House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Elections Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. Hon. members know that referring to other hon. members by name is out of order. The member for Nepean—Carleton will want to refrain from such conduct or face difficulties.

The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Redistribution of Wealth
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I moved a motion in this House asking the government to establish an oil revenue redistribution fund.

Based on the principle of fairness to all citizens, it would levy a tax on the earnings of oil companies and other companies that emit greenhouse gases in order to counter the negative effects of the escalating price of petroleum products.

The Conservatives, as well as the Liberals, shot down this proposal.

Given that key sectors of regional economies such as forestry, agriculture and tourism are experiencing serious difficulties, it is imperative that the government focus its efforts on realistic solutions.

Even those sectors of our economy that attempt to diversify their practices and develop promising niches are in jeopardy, as is the well-being of our low- to middle-income citizens.

The Conservative government must listen to reason and put in place a real mechanism to redistribute wealth.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last Monday, shortly before the Prime Minister accepted his foreign affairs minister's resignation, he said that he did not believe the matter was serious. Since then, the matter has made headlines around the world, and his government has been ridiculed. Now everyone has seen the Prime Minister's appalling lack of judgment, competence and leadership.

Now will he take this matter seriously and call for a full, independent inquiry into whether national security was compromised as a result of what happened?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the rules governing classified documents are always serious. That is why, when the minister became aware of the situation, he told me and tendered his resignation, which I accepted.

In his letter of resignation, the minister called for a departmental review. That is what we are doing now.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, an internal review is clearly not enough. This shows, again, that the Prime Minister does not take this issue seriously, an issue that made the news on every continent and made his government a laughing stock. What an appalling lack of judgment, competence and leadership.

Canadians have the right to know whether or not national security was compromised.

Will the Prime Minister finally take this matter seriously and order a complete and independent inquiry?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the rules with regard to classified documents are extremely important, which is why the minister offered to resign and why I accepted his resignation. He also asked his ministry to look into the matter and review the facts. We are doing exactly that and we will ensure that is done in an independent and professional manner.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians no longer trust the government when it says that it is going to investigate itself. The people do not want the secrecy of another NAFTA-gate. They want an independent inquiry. That is what Canadians want. For example, it may be that a security screening was conducted on the former minister of foreign affairs' former girlfriend, but the government may have ignored it. The Prime Minister may have chosen to disregard it.

My question for the Prime Minister is this: was the former minister of foreign affairs' former girlfriend the subject of a security screening or not?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the NAFTA issue, the clerk of the Privy Council and the department conducted a thoroughly independent, professional review.

In the matter of the NAFTA document, that was thoroughly looked at through the office of the Clerk of the Privy Council, which came up with good recommendations that will obviously guide the department and others in the handling of documents in the future. We will ensure that this matter is, likewise, looked at in an independent and professional way.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has blamed the entire Couillard affair on the member for Beauce, which is hardly surprising because the Prime Minister takes credit for everything and responsibility for nothing.

It was the Prime Minister who chose the minister. It was the Prime Minister who watched him make mistake after mistake. It was the Prime Minister who took five weeks to fire him after he became a security breach.

At least the member for Beauce took responsibility for his actions. When will the Prime Minister take responsibility for his?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 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 the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore quite rightly observed, the minister did take responsibility for his actions. He tendered his resignation, which, obviously, is a very serious consequence. In this case, we know the error was the leaving of the documents in an unsecured place. Those were classified documents and there are clear rules. Obviously, it was the minister's mistake and the minister took responsibility, quite properly, for that and resigned, and that resignation was accepted.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the Prime Minister is not taking responsibility for this issue, but he must take responsibility for what happened in Italy. Following his visit to Italy, the Prime Minister announced that the Italians planned to lift restrictions on their troops in Afghanistan. The problem is that Mr. Berlusconi never said that.

What has this government done to apologize to the Italian Prime Minister for our Prime Minister's blunder in Italy?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member is talking about an announcement made by the Italian government.

I had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Berlusconi. After that meeting it was the government of Italy that announced the fact that it was reviewing the caveats that it has in place on its forces in Afghanistan.

As we know, in the last few months the French have moved to step up their involvement in Afghanistan.

Those are very good developments for NATO, for the United Nations, for Afghanistan and for Canada.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, initially, the Prime Minister called the Couillard affair a matter of privacy. However, the facts have revealed that it is a matter of public concern. Then the Prime Minister, who likes to control everything, said that he knew nothing about Ms. Couillard's past.

Would the Prime Minister have us believe that neither CSIS nor the RCMP did its job? Will he admit that he knew about it and failed to assume his responsibilities despite the obvious risk to security?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is not a privacy issue. Ministers are always responsible for the protection of classified documents.

The minister admitted his mistake in this matter and resigned his post. That is why I accepted his resignation. The former minister did the honourable thing by resigning.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to various experts, anyone who is close to people involved in organized crime, and particularly spouses, are automatically on file with the police.

How could the Prime Minister show such a lack of judgment to the point of trivializing the Couillard affair, while CSIS and the RCMP were able to assess the danger and he himself must have been aware of Ms. Couillard's shady past?