House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hours.

Topics

Bill 101
Oral Questions

June 9th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of people including many artists demonstrated in Montreal yesterday for the strengthening of Bill 101. The Bloc Québécois has introduced Bill C-482, which attempts to do just that, for example, by amending the Official Languages Act in order to have the federal government recognize that French is Quebec's only official language. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted against this bill.

With Quebec's national holiday just a few days away, will the Conservatives finally put their words into action and promise to support this initiative?

Bill 101
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member just explained, Bill C-482 did not receive the government's support. That being said, our government will work within its jurisdiction and protect both official languages in Canada.

Furthermore, as a Quebecker, I refuse to accept the Bloc member's flag-waving tactics, presenting himself as the only one defending the rights of francophones in Quebec.

Language of Work in Quebec
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the same time this demonstration was being held, four major Quebec unions, including the FTQ and the CSN, participated in a press conference to support the Bloc's initiatives to give tangible expression to the recognition of the Quebec nation, in particular, to ensure that French—and only French—be the language of work for all workers in Quebec.

Is this support not just another sign for this Conservative government that the Quebec nation wants to live and work in French, and that this government should amend the Canada Labour Code so that all companies under federal jurisdiction are subject to the Charter of the French Language within the boundaries of the Quebec nation?

Language of Work in Quebec
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Bloc Québécois is trying to pick fights in an attempt to maintain its presence here in Ottawa.

The Canada Labour Code does not address language of work. I will repeat it again: neither the Canada Labour Code, nor the Quebec Labour Code, addresses language of work. The Canada Labour Code deals with labour relations, workplace health and safety and labour standards, not language.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the home of Julie Couillard was under RCMP surveillance in 1998. Yet the Conservatives persist in saying that they were not aware of her shady past. The Prime Minister and those of his ministers who were involved in this matter ought to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Safety to show good faith and shed light on this sordid matter.

Will the Prime Minister and the ministers concerned reconsider their decision and agree to appear before the committee, yes or no?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 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 everyone in the House is aware, the Department of Foreign Affairs is undertaking a serious review of the serious public policy matters.

As for the other questions that I know are intriguing and an interest to the Bloc Québécois and others who watch eTalk Daily, programs like that, they can watch the parliamentary committee.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a public security matter, as a minister even had to resign. Yet, the Conservatives are not answering our questions in the House. That is why they have to appear before the committee. The secrecy surrounding this matter has to stop. This kind of governing under the seal of secrecy has to stop. The Conservative code of silence has to go, and so does their need to control everything.

Do the Conservatives realize that, if they refuse to testify, everyone will conclude that they have things to hide?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 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 have been quite open about what took place. The former foreign affairs minister, the member for Beauce, left documents in an unsecure location. That was unacceptable. It was contrary to the rules that apply to cabinet ministers. As a consequence, he offered his resignation and his resignation was accepted because it is important that those rules be respected.

With regard to any other issues surrounding it, the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting a review and will surely get to a point where it can make recommendations for any changes that are necessary to ensure the processes are adequate.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, an internal review by the Foreign Affairs Department is not adequate at all. With all of the revelations about Ms. Couillard's life, and connections with the mob and the bikers, that her father's house had been under surveillance, and that she may have been under surveillance, this should have been obvious to the RCMP and CSIS that this matter presented a grave issue of national security.

My question is for the public safety minister. Did the RCMP or CSIS raise these security concerns with anyone in government at any time?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 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 made it quite clear in this House that the Prime Minister is not in the business of enquiring into the personal lives of particular citizens in Canada, and this is no exception.

However, I am not surprised that we have yet another former NDP premier wanting to ask questions about this instead of asking questions about public policy issues. Today, for the first time after us talking about it for weeks, the Liberals were finally prepared to talk about their carbon tax, and I am not surprised because they come from a party that really liked really high taxes.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister opposite continues to raise with nauseating sanctimony the issue of privacy of individuals. Let me advise him national security always trumps privacy, particularly in the bedroom of the top diplomat of the country, when national security is concerned. We know that the Prime Minister and the former minister are refusing to testify before the committee.

Will the Prime Minister tell us now if the RCMP or CSIS informed him of any potential or real security concerns, and if they did so--

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. the government House leader.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:40 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, with the arrival of these former NDP premiers, this Liberal Party has come a long way from the days when its leaders said the state had no place in the bedrooms of nation. Now, the Liberals not only believe they have a place in the bedrooms of the nation, they consider the whole question of privacy to be, in his words, “nauseating”.

We actually think that one's right to privacy is an important right that should be respected and all Canadians should have that protection.

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it has been seven months since the Prime Minister promised a public inquiry into Mr. Mulroney's dubious financial dealings. It seems ridiculous that it has been seven months and the government still cannot find someone to lead that inquiry.

Is it the Prime Minister's contempt for the judges? Is it the Conservatives' desire to protect Mr. Mulroney? Or are they just waiting for the President of the Treasury Board to be appointed to the bench so he can head up the inquiry?

Airbus
Oral Questions

2:45 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 indicated early on the importance of having a proper public inquiry into this matter. Unfortunately, that was delayed for some time when the opposition parties engaged in one of their trademark legislative inquiries that really did a lot to help.

Fortunately, we had Professor David Johnston looking into the matter and providing terms of reference for a committee and a commissioner that will be established before we rise for the summer.