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

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, the government took action some time ago in a serious fashion by having the Department of Foreign Affairs commence a review, together with the support of the agency's it has.

In terms of unanswered questions piling up, I know the member really is interested in who Madam Couillard has been sleeping with because that is what he told the Ottawa Citizen and CBC's The National.

That is not the kind of question piling up that we think the public wants to spend a lot resources getting to the bottom of.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are going from Mom Boucher to Mom Couillard, but we should really be talking about Ms. Bellemare.

The Couillard web is a wide one: the Department of Foreign Affairs, Transport, Public Works and Government Services. Now, it is the turn of the Department of Human Resources. Actually, it is the turn of the Quebec lieutenant and Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who is responsible for giving his approval to the Prime Minister for any political appointments in Quebec.

My question is simple. Why did the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Quebec lieutenant agree to the appointment of Julie Couillard's mother as chairperson of the Board of Referees in the Saint-Jérôme region?

Government Appointments
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, when someone seeks employment with the Employment Insurance Board of Referees as an EI chairperson, the person is interviewed by officials at the Department of Human Resources. Those are public servants who conduct that review.

In the process of that review, to determine if a person is qualified, the person is examined on his or her knowledge of the employment insurance system and the geographic area he or she will be dealing with.

In addition, we as a government look at the persons's background. In the case of Ms. Bellemare, she has a good professional background having worked for the St-Jérôme hospital foundation, the St-Eustace Hospital foundation and--

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Bourassa.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I understand correctly, through her relationship with the Conservatives, Julie Couillard not only took advantage of Max, she took advantage to the max. That is the problem: attempts to infiltrate, possible influence peddling, access to secret documents, interest in airport security, appointment of Julie Couillard's mother, and it does not stop there.

Who in this government will confirm that the Prime Minister's Office was aware that the member for Beauce spoke to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and that the former foreign affairs minister was there when Ms. Bellemare's name was put forward to cabinet? We want some answers, please.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:35 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 indicated, in making these appointments the government seeks to appoint only qualified individuals.

In the case of Madam Bellemare, I have spoken a little bit about her work with the St. Jérôme hospital and St-Eustache Hospital foundations. She also worked with the Fondation de l'Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal.

She was found acceptable by the Human Resources public servants who examined and spoke to her about her background and understanding of the employment insurance system and her understanding of the geographic area of St. Jérôme. On that basis, her appointment was recommended and ultimately made.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the big prison break at the Sarpoza prison in Kandahar greatly undermines the Afghans' trust toward NATO and the government it supports. On February 18, 2007, two officials from the Correctional Service of Canada posted in Kandahar warned Ottawa of the risk, and I quote from the report, “It is recommended that our first priority be to secure the perimeter of the institution”. The result: nothing was done.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his negligence and his improvisation is putting lives at risk today? Canadian troops and Afghan civilians are threatened by this—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I do not think the hon. member is somehow suggesting that a suicide bomb attack, where explosives were placed on a fuel truck, could have been prevented in any way by having a thicker wall at the prison.

Since the fall of 2007, we have helped the Afghan authorities, where the Afghans were running this particular facility, to construct a perimeter of watch towers, exterior security lighting and strengthening the infrastructure.

Those were investments and efforts that were made by the Canadian government, working with the Afghans who were running this facility.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, that could have been avoided if the minister had had proper information services, but he did not.

On another note, the Afghan mission cannot succeed if we do not win the hearts of the Afghan people and the public. We learn from the mouth of a Canadian chaplain that officers tell Canadian soldiers to ignore sexual assaults committed by the Afghan army against the public. That does not make sense. By closing our eyes, Canada becomes an accomplice to those crimes.

Is that a new way of winning the hearts of the Afghans?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely false. The hon. member's statement is absolutely false.

We are in Afghanistan to help promote human rights and protect individuals. That is why we are investing in programs, with immunization and health care. Any suggestion that Canadian soldiers would deliberately turn a blind eye to assaults like this are abhorrent and should not be raised on the floor of the House of Commons.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

June 17th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Nature Québec representatives, the international joint commission's new water level management plan could have dire consequences for the St. Lawrence River and cause the disappearance of Lac Saint-Pierre, which UNESCO has designated as a biosphere reserve.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us if the government intends to support this new plan?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to receiving this plan. We understand the IJC has consultations under way and we would like to see those consultations completed. When receive its report, we will respond appropriately.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the approval order refers to benefits for Lake Ontario, while offering no guarantees for the St. Lawrence River or Quebec's interests. In the name of fairness, benefits must be guaranteed both upstream and downstream from the dam.

Does the minister intend to register his opposition if the commission goes ahead with the new order?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are looking forward to receiving the report from the IJC. We are looking forward to the completion of consultations. Whatever we do will be in the national interest.