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

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, Passport Canada rules are clear. To obtain a diplomatic passport, one has to be legally married or in a legally recognized common law spousal relationship.

On an entirely unrelated matter, I do notice that the opposition is very interested in the personal life of the former minister of foreign affairs. I am loath to go there, but I will observe that the former minister of foreign affairs was not in a legally married or legally recognized common law spousal relationship when he was minister.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a public security issue, not a privacy issue. The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons did not give us a straight answer.

Did Julie Couillard, as the spouse of the former minister of foreign affairs, have a diplomatic passport or a special passport? Yes or no?

I am not asking him to tell us the rules, but to simply answer the question.

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 am sorry he did not follow the line of what I said, but the policy is clear. To obtain a diplomatic passport, one has to be legally married or in a legally recognized common law spousal relationship.

I am not going to comment on whether any individual had a passport, but I will comment to this limited extent on the minister's private life. The minister was not in a legally married or legally recognized common law spousal relationship when he was minister. I am sure the member can follow that logic.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the evasive responses from the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons lead us to believe that the former girlfriend of the hon. member for Beauce did indeed have a diplomatic or special passport. An investigation is required to obtain this type of passport and the government is the guarantor for the passport holder.

Since there was necessarily an investigation, will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons admit that the government has been hiding the truth by saying that it did not know about Julie Couillard's shady past and that it is still trying to fool everyone?

Foreign Affairs
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 will say it again. To obtain a diplomatic passport, one has to be legally married or in a legally recognized common law spousal relationship.

In an unrelated matter, the previous minister of foreign affairs, the member for Beauce, was not at any time when he was minister of foreign affairs in a legally married or legally recognized common law spousal relationship with anybody.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know she had a spouse's pin.

We now know that the documents Julie Couillard had in her possession for several weeks contained notes on foreign NATO diplomats. These documents that were deemed classified and very important by the Prime Minister himself were left in the hands of a woman with a shady past.

Now that the news is in the headlines around the world, how are they going to explain that Julie Couillard had access to highly sensitive information on foreign diplomats? How are they going to explain that—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Foreign Affairs
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, it was improper to violate the rules and leave documents in an unsecured place. That was contrary to the rules for handling classified documents. That is why the minister tendered his resignation. That is why the resignation was accepted.

Health
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, stopping Insite will drive the most vulnerable and often homeless drug users in Vancouver's downtown east side back to sharing dirty needles, risking HIV infection in alleyways, and with filthy conditions and no medical assistance if they overdose. Dead people do not go into treatment.

Does the minister realize the safe injection site is the first point of contact for many users looking for help? In fact, has the minister ever met a person who shoots up? Has he ever taken the time to talk to homeless drug users and ask them what they need to get off drugs?

Health
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, the interest of this government is ensuring that people can get off drugs. The view of the government and the view of the Minister of Health is that supervising injection and supporting injection is not a way to get somebody off drugs.

Injection not only causes physical harm, but it also deepens and prolongs an addiction. We believe that programs to help people get off their addictions should be supported. We believe that to spend money on supporting injection is actually to take money that could otherwise be used to help people get off their addictions and assist them in that kind of program.

That is what this government is interested in doing. That is why the Minister of Health is asking for an appeal.

Health
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what Insite is doing. It is helping people get off drugs.

I am so disgusted by that reply. I have spent decades working in my community to make it safer. We have some minister with a chip on his shoulder who comes along and decides that drug users in my neighbourhood do not deserve to live. Why? Because he claims that the science is mixed.

The science is solid and it says that Insite saves lives. It is an outright lie to say that the science is mixed. It is an outright lie to say that only one life has been saved. I ask again: will he immediately reverse his decision or is he content to see drug users die?

Health
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, the view of this government is that drug addiction, heroin addiction, is very harmful to people's lives, and the way we help people with those kinds of addictions is by helping them to get off those addictions.

The most important harm reduction measure is to get people off drugs. That is why we have incorporated harm reduction into our new anti-drug strategy. It is two-thirds prevention and treatment and one-third enforcement. That is the way we think we can help people.

It does not help to send mixed messages to young Canadians that drug use is proper. It is wrong. We want them not using drugs.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

May 30th, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons was trying to compete with the 7 jours tabloid in trying to define the former minister of foreign affairs' marital status. As I understand it, she was known as his spouse and official companion. He did not say whether she received a diplomatic passport or a special passport.

Did she receive a special passport, yes or no? Has it been recovered? Has the government taken care of this? Does she or does she not have a passport?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:30 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, as I indicated, I am not going to comment on whether any individual had or did not have a passport.

I will observe, though, the following: to obtain a diplomatic passport, one has to be legally married or in a legally recognized common law relationship. That is a legal status. In the case of the former minister of foreign affairs, at no time when he was minister of foreign affairs was he legally married or in a legally recognized common law spousal relationship.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, maybe we have an answer on the red, but we do not have an answer on the green, that is for sure. That is the issue. If she passes as the official spouse and she is going all over the world with the former minister of foreign affairs, it means that she might detain that passport.

The question is simple. Because it has an impact on diplomatic ventures, we want to know if, yes or no, she was detaining a green passport. It is as simple as that. She was supposed to be there officially for the past year. We want an answer and we want it now.