House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, if it were left up to the Bloc, all the machinery would still be in the contractors’ backyards. There would be thousands of excess pipes because not a single project would have been completed. Our government has made these projects happen. As usual, we will be fair and reasonable.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, before the Military Police Complaints Commission, Major-General Guy Laroche said that 20% of Afghan detainees alleged that they had been mistreated. Despite these allegations, the transfers continued. According to Major-General Laroche, he needed evidence of abuse before he could stop the transfers. But according to the Geneva convention, transfers must stop if there is a suspicion of torture.

Does the Major-General's admission not prove that Canada has failed in its obligations regarding torture and that it violated the Geneva convention?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what it proves is that on each and every occasion the Canadian Forces and the professional public service working in Afghanistan have done the right thing.

When credible allegations came forward, the transfers were stopped. Since that time, we have put in place a very rigorous examination of what has been happening inside holding facilities. We have increased the ability to go inside and to follow up on what happens after transfers. We have invested heavily in the justice system, as well as in the infrastructure.

Canadian Forces personnel and those working in the public service continue to distinguish themselves in accordance with the highest levels of behaviour.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Major-General's statements and the response that the minister just gave us, the convention does not require proof of torture. Even mere suspicion means the transfers should stop.

Does the government admit that by not applying this precautionary principle to Afghan detainees, it failed in its obligations under the Geneva convention?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member has said, we continue to meet the highest standards internationally.

We continue to meet all of these obligations. In fact, we perform beyond those obligations, always in keeping with the high standards of the Canadian Forces personnel. They continue to do the work that we expect of them in very difficult circumstances, as do our professional public servants.

We continue to make massive investments in that country at a high cost to life and limb. I am proud of the work of the Canadian Forces and all our public servants. I am proud of what we have done in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

October 5th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Prime Minister was bullying us when he said that he would like to see strict post-employment rules so that a company cannot unfairly receive a government contract. Nigel Wright is leaving his position as an executive at Hawker Beechcraft, and he plans to return there immediately after he finishes his temporary job at the Prime Minister's Office.

Given that Hawker Beechcraft has millions of dollars in government contracts, why is the Prime Minister not applying the post-employment rules to Mr. Wright?

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. I understand that the Ethics Commissioner appeared before a parliamentary committee this morning. What did she have to say? She reported that she and her office have been very vigilant in the area of conflict of interest.

I can confirm to the House that Mr. Wright has sought and has followed all the advice given by the independent commissioner. That is exactly what taxpayers can expect.

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, Onex owns Celestica, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronics and computer systems. They have holdings in the automotive industry, plastics and steel, warranty insurance, and even American private health care. The possibility for conflicts of interest are enormous.

The minister mentioned the Ethics Commissioner. Today the Ethics Commissioner said that only Mr. Wright or the Prime Minister's office can release the details of Mr. Wright's employment contract with Onex. She said, “I would love to have them do that”. So why does the minister not do it right now?

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the standard for all such staff, this individual will disclose all of his public holdings to the commissioner and will place them in a blind trust.

Let me explain this different kind of blind trust we have now. It is not a Venetian blind trust.

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the post-employment code for public office holders is supposed to prevent corporations from benefiting from their links to government by imposing a one-year cooling-off period before they can work with a company that had dealings with government.

Are we to believe that Mr. Wright, the Prime Minister's temporary chief of staff, on loan from Onex, will have no dealings with any file related to that company, the largest private sector employer in the country?

If the government is so sure there is nothing of concern and nothing to hide, why does it not release the full details?

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me say this. I believe it is fantastic that someone who has been very successful in the private sector and very successful outside government is responding to the call of public service and coming to Ottawa to serve the national interest. Canada is blessed.

If members of the Liberal Party had their way, I suppose that they would want to discourage talented people from outside government from coming to Ottawa to contribute. Thank goodness this was not the case, or we never would have had a Paul Martin or a Belinda Stronach.

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner said she would love to have the details released. I do not know why they will not.

Onex is the second largest employer in Canada, second only to the federal government itself. It is involved in energy, defence, manufacturing, aerospace, computer equipment, financial services, even medical diagnostics.

How could a chief of staff to the Prime Minister possibly avoid having dealings with a Canadian company as wide-ranging as Onex? How can he be the top adviser to the Prime Minister when the rules say he should not be at three-quarters of the meetings?

Prime Minister's Office
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me say this. I can confirm that Mr. Wright has sought the counsel of the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, and he is taking direction from that office.

It was our government that brought in the toughest ethics reforms in Canadian history. When we did so, it was the Liberal Party that said we were going too far.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks allegations have surfaced concerning the misuse of veterans' private information.

There are many veterans across Canada who are now concerned that their private files have not been protected by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please inform the House of what he is doing to ensure that the private information of our veterans will remain confidential?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we take the protection of personal information very seriously. We are currently re-examining the sanctions in place for those who discover information they should not have access to. Currently, individuals can be suspended for up to five days, and we are looking into the possibility that they could even lose their job.