House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghan.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the story goes well beyond the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It involves a senior source at the Canadian embassy in Washington. This source was contacted by American and Canadian media and apparently confirmed that it was Senator Obama's campaign that contacted Canadian officials regarding NAFTA.

Will the Prime Minister's investigation include the Canadian embassy in Washington and, specifically, any role that Ambassador Michael Wilson may have played in this scandal?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government was clear last week: the investigation is comprehensive and we will get to the bottom of this issue with full transparency.

I thank my hon. colleague for this question, which allows me to confirm this government's position on transparency. We are accountable to Canadians and we will remain accountable on this issue.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this was not just a mistake. This was senior public servants giving secret information to journalists. This is very serious.

Will the investigation into this affair determine whether the ambassador, Michael Wilson, was the primary source at the Canadian embassy who passed this information along?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are currently conducting an independent investigation into this affair. I cannot make assumptions about the results of the investigation, which will be released in due time. The House will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a matter of trust. The world now knows that the Prime Minister's office cannot be trusted with confidential information. His chief of staff, Ian Brodie, started the NAFTA-gate scandal by casually discussing sensitive diplomatic conversations to entertain reporters.

If the Prime Minister gave the order, then he is complicit. If Ian Brodie acted on his own, then he is incompetent. Either way, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to tell the House whether his chief of staff is under investigation. Yes or no?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the relationship between our country and the U.S. is a very important one and we are proud to have a free trade agreement. We have had the agreement for a long time and it has been very productive for Canada, for Mexico and for the U.S. It is a good agreement. We create jobs under this agreement. It is still in force and I hope it will stay in force.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems that NAFTA-gate swings both ways. Never mind Obama and Clinton. We now have confirmed reports that behind closed doors the Minister of International Trade told congressman, Michael Michaud, that Canada would be willing to renegotiate NAFTA, this despite the Prime Minister's assurances that the government has no interest in reopening the agreement.

The question is very simple. Who do we trust: the Prime Minister, the minister or none of the above?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is so far from the truth. We have an agreement with the U.S. and with Mexico and the agreement is working. The agreement has been useful for Canadians, for families and for entrepreneurs in Canada. The agreement creates a lot of jobs in this country, a lot of jobs in Mexico and the U.S. I hope that this agreement will stay in force and it must stay in force.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, global warming is one of the most serious challenges that we face. Our government announced last April the framework of our plan to cut Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, government officials and ministers have been consulting with environmental groups, provinces and industry to design the details of our plan.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House when the government will be releasing the details of our government's plan to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions an absolute 20% by 2020?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House that today we are releasing the meat to the bones of our regulatory plan. The details of our regulation will be posted on Environment Canada's website this afternoon.

We made a commitment to Canadians to cut greenhouse gases by an absolute 20%. We are following through on that commitment and we will be delivering real results.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' record on greenhouse gas production, including development of the oil sands, is catastrophic. This is what the Prime Minister said, “Kyoto is basically a socialist plot to suck money out of wealthy countries”.

The Conservatives are always talking about respecting law and order. Do they realize that failing to comply with our international obligations may have disastrous consequences for future generations and for Canada's reputation today?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do think it is a stain on the Government of Canada that the previous government was unable to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to sit back and watch them rise by some 33% above the commitments that it signed.

That is why the member will be excited to learn that we are moving aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 17 sectors of the Canadian economy and mandating carbon capture and storage for new oil sands projects, something the previous government lacked the resolve to do.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we heard the government today claim that it cares about pollution from the tar sands but let us look at the truth of the matter because what the government is saying does not amount to anything more than hot air.

Last week the Federal Court said that the environmental assessments being done of the tar sands were full of holes.

The Canadian ambassador to the United States wrote to the Americans and asked that the tar sands be exempted from American environmental controls.

Why is the government trying to weasel out from environmental controls both here in Canada and in the United States when it comes to the tar sands?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We are taking real action, the toughest action ever taken in Canadian history. We have among the toughest industry regulations in the world.

I am starting to get the feeling that we are losing the confidence of the NDP. However, the good news is that it is nice to be able to count on the support of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives came to power, some regions have been favoured by the Minister for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, while others have been ignored. One of the regions that have not found favour is the region of Montreal. This is completely bizarre. I would even say that it is absolutely ridiculous. We are talking about the engine of the manufacturing sector in Quebec.

Is there something personal in this? Is it because the Minister does not like Montreal, or simply because Montreal does not elect any Conservative members?