House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

May 7th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are witnessing the amazing spectacle of cabinet ministers shirking their accountability and hiding behind the skirts of the parliamentary secretaries. Any time the government is in trouble, the parliamentary secretaries jump in front of the bullet.

The member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam in his PS role was forced to defend the Prime Minister on the Cadman affair. Every day he came up with inventive new ways to explain the tape, even if it meant sacrificing his own credibility.

Now it is the member for Nepean—Carleton, as parliamentary secretary for the Treasury Board. Every day in the House and on TV panels he loses a little more face on the Tory election expense scandal and a little more trust on his government's accountability, or lack thereof.

While ministers jet around holding photo ops, their poor parliamentary secretaries become the wearers of bad news. If the ministers do not want their cabinet jobs, perhaps they should stand aside.

At the very least, they should offer their underlings danger pay for serving so ineffectually as parliamentary secretaries.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, when I travel through my riding and meet with my constituents, one of the main things I hear about is taxes. No, not higher taxes like the Liberals are proposing, but lower taxes like our government is providing.

My constituents are confused about why the Liberals want a new, massive gas tax, when gas prices have already significantly increased over the past year. They do not want to pay more at the pumps.

They also do not understand why the Leader of the Opposition has proposed raising the GST back to 7% or higher. The Liberals had promised to get rid of the GST completely, but as Canadians know, they did not get the job done. Our government committed to reducing the GST by 2%, and we kept that promise.

Speaking of promises, the Liberals have made so many spending promises that they could actually put the country $60 billion deeper in debt. That is not what our country and Canadians need in this time of economic uncertainty. What they need is a government with prudent fiscal discipline and strong economic leadership, and that is our Conservative government.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Why is the government refusing to ask for the return of a Canadian citizen and the only remaining westerner to be imprisoned by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe the member refers to Omar Khadr. Mr. Khadr, as we all know, has been there for some years, since 2002. In fact, the government is following exactly the same policy established by his government in 2002.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, citizenship has to mean something. Since 2002, all the governments of western countries that had nationals being held at Guantanamo Bay have asked for and obtained the return of their citizens, after seeing that the American system, which they had given a chance, was unfair to their citizens. And that is the situation we are in with respect to Omar Khadr.

I ask him once again why he is refusing to ask for the return of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 and was therefore held for four years under the Liberal regime. Mr. Khadr is facing very serious charges. The government has received assurances from the United States, and Government of Canada representatives visit Mr. Khadr regularly.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a lot has happened since 2002. For example, last week, the court—

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

Mr. Speaker, the freedom of a Canadian citizen is at stake. Last week, the court that will decide Mr. Khadr's fate stated that it would not take into account his status as a child soldier, even though it is recognized by international law.

By remaining silent, the Prime Minister is allowing the American army to violate the basic rights of a Canadian citizen. I ask him again to stand up and defend the rights of a Canadian citizen, as other heads of state have done.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, Mr. Khadr is facing very serious charges. He is now before the courts.

The only thing that has really changed is that, in 2006, the Canadian people changed their government. That is the only reason why the Liberal Party has changed its position.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know that when they are in difficulty overseas, they will have a government that stands up for them.

Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, is holed up in the embassy in the Sudan. He is unable to come home and clear his name. He cannot get a passport. He cannot get his name off the no fly list. He is caught in no man's land.

Will the government put him on a plane, fly him home and allow him to clear his name, or will it continue to pick and choose which Canadians get its support overseas?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague must know, Mr. Abdelrazik is currently on the United Nations' list of suspected terrorists, because he is suspected of being affiliated with al Qaeda and the Taliban. He cannot travel to Canada because he is presently on that list.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, can the minister explain to the House why he is on that list? What evidence was used to justify putting him on the list? Otherwise, this infringes on the freedom of a Canadian citizen.

What will be done to bring Mr. Abdelrazik back so that he may resolve this situation?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to answer my colleague's question. This man is on the list of suspected terrorists. Why? Because he is suspected of being affiliated with al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

That being said, we continue to provide consular services to Mr. Abdelrazik and we will continue to do so.

400th Anniversary of Quebec City
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, representative of Queen Elizabeth II, has gone to France on behalf of the Canadian government to inaugurate the festivities of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. Madam Jean said she hopes France will “look beyond Quebec”. I think France should look beyond Michaëlle Jean. She even said that her goal was to make Canada an authentic nation.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the 400th anniversary of Quebec City is a celebration of Quebec City and the Quebec nation, and not the Canadian nation?