House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

International Aid
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Verchères—Les Patriotes.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the recommendations in the latest report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources is that the Government of Canada compensate Quebec for the costs resulting from the shortage of medical isotopes. The Conservatives' dissenting opinion implies that the government does not intend to make up for its mistake.

How can the government refuse to compensate the provinces and territories when it was the government's own inaction and negligence that caused the prolonged shutdown of the Chalk River reactor?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, at the last meeting of federal-provincial-territorial ministers, this item was discussed. At that point in time, I had stated that I was willing to listen to the jurisdictions in regard to this issue. That is where it is at this point.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

November 25th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission for the Republic of South Africa.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, in question period, the Minister of Public Safety shamefully mischaracterized my position yesterday in the public safety committee and the position of the New Democrats.

Yesterday, in the public safety committee, I stood up for the rights of victims across this country, especially the victims of sexual abuse. I specifically said in the public safety committee that victims of sexual abuse in this country have the right to be heard, they have the right to be informed, they have the right to be listened to, they have the right to matter and they have the right to have input into the pardon process.

I pointed out to Mr. Sheldon Kennedy, who agreed with me, that government Bill C-23B would do nothing to inform victims that their offenders are obtaining pardons and would do nothing to provide them input into the pardon process. All I did yesterday was stand up for the rights of victims.

Today in question period, the minister stood and suggested that somehow the New Democrats got it wrong by standing up for the rights of victims. I would ask that the minister stand and withdraw his comment and do the honourable thing and apologize for misrepresenting my position and the position of the New Democratic Party when we stood up yesterday for victims of sexual offences.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we know that the NDP will stand up for victims as long as there is a byelection in place and it will in fact make those kinds of statements.

However, despite the words that the individual has stated here today, we do know that the New Democrats are all right with hearing from victims but they will never do anything about it. If they actually want to do something about it, they should pass our bill.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to raise a point of order. I would like to go back to the offensive statement made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. While he was answering my questions, he took a gratuitous shot at a group known as ATSA, or Socially Acceptable Terrorist Action.

ATSA is the organizer of État d'Urgence, an artistic installation for the homeless in downtown Montreal. ATSA has received close to $70,000 over two years from this department as part of the building communities through arts and heritage program. ATSA has also been supported by Canadian Heritage for a number of years and received $7,000 through Young Canada Works.

Not only did Canadian Heritage cut their funding, but the answer came very late, just a week before the start of the installation, which is very important for the communities and in which a number of homeless people participate. Around 13,000 people from the general the public and hundreds of up-and-coming and established artists have participated in the last 11 editions of État d'Urgence.

For all these reasons, on behalf of the artists and the 13,000 consumers of art work, I ask that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages apologize for showing his contempt once again for the arts and artists and for adding insult to injury.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I did not realize points of order were used for points of rebuttal, but if she wants to have this debate, I am more than prepared to do so.

We are talking about new funds for next year and not next week. As a government, we must make choices.

Her colleague from Victoriaville wrote to me to ask for subsidies and funding for the 150th anniversary of Victoriaville. We have to make choices. This organization has received funding in the past. It is the 150th anniversary of the city of Victoriaville. We have to make choices.

Yes, this organization, which is called the Socially Acceptable Terrorist Action, will not get funding this year. Instead, we will be supporting a family-friendly organization and event for the 150th anniversary of Victoriaville. We make choices that are right for Canadians.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

That is not a point of order.

We have had two points of order now that are not points of order, in my view, and I would urge hon. members to ask that their questions be set down for further debate under Standing Order 38. They can have a 10-minute debate at the adjournment time in the House on these subjects and have no end of fun debating the matters. I would encourage that. It is more entertaining than having points of order after question period.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will start this afternoon by saying that last week the government House leader ambushed, for lack of a better term, the House of Commons with two unanimous consent motions, both of which I think could reasonably be characterized as publicity stunts. One was a very unusual motion asking that all justice bills on the order paper be adopted, while the other motion s asking to adopt Bill C-10 at all stages was intended to distract from Conservative behaviour in the Senate.

