House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is being ambiguous. I am asking him to either give us a clear answer or tell us why he does not want to answer these questions. Let him answer, because this issue is very important to Canadians. It is a matter of national security.

Did he or did he not receive information on Ms. Couillard's past before the matter was made public?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I do not seek and I do not get security information on private Canadian citizens. The minister of foreign affairs offered his resignation because of his own actions and that is why I accepted it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have already had an internal departmental investigation into the government's interference in the American election. Now we are getting a second internal investigation into the security breach by the member for Beauce that made us a laughingstock around the world.

The first investigation into NAFTA-gate was a whitewash. Why should we expect a different result from the Couillard affair investigation?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 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, on the contrary, the review that was conducted by the Clerk of the Privy Council in the case of the NAFTA documents did turn up some very interesting information about inappropriate classification of documents and inappropriate circulation of documents to over 200 addresses. There were very strong recommendations made about processes that do need to be changed.

That demonstrates why a review of this type can be very positive and helpful in ensuring that government works better than it did under processes that were established under previous governments.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has asked officials at foreign affairs to investigate the Couillard affair. These are the very officials who did not inform the Prime Minister that the secret documents had gone missing.

How can the Prime Minister trust this investigation and how can he expect Canadians to trust it?

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, I have to correct the hon. deputy leader of the Liberal Party. There will not be any investigation into any Couillard affair. There will be a review of the processes and the issues of the documents that were left in an unsecured location. The issue is the documents left in an unsecured location, not anybody's affairs, in which I know the Liberal Party is very interested.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, new information about Ms. Couillard, the former girlfriend of the member from Beauce, were revealed this morning in the daily La Presse.

Not only did Ms. Couillard have three partners with ties to motorcycle gangs, but she also dated a member of the mafia.

In view of the evidence of the very shady past of the former foreign affairs minister's ex-girlfriend, does the Prime Minister still believe that this is strictly a private matter and that people are just gossiping?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, personal relationships are private matters. The former foreign affairs minister admitted that he left classified documents in unsecured premises. That is the reason why he tendered his resignation and I accepted it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that the premises were truly unsecured is the least that can be said.

The RCMP was well aware of Ms. Couillard's past. It is impossible that the Prime Minister was never informed. The truth is that the Prime Minister showed a lack of judgment from the very beginning by seeking to downplay the matter when national security was at issue.

Will the prime minister—who wants us to believe that he is infallible—admit his mistake and stop putting on a show of righteous indignation? Will he finally assume his responsibilities?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no matter what their personal circumstances, ministers must follow the rules concerning documents. The rules were breached in this situation and that is why the minister resigned.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the investigations concerning criminal biker gangs and the mafia were conducted jointly by various police forces including the Montreal police, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP. Julie Couillard had three partners closely linked to the Hells Angels and another who was an influential mafioso. And the Prime Minister, who likes to control everything, would have us believe that he had no idea. That is impossible.

Will the Prime Minister stop denying this, claiming it is a matter of privacy, and admit that he concealed this information for partisan purposes?

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, I fail to see the relevance of the question being asked to the issue of documents that were left in an unsecured location. These ancient relationships may be of interest to some, I know they are. But it is interesting that the Bloc Québécois, which always resisted any of our tackling violent crime measures, seems suddenly very interested in them today.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Couillard affair began, the Prime Minister has been stubbornly denying the facts and hiding behind false pretexts to avoid answering legitimate questions from the opposition and the public.

Will the Prime Minister finally assume his responsibilities, show the transparency that he promised when he was in opposition and appear before the public safety committee?

The best way to dispel any rumours is to come and tell the whole truth.

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, we are not in the rumour business as the other parties are. We are in the business of running this country and managing this country well. That is why foreign affairs will be conducting a review of the aspect of this that actually does touch public policy, that does touch the processes of governance, and that is the fact that documents were left in a non-secure place. Foreign affairs will ensure that this issue is addressed satisfactorily.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

June 3rd, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, GM is the latest auto manufacturer to lay off workers in Canada. Another thousand jobs have been lost. The government must have an industrial strategy for the auto sector. The government needs to invest in green technologies, create transition funds for people and communities and make Canada a world leader in the manufacture of hybrid cars.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for? Thousands more lost jobs and thousands more after that?