House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government increased funding for health care by $43 billion.

The Conservatives broke their promise never to tax income trusts, but they did that in their first budget, thus swiping $25 billion from the retirement savings of two million innocent seniors. They have delivered nothing to fix the public pension system, so two-thirds of Canadians still have no significant retirement savings.

However, Conservatives spend 30% more on a bloated Prime Minister's Office and some ministers are bloating themselves with 200% increases in expenditures. Why so self-indulgent?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 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, I remember a lot of very strong words and strong speeches from the Liberal member for Toronto Centre back in the early 1990s, when the Liberal government of the day gutted the public health care system. I believed the hon. member for Toronto Centre then and I believe him now when I look back at those great words.

Our government has really led by example. We have reduced spending in the offices of ministers. We made an incredible cut in the use of military aircraft for political actors. We have also cut polling. We have also cut spending on hospitality and travel. We have a good record in that regard.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

December 2nd, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister needs an intervention. His cabinet ministers are consumed with power struggles, costing Canadians millions of dollars. He is wasting billions of dollars on whims like untendered military contracts and opulent three day summits. The Prime Minister is so incredibly out of touch he has lost count of his own government's financial scandals. Meanwhile, he calls our affordable family care plan reckless, a plan that would better the lives of over 650,000 Canadian families.

When will the government wake up?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we certainly sympathize with and support Canadians who care for family members such as an elderly parent or an ill child. That is why we have taken significant action to help them. For the first time in history, 2.6 million self-employed Canadians have access to compassionate care benefits. We have also extended the number of different family members and others who can access compassionate care benefits.

We are taking specific action with respect to this area.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is out of touch with the values and priorities of Canadians. It wants to award a $16 billion contract without any public tendering process, without any price guarantee and without any job guarantees, when the competition is proposing 100% regional economic spinoffs. In the meantime, struggling families are being told that their demands for family care are too much.

Who does this Conservative government work for? Who?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have taken specific action in various ways to help families, particularly those that have been hardest hit by the current recession. In fact, we have done a number of tax reductions that have allowed an average family of four to have $3,000 more in their pockets.

We have done things, whereas the Liberal Party and the member made promises from time to time but never delivered anything that can be seen.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the media have revealed that an elite unit of the Canadian army is suspected of having committed war crimes in Afghanistan. These allegations have been the subject of internal investigations at the Department of National Defence for several months.

Was the Minister of National Defence informed by his department that investigations were under way regarding allegations of war crimes committed by members of the elite JTF2 commando unit in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear. Members of the Canadian Forces, including the special forces, do very difficult and demanding jobs and they are doing so with the firm knowledge of their obligation under the laws of armed conflict. They do so with the greatest of integrity, with the greatest Canadian pressure that they recognize fully those obligations.

In fact, there were allegations, allegations that have now been investigated, one of which has been deemed to result in no charges. A second investigation continues. With respect to that investigation, we have to preserve evidence, comply with the independence of the process, and we will await the results.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is troubling is that these investigations have been going on for months, the minister was aware and did not inform anyone, and the defence committee had no idea.

Is the government not deliberately hiding information in order to protect some individuals in the Canadian Forces who are tarnishing the image of all soldiers, who deserve our full respect?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I just mentioned, there were in fact allegations that stemmed from a Canadian Forces member himself. The original investigation resulted in no charges.

The second investigation, which is ongoing as part of the National Investigation Service, will respect the rules of evidence. These investigations are very complex. They often involve many witnesses. They involve respect for the rule of law.

The board of inquiry, an administrative review of these matters, is also ongoing.

I think the member opposite would be the first to get on his feet to complain if there were any involvement by a minister.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to tell us how many children have been transferred to the Afghan secret service. Yet it can tell us that they are being held in special detention centres and that 280 monitoring visits have taken place. The Minister of Foreign Affairs cannot know all of these details and, at the same time, not know how many children Canada has transferred.

The question is simple: how many children have been handed over to the Afghan secret service?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and for the past few days, I have taken the time to describe to the member the procedure followed in the case of people under 18 who are captured while attempting to injure, shoot or kill a Canadian soldier. They are taken into custody, and we have provisions in place for doing so. I want to reassure my hon. colleague. These measures are in accordance with international conventions.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, how many children?

Also, contrary to the government news release announcing the extension of the mission in Afghanistan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Canadian soldiers will be deployed outside Kabul. Although the Conservatives promised to end the combat mission, we now learn that soldiers will still be in combat zones.

How can the government justify this falsehood?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in our policy we clearly indicated that we would respect the decision made in March of 2008 to end our commitment in Kandahar and withdraw our combat troops. They will be redeployed in order to help provide training to the Afghan army so that the Afghan army will eventually be able to assume responsibility for security in that country.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, I wrote to the Prime Minister asking him if he would invite Burmese democratic activist Aung San Suu Kyi to Canada. As members will recall, we extended Canadian citizenship to her on an honorary basis and I would like to know whether the government would extend an official invitation so she could come here to receive it.

Does the government intend to follow through on the initiative we took and invite the Burmese political activist Aung San Suu Kyi to Canada to receive her citizenship?