House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was million.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. We are going to hear from another member now. The hon. member for Essex has the floor.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, following a recent speech by the Minister of Industry to the Toronto Board of Trade, a speech I attended, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association of Canada said that the minister “has clearly carved out a positive role for government to support our industry going forward”. The CVMA also stated, “The government's policy is positive and should assist our industry as it transforms, adapts and strengthens in response to unprecedented global challenges”.

Can the Minister of Industry inform this House of what initiatives prompted this support from Canada's auto manufacturers?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, former gas-guzzling Liberal governments really failed to do what needed to be done for the automotive industry. Fortunately we have excellent members, such as the member for Essex, who have fought for the industry.

The government is moving forward with strong fundamentals that will make the auto industry competitive. On Friday, as the member has pointed out, I unveiled the government's new automotive strategy, which is built on four pillars: the best business climate anywhere in the G-7, the strongest economic fundamentals; an integrated North American approach to fuel efficiency standards and also to harmonization of other standards; investing in R and D; and finally, a new automotive innovation fund of $250 million.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the compromise on Afghanistan, which keeps Canadian troops in Kandahar until 2011, is contingent upon specific obligations.

The Conservative government must shift the Canadian Forces' mission toward the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

It has also committed itself to true transparency and accountability in respect of its citizens and Parliament for the three objectives of the mission. The government knows that the people will demand that these objectives be respected.

My question is for the Minister of National Defence. In concrete terms, how can Canadians and MPs be assured that these undertakings will be respected?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer this question given that the House is currently debating the future of the mission in Afghanistan.

I can assure the hon. member of this House that we will do our utmost to have this vote as soon as possible. When this House has voted, I hope to have the support of NATO countries in terms of the troops and equipment needed to continue the mission.

When that happens, we will certainly inform the House on a regular basis of the action being taken and we will be accountable to this House, as we have been in the past.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of a group of aboriginal and church leaders in Ottawa to launch the “Remembering the Children” tour to prepare Canadians for the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Mr. Georges Erasmus, the President of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation; Mr. Ted Quewezance, Executive Director of the National Residential Schools Survivors' Society; the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Right Reverend David Giuliano; the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Reverend Dr. Hans Kouwenberg; the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Diocese of Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast; and National Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church of Canada, the Right Reverend Mark MacDonald.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Comments by Member for Charlottetown
Points of Order
Oral Questions

March 3rd, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker and members of this assembly, on Thursday afternoon last week during time allotted for members' statements, I made a number of comments that were wrong, improper, inappropriate and extremely unparliamentary.

I want to stand in the House today, apologize for my behaviour and retract those remarks.

First, I want to apologize to the House for these remarks, as they were, as I said, improper, wrong and extremely unparliamentary. Since being elected as the member for Charlottetown about seven years ago, I have attempted to conduct myself with dignity and honour, in other words, in a manner that acknowledges and respects the importance and significance of this institution. That certainly was not the case last Thursday afternoon. I deeply regret my actions.

Second, I want to sincerely apologize to the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney and his family. Although the remarks were rhetorical and meant solely as hyperbole, they were highly improper and ought not to have been made. I sincerely apologize to him and his family, and I do hope he accepts my apology.

Third, I want to apologize to my colleague and friend, the member of Parliament for Abbotsford. He had the floor at the time my remarks were made and they should not have been made. I should not have been saying anything at that particular time, let alone what I did say.

Also, I want to apologize to you, Mr. Speaker. You have a difficult job in this highly partisan environment. You do a good job. I did not make your job any easier. I want to apologize for my behaviour.

I also want to apologize to my family, immediate and extended, for any embarrassments caused to them. They have come to expect better of me. On this occasion, I feel that I have let them down.

I could go on and give some reasons or excuses or try to explain to the House what was going on in my mind at that particular moment. I will not, because I feel I would only detract from my apology and retraction. I want my statement to be full, frank, unqualified and without any qualifications whatsoever. In other words, I accept total responsibility for my inappropriate words.

In closing, I repeat that I do apologize for my inappropriate remarks and I do hope that all members of this assembly will accept my apology and retraction.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allotting me the time to address this House.

Comments by Member for Charlottetown
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Charlottetown for his retraction. I note that this matter was raised by the hon. member for Abbotsford last week. I believe that therefore completes the problem.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 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, I rise on a point of order. Today, during oral question period, when the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages was answering questions, we clearly heard the leader of the Bloc Québécois use some very insulting language in reference to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

I therefore ask the leader of the Bloc Québécois to withdraw his comments.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

I withdraw what I said, which was not parliamentary language. Even though the response may have been insipid, that is not what I said.

I withdraw what I said about the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, before oral question period, I made a member's statement. I would therefore like to table a document I referred to in my statement.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes.

No.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

In my opinion, you do not have unanimous consent.