House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was death.

Topics

International Day of La Francophonie
Statements By Members

March 12th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, March 20 is the International Day of La Francophonie, when francophones will celebrate the language spoken by more than 264 million people around the globe.

French is one of the 10 most commonly spoken languages in the world. It has a rich history and a wide-reaching cultural heritage. With English, it is the only language taught in every country on the planet. And the number of people who are using and learning French is growing steadily.

However, the government's attitude toward the French fact is deplorable. It is sad to hear the pleas of federal prosecutors who, to save $2.8 million a year, want to abolish the court challenges program, which has provided valuable assistance for minority francophone communities.

In the face of the Conservatives' indifference, let us take time to affirm our pride in our francophone heritage and celebrate a living language that sets us apart from the rest of North America and reflects the culture in Quebec today.

Linguistic Duality
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1969, the Parliament of Canada enacted the Official Languages Act. This legislation has had significant and positive impact on minority language communities.

Since then, we have also expected our government to affirm, on a regular basis, the benefits and the importance of linguistic duality. Therefore, as we celebrate the Semaine de la Francophonie this week, it is appropriate to reaffirm in this House, with a loud and clear voice, the importance of linguistic duality for our country.

We are talking about much more than just a simple asset or a series of programs to be funded every five years. We are talking about a defining characteristic of our identity. In fact, linguistic duality is an integral part of this country's social fabric. For that reason it must be treated with respect and given priority, and we must provide the requisite financial support.

Therefore, I ask my colleagues to join with me to ensure that linguistic duality remains a core priority and part of the legacy we will pass on to our children.

Leader of the Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my dad used to say, it is time for the Liberal leader to fish or cut bait. Actually, he used a different saying but with the same meaning.

In 2006, the Liberal leader was quoted as saying that he was counting the days to the next election. I would like to remind him that it has now been over 450 days since he immediately called for an election. Perhaps he has a different meaning for “immediately” than I do.

We have a Liberal leader who charges toward an election with an army of 80 rejecting his leadership and supporting the responsible leadership of a balanced Conservative budget.

Again this weekend we heard the Liberal leader in Hamilton telling Canadians to be ready for an election call at any minute. Who is still listening?

On Monday, in this very chamber, the Liberal leader again backed down or, as his dog, Kyoto, would say, he rolled over on the environment.

The Liberal leader predicted that 2008 would be a whole new ball game, and he is right. This government and this Prime Minister continue to hit home runs.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today I have a multiple choice question for the Prime Minister: (a) what did thePrime Minister mean by “financial considerations” when he spoke on the tape; (b) will he ask Michael Wilson and Ian Brodie to step aside; (c) why did he authorize his party's in and out scheme during the last federal election; or (d) why did his environment minister's chief of staff call the OPP?

He can take his pick but none of the above is not an option.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have previously noted as one example the unacceptable leak on the Obama campaign. An investigation is being undertaken by the Privy Council Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs and I am sure they will do a thorough look into this.

We will continue to work hard to ensure that we maintain good and productive trade relations between Canada and the United States.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister failed the test.

We will give him another chance. On the tape, the Prime Minister mentioned an offer made to Mr. Cadman by party officials to help resolve Mr. Cadman's financial situation in the event of an election. The questions are: (a) What offer? (b) What officials? (c) What financial situation?

While the Prime Minister is at it, he should tell the truth and answer all three questions once and for all.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said there was a meeting with Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Finley and Mr. Cadman about the possibility of Mr. Cadman rejoining the Conservative Party, receiving the Conservative nomination and running as a Conservative candidate. Our answers are clear.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, again he did not answer and did not even mention the tape. We will give the Prime Minister another chance.

Who is he accusing of lying: (a) Mr. Cadman's widow; (b) Mr. Cadman's daughter; (c) Mr. Cadman's son-in-law; (d) the journalist, Lawrence Martin; (e) all of the above; or (f), and this is a hint, the government and the Prime Minister are misleading the House and Canadians?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let me do my own multiple choice. I was wondering at the beginning of this session: (a) whether the official opposition might support us on our budgetary and financial policies; (b) whether it might support us on our crime policies; (c) whether it might support us on our foreign policies; or (d) whether it might support us on our environment policy. The answer is: all of the above.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 10 days of this, a pattern of evasion is emerging in the government's answers on the Cadman affair.

Inside the House, Conservative spokesmen deny the allegations but outside the House, they duck and cover. This pattern of evasion is unworthy of a government that walks around claiming that it is clean.

I will try again with a key question in the affair. Was a financial inducement ever offered by one or more representatives of the Conservative Party to Chuck Cadman, yes or no?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

The answer to the question, Mr. Speaker, is no. I have said that a number of times in the House of Commons. I have said it in a number of interviews outside of the House of Commons. I have said it consistently. The answer is clear. We have been consistent. The Liberals can keep changing their story, but we will stick to the facts.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is a bit troubling because yesterday, outside the House, the parliamentary secretary refused to say whether or not the Conservatives had made an offer to Chuck Cadman.

If we ask the question again, inside the house, will the parliamentary secretary answer in the same way? Will he say the same thing outside the House that he is saying here, inside the House?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Yes, Mr. Speaker, and I have already done so a number of times in the past week and a half or two weeks.

However, I did want to say that we have been consistent on this issue. I am not asking the opposition to take my word for it, but I did want to cite for the Liberals the story that just came out today:

One of Chuck Cadman's closest political advisors said the Independent MP clearly told him Conservative Party officials offered no inducements to change his vote on the 2005 confidence motion....[Chuck Cadman] said, 'They offered me the same support they offered me before', [the advisor recalled]. “But, no, he said, 'They didn't offer me anything specific and I didn't ask for anything'.”

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, when asked about the offer made to Chuck Cadman, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works replied, and I quote, “—the Prime Minister, like everyone in our caucus, knew that Chuck Cadman had received an offer to rejoin our caucus—”

If the Prime Minister knew about the offer, as the parliamentary secretary said, why did he not mention it during the interview he gave to Chuck Cadman's biographer in September 2005?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that there were discussions between party representatives and Mr. Cadman about the possibility of him rejoining the Conservative caucus, receiving the Conservative nomination, and running as a Conservative candidate. That is clear.