House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Government Policies
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it seems that every day the Prime Minister has introduced a new confidence motion.

In his party's campaign promises made two years ago, he promised that only the budget and the Speech from the Throne would be confidence votes. This, like most of the promises he made, was broken.

The government continues to promise one thing and do the opposite. In fact, in a quick review I have found that the government has not kept at least 55 of its promises to Canadians. Other examples include: its promise to establish a public appointments commissioner to curb political appointments; its promise to honour the Atlantic accord; its promise to not tax income trusts; its promise to put 2,500 police officers on the streets; its promise on patient wait times guarantees; its promise to create 125,000 child care spaces; and the list goes on and on.

I may be old fashioned in my thinking, but keeping a person's word is part of that person's honour. As I have shown, the only issue of confidence in this town right now is the government has no honour.

Nobel Peace Prize
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a reception was held on Parliament Hill to honour Canadian scientists for their contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, which with Al Gore was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to raise awareness and disseminate knowledge about global warming.

The Conservative Party refused to pay tribute to these scientists, preferring to ignore them. The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Environment were noticeable by their absence, as all the other parties honoured these scientists for receiving no less than the Nobel Prize.

The Conservative government is maintaining its policy of inaction on the environment, an ideological policy that led to its refusal to honour the scientists.

Road to Excellence Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Olympic athletes are in Ottawa today to plead with the government to implement the $30 million road to excellence fund so they can train for the Beijing summer Olympics.

The road to excellence fund is modelled on the $60 million Own the Podium fund started by the Liberal government in 2004. This program resulted in an unprecedented number of Canadian medals at the Turin Olympics. Today, Canada ranks second in the world in winter sports.

Funding for the summer and Parlaympic Games is pathetic. I have been inundated with letters from Olympians and prominent members of the Canadian sports community anxious about the road to excellence funding.

For over two years, summer athletes have been asking for this fund, hopefully. Now, with only a few months until Beijing, they are desperate.

Once again, the Conservative government does not get it. To win a medal, one needs to be able to train. To be able to train, one needs money.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader admitted that his party had made a serious mistake by inviting corporations and lobbyists to illegally bid as high as they wanted at a party fundraiser held in Ottawa last night.

While I have to agree with the member for Ottawa—Vanier, who stated, “If anybody is going to pay $50,000 to have lunch with my colleagues, they ought to have their head examined”, this attempted illegal fundraising event clearly demonstrates the Liberal Party has not changed and will never change. The culture of the entitlement is alive and well in the Liberal ranks. While the Federal Accountability Act clearly bans corporate donations, Liberals are once again showing their truest value is that it is only wrong if one gets caught.

This “bid as high as you want” event followed the Halloween “spooktacular” in Mississauga, with illegal corporate sponsorships. Who knows how many other illegal Liberal fundraisers there have been. It all demonstrates one thing for Canadians; that one would have to be sky-high to think one could ever trust Liberals to obey any law that restricts corporate donations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

February 14th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that he is coming to the Liberal position about the future of our mission in Afghanistan. However, for two days he has refused to answer clear questions about what that means. Yesterday he said, “we are both seeking an end to the mission around 2011”.

Could he drop the word “around”? Could the Prime Minister confirm that February 2011 is the firm end date for the mission in Kandahar?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think it has already been clear. We have already said in the Speech from the Throne, and again in our motion, our desire to see the mission end in 2011.

The Liberal Party has made similar proposals. I have said we will take a careful look at those to do our best to try to find common ground. After all, Liberal and Conservative governments have sent our men and women in uniform into a dangerous situation into Afghanistan. When they are there, they obviously have to work together and I think they expect us to try to work together here.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I agree completely, but in order for that to happen we have to have clear answers to clear questions.

So let us try again.

The Liberal position is that after February 2009 the mission will change. We are not going to be doing more of the same. The mission has to go from being an offensive mission to being a security mission, a reconstruction mission, a training mission.

Does the Prime Minister agree that Canada’s offensive mission in Kandahar will end in February 2009?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has clearly said that he wanted the mission in Afghanistan to continue after 2009, until 2011. He has also said that it was still the responsibility of the military leaders to give the orders on the ground, and it was not the role of a politician to tell them how to conduct their operations.

I agree with that.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, does he agree that it is the role of the politicians to establish clearly what the mission is? That is what we are talking about.

Let us talk about another principle the Prime Minister has recognized, a principle that we have been supporting for at least a year, if not more: the rotation principle.

The Prime Minister has talked about the rotation principle. I would like to know whether he talks about it in the telephone calls he is finally making to NATO, for additional troops to replace us in the offensive mission, so we can focus on our training, security and reconstruction mission.

Is the Prime Minister sending that clear message to NATO, even though he is not sending it clearly in this House?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Leader of the Opposition that in the Speech from the Throne the government stated its desire to end this mission in 2011 and also to make the transition from its present role to a training role, as the primary mission of the Canadian Forces. We see the same recommendations in the Manley report.

We hope to work together to achieve a real consensus, a real position that can be adopted by this House and that will serve our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is not giving a clear answer to a clear question. He has to understand the rationale for a clear deadline is to set clear targets for our Afghan allies. Unless those clear targets are set, we could be there forever. Does he understand that point?

The point here is to make sure the Afghan allies meet their obligations. Otherwise we are there forever. Does he understand that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party has put the situation very well. We need to establish clear targets, as he knows and as is documented in the Manley report.

We already are training the Afghan army and making some progress. We need to set clear timelines for that so we successfully, over the next couple of years, transition this security operation to the principal responsibility of the Afghans themselves.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would point out, with great respect, that without a fixed deadline this will not be possible.

Yesterday, I asked when the military mission would end. The Prime Minister replied: “around 2011”. Well, “around 2011” is not clear, it is not decisive. We have reached the decisive point in our discussions. The Liberal Party is opposed to renewing the mission beyond 2011 for strategic reasons.

What is the government’s position?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has stated its desire to end this mission in 2011. We said it in the Speech from the Throne and we said it in our motion here in the House of Commons.

I recognize that the Liberal Party has said something a little different, perhaps, but it is more or less the same thing. Obviously we are seeking common ground. Because both of us, Liberals and Conservatives, have sent our troops to Afghanistan to work together, and we should be working together here in the House of Commons.

Transport
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities told us that there had not been any political meddling in the appointment of the president of the Montreal Port Authority. However, Joseph Soares, who is in charge of appointments in the office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Dimitri Soudas, who is the Prime Minister’s press secretary, met with the port’s board of directors in order—and I quote—to “express a preference” for Robert Abdallah.

Does the Prime Minister understand that there is political meddling going on when an important official in his office and an important official in the office of his Quebec lieutenant express their preference for a certain candidate?