House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lenses.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister did not stop bragging that the Conservatives would establish good relations with the United States. With an alleged leak by his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, the Prime Minister has completely missed the mark, to say the least, unless, when he promised better relations with the United States, he was thinking only of relations with the government of Mr. Bush.

At the end of the day, is the leak not just an attempt by this right-wing Conservative government to help the Republicans in this presidential race?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. The government is working to get to the bottom of this matter.

It is important that Canada has very good relations with the United States. It is our largest trading partner and it is our neighbour with whom we share a long border. An incident of this type has the potential to harm the construction of those kinds of good relations and that is why we take it seriously.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals did not hesitate to fire Jean Chrétien's press secretary, Françoise Ducros, and to throw Carolyn Parrish out of their caucus under similar circumstances.

Since the investigation now extends to the Prime Minister's Office, and since Mr. Brodie, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, is the alleged source of the leak and is clearly in a conflict of interest, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to suspend him until the investigation gets to the bottom of this situation?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have taken action in this regard and there is an investigation taking place. We can all agree that an event like this is not helpful to Canada–U.S. relations and the NAFTA has been very positive for Canada and the United States.

Canada has certainly enjoyed the benefits from a significant increase in jobs, an increase in the standard of living, and an increase in average incomes. These are all very positive things. The United States has experienced similar benefits. So, we all agree that this is important and we want to maintain those good relations. That is why we take this matter seriously.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, now we have the problem of the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie. Before that, it was the political interference of deputy press secretary Soudas in Michael Fortier's office. There was also the director of communications' refusal to comment on the Cadman affair.

Is this not proof that the Prime Minister's inner circle, as well as all members of this government, do not practice what they preach when it comes to transparency?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are quite proud of our record on transparency and the introduction of an unprecedented accountability act that provides for transparency.

In terms of the specific issue at hand, there is no doubt that the leak of an internal document like this is not helpful to relations between Canada and the United States. The fact that our own history as a country includes a political party that campaigned saying it would scrap NAFTA and then did not do that while it was in office, of course creates an accentuating element to the situation. So, that is one of the reasons why we do take this seriously.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Perhaps members could restrict themselves to heckling on their own questions, instead of other members'.

The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, in terms of ethics, the truth is that after being in power for only 24 months, this government has a rap sheet as long as, if not longer than, the one the Liberals accumulated in 10 years. Not only is the Conservatives' conduct deplorable, but they are also trying to hide the truth. They are making a mockery of their promise to be beyond reproach.

Will they finally admit that their transparency is a facade and that they are following in the previous government's footsteps?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois member spoke about our party's record. Our record is impressive. Take, for example, NAFTA and the economy. This morning, we learned that 43,000 new jobs were created throughout Canada in February. That is an impressive record. We are proud of our record, especially in times like these. It shows that our government's budget and economic programs—

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

March 7th, 2008 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, an internal investigation is not enough and the government knows it. When a junior official from Environment Canada leaked documents that were unfavourable to the government, the Conservatives called in the RCMP and had the young man arrested and handcuffed. However, when the Prime Minister's chief of staff leaks information in order to help the Republicans in the U.S. election, the Conservatives simply conduct an internal investigation. This smacks of a cover-up.

The question is quite simple: why the double standard?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:25 a.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 welcome back the leader of the NDP from his visit on the U.S. television circuit, which I gather was very successful in reaching the audience he was really trying to reach.

We know this was about NAFTA, which is something we take seriously because NAFTA has been very important for Canada's economy and has benefited Canada. I am very pleased to see that the leader of the NDP has now come to the table, after years of opposition, to agree with us that NAFTA is important and that we need to do everything we can to preserve positive relations with the United States so we can have a strong trading relationship.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this leak about NAFTA has not only damaged our relationship with a future possible president and damaged the Obama campaign, but it has hurt our relationship with the Americans.

Today we learned about a further problem. Canada's credibility has taken another blow because an American congressman has pointed out that our trade minister, the government's trade minister, told him in private that the government was prepared to renegotiate NAFTA, and yet publicly they are saying the opposite.

There is something that the government needs to do here. One, apologize to the American--

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. government House leader.