House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP may not have done its job, though I doubt that, but the department itself was responsible for conducting a security screening on its new minister.

Did Foreign Affairs Canada inform the Prime Minister of the former minister's questionable, dangerous relationship?

Public Safety
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, I know the member is one of several opposition members who is very interested in conducting a lengthy inquiry into the pasts of people. I know they will do that, the legislative committee they have pursuing that.

We instead are focused on more substantive issues. That is why we have asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to look into the more serious questions arising out of this matter. We look forward to its report.

Indian Affairs
Oral Questions

June 12th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is encouraging to see members join forces for a common cause and for the common good. As Phil Fontaine said yesterday in this House, “the significance of this day is not just about what has been but, equally important, what is to come.”

Will the Prime Minister commit, from this day forward, to working with first nations as equals in order to foster true reconciliation?

Indian Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is how the government always works with all Canadians.

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has guided us ably in this matter.

Indian Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am specifically asking that water and schools be put on a higher priority footing by the government. The students in Attawapiskat, for example, have been told that there are 28 schools in worse conditions. I have seen their school and that is a horrific situation. They have been told that it could take up to five years. Over 100 aboriginal communities face water crises each summer.

Will the Prime Minister, in the spirit of what happened yesterday, accelerate the commitment of development funds in those two key sectors so these issues can be resolved?

Indian Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the government has been doing in aboriginal affairs since it took office is making new investments and trying to make them in a way that is transformative and that lead to much better results than in the past. The former minister of Indian affairs made water a priority when he took office and considerable progress has been made in a very short time.

In terms of education, we signed a historic agreement for a transformative change with the Government of British Columbia and are working with other governments in that regard. There has been a long period of neglect of vital services but the government is acting to get results for future generations of aboriginal Canadians.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has shown an appalling lack of judgment in the matter of Julie Couillard. Every day there are more questions. It is now clear that organized crime may have been trying to infiltrate the government. Late yesterday, the Privy Council Office denied that the RCMP ever told it about the risks she may have posed.

Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians, if it were not the RCMP, which government agency informed his office or the PCO about the risk she posed to national security?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 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, I know the hon. member has a particular interest in the more interesting aspects of this matter. Yesterday he appeared on television talking about his concerns about the people who have been dating or who have been sleeping with Julie Couillard. He said that was what they needed to know, which is why they needed to have their legislative inquiry.

It is not the practice of this government to conduct inquiries into people's dating or sleeping practices. That is a Liberal policy.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, that answer is from the House leader of the party that wants Ms. Couillard's hairdresser to come and testify before the committee.

The RCMP testified at committee this week that it is standard practice for the RCMP to alert the PCO of all security concerns. Surely the RCMP knew that organized crime was trying to infiltrate the government but the PCO is now claiming that it did not get information from the RCMP about this.

If the system failed, will the Prime Minister tell Canadians where it broke down?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 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, as I have already indicated, the RCMP did not advise the Prime Minister's Office or the Privy Council Office of any security concerns. However, we know that is not really what the member is asking. What he is really asking is what he said yesterday on television when he said, “Ms. Couillard has relationships in Mr. Fortier's office, with [the member for Beauce]. Who else does she have relationships with? I'd like to know”.

Apparently, it is all about sordid little inquiries into people's personal lives. That is where the Liberal Party has come to today.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, according to the RCMP, it is not private life, it is public interest.

We now learn that Ms. Couillard's attempts to infiltrate the Conservative government targeted not one, not two but three different government departments. She had access to secret foreign affairs documents. She dined with the public safety minister. She tried to influence real estate contracts at Public Works.

How many more departments did she try to infiltrate? Does the Prime Minister not realize that nothing short of a full public inquiry will reassure Canadians about his government's integrity?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 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, yesterday, the Liberal Party made it clear what it was looking for in this inquiry when it said, “Who did she have relationships with? I'd like to know”. This is all about finding sordid stories that make for good news for those who are into gossip and that sort of stuff. This is not about the important questions of public policy. The Liberals can dress it up however they want but that is not what they are after.

We are interested and concerned about those serious questions, which is why we have foreign affairs dealing with this matter in a professional and mature fashion.

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Couillard affair remains a persistent grease spot. Every day, its stain spreads to the reputation of another department. Julie Couillard had access to secret Foreign Affairs documents, she had conversations with the Minister of Public Safety, and she tried to influence Public Works Canada's contracting process.

What more does the government need to launch a public inquiry into this affair? What more does the Prime Minister need to finally show proof of good judgment?

National Security
Oral Questions

2:30 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, there was only one error in judgment in this matter and that was the error of the member for Beauce when he left classified documents in an unsecured location. He took responsibility for that error in judgment and tendered his resignation, which was accepted.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister offered an official apology to the victims of federal residential schools. This apology was necessary, but it is not enough. The next step is reconciliation with aboriginal peoples and, for that, tangible action is required. The Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Member for Nepean—Carleton may have offered an apology, but he failed to show respect for first nations.

Does the Prime Minister intend to act with respect towards the first nations and sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?