to the ability to discover any improper treatment. That works. We discovered that. We suspended transfers. We revealed on the floor of the House of Commons what happened. We have done everything in line with our commitments to protect individuals and to support the Canadian Forces.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has been questioned many times about possible cases of torture and has always denied the allegations, stating that it was Taliban propaganda.

How could the government deny that the torture took place when it had documents proving that the torture was carried out by those in the highest political circles, namely the very governor of Kandahar province?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

An hon. member

It is outrageous.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite has a different view of sovereignty than I do but we are not going to tell the government of Afghanistan who it can put in place as its officials. We will, however, as we have always done, raise our concerns at the highest levels, which is what I did in November.

I spoke to the governor and I told him of our concerns. I said that there had to be action, that there had to be an investigation and that there had to be changes. I said the same thing, within 24 hours, to the President of Afghanistan and my counterpart, General Wardak, and that will continue.

We have regular contact with not only our own officials, but we raise concerns regularly with members of the Afghanistan government.

Forestry and Manufacturing Industries
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list of jobs lost in Quebec is getting longer: 270 jobs lost in Lebel-sur-Quévillon; 115 jobs lost in Maniwaki, in the riding of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and 55 jobs lost in Saint-Hilarion.

When AbitibiBowater announced yesterday that another 400 workers would be laid off because of the crisis, the CSN called on the government to take immediate action and abandon its partisan interests. The Prime Minister must table a bill immediately to improve the Conservative's aid package, which is being criticized all across Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister not realize he must take immediate action?

Forestry and Manufacturing Industries
Oral Questions

11:35 a.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, indeed the forestry sector is undergoing major restructuring. We all know why. If we take the U.S. economy for example, usually some 2 million homes are built every year. That figure has now dropped to 600,000.

What is the government doing about this? First, we have reduced the GST. Second, we have reduced personal and business income taxes. Furthermore, we have granted an accelerated capital cost allowance and, finally, we have just announced $1 billion community development trust.