House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on helping with what matters to Canadians: helping them and their families weather the global economic downturn.

Our economic action plan is working. The extra five weeks of EI is providing much needed support to over 395,000 Canadians to date. The enhanced work-sharing program is currently protecting the jobs of over 165,000 Canadians. Unprecedented investments in training are helping Canadians receive the skills they need to enter a new career.

We recently passed legislation to provide long-tenured workers five to twenty additional weeks of EI. Cheques have already started to be delivered. We also recently introduced legislation to provide access to special benefits for self-employed Canadians for the first time in history.

While the opposition talks, Canadian families can count on our Conservative government to take action.

Post-Secondary Education
Statements By Members

November 24th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, at a time when young people are facing some of the most difficult economic times, we need action to support them. We need national leadership when it comes to post-secondary education.

Instead of leadership, past Liberal governments and the current Conservative government have helped place a heavier burden on students.

What can be done? We need to start by listening. Student leaders from my home province of Manitoba, Jonny Sopotiuk and Stephen Montague with the Canadian Federation of Students and leaders from across the country have made it clear: We need action.

We need a post-secondary act directing transfer payments to our provinces with the goal of making education more accessible and strengthening the work at our institutions. The NDP is continuing to call for this. Why not show leadership in our post-secondary system the way we show it in health? We need to invest in making our education more affordable and more accessible.

Canada's youth face impossible situations: war, climate change, a difficult economy. They are counting on this government for action. Let us not let them down.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, after 13 years of Liberal inaction, Canadians finally have a government that is standing up for victims and law-abiding citizens. This government has made victims of crime a priority, and we have committed to making our streets and communities safer.

We are tackling organized crime with our drug bill. We are cracking down on identity theft and auto theft. We are ending credit for time served. We are eliminating the faint hope clause. We are ending house arrest for serious crimes. We are cracking down on white collar criminals. We are ending sentence discounts for multiple murderers. We are helping to protect children from Internet sexual predators.

We are standing up for victims of crime and putting the rights of law-abiding citizens ahead of those of criminals. I only hope the Liberal leader will, for once, stand up for victims in this country by ensuring these bills get passed.

Canadians can count on the Prime Minister to stand up for the rights of victims and law-abiding citizens.

Malalai Joya
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arrival in Montreal this week of Malalai Joya, the former Afghan parliamentarian who was expelled from Afghanistan's parliament, reveals the rampant corruption that undermines the country's entire political system.

Ms. Joya, who is only 31 years old and was elected to the Afghan parliament in 2005, was expelled from the legislative assembly with misogynous insults and threats because she dared to denounce the collusion among elected officials, war criminals and drug traffickers, some of whom are ensconced in the most senior levels of government. Since then she has constantly had to change residences and be accompanied by body guards.

The facts documented and raised by Ms. Joya are very disturbing and worrisome for all western governments and NGOs in Afghanistan. For that reason, we should pay special attention to them and they should never be simply dismissed.

Ms. Joya is a symbol of integrity and courage for all of us.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today marks the anniversary of the 1989 parliamentary motion to eliminate child poverty by 2000. That goal was not reached, so where do we go from here?

Thanks to Campaign 2000 and its partners, the House adopted a new resolution today. It is missing specific targets, but it is a start. The human resources committee continues its study on a poverty reduction strategy, but the federal government has refused a recommendation from the UN Human Rights Council that Canada needs a national strategy to eliminate poverty. The government said no to that. That is not acceptable.

Other countries have successfully reduced poverty, six provinces have poverty reduction plans, and we have vehicles like the child tax benefit and GIS that are proven to reduce poverty. We just need to make them more robust.

Canada is a fortunate land, but that good fortune is far from equally shared. Poverty is not inevitable and it can be eliminated. What it requires is political will. On this day we need to recognize where we fell short, commit to a new goal, and develop a strategy to reach it.

Child Pornography
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a world where technology is evolving every day, our government is taking action to protect Canadians, and more specifically, our children, against computer crimes.

Child pornography is a crime that should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Today, our Minister of Justice announced a bill that would require suppliers of Internet services to report any information they receive concerning Internet child pornography cases. This bill will help us better protect our children from sexual exploitation.

Everyone knows that, on justice issues, Liberal and Bloc members too often defend the rights of criminals over the rights of victims. What will they do about the child pornography bill?

Fortunately, Quebeckers know that they can count on our Prime Minister, our government and the Conservative members from Quebec to defend the rights of victims and honest citizens.

New Member
Routine Proceedings

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Daniel Paillé, member for the electoral district of Hochelaga.

Mr. Daniel Paillé, member for the electoral district of Hochelaga, introduced by Mr. Gilles Duceppe and Mr. Michel Guimond.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, between January 2006 and May 2007 there was a cascade of reports about torture in Afghan jails, especially from reputable Canadian officials like Richard Colvin. It defies belief that this information never reached the Prime Minister. How can anyone believe that the Prime Minister did not himself know about torture in Afghan jails and the risk that detainees transferred there would be tortured, and if that is so, how can he possibly justify his failure to act for those crucial 18 months?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everybody knows that there are widespread allegations. The Taliban make allegations in every case. We know that. The fact of the matter is that whenever Canadian diplomats or Canadian military officials have concrete evidence, have substantial evidence of any kind of abuse, they take appropriate action. That is what they have done in these cases.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the credible allegations were made and no action was taken.

The question is whether the government will now make available to the parliamentary inquiry the documents that it needs in order to get to the bottom of this affair. Why is it, if the government is so sure that no detainee transferred by Canada was ever abused in an Afghan jail, it will not supply the documentary evidence to prove its case before a parliamentary committee?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. leader alleges there was abuse and then says he does not have the documentation to prove it. The fact of the matter is the government has and will continue to make all legally available information available. The parliamentary committee has a request of a number of people to give testimony. I hope the committee, if it is serious, will hear testimony from all who want to testify.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we cannot have relevant testimony without documents. The government documents on torture constitute extremely important evidence. Yesterday the Minister of National Defence promised to hand them over. Today he is retreating into secrecy.

Why is the government refusing to let the parliamentary committee get to the bottom of this affair? Why is the government so afraid of what will be found in those crucial documents?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government will make available all the documents it can. If the parliamentary committee is serious and this is not just a political game, it should hear testimony from all those who want to testify before the committee.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives are willing to table all key documents relating to allegations of torture as far back as May 2006 and 2007, we are ready to hear at committee any witnesses who wish to come forward. They are withholding key documentary evidence. Without this evidence, the committee cannot do its job and properly question witnesses.

In keeping with the promise he made yesterday, will the Minister of National Defence table all documentary evidence in this matter in the House? After all, some of it has already been provided to third parties in redacted form.