House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drug.

Topics

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in other words, the minister has just told us that she is shunting the responsibility of her own mistakes off onto other people.

There is a double standard involved here. After much hesitation, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of his former Minister of Foreign Affairs on the pretext that the latter had left secret documents in an inappropriate location. That pretext, for pretext it was, has become a rule in the code of ethics. Now we have the Minister of Natural Resources doing exactly the same thing, but this time the Prime Minister excuses her.

Are we to conclude that not only do ministers not respect the code of ethics, but the Prime Minister does not respect it either?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, there are clear procedures in the minister's office with respect to the handling of these documents. It is a very serious matter when those procedures are not followed, which is what happened in this case. As a result, we took corrective action. I offered my resignation, as did the staffer involved with respect to the responsibility of handling the documents and I accepted her resignation.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the time of the member for Beauce's problems with Julie Couillard, the Prime Minister had promised to make changes to the handling of ministerial documents. Yet it appears to have taken six days for the government to realize that the Minister of Natural Resources had misplaced some documents.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he must not only dismiss his minister, but must also share the blame with her because of his own inaction?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated, we treat this very seriously. There are clear procedures that are in place. They were not followed. The individual who was responsible for the handling of the documents offered her resignation and we accepted it.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister considers this to be serious, but not the Prime Minister. Funny, that.

In the guide Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Secretaries of State , we can read the following:

Ministers and Ministers of State are required to notify the deputy minister immediately of any potential compromise of Cabinet confidences or other security incident.

How can the Prime Minister still be defending his Minister of Natural Resources, the person who took six days to realize that secret documents had been left at a television station ?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we indicated, there are clear procedures in place dealing with these documents and these matters. Unfortunately, in this case, those clear procedures in place were not followed, and the staff member who was responsible for the documents offered her resignation and we accepted it.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court ruling today makes it clear that the government breached the charter rights of Canadian citizen Mr. Abdelrazik by forcing him to remain stranded in Sudan. The court declared:

There is no evidence in the record before this Court on which one could reasonably conclude that Mr. Abdelrazik has any connection to terrorism or terrorists...

The government does not get to choose to whom the charter applies. Will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing and bring Mr. Abdelrazik home?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, the decision just handed down by the court today is over 100 pages and it is being carefully studied by the Department of Justice. After we have had an opportunity to review the advice from the Department of Justice, we will take action.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the government did everything it could to keep this innocent Canadian stranded in Sudan, and now we hear from the court that CSIS was involved in his detention.

The court has declared Mr. Abdelrazik an innocent victim and has ruled that he must be returned to Canada within 30 days, but with the record of the government, I would not put it past it to further trample his charter rights, waste taxpayers' money and appeal this decision.

We want to know, will the Prime Minister declare today that he will not appeal this decision?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that this is a very foreign concept for the NDP, but we will actually read the document that has been handed down by the court before we make any decisions.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the decision is very clear. This issue has been very clear. In fact, for two years New Democrats pressed the government to act through letters, questions and committee work, all urging the government to repatriate Mr. Abdelrazik. In fact, our research proved the depth of mishandling by the government of different stripes compelling the foreign affairs committee to pass our motion to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home.

All of that, and the government has still refused, choosing instead to breach his rights. This has become a national disgrace. The minister surely knows what the right decision is here, to end this embarrassment and to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home, and not to appeal this decision. Surely he knows that today.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what is a national disgrace. About a month and a half ago, the New Democrats were telling voters in B.C. that they wanted to get tough on crime for a change, and what are they doing but filibustering our bill that cracks down on people who traffic in narcotics in this country. That is a national disgrace and they should apologize.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

June 4th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration resigned because of an assistant's actions. In 1996, Ontario's health minister resigned because of an assistant's actions. The Prime Minister himself signed a guide stipulating that ministers are to be held personally accountable.

How can Canadians trust a Prime Minister whose signature is meaningless?

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as indicated, this is a serious matter. Corrective action has been taken.

More important, the hon. member opposite oftentimes takes the opportunity in the House to ask me about the situation with respect to isotope supply and I think it is really important that we continue to focus on that.

That is why I was pleased to announce earlier that we have been successful globally in increasing the amount of global isotopes available. Australia has agreed to go online faster than it had originally anticipated. We are working very diligently with our U.S. counterparts on coming up with a solution for this real issue.

Minister of Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives cannot handle secure documents, how can we have any confidence they will handle isotopes properly?

The minister knows she is responsible. That is why she tendered her resignation. So, I have to ask, was it her idea to sacrifice her 26-year-old assistant, or was it the PMO operatives who made her shift the blame, or perhaps the Prime Minister himself?