House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto--Danforth

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

March 13th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised that things were going to be different, and yet even Justice Gomery has to point out the ethical shortcomings of the government.

On NAFTA-gate, his senior aide and his officials failed to live up to the ethical standards that Canadians expect from high office holders here.

Will the Prime Minister start running the government ethically? Will he either clear his chief of staff or fire him, clear the Canadian ambassador or remove him from office, or get his trade minister to straighten out his story or shuffle him?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again as I said, the recommendations of Justice Gomery that we rejected were rejected by a wide range of Canadians, including former NDP premiers Allan Blakeney and Bob Rae, who specifically wrote to me saying I should not adopt those recommendations.

In terms of the issue at hand, the Clerk of the Privy Council is leading a full internal investigation. We will accept whatever recommendations come out of that, but I can say that at the moment nobody is suggesting that there is any evidence that would suggest at this point that I should force anyone to resign.

Obviously, we are going to make sure we accumulate all the evidence before making any decisions, particularly decisions that would be unfair to any individuals.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, through all the Prime Minister's kind and deserved words about Mr. Cadman and his family, there is a problem.

The Prime Minister says there was no offer of a life insurance policy. However, if there was no offer then the Prime Minister is saying Mr. Cadman was lying because Mr. Cadman told his family there was an offer, or that his wife and family are lying because they said he told them there was.

No nice spin will hide it. The Prime Minister is saying they are lying.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why is he saying that the Cadmans are lying?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 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

Mr. Speaker, we will leave the name-calling to the Liberals.

All we have said in the House of Commons are the facts. There was in fact no offer of a million dollar life insurance policy made to Chuck Cadman. That attack is not credible. It is not believable because in fact it is not true.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all looking to the Prime Minister to explain himself, to explain his own words, but he has chosen not to.

This is critical because if the Cadman family is right, this is about buying a vote to bring down the government. This is as serious as it gets.

I will give the Prime Minister another opportunity to explain. Two weeks ago he challenged me to say it outside this House and I did. Today I ask him, I challenge him, to explain it inside this House.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has explained it a number of times inside this House. I have explained it inside this House. We have also explained it outside this House and Chuck Cadman has explained it outside this House.

I think Canadians are getting sick and tired of the Liberal Party members consistently coming into the House, day in and day out, ignoring their obligations to vote on behalf of their constituents, and smearing people's reputations without any evidence whatsoever. The Liberal Party will be held accountable for its behaviour in a court of law.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker,

The opposition parties have a majority on parliamentary committees...The government will have no choice but to listen to these newly-empowered committees.

Who said that? It was the now Prime Minister back in 2004.

It looks like the Prime Minister does not stand for accountability when his own ethics are called into question. Why is the government now stopping the justice committee from carrying out any parliamentary examination of Conservatives trying to bribe Chuck Cadman?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing of the sort is happening. The chair of the justice committee made a decision that he did not want his committee converted into a kangaroo court the way the ethics committee already was.

His ruling was exactly the same as the ruling made by the Liberal ethics committee chair on the exact same motion. I note that the Liberal vice chair of the justice committee also made the exact same decision as the Conservative chair: to not allow that motion to come to a vote.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, Conservative committee chairs have been following orders from the geniuses in the Prime Minister's Office to ignore the rules of Parliament. They have regularly been leaving meetings they are responsible for chairing so that nobody can ask the Conservatives about the Cadman affair.

My question is for the Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice, not the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. Why did he decide to cancel his committee's meeting scheduled for this afternoon? Is he trying to prevent a democratic vote to study the Cadman affair and the Criminal Code?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Calgary Northeast.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the last few meetings the justice committee has come under substantial conflict due to one member presenting a motion. The motion actually comes in unison with the Liberals and the separatist Bloc to undermine the work of the committee. That is the full effort of their decision to put that motion forward.

I ruled the motion out of order because it was not the mandate of the committee to deal with it. The Liberals should be ashamed of themselves for bringing the motion forward.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is known for its unhealthy culture of secrecy. The most recent victim was the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada, in the transfer of Afghan detainees. The Department of Foreign Affairs refused to give the commission access to relevant documents.

If the minister really is cooperating fully, as he claims to be, then why did the chair of the commission have to launch a public inquiry to do his work?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her question. The government continues to cooperate with the commission.

I have a letter that was sent from the Department of Justice in response to the Military Police Complaints Commission. It states:

To facilitate the Commission's investigations to the fullest extent possible consistent with its mandate, I have been instructed to disclose to the Commission all Government records that it would be entitled to receive if the Commission was conducting a hearing into the complaints and had in fact issued a subpoena.

We will table it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is good because I, too, would like to talk about a letter.

How can the minister claim to be cooperating fully when a spokesperson for the commission, Stan Blythe, said that he received a letter from the government announcing that it would oppose requests for that public inquiry?