House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was internet.

Topics

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind my colleague that it was under this government that the toughest law ever on federal political party financing was passed. This is the first time there has been such a tough law at the federal level, and it was passed under this government. We are talking about a transparent, fair and open tendering process conducted by an independent crown corporation. If my colleague has any formal accusations to make, she should make them from the other side of the House.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have been doing everything in their power to muzzle and prevent diplomat Richard Colvin from telling what he knows about what happened in Afghan prisons. He has had to hire his own lawyer but the government has come in with every intimidation approach and delay tactic it can come up with.

He has to pay for his own lawyer but now the government is saying it will not pay the bills unless his lawyer reveals the list of absolutely everyone she spoke with.

That is unbelievable. No lawyer should ever be asked to do that. No lawyer would do that. To do so would be to break the ethical contract.

What has the government got to hide? Let Colvin speak.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are so many inaccuracies in that question, I do not know where to start. At least the NDP is asking its questions from the floor of the House today.

There is a policy in place that covers Mr. Colvin and that covers the legal bills of any public servant. The rules are no different for Mr. Colvin than they are for any other public servant.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, in one of Mr. Colvin's memos, the diplomat stated that the detainees had been burned, whipped with cables and shocked with electricity while in Afghan custody in Kandahar. The deputy minister of public safety received this memo in 2007.

Did the Minister of Public Safety see that memo or not? Will he continue to claim that he knew nothing about it, while silencing those who do know?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, as soon as we learned about the concrete allegations, with proof of torture in Afghanistan, we changed the procedures and concluded a new treaty with the Afghan government. We made proposals and took action two and a half years ago. These issues are behind us.

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, 17 years ago today the Federal Court reached the conclusion that gays and lesbians should be allowed into our armed forces because otherwise we would be violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This verdict allowed openly gay men and women to join the armed forces of Canada.

Unfortunately, prior to that time, people were discharged, often given dishonourable discharges, as a result of their sexual orientation. That has left a stain on our history.

I am going to ask the Prime Minister whether he would agree that the government should apologize for those decisions and provide compensation.

Canadian Forces
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is not here today to correct all the wrongs of the past. The government is here to learn from the past and make sure we have a better future.

I can say that we are very proud of every single man and woman who wears the uniform of the Canadian Forces.

Lobbying
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister.

Today the Commissioner of Lobbying testified that the Lobbying Act prohibited her from disclosing whether she was investigating any matter. Yesterday, however, the Prime Minister announced that his office was cutting off all communications with the lobbying firm, Navigator Limited, while the Commissioner of Lobbying was investigating ethical breaches by the firm.

Consequently the Prime Minister has undermined the confidentiality required by the Lobbying Act and compromised a potential investigation.

Why did he do this and when did he first find out about it?

Lobbying
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

The lobbyist code of conduct, Mr. Speaker, is the responsibility of the independent, arm's-length officer of Parliament, the Commissioner of Lobbying, not the government.

The commissioner, as I said, is an independent officer. The office was established by this government in the Federal Accountability Act, so that these practices can be dealt with very transparently by an independent officer.

This government prides itself on accountability and ethics. That is why we strengthened the powers and the responsibilities of this arm's-length agency that is charged with investigating this matter, and we will continue to abide by all the rules.

Lobbying
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Navigator is not just any lobby firm; it is an arm of the Conservative Party.

Navigator operatives include a current media spokesman for the Prime Minister, the executive assistant to the Prime Minister's former chief of staff, the current and former spokesman for Brian Mulroney, and others who have close ties to the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Natural Resources.

How can the Prime Minister claim to be distancing his Conservative government from Navigator when the firm is literally the face of the Conservative Party?

Lobbying
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of interesting to note that there is a fellow who used to work at this company. What is his name? His name is Warren Kinsella. There is another arch neo-con working at this firm and he used to work for the member for Toronto Centre. His name is Robin Sears.

I do not think this is any sort of secret Conservative organization.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Minister of Industry has abused his authority by giving his own riding the biggest share of infrastructure stimulus funds. The same minister has given his own riding the highest amount of community adjustment program funds at the direct expense of unemployed families elsewhere. Even next spring's G8 meeting has become an excuse to give him another $39 million to spend on his re-election.

The Minister of Industry has broken trust with Canada's unemployed by abusing job creation funds for his political advantage.

Mr. Prime Minister, is he a renegade minister you will now discipline?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park knows he must address his questions to the chair and not to other members.

The hon. Minister of Transport is rising to respond to the question.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, around the province of Ontario we have been able to accomplish a great deal, and I will tell the House how we have been able to do that.

We appealed to all municipal leaders across the country. Did they have infrastructure projects that would make our water cleaner? Did they have infrastructure projects that would expand public transit to improve the quality of life of people in this country? Did they have projects that would make bridges safer and our transportation systems better?

We had a partner in that effort, and that partner's name is Dalton McGuinty.

We are proud of our partnership with municipalities. We are proud of our relationship with the Premier of Ontario.

I only wish that the member could get along as well with Dalton McGuinty as those of us on the frontbench on this side do.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can see why the members are hiding behind another government. It is because their Minister of Industry has filled his pork barrel to the point of overflowing with eighty million taxpayer dollars.

From the G8 summit fund, a purely federal fund, he is giving millions to communities that are 60 kilometres away from the summit site and summit activity. In addition, he is giving $800,000 for streetscaping to the town of Bracebridge, which did not even request it. The local paper calls it “a shameful waste of taxpayers' money”.

My question is simple: Will the Prime Minister now investigate this obvious abuse of authority and ethics--