I would simply like to remind the hon. member across the floor and his colleagues that we are here in this chamber working for Canadians. This is serious business and I would hope in the future that the member across the way would treat it as such.

I ask the Conservative House leader which bills the government intends to bring forward for tomorrow and for next week and I hope he can make an effort to ensure, as we approach the Christmas adjournment, that consultations with the opposition parties are conducted in a proper manner. I think he owes it to himself, to his party and to this House. We will do our part, as always, to make this place work in the interests of Canadians.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, before I respond to the hon. member's question, I want to say that at our House leaders meeting just two weeks ago, the government raised the issue of one of the Liberal members calling a minister of the Crown a “slime” five times.

The House leader for the Liberal Party is seeking to raise the decorum and the quality level of debate in this place. The member is a senior member of the Liberal shadow cabinet. Before I answer the normal Thursday question, I wonder if the member could update us on where we are on that.

The House leader of the official opposition has also been very passionate in wanting to reduce the amount of heckling in this place and yet we was rather egregiously heckling the Minister of Finance yesterday on Walkerton. I spoke with the member who represents that constituency and that community takes great offence at the continuing vilification of the name of their town. Maybe we will get that next week with the slime comment.

Today we will continue the opposition motion from the Bloc Québécois.

Friday we will debate Bill C-41, strengthening military justice, and Bill C-43, the RCMP labour modernization.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of next week we will call Bill C-49, action on human smuggling; Bill C-47, sustaining Canada's economic recovery; Bill C-22, protecting children from online sexual exploitation; Bill C-29, safeguarding Canadians' personal information; Bill C-41, strengthening military justice; Bill C-43, the RCMP labour modernization; Bill C-54, child sexual offences; Bill C-33, safer railways act; Bill C-8, Canada-Jordan free trade agreement; and, Bill C-20, an action plan for the National Capital Commission.

Thursday will be an allotted day for our friends in the New Democratic Party.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion--Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

When the matter was last before the House, the hon. member for Richmond Hill had the floor and there are three minutes remaining in the time allotted for his remarks. I therefore call upon the member for Richmond Hill.

Opposition Motion--Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, before question period, I was talking about the valuable contribution that Canadian soldiers and Canadian aid workers have made to Afghanistan.

In this discussion with regard to post-2011, we have talked about the 3-Ds. One of the aspects the government has mentioned is investigating the future of Afghan children and youth through development. I cannot think of anyone in the House who would not be supportive of that initiative. I cannot think of anyone in the House who would oppose the issue of advancing security, the rule of law and human rights, something with which we have helped the ministry of justice in Afghanistan. The rule of law and human rights are absolutely fundamental and are things that we certainly support on this side of the House.

On promoting regional diplomacy, the government has not been very effective in this area. We have called for a special envoy for Afghanistan, for the region, to deal with the situation, not just in Afghanistan, Pakistan, et cetera. We encourage the government to do that. That is one component that the government has failed to respond to effectively. We think it is absolutely critical to promote regional diplomacy because the solutions in Afghanistan also lie in Islamabad, Tehran, New Delhi and in other capitals in the region. The only way to deal with that, we believe very strongly on this side of the House, is through a special envoy.

On helping deliver humanitarian assistance, I cannot see anyone in the House who would oppose that position. That is something that we believe is very important and is part of this issue. However, we cannot do these things unless we have a secure Afghanistan. Therefore, the training aspects are very important, but again, alongside the diplomacy and the development.

We are living in a fictionalized world if we believe somehow that we can have those other things without security. Regarding Canada's contributions, having seen it on three different occasions, I know that the men and women are making a difference. We believe it and we believe that this kind of initiative is important,not only for Afghanistan and for the region but also for the security of Canadians at home.

We encourage that but we would also like more details on the specifics of this training aspect. We also want to encourage the government to look at a regional envoy, which we believe for Afghanistan is extremely important, and that will help in the future not only of that country but for ourselves as well.