House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is ridiculous. This affair has been bungled by the wilful blindness of a Prime Minister who wants to throw Canada's international reputation under the bus to protect his protege.

The government is afraid to investigate this incident because it knows what the outcome is going to be.

As for what the House leader says about the diplomatic passport, a diplomatic passport is the property of the Government of Canada, so this issue is pertinent. Have you guys checked that out yet and will you get that passport back to the--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I remind the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso that he should address all his questions to the Chair.

The hon. government House leader has the floor.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 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 hon. member started by asking about Canada's reputation on the world stage. Our reputation is strong. We are leading in Afghanistan. We are leading with our NATO allies. We are respected for that.

We are the second-largest contributor in the world to the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where we are very concerned about what is taking place. We are the second-largest donor to the World Food Programme and are doing what we can to help the world's poor, particularly at a time of turmoil like we have seen.

We have been doing other things around the world in taking the lead in Haiti with the United Nations mission and record aid, for example, and taking the lead with serious funding for the Middle East peace process.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the opposition, and particularly the Liberals, always claim that they have done a lot for aboriginals. They always trumpet the Kelowna accord as if it were some--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul has the floor. We will have some order.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, when coming to office, our government inherited some very troubling matters that required immediate action.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs tell this House what progress the government has made on important issues, such as land claims and human rights for aboriginals?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that on the National Day of Action the members of the official opposition cannot even bother to ask a question about aboriginal issues, but why should we be surprised? Under the Liberals, there was no action on specific claims. Under this government, we have specific claims legislation. Under the Liberals, first nations living on reserve had no coverage under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Under the Conservatives, we passed legislation to cover them. Under the Liberals, there was no action plan to clean up dirty water. We have already cut in half the number of reserves facing that situation.

We have action all right, but it is on this side of the House, not over there.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, following the L'Acadien II tragedy, Coast Guard and National Defence representatives appeared this morning before the Standing Committee on Official Languages. What we heard was unacceptable. The mother of a sealer who disappeared contacted National Defence for information on the search. During the conversation, she had to switch from French to English to make herself understood.

What will the government do to make sure that this kind of thing does not happen again?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl
Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me inform the member that the search and rescue centres field about 950,000 calls every year. They respond to about 3,000 of them. Each and every one of them is responded to in the language of choice.

Do the people always get the answer they want when they ask a question? No, because not always can it be given. However, we have not had any complaints about the fact they did not get it in the language they wanted to receive it.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we have to change from French to English to get the answer.

In his report, the Commissioner of Official Languages blasted the obstacles facing communities: the Conservative government's inaction and lack of leadership. He made seven recommendations to correct the Conservatives' deliberate blunders.

Will the minister stop running and hiding from the cameras, accept her responsibilities and say whether she plans to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible? Yes or no? She has to stop running away.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I plan to run to the House every time there is a vote. Everyone knows that a vote was held here this morning. I will be running to exercise my right to vote, unlike what the opposition has been doing for several months now.

That being said, we received the Commissioner of Official Languages' report and we thank him for it. We are now studying the recommendations closely.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today's second National Day of Action is yet another blemish on Canada's international reputation. Our reputation was already tarnished when Canada voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last year.

Canada is now blocking a similar instrument at the Organization of American States.

When will this government listen to the concerns of aboriginal peoples, give up its artificial legal and constitutional excuses and honour the declaration?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to human rights for first nations, for the first time in 30 years there is one government, and it is the Conservative government, that has been dealing with that.

This House has passed at report stage and third reading the amendments and all that is necessary to include first nations for the first time under the Canadian Human Rights Act. They waited a long time, and they would still be waiting if that member were--