House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, whenever specific substantiated evidence has been brought forward, this government has accepted its responsibilities. We have had the opportunity over this past week, down the hall, to hear testimony from some of Canada's leading generals and public policy leaders. They all have said the same thing, that no substantiated allegations have ever been proven on any detainee transferred by a Canadian soldier.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, true to form, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities are attacking all forms of opposition. Today, they said that those who call their government irresponsible because it failed to prevent torture are actually criticizing our soldiers' work. Nothing could be further from the truth. Guess who that reminds me of. It reminds me of George W. Bush, who, when speaking of the axis of evil, said that he was going to separate the good from the bad. That is who they remind me of. It is ridiculous.

Instead of attacking the opposition, will the Prime Minister reveal the extent of his government's negligence on the torture issue?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, again. The senior leadership of the military and our senior civil servants in charge of the mission in Afghanistan have rejected allegations of torture. That was what they said in their testimony before the committee. We acted, of course, on the advice of those same people.

The hypocrisy and the cynicism of the members opposite to say that they accept the advice of the military and the senior civil servants but reject the actions of the government points to the real failings of what they are doing.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to its refusal to give us the documentation in its possession, the government is trying to shut Richard Colvin and the opposition up by portraying us as Taliban allies. How nice. There is just one goal behind this crude strategy: covering up the government's failure to take action and its decision to turn a blind eye to the torture of Afghan detainees.

When will there be a public inquiry to reveal the extent of this government's violations of the Geneva convention?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as usual with the member, nothing could be further from the truth.

We have and we will continue to disclose documents in keeping with the vetting process that has always been applied with respect to national security, the Canada Evidence Act. This is the job of the Department of Justice. We act upon that advice, as we act upon the advice of the senior military, the senior public service. We accept that professional non-partisan advice.

The members opposite, again, are demonstrating hypocrisy and cynicism saying that they accept that advice but not the government's actions.

Here is what the Globe and Mail had to say: “No one with a lick of sense would expect that Afghan prisoners would live in comfort or ease”. This is what the Globe and Mail

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, by dismissing the call from the United Nations Secretary-General for more ambitious emission reduction targets, the Prime Minister is demonstrating a sad lack of leadership on this critical issue.

To deal with climate change, we have to be bold and we have to be serious. What does the government come up with? It says that it will tweak some of the details, details of a plan that nobody has even yet seen.

Instead of trying to set things back, why will the Prime Minister and the government not listen to the Queen, the UN, world leaders and set bold, tough action targets on—

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Transport.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what this country needs and what the world needs is a plan that is bold, that is strong, that is effective, but also one that is realistic.

That is why the government has come forward with an ambitious plan to regulate big industry, the big polluters. We are working hard to play a constructive role for an effective outcome at Copenhagen. We are pleased that the Prime Minister will attend Copenhagen. We are pleased with the great leadership that the Minister of the Environment has given this file over the past year.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, far from ambitious, the targets that have been set are far below Canada's previous international commitments. It is laughable. No wonder other governments are criticizing us. In fact, the government still wants to rely on these intensity targets, which virtually everybody else has rejected, including the United States.

If the Prime Minister is intending to go to Copenhagen to simply put the brakes on change and try to convince other leaders that they should not act boldly, perhaps he should not go. All he will get at this rate are a bunch of fossil awards.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it was under the previous government where Canada ran up a record number of fossil awards at international conventions.

What people on the international stage want to see is real action. When Canada signed on to Kyoto in 1997, it marked a 10-year race to reduce global emissions. When that starting pistol went off, Canada began to run in the opposite direction.

We are committed to playing a constructive role to set bold, effective and far-reaching targets, but those targets have to be realistic and they have to be achievable. That is the kind of leadership the Prime Minister is providing.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Prime Minister is reluctant to go to Copenhagen. If the American and Chinese presidents had not announced their attendance, he would not be going.

Why? Because the government refuses to show a modicum of leadership when it comes to the environment.

Why? Because the Prime Minister has chosen the almighty dollar and the oil sands over environmental action.

On the international scene, why must Canadians count on Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia to take action, but they cannot count on their own federal government?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment and the Prime Minister have signalled that they are prepared to work constructively, as we have over this past year with the Obama administration. We are pleased with the proposals the Obama administration put forward. They almost go as far as the commitments that Canada has made.

We believe in real reduction. Intensity does not cut it. That has been the policy of our government for a number of years.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

November 30th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Wall Street Journal, chief prosecutor Ocampo of the International Criminal Court is examining allegations surrounding the issue of torture in Afghanistan.

There is a consensus that Canada continued to transfer detainees to Afghan jails at risk of torture, damaging Canada's reputation. The government's continued refusal to hold a public inquiry just makes it worse.

I would urge the ministers and the Prime Minister to face the truth and call a public inquiry so Canada's reputation can be made whole again.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, let me quote somebody a little closer to the source, and that would be the commander, General Gauthier, who was on the ground in Afghanistan during the time in question. He said, “I can very safely say there is nothing in any of these 2006 reports that caused any of the subject matter experts on my staff, nor, by extension, me, to be alerted to either the fact of torture or a very high risk of torture, nothing”.

Mr. David Mulroney, who testified as well, said, “I can say that we have no evidence that any Canadian-transferred detainee was mistreated”.

I will take their word over the individual opposite.