House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was region.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, over a year ago, Correctional Service Canada informed the Conservative government about the deficiencies in security at Sarpoza prison, the first priority being to secure the perimeter of the institution.

The government had more than ample warning and failed to respond to these warnings by its own officials. It failed our soldiers, it failed Afghans and it failed Canadians.

Why was there a lack of intelligence? Is this the government's version of catch and release?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, first, this is a very serious incident. I do not think the hon. member should make light of it with his puns. This is an after the fact prognosis now by the member opposite. The Canadian government has invested in all kinds of infrastructure, including at the Sarpoza prison.

Since this incident, we are working with the Afghans, not only to secure a cordon on the area, but also to recapture fighters and to see that this facility is rebuilt so the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces can continue to raise their ability and their capacity to provide security to their population.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is shameful is the government knew about it since February 2007 and did nothing. It put our soldiers at risk and for that, it is held accountable.

This is a devastating setback for the Afghan government and for our NATO mission. Rather than respond effectively, the government has ignored, and continues to ignore, the legitimate questions on this side of the House regarding the detention of Taliban prisoners.

What concrete steps is the government going to take to ensure that the work our soldiers are doing is not in vain?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the hon. member for his support for the extension of the mission, the transformation that involves investment in infrastructure and the excellent programming work that is being done by CIDA.

Our efforts include the efforts of Correctional Service Canada to raise the capacity of the Afghan officials of the Afghan prison to treat and ensure that Afghan prisoners are treated humanely and to continue to ensure they live up to international standards. We are there to help that country improve its capacity to provide security and to protect its sovereignty for the future.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Corporal Travis Scouten, a Canadian soldier who served in Afghanistan, tells us a shocking story. He talks about sexual assaults committed by Afghan soldiers against civilians and the Canadian Forces' inability to intervene.

This is not a matter of partisan politics. We have a responsibility towards the Afghan people and our soldiers cannot stand idly by while such atrocities are committed.

Is the government taking these allegations seriously? Will the government take action?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Certainly, Mr. Speaker. This is a very serious matter and these are very serious allegations.

However, let us be clear that in no way, shape or form have Canadian soldiers or the Canadian government ever condoned or excused allegations of sexual abuse against children in our country or anywhere else.

Let us be clear about something else. Let us for once just show a modicum of respect for the timeframe that it takes to investigate and look into serious allegations such as this. Let us not cast aspersions without doing a little research into the facts first.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, no talking about his responsibilities.

This House has every reason to be concerned about this government's reliability. When there were allegations of torture concerning Afghan detainees, the government remained silent.

Following these new allegations of sexual assault, can the government assure this House that these tragic incidents will be taken seriously and not swept under the rug?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking these allegations very seriously.

Let us be honest. The previous allegation about abuse was in fact revealed on the floor of the House of Commons by this government. Therefore, let us again put facts before fiction and rhetoric.

We are absolutely committed to looking into these matters. I met again with leaders of the Canadian Forces, the Chief of the Land Staff, to see that we do a complete forensic examination of all evidence, to look into all these allegations and get to the bottom of it.

That is the difference between simply pointing the finger and doing something about it.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, today more Liberal MPs admitted that their leader's regressive carbon tax plan would crush family farms. This morning at the agriculture committee three Liberal members followed this government's lead and only one blindly followed his leader. This tax would destroy jobs, increase the home heating costs, electricity and gasoline.

Could the agriculture minister tell the House how the Liberal leader's plan for this new massive carbon tax would also affect farmers in my riding and across Canada?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, today we were treated to the sight of Liberals scurrying for cover at the agriculture committee.

As the House knows, farm fuel, fertilizer, chemical and transportation costs would go through the roof if the Liberal leadership were ever given a chance to implement its tax.

Unlike the NDP, Canadian producers will never be fooled into accepting or supporting a Liberal carbon tax.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the DFO has a mandate to protect fish and their habitat, but at least 16 Canadian lakes are about to be reclassified as toxic dump sites for mining companies. From B.C. to Newfoundland, these lakes are fish-bearing waters and it is illegal to put harmful substances in them, but the government is in the process of using a loophole in the law to allow mining companies to dump their toxic sludge in them.

Why are the Conservatives choosing to help the mining industry by giving it access to cheap waste disposal methods for its toxic waste?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in mining operations tailings are produced. Tailings can be stored on land or in water. It is much more responsible to store them in water.

Any damage done in relation to fish or fish habitat has to be mitigated where there is no net loss to either fish or fish habitat. There is a major environmental study done before any go ahead is given. Therefore, every aspect is covered before anyone can do any damage to the environment.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely nonsense.

The minister knows in his own province that DFO environmental assessment officers even said that they did not do a good enough job on Trout River Pond and hopefully they would do better in the future.

The Conservatives are giving those mining companies a huge subsidy by allowing them to use freshwater aquatic systems that are fish-bearing lakes as cheap waste disposal sites. What they should be doing is having independent linings and holes filled with water and put the tailings in those, free and clear of any natural water system.

Why is the government continuing to pander to the mining companies at the sake of fish and their habitat?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, what this government is really doing is seeing industry progress in the country to create jobs in the areas where they are badly needed. Any water that is damaged in any way, there has to be assurance that there is no net loss to either fish or fish habitat. Mitigation has to occur. It always occurs. When it does not occur, the company does not get a permit to move ahead with the operation.

Court Challenges Program
Oral Questions

June 17th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government's refusal to announce the reinstatement of the court challenges program immediately shows to what extent it has taken minority language communities hostage. Now, almost two years after eliminating the program, the government is still not being clear about when or even whether it will be reinstated.

Why is the minister putting partisan politics ahead of the interests of minority language communities?