House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the 20th anniversary of the massacre at the École polytechnique de Montréal.

On the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, we remember not only the 14 women who were murdered that day, but also the 500 aboriginal women who are missing or murdered and the tens of thousands of Canadian women who are victims of domestic violence.

Twenty years ago we watched events unfold in mute horror, but these events have taught us to reaffirm that a crime against women is always a crime against everyone else and that all Canadians must stand against these acts of violence to ensure there is justice and security for all our citizens.

In remembrance of that day of horror and suffering 20 years ago, we all rededicate ourselves to the equality and dignity of women both in Canada and abroad.

We must take immediate action to ensure dignity and security for all our citizens.

The Economy
Statements By Members

December 2nd, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance delivered our government's latest economic report to Canadians.

Canada's economic action plan is a plan to stimulate the economy, create jobs for Canadians and protect those hit hardest by the economic downturn.

Just 10 months into our two-year plan, our government has already committed 97% of our plan, adding up to 12,000 projects across the country. Eight thousand have already begun. Our efforts are having a positive effect and communities across the land are seeing the benefits.

The OECD recently projected that Canada will have the second strongest economic growth among G7 countries in 2010 and the strongest G7 growth in 2011.

While our economy is recovering, it does remain fragile. However, we will stay the course and fully implement Canada's economic action plan. Doing anything else would be reckless and irresponsible.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, President Obama told Americans that there will be intensification of combat in Afghanistan. That will affect our forces and Canada's strategy in the region.

Can the government tell us whether Canada's strategy on the ground will change? When will Canadians be informed?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there will be no change, per se, on the ground in Afghanistan. However, what we have seen is an endorsement of the good work being done by the Canadian Forces in this mission.

What we have seen, and the Leader of the Opposition will acknowledge, is an endorsement of the model which has been employed by Canadian Forces and this is confidence in their commanders and in the good work of the Canadian Forces. I know the hon. member will want to join me in congratulating that work.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this side of the House will always congratulate the good work done by Canadian Forces. However, there has been a change not only in intensification of combat but an intensification of diplomatic activity. We cannot bring security to Afghanistan without a mixed and balanced approach that combines diplomatic and political activity with military activity.

Given President Obama's new approach, why does the government still refuse to appoint a high-level Canadian envoy to give us leverage in the political—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know all Canadians and members of the House will applaud the announcement yesterday by President Obama to surge 30,000 additional forces into Afghanistan, predominantly into the south where Canadian Forces are carrying out marvellous work, as are our diplomats and aid workers.

With respect to change, we have been pursuing a whole of government approach that is coupling with our efforts of diplomacy, coupling with the efforts of aid workers, all under the umbrella and rubric of security provided by Canadian Forces and NATO allies. This is the struggle of our time. Canada is pulling its weight. Canada is doing marvellous work in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's approach has neglected the crucial importance of political and diplomatic engagement. Other countries have created high-level envoys for the whole region. The United Kingdom, France, the United States, Germany have done this. Canada has earned the right to be at the table and to participate in those efforts.

Could the government explain why, month after month, it has refused to take that step, which will give coordination to our diplomatic and political efforts in the region?

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, I know the Leader of the Opposition would model himself after other countries. We are taking a unique Canadian approach. We have an ambassador in Afghanistan. We have a whole of government approach that has in fact been the envy of other countries. We have seen, in General McChrystal's report, an endorsement of the approach that Canada and the Canadian Forces have pursued in Afghanistan.

Guess what? It is working. It is working to great effect in Kandahar city where Canadian Forces again are doing marvellous work. It is working with our CIDA representatives. It is working at the PRT. We are making great progress in many areas, all because of professional, hard-working, dedicated Canadians who can make us proud.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Parliament passed a motion to hold a public inquiry into the transfer of Afghan detainees from 2001 to 2009. This would not be a partisan inquiry regarding a particular government, but an inquiry presided over by a judge able to shed some light in the interest of national security.

Why does the government refuse to accept such a responsible proposal?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us be perfectly clear, the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan with members from all parties in this House is conducting a significant amount of meetings on this issue. The Military Police Complaints Commission is currently looking into the matter.

The issue of transferring Taliban prisoners has been heard not once but twice at the Federal Court here in Ottawa. It has been examined by the Supreme Court, who declined to hear the case. It has been the subject of a Canadian Forces National Investigation Service review. It has been the subject of an RCMP review, and a CF board of inquiry investigation has been conducted.

I should remind the House and the Leader of the Opposition that there have been no proven allegations of abuse of Canadian-transferred prisoners.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government fails to realize that Canadian Forces may face this situation with detainees in the future.

Once and for all, it would be good to have a judge investigate this with national security clearance and access to documents that are uncensored and unredacted, for the benefit of the Canadian Forces and our honour overseas, so we can get to the bottom of this. This is what Parliament proposed yesterday, involving both the previous Liberal government and this one.

I fail to understand why the government cannot accede to the reasonable request of Parliament.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will say to the Leader of the Opposition who brings honour and respect to Canada, and that is each and every one of the men and women in uniform, who are doing an absolutely outstanding job.

The speech last night by President Obama and the changes taking place in Kandahar and southern Afghanistan speak volumes to the credibility and trust and confidence that our allies have for the men and women in uniform.

We have always been very, very clear. Whenever this government has gotten credible evidence, we have acted, but we require proven, substantiated and credible evidence to act. That has always been the policy of this government.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has told us time and time again that Canada will speak with one voice in Copenhagen. This means that the minister will be contradicting Quebec, which has adopted a real plan to combat climate change, with ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, while Canada does not even have a plan.

Does the minister realize that by having Canada speak with one voice in Copenhagen, he will not only be contradicting Quebec, but hurting it?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment held intensive consultations last summer, and one of the first provinces that was consulted was Quebec, through Premier Jean Charest. We now know that the people appointed by the Government of Quebec will form an integral part of the Canadian delegation.

Quebec is making a significant contribution. We recognize Quebec's support, and I can say that our provincial counterparts are very happy to be an integral part of the Canadian delegation.