House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon the Prime Minister has admitted that the head of the Privy Council Office is investigating the Prime Minister's Office. The problem is that the most senior adviser in the PMO, the Chief of Staff, is the reason for the investigation in the first place.

Could the government clarify for this House the degree to which the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff is involved in the PCO investigation and will he ask the Chief of Staff to step aside until the investigation is complete?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has said, this kind of information leak is completely unacceptable. For that reason, the Clerk of the Privy Council, with the Department of Foreign Affairs, is doing an internal inquiry. As soon as the results are available, and with legal advice, this government will act on that information.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I may have missed the answer as to whether the Chief of Staff would be stepping aside, so I wonder, when the Conservatives promised trust, openness, transparency, accountability and clean government, did they mean this? Did they mean stonewalling in the House of Commons? Did they mean refusing to tell the whole truth? Did they mean cover-ups and mistruths?

Are openness, transparency and accountability somehow really code for leak, hide and cover? How can working families trust this government if the Prime Minister will not fire the one person who we can confirm leaked this story?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government introduced the toughest accountability act ever in the country. We are very proud of that act. I will tell the hon. member again that an investigation is being conducted. As soon as the results are available, this government will act.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister continues to attack the Premier of Ontario with the viciousness of a soon to be provincial opposition leader, but in the meantime, manufacturing jobs just keep flowing out of Ontario.

This is the same man who left us a $5.6 billion deficit when he was a provincial minister. He was the architect of Walkerton, Ipperwash and the jailing of the homeless. In December, he achieved zero growth for the Canadian economy. Will he please stop helping Ontario?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I might point out for the benefit of the hon. member that the economy in Ontario actually is doing very well. I have been to a number of recent announcements and in particular in the aerospace sector, at the Diamond jet manufacturing facility.

Perhaps if she answered her phone it might be some good news relating to the Canadian economy. It might cheer her up.

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sure the Minister of Industry would not want to urge the member to do something that is contrary to the rules. Cellphones are not to be used in the House.

The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

The Environment
Oral Questions

March 6th, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the environment commissioner issued his latest report. Many of the problems identified were flagged for the Liberals years ago, but what did they do? Absolutely nothing on issues like species at risk, aquatic invasive species and protected areas for wildlife.

In fact, it takes time to clean up the environmental messes left behind by the Liberals, who were derelict in their duties. Can the Minister of the Environment please tell the House what this government is doing to address the great Liberal legacy of inaction on the environment?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have received a report from the environment commissioner, who did a great job. We fully accept the report. It is a follow-up report to reports that were issued by his office in the early 2000s. It is really a follow-up report to find out whether the Liberals were successful at cleaning up their mess.

The report is good in five areas and it shows we have progress in nine areas. We are committed to do something more than talk about it. We are taking real action: action to clean up our great lakes; action to protect species at risk; and action to protect habitat for our species at risk and wildlife in this country. We are committed to getting the job done.

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 Ms. Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as usual my question has to do with the flow of business, over the time between now and the Easter adjournment. I wonder if the government House leader could designate the remaining opposition days that will need to be covered in that space of time, and also indicate precisely what he has in mind in terms of House business for the two days of the five next week that would not be opposition days.

I would inform him that if he has in mind designating Monday as an opposition day for the official opposition it would be our intention to use that day to provide extra time for members of the House of Commons to give the proper kind of participation and consideration to the motion with respect to Afghanistan.

There is a strong desire, certainly on the part of the official opposition and I think on the part of all members of the House, to have adequate time to consider this matter in a proper way. Therefore, if Monday is to be a Liberal opposition day, we would devote it to that very important public business.

I would also ask the government House leader a question with respect to Bill C-21.

There was a procedural issue earlier with respect to that bill, Mr. Speaker. You have now ruled that two particular amendments are in fact in order and therefore any procedural question has been removed with respect to Bill C-21. Therefore, I wonder when the House leader intends to bring that bill back for consideration in the House.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 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, as members of the House are aware, this week is confidence in the Conservative government week, and it is indeed turning out to be exactly that.

On Monday night, the House voted confidence in our government by rejecting a Liberal non-confidence motion on the budget by a vote of 202 to 7. Only seven Liberal caucus members bothered to show up to vote in favour of their own amendment.

On Tuesday night, this House again expressed confidence in the government by voting in favour of budget 2008. The budget is a responsible and prudent budget for uncertain economic times and I am pleased that the House supported it. This time, 11 members of the official opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada, decided to do their job and vote, thanks again to the Liberal whip imposing on her caucus a reverse two line whip, a new term that I trust the Clerk will include in the next edition of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

Today is the Liberals' turn again. They have so much confidence in this government that they have only the other opposition parties to condemn. As a result, today the House will continue to debate the Liberal opposition motion, which expresses non-confidence in the opposition parties.

On Friday, the NDP will step up to the plate and propose another test of confidence, which I am sure the government will pass, completing confidence in the Conservative government week.

Next week we will address the extension of our military mission in Afghanistan.

The government's revised motion to extend the military mission in Afghanistan, announced by the Prime Minister on February 21, reflects the consensus that was built by the efforts of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. The result is a motion that will extend the military mission to 2011 and reflects what we can truly call a Canadian consensus.

The motion was thoroughly debated for two days last week and on Monday night. Today, I received consent to extend the sitting hours of the House next Monday and Tuesday evening, so we can continue debating this motion before voting on it.

Of course, we have also heard that the official opposition will kindly offer its opposition day on Monday for further consideration of the same question.

The government plans to hold the vote on the motion to extend the military mission in Afghanistan on Thursday, March 13. That day will also be the last day of debate on the motion. Certainly we will be able to say that it has been a matter of clear public discussion for well over a month. It will have been in the House for many hours and it will be an appropriate time to make that determination before the upcoming NATO meetings in Bucharest so the Prime Minister will have a clear mandate when he attends.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week will be supply days. Wednesday will be the last day of debate for the supply period. The regular supply votes will follow.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the government House leader, did I miss Friday of next week? I was distracted and wonder if the House leader dealt with that.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, of course Friday of next week comes after Thursday of next week and at this point in time, we have not laid down government business for that one day. I would be pleased to answer the business for next Friday after Thursday's question next week.