House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

International Aid
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, during question period on Monday, the hon. member for Sudbury raised a question on the government's announcement to match Canadian contributions to the victims of the May 2 cyclone in Burma.

The government's initial announcement only covered donations made between May 15 and June 6, just three weeks, and would not be retroactive to the date of the cyclone, yet the Minister of International Cooperation had said that the program would cover six weeks. When asked when this became policy, the minister could not respond. In a point of order following Monday's question period, the hon. member for Wascana pointed out, with proof in hand as usual, that the government's own website stated that the period covered was in fact three weeks and was not retroactive to the date of the cyclone.

If people look at the website today, they will see that the date has been changed in an attempt to hide the incompetence of the government.

Thanks to a Liberal opposition, matching contributions that reflect the generosity of Canadians will now be retroactive to May 2.

Leadership Campaign Financing
Statements By Members

May 28th, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the countdown is on. Millions of dollars in loans from wealthy and powerful elites were given to the Liberal leader and other Liberal candidates during the most recent Liberal leadership race to be used for their campaigns.

According to the Canada Elections Act, if a candidate receives a loan during a leadership race, the loan must be paid back within 18 months. If the loan is not paid back by the deadline, it becomes an illegal donation.

We are only six days away until the June 3 deadline. The former Liberal leadership candidates have six days to pay back their loans worth up to millions of dollars. There are six days left for Elections Canada to decide if it will give the Liberal Party special treatment by extending the repayment deadline.

Will the Liberal leadership candidates disregard the loan payback deadline, thereby ignoring contribution limits and breaking the law? Will Elections Canada give special treatment to the Liberal Party?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the forced resignation of the foreign affairs minister has become an international black eye. It was covered by 370 news organizations in 28 countries around the world. The Prime Minister's refusal to take matters of security seriously has become an international embarrassment.

Will the Prime Minister persist in his appalling lack of judgment, competence and leadership, or will he finally admit that this is a matter of security that requires a full and independent inquiry?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 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, on the contrary, the Prime Minister showed strong leadership on this issue. As soon as he became aware of the breach that occurred, he took action and the resignation of the foreign affairs minister was forthcoming. He paid a price. Action was taken immediately on the grounds of national security.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to show the extent to which the Prime Minister’s position lacks judgment and how ridiculous it is. Yesterday he said, “We have no evidence the documents have been circulated.”

I ask the government a simple question: how could the Conservatives have evidence of anything at all if they do not conduct a serious investigation? How could they have evidence that these documents did not circulate, that other documents have not circulated, that various kinds of information have not circulated, and that national security has not been compromised if they refuse to conduct a full and independent inquiry?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 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, we know a number of things. For example, we know that the documents were returned to the Government of Canada.

In regard to the other questions, the Department of Foreign Affairs has been asked to study the situation and the appropriate agencies may be asked for help in doing that.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is what they did with NAFTA-gate but that does not put an end to it at all. In the current case, secret documents were forgotten, there were possible ties—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Secret documents were forgotten and there were possible ties to organized crime, allegations of electronic surveillance, an incompetent lightweight as foreign affairs minister, and a government that still fails to see a national security issue in all this.

How long will the Conservatives continue to make themselves a laughingstock and destroy their own credibility in the eyes of Canadians and our allies? Are they doing it out of incompetence, or because they have something to hide, or both?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 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, the leader of the Liberal Party raises as issues of national security people's private lives. The breach here was one related to the security of the documents, not the questions in people's private lives. Action was taken as soon as that became apparent and it was decisive action.

The difference when we talk about embarrassment on the international stage is a Liberal Party leader who advocates invading Pakistan as a way of success in Afghanistan.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is a day to think about lost opportunities for Canadian leadership overseas.

We could be campaigning for a seat on the Security Council. We could be leading the fight to ban cluster munitions. We could be helping out in China and Burma. But instead, what are we doing? The Conservative government has been interfering in American elections. It has been losing classified documents for weeks on end and betraying the confidence of our allies. The government's actions have made us a laughing stock in every newspaper in the world.

Is this what they mean--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. government House leader.

Foreign Affairs
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, Canada's leadership on the world stage is impressive. We are leading in Afghanistan. We are leading in NATO. We are the second largest contributor to the peacekeeping force in Darfur. We are the second largest donor in the world to the World Food Programme. These are impressive contrasts with the previous government.

The Liberal leader wants to go into Pakistan. That is his way of solving the Afghanistan issue. That is his idea of leadership. The Liberal idea of how to get on the United Nations Security Council was to spend millions on a campaign to try and buy that seat with free tickets to Cirque du Soleil and God knows what other entertainment events.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will trade our reputation on the international stage for theirs any day.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!