House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Luc Bourdon
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, we were very saddened to learn of the passing of Luc Bourdon, a young defenceman, only 21 years old, from Shippagan. Luc was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005. He was one of the organization's great treasures. On the international stage, he won the gold medal twice at the world junior hockey championships, in 2006 and 2007.

Luc was a very talented player. He had a remarkable career ahead of him. He showed tremendous passion for the game and had become an important member of the Vancouver Canucks team. He was also a role model for the youth of his community, who followed his career with great admiration. His untimely passing has shaken us all. Luc Bourdon will remain an inspiration for all hockey players from Acadia, an example of leadership for his fans and a hero for his family.

On behalf of the Liberal caucus and all members of Parliament, I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Leadership Campaign Financing
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week Canadians will be watching to see if Elections Canada will give special treatment to the Liberal leader and other Liberal leadership candidates by extending their loan repayment deadline. The Liberals vying for the party's top job took in millions of dollars in loans from wealthy individuals to finance their campaigns during the latest Liberal leadership race.

Candidates may receive loans during a leadership race. However, the Canada Elections Act states that candidates must pay back the loan within 18 months. The loan becomes an illegal donation if it is not paid back by the deadline. The 18 month deadline is now only four days away. That gives the former Liberal leadership candidates, including the current leader, four days to pay back all their loans.

Will the Liberal leader and other leadership contestants break the law by ignoring the deadline? Will Elections Canada give special treatment to the Liberal Party?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are now over 2,500 international stories about the missing documents, from every continent except for Antarctica. We are now still waiting for the penguins.

We used to be respected as a country. Now we are simply notorious. Given these facts, I wonder, how can the government justify its refusal to call an independent inquiry when we still have absolutely no explanation--no satisfactory explanation--for the seven week gap in reporting missing classified documents?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 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 hon. member has heard me refer several times to the fact that there is a review of the matter taking place. It is being conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to determine if there are any concerns that remain with regard to the documents that were left in an unsecured location.

Those documents were of course returned to the government and it was recognized that they were the property of the government.

In conducting its review, the Department of Foreign Affairs can of course draw on the other resources of government that it needs, from whatever agencies necessary, to assist it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister who just answered well knows, and every Canadian well knows, that it is a basic principle of natural law that no one should be a judge in one's own case.

With respect to the Department of Foreign Affairs, we do not know whether officials were involved in not reporting classified documents that were missing. We do not know whether there were officials in the minister's office who were involved in not reporting classified documents.

Surely the minister understands a very simple distinction between an administrative review carried out by officials who may in fact be implicated in some of these questions and an independent inquiry, which in fact has--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. government House leader.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 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 error in this case is quite clear. It is the error of leaving documents in an unsecured location. In this case, actually, the individual was his own judge of his own conduct. and that is why the member for Beauce, when he was minister, submitted his resignation, passing judgment himself as judge. It was the correct judgment and that is why the Prime Minister accepted that resignation, so judgment was rendered.

The outstanding issue is the one of security concerns and is one that is legitimately the issue of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is the department's job to assess those facts. It is not the department's job to pass that on to someone else.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to refuse to answer a simple question. For several weeks, we have asked a simple question that the government has continually refused to answer. The question is very simple.

Why not conduct an independent inquiry that would have the authority to speak to witnesses, to speak to everyone and to return a completely independent report so that all Canadians would be satisfied with the results. We do not understand why the government—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has the floor.

Foreign Affairs
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 questions for several weeks have been about a personal relationship. We do not intend to have a public inquiry into a personal relationship.

The question of the documents that were left in an unsecured place only arose this week, on Monday. Those members have only asked questions about that since Monday, so certainly they have not been asking questions about that for a long time. With regard to those, we are conducting a review through the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is the appropriate way that this should be handled.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his statement on Wednesday, the former foreign affairs minister stated that he informed the Prime Minister as soon as he was aware of the security breach, on Sunday. However, in his letter of resignation, he wrote that he informed the Prime Minister on Monday, in the late afternoon, at least 24 hours after the fact. These are the only statements made by the former minister since resigning and both cannot be true.

Which one is false?

Foreign Affairs
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 stated quite clearly what the truth is. The Prime Minister became aware on Monday afternoon of the fact that documents had been left in an unsecured place and the breach had occurred. At that time, the minister of foreign affairs tendered his resignation, and that resignation was accepted.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the government fails to get its facts straight, Canadians start to believe they are being sold a bill of goods, so let us try it again. Will the government finally admit that the Prime Minister was well aware of the security breach on Sunday, 24 hours before he alleges?

Will the government also admit that it is not credible that NATO documents were missing for seven weeks without the Privy Council Office even noticing? Or is the government going to persist in spinning false versions of events to cover up the Prime Minister's lack of judgment?

Foreign Affairs
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, I will not tell the House that the Prime Minister was aware of this on Sunday because that would be lying to the House. The truth is that the Prime Minister became aware of the problem with the documents on Monday afternoon of this week. That is when action was taken immediately.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, whether Julie Couillard was issued a red diplomatic passport or a green special passport when she travelled with the the former minister of foreign affairs is a matter of public interest. Why? Because if she had such a passport, that means that an investigation was carried out and that, contrary to what the Prime Minister has said, he knew about Ms. Couillard's shady past.

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons give us a straight answer: did Julie Couillard, as the spouse of the former minister of foreign affairs, have a red or green passport? Yes or no?