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 troops.

Topics

National Francophonie Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating francophonie week in Canada. This year's theme is, “From past to future generations, my world is la ‘francophonie’”.

Unfortunately, the future does not augur well for la francophonie in Canada under the Conservative government. The government is showing very little interest in la francophonie and the official languages. In fact, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages refuses to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages.

What is more, the Conservatives have cancelled the court challenges program, a program that produced the most significant gains in recent years for minority communities.

I am imploring the government to pay more attention to the official languages and la francophonie, so that francophones can truly celebrate this week that is so important to them.

Tragedy in Morin Heights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the community of Morin Heights, in the heart of the Laurentians, is going through a difficult time. Three workers at Gourmet du village died yesterday after the roof collapsed under the weight of the snow.

Barbara Morrisson Elliott, Sharon Kirkpatrick and Marlyn Osiaza were unfortunately unable to escape the collapse. After long hours of searching by the many rescuers on the scene, under the direction of fire chief Charles Bernard, the tragedy came to a sad end for the friends and relatives looking on. It was clear from his voice that Mayor Michel Plante was deeply affected.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois and all members of the House of Commons, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the Morrisson Elliott, Kirkpatrick and Osiaza families, and to the entire community of Morin Heights. We share in the grief of this tragic loss of life.

French language Media
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the International Day of La Francophonie just a few days away, and on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to express two wishes regarding French-language media.

First of all, regarding TV5 Québec Canada, the only channel to specialize in general interest programming that showcases the multicultural aspect of the francophonie in Canada and around the world, I would like the CRTC to acknowledge its mistake and grant it a mandatory distribution order on digital basic.

Second, I would like Canada to show some leadership by increasing both its contribution to TV5 Monde and its share of ownership in that channel. I would also like Canada to encourage other countries of the francophonie to do the same, in order to ensure that France does not gain disproportionate control over TV5 Monde.

Should these two wishes be granted, the francophonie in Canada and around the world could only benefit.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, the previous Liberal government showed a complete lack of accountability and stewardship of Canadian taxpayer dollars. Therefore, it is refreshing that in just two years our Conservative government has delivered three straight responsible and balanced budgets, paid down the federal debt by $37 billion and set the course toward the lowest federal tax burden in half a century.

Contrast that with the Liberal Party, which has now promised more than $66 billion in scattered new spending priorities over the next four years, spending which will have to be financed by either raising taxes or driving the country back into deficit. Its most recent brainwave involves an ad hoc private member's bill which, according to TD Bank chief economist Don Drummond, would cost about $2 billion a year and favour the wealthy.

The Liberal leader is about to stand up. I hope he will use his time to explain to Canadians that his newly minted catchphrase “tax shift” is really just code for another Liberal taxpayer shaft.

Saint-Lambert
Vacancy
Statements By Members

March 13th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, namely Maka Kotto, member for the electoral district of Saint-Lambert, by resignation effective today.

Pursuant to subsection 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed earlier today my warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill this vacancy.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for two weeks now the Prime Minister has refused to tell Canadians the truth about what he said on the tape. Instead he threatens lawsuits and his government has shut down the work of Parliament.

Why will the Prime Minister not come clean and tell Canadians what he was talking about on the tape, or will he admit that the only thing transparent about his government is that Canadians see right through it?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the past couple of weeks, both inside and outside of Parliament, the Liberal Party and its agents have been making allegations against me of a criminal nature that are absolutely false, that are despicable. We have been absolutely clear, as was Chuck Cadman during his life, about what transpired.

Today my representatives have filed a statement of claim in a court of law. I look forward to seeing the Leader of the Opposition actually let this go to trial so he can hear the whole truth and admit his own role in it.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will not get off so easily. There was a tape and we were able to hear him. The question he was asked in the tape was about a $1 million insurance policy. He answered byspeaking about “financial considerations” for Mr. Cadman, “financial insecurity”, “financial losses” and “financial issues”.

Once again, the question is as follows: what “financial insecurity” was the Prime Minister talking about when he replied to a question about a $1 million insurance policy?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said and have been saying for the past two weeks, these allegations of criminal wrongdoing are utterly false.

I am availing myself of what any Canadian would do when he has been treated in a completely unacceptable and illegal manner, which is what the Liberal Party has done here. I have every right, as does my family, to defend our reputation. The Liberal Party will, as I said, come to regret engaging in this illegal and untruthful behaviour.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister clearly does not want to answer questions in the House about what he said on the tape. He even runs away from the media outside of the House.

Where will the Prime Minister hide for the next two weeks? Because Canadians will be asking him to explain the tape, and they have the right to know. Where will he hide?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, my answers on this have been very clear. They are all, in fact, contained in the documents filed in court today. We have yet to hear the view of the leader of the Liberal Party on all of this.

We are all going to be very curious to find out how it was that the leader of the Liberal Party and his party came up with an incomplete and edited version of a conversation three years after an event. We are all looking forward to that explanation.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all heading back to our constituencies this weekend, with some relief, but the Prime Minister will not be able to evade Canadians the way he has evaded the House. He will not be able to threaten them with lawsuits.

They will be asking one question. The Cadman family maintains that a financial offer was made. The Prime Minister is on tape discussing such an offer. In light of these facts, how can he maintain that an inappropriate financial offer was not--

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 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 only evading and hiding going on in Parliament are the Liberals on every confidence vote in the last two weeks.

We have been straightforward with the facts and, again, as I have said a number of times in the House of Commons, we could understand if the Liberals did not want to accept our word. They should just simply accept the word of Chuck Cadman who said no such offer was made.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we accept the word of Mrs. Cadman and her family. For two weeks, the Prime Minister has been avoiding our questions about the Cadman affair. He has launched lawsuits, gone on a trip and avoided the press.

For the next two weeks, he is going to have to face the Canadian people. Will he treat them with the same contempt?