House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it may look like that to the leader of the NDP, but he would know, and he should know, having followed this, that there has been a court application that was heard by the Federal Court, which in fact turned down the application of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. The court turned down the argument that the Canadian Charter of Rights applied in Afghanistan. That matter is now under appeal.

With respect to the public hearings, as I have said before, we have cooperated thus far for disclosures. We do not believe that this is within the jurisdiction of the commissioner and for that reason we will hear from the court on the matter of jurisdiction.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago the Minister of National Defence said the government was not going to interfere in the internal affairs of Kandahar. A few days ago General Hillier was praising the governor and said he was doing phenomenal work. Yesterday the Minister of Foreign Affairs contradicted that statement and said that it was the government's view that the governor of Kandahar should be removed.

I would like to ask somebody over there who can clear up this confusion, what does the government really think of the governor of Kandahar?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 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, our position is quite clear. I am sure it is the same position that any reasonable person would come to a conclusion about, which is that the affairs of the Afghan government are the affairs of the Afghan government. It is a sovereign country. It is responsible for its own nominations and its own appointments. We do not make those decisions for the people of Kandahar.

Our focus, however, is on assisting the Afghan people to build the strength of their state and to build their capacity, and to assist in their development. We are having considerable success on these projects.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a problem. What the minister has just said completely contradicts what his government's Minister of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

How can he explain that his government is in complete disarray?

Afghanistan
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, our position is quite clear. What is difficult to understand is any position on almost any issue coming from the Liberal Party. We understand that because often there are many different groups and many different factions within the party that have different positions.

What is more remarkable is that it is also the leader of the Liberal Party who can take one position on issues of foreign policy one day, and then two weeks later take an entirely different position. Those members did the same thing on the tax bill, Bill C-10. They did the same thing on the immigration bill last week. It is the Liberal Party that has trouble sorting out its policies. That party has no policy, no vision and no leadership. It is all over here.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, transparency and accountability are alien to the Conservative government. Last week General Hillier revealed that both Canada and NATO knew two years ago that we needed at least 1,000 troops to do the job effectively.

Why did the government wait until after January, after the Manley report, to announce that it needed the 1,000 troops, two years after this was already known?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite is new to his critic's portfolio, but giving him that, where has he been?

The Government of Canada and the Department of National Defence have been asking NATO and our allies for additional troops in Afghanistan certainly since we came to office. I do not know what he did under his time, but the reality is that we have been encouraging other countries to contribute to the south, to that region. Despite the apoplectic discussion coming from the former defence minister, that is the reality, and I know he does not like reality because it hurts.

As for disclosure, let us talk about the sponsorship scandal.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, setting aside that vindictive nonsense, the government does not seem to know who is on first and what is on second when it comes to Afghanistan.

The question remains. Two years ago, the government knew we needed more reinforcements and it chose to do nothing. So much for transparency and accountability. Why does it not simply answer the question? Why did the government not tell Canadians two years ago that our troops were significantly under-resourced? Why did the government wait? The trouble with the government is that it never wants to tell us the facts.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is not vindictive to talk about the Gomery inquiry or the sponsorship scandal. That is part of Canadian history. It is part of the Liberal Party's history.

The reality, while the member may have been hiding under his desk during this time, is that this government, previous ministers of defence and I have been engaged with our NATO allies, requesting further support, whether it be troops, equipment or all efforts to secure Afghanistan to help it build its security forces and to help with humanitarian aid and development work.

We have been on the job, doing the job. Those members have been missing in action.

Heritage Buildings
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, asked the Prime Minister once again yesterday to make a clear commitment to the reconstruction of the Quebec City Armoury. He said that it is not enough for the government to state its intentions and that he wants a firm commitment. Mayor Labeaume believes that the actions of the federal government are the responsibility of the Prime Minister and not of its officials or its ministers.

Will the Prime Minister make a firm and straightforward commitment to rebuilding the armoury?

Heritage Buildings
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have made a firm commitment. The Prime Minister responded 72 hours after the fire. Departmental experts are investigating the causes of the fire. It is too early to discuss the details of the investigation. It is clear that the government has committed to working with the other levels of government, provincial and municipal, to deal with the armoury.

Heritage Buildings
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, citizens and organizers of celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Quebec City need to know what the government is going to do with the site this summer.

How does the government plan to ensure that fitting celebrations take place at the site? The question is clear.

Heritage Buildings
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the departmental officials and all organizations involved are working with the Société du 400e anniversaire de Québec. They will ensure that the site is properly cleared and that the celebrations take place as planned.

Securities
Oral Questions

April 14th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said the commercial paper crisis was only further proof of the need for a single securities regulator. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance went even further. It is sheer hypocrisy, considering that the banks, which are responsible for this crisis, are already under his responsibility and that of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

Instead of seeking false pretenses for his plans, which no one except Ontario wants, should the minister not admit that he and his Superintendent of Financial Institutions are the ones who abdicated their responsibilities in the commercial paper crisis?