House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

First, Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government killed the court challenges program. Then, it went to court to fight groups who only wanted to protect their minority language rights.

Now, it is going where no other government has gone before. It wants these groups to pay the government its costs, which has never been done before.

The courts do not award these types of costs in public interest litigations. What has the government got against minority language rights?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his legal advice and how we should conduct litigation, but as I indicated yesterday, this matter is presently before the court and we should let the court do its work.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, in April 2006 in New York, the Prime Minister called the court challenges program a very valuable program. Four months later, he scrapped it.

Why does the Prime Minister claim to defend linguistic minorities when he is outside the country, but scorn those very communities when he is here at home?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our government has made a firm commitment to official language minority communities, and to the promotion of both official languages in Canada.

The court challenges program is currently before the courts. Thus, it would be inappropriate to comment on this matter.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I can suggest a solution to the government: since it was the government that created the problem, it could simply drop the court fight and reinstate the program.

This government has the power, right here and now, and at a minimal cost, to restore the court challenges program. Over the years, that program has had a very positive impact on a number of minority groups and there are many examples of its usefulness. Despite that fact, the government continues to ignore the most fundamental of Canadian rights.

Will the minister get his head out of the sand and commit, once and for all, to restoring the court challenges program, out of respect for all citizens of this country?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, our government, during the Speech from the Throne, committed to official language communities across Canada.

We talked about the next action plan and we are working hard to deliver the goods. Since the court challenges program is currently before the courts, we cannot comment on it.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to prove it once and for all, by getting the court challenges program out of the courts and restoring it immediately.

The government's obligation to take action to promote the growth and development of official language minority communities is enshrined in the law. Since its creation, the court challenges program has made it possible for minority communities in all provinces to fund their legal battles in order to assert their rights.

Can the minister tell us why a program that protects our minorities would be so harmful for Canada and minority communities?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, my colleague insults French and English language minority communities because he bases the health of these communities upon one single program. We delivered $30 million for the promotion of official language minority communities and we are committed to the action plan.

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives fired Linda Keen for her supposed lack of judgment in the Chalk River affair. We have learned that, after her departure, the new president reintroduced the pre-assessment of new Candu reactors, which Ms. Keen had set aside due to a lack of financial and human resources required to respect the rigorous safety standards.

Does this not prove that the Conservatives got rid of the obstacle to developing a nuclear network and without providing any real justification?

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the only thing this suggests is that the member is also engaged in these conspiracy theories. There is nothing that is further from the truth. Obviously, I cannot comment with respect to the former head of CNSC. That is a matter before the courts.

As far as any dealings which are completely within its control and matters that are dealt with by the CNSC in consultation with AECL, the government has no input into that at all.

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not seem to have understood the question.

Health and safety must be the priorities of the commission headed by Ms. Keen. Reintroducing the pre-assessment of Candu reactors, highly desired by the Conservatives, casts doubt on respect for nuclear safety standards.

What is the real reason for this decision if not the quick establishment of new plants in Canada? Why jeopardize the safety of our citizens for commercial interests?

Nuclear Energy
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the government did in looking at the health and safety of Canadians.

When we acted in December, we ensured that we were going to restore the supply of medical isotopes so that the safety and health of Canadians could be taken first. We did this with the support of every single member in the House. Now they want to change their minds. Shame on them.

Kosovo
Oral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when I asked the minister's secretary of state a question about Kosovo, she replied that the government was “assessing the situation”. However, Kosovo's independence has now been recognized by a number of countries, including several European countries and the United States.

What does the government intend to do? Several countries have already reacted; they have already assessed the situation. What is the government waiting for to recognize Kosovo's independence?

Kosovo
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the secretary of state said, we are assessing the situation. What does that mean? Simply put, it means that we are in touch with the international community, we are discussing the situation with our allies, we are watching to see how the situation evolves on the ground. We will inform the House of our position in due course.

Kosovo
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that each case is unique, but there is a universal principle in place: every nation's fundamental right to self-determination, as recognized by the UN charter.

Why is the government hesitating to recognize the efforts of the people of Kosovo, a nation that is taking control of its own destiny?