House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, in late May 2006, the Canadian deputy commander of the reconstruction team in Kandahar met with the Red Cross.

At this meeting not only was the deputy commander told that his officials did not answer phone calls from the Red Cross, but also that Afghans were not reported captured for up to 60 days, and the Red Cross added that “a lot can happen in two months”, including beatings, whippings with cables, electrocution.

We now know full well what could have gone on in those two months. Why did the government ignore these clear warnings from senior officials in the field?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing was ignored. We had military officials and, obviously, Department of Foreign Affairs officials working in Afghanistan throughout our time in office and previously. It is through that filter and through that prism that government decisions are taken.

Here is a news flash for the member opposite. It is not just in Afghan prisons where human rights abuses were taking place, it is not just in those prisons where violence was occurring, but we have stories of Afghans being thrown down wells and beheaded in soccer stadiums. It was one of the worst places in the world. Let us not lose sight of that.

That is why we are there. That is why we are trying to help and improve the people's rights in that country. That is a news flash for the hon. member.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, it would appear that the minister thinks this is justified because it is happening everywhere else in the world.

On June 2, 2006, the Red Cross warned Canadian officials that there was a lack of judicial safeguards and that “all kinds of things are going on” in prisons where detainees had been transferred by Canadians.

Soon afterwards Red Cross officials met with senior Canadian officials on the issue of torture, both in Ottawa and Geneva.

Why will the Conservatives not tell Canadians who was at those meetings and what they discussed with the Red Cross?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when there have been substantiated claims of abuse, we have acted, officials have acted, but let us not just quote selectively from the Red Cross. It has already clarified and dismissed some of the attempts by the members opposite to misinterpret their information.

Bernard Barrett, the Red Cross spokesperson, said in Washington he would never share confidential information. He went on to say that these interpretations are someone else's interpretations of a meeting. He also said he tried to get in touch with Canadians in Kandahar in 2006 not to warn them about prison conditions, but rather routine matters of discussing the country's responsibilities.

We value the contributions of the Red Cross in Afghanistan and internationally. It is doing great work. So are soldiers and civilians.

The Environment
Oral Questions

December 3rd, 2009 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the Copenhagen summit fast approaching, and in response to pressure from the Americans, the Canadian government has finally agreed to listen, and is proposing to adopt absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets. However, this change will not make a real difference if the government plans on keeping 2006 as the reference year.

Will the Minister of the Environment admit that Quebec will pay for Alberta if he does not recognize the efforts the Quebec manufacturing sector has been making since 1990?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the targets will be the main focus in Copenhagen. A year ago, in the coalition agreement, the Bloc was pushing for a North American carbon exchange. Now, it wants European-style targets and efforts.

Does it want an integrated carbon exchange with the Americans or with the Europeans? Those are two very different things. The Bloc cannot have it both ways.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we want the Kyoto targets and we want Quebec's efforts to be recognized. Is that clear enough?

For Canada, the reference year is 2006; for Quebec, it is 1990. Quebec is aiming for greenhouse gas reductions of at least 20%, and would like to do better than the 3% target Canada is set to adopt.

How can the minister claim to be speaking on behalf of Quebec in Copenhagen?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I met with the Premier of Quebec. The Conservative government represents all Canadians.

We have made progress with the provinces. We consulted extensively with the provinces and territories before Copenhagen. We invited the provinces to participate in talks in Copenhagen as members of the official Canadian delegation. That is why we are making the services of the embassy available to them.

We practise open federalism, and the Bloc has supported our efforts.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago, Marc Lépine walked into the École Polytechnique and killed 14 young women with a hunting rifle. His was a hate crime targeting women.

Nathalie Provost, one of the victims who was injured in the shooting, is pleading with the government to maintain the gun registry. She has reminded parliamentarians that the registry is a critical tool in preventing violence against women.

Will the Minister of State for the Status of Women act in accordance with her responsibilities and explain to her colleagues that the gun registry helps prevent violence?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our government of course is very concerned about the cause of supporting the safety of women, and protecting the rights of women and protecting women from violence. That is why our government has embarked on an agenda of aggressive changes to our criminal law, to create real consequences for those who wish to engage in gun crime and otherwise. We will continue to do that and we will continue to memorialize and remember the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Heidi Rathjen, a former student at the École Polytechnique, called the Conservative government hypocritical because it commemorates the tragedy but refuses to learn from it. “The government could not care less about human life, about people's safety, about women's safety or about violence against women,” she said.

How can women trust this government when it wants to get rid of a registry that helps prevent violence, particularly against women?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Minister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, let me first highlight that the Liberal gun registry did absolutely nothing to make Canadians safer. It certainly did nothing to protect women against violence.

I would also like to highlight that the member is very well aware that we have made some significant changes at Status of Women. One of our pillars of focus is violence against women. We are funding a significant number of projects across the country that address the many forms of violence, be it domestic violence, cyber stalking, culturally based violence and the high rates of violence within the aboriginal community.

We have funded an equivalent of $23 million in projects just in the last year and a half.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, more than 520 aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or have been murdered in this country. Aboriginal women need to feel safe and they need to know they are being heard.

The government talks about being tough on crime but refuses to act. It refuses to launch a complete public investigation.

What will it take? How many more women will have to go missing?

When will it launch a comprehensive, national public investigation?

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Minister of State (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the member is well aware that we are supporting Sisters in Spirit, which is led by the Native Women's Association of Canada, as it should be. It is a five year, multi-research project that our government supports and financially backs.

We are in fact looking at exploring the next options. The president for NWAC has recently said that she knows that I am supportive and that we are working together on a regular basis to look to the future.

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, that may be nice but it is not sufficient, and the Conservatives just do not get it.

At least 520 aboriginal women and girls have been murdered or gone missing. At least 520 aboriginal families want answers. First nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and urban aboriginal people want and need answers, and all Canadians deserve them.

Does the Minister of Justice not know that when he talks about law and justice, it rings hollow as long as there is no justice for these women and girls?