House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

March 4th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economy is beginning to show signs of recovery. It is clear that Canada's economic action plan is having a positive effect.

What is the Liberal leader's plan for the economy? It is the same old failed tax and spend policies for which the Liberals are famous: billions for this, billions for that. When asked how he will pay for his multi-billion dollar plan, the Liberal leader says he will “find the money”. Where? He will reach into the pockets and bank accounts of Canadians and ask them to pay in more taxes.

Higher taxes will not create jobs. It will not create economic growth. All higher taxes will do is stop our recovery in its tracks. Canadians are tired of big unfunded Liberal spending promises and sneaky plans to raise taxes to pay for them. It is time for the Liberal leader to come clean. Which taxes will he raise and by how much will he raise them?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as we were saying before we were so rudely interrupted, the Prime Minister shut down Parliament. Canadians were rightly angered. Canadians want the House to reassert its just authority. They want democracy strengthened, not weakened.

Will the Prime Minister support creating a special committee of the House to study prorogation, to limit it and to prevent its future abuse?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, prorogation has been used by every government annually for the past 140 years, on average. There was one unusual use of that, which was last year, as you know Mr. Speaker, when I prorogued the House in order to assert the very principle that if the opposition wanted to replace the government, it had to do so through an election. If the hon. leader wants to revive the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Québécois coalition, he can take that to the Canadian people.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House and everyone in the country knows why the Prime Minister shut down Parliament. He shut it down to avoid legitimate questions about the Afghan detainee scandal and Parliament spoke clearly on this question. Parliament passed a motion in December, which said stop the cover-up, stop the excuses, deliver the documents.

Will the Prime Minister now respect the will of Parliament and deliver the documents to the Afghan committee so Canadians can get the truth that they deserve?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition knows that the decision of redacting or not redacting documents rests with government lawyers who do that according to the law. There have been literally tens of thousands of pages of documents released and all of those have indicated over and over again that the Canadian Forces have conducted themselves with the highest performance of all countries.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister shut down Parliament for one simple reason: to avoid difficult questions. He refuses to release uncensored documents and information.

The Conservatives are being underhanded and are hiding behind poor excuses in order keep the truth from Canadians. They refuse to respect the will of Parliament.

Will he deliver uncensored documents so that Canadians can get the truth they need and deserve?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, rules for the publication of documents have been established by law. Government lawyers are the ones who make these types of decisions. They have released tens of thousands of pages of documents.

It is clear that the Canadian Forces have conducted themselves extraordinarily in all circumstances.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, while this House was arbitrarily shut down by the Prime Minister, further information came to light to discredit the government's claims about detainee abuse.

In May 2007 the Judge Advocate General, the top legal adviser to our military, warned senior officials in the defence department that it was a crime to ignore claims of prisoner abuse and to not take necessary measures to prevent future abuse. The JAG clearly knew of the allegations of torture.

Why does the government continue to claim that it knew nothing about the abuse and torture of Afghan detainees?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will note, of course, that on the date in question there was a new transfer agreement in place. This government concluded a new transfer agreement three years ago. It is ironic that the Liberal Party, which was in Afghanistan for four years before we came to office, now questions the transfer arrangements that it had established.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are clearly cases that have come to light even after that new agreement the Prime Minister talked about.

The JAG's memo actually confirms Richard Colvin's evidence. In his letter of December 16, 2009, Colvin refuted the government's denials of knowledge of torture or of the warnings of their own officials. The JAG, Richard Colvin, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Canada's own human rights reports all acknowledge the existence of torture.

When will the government stop the obstruction, be open with Canadians, do right by our troops and call a public inquiry?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Again, Mr. Speaker, there has been a new transfer agreement in place for three years which addresses all of the issues that the member alludes to.

Not only am I not aware of any complaints about this transfer agreement, but in fact, this issue has already been to court and the government's position has been upheld.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne made it obvious that the government did not recalibrate a thing during prorogation. It is clearer than ever that the Conservative vision is out of step with Quebeckers' values and priorities. The government used the speech to reiterate its plan to create a Canada-wide securities commission. It also indicated that it wants to eliminate the gun registry and reminded us that it intends to reduce Quebec's political weight in the House of Commons.

How can the Prime Minister have the gall to say that he is defending the interests of the Quebec nation when all of his political choices are bad for Quebec?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Canadian securities commission, each province can decide whether it wants to participate.

I have personally talked to Quebeckers who want this commission because they want protection from white-collar criminals. Quebec investors were very clear about wanting this commission, but it is up to the province to decide whether to participate.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just proved that he has not spoken to very many Quebeckers. Had he travelled around Quebec, that is not the message he would have heard.

In Copenhagen, the Conservative government spoke with a single voice on behalf of Canada, but not on behalf of Quebec. It did the same thing with the throne speech, in which it promised next to nothing for the fight against climate change.

In his speech, the Prime Minister claimed to be a leader when it comes to environmental issues. He certainly deserves an Oscar for creativity, but will he admit that, in reality, he answers to the oil companies and the nuclear industry?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have talked to Quebec investors and I encourage the Bloc Québécois leader to do the same. Their perspective is not at all like the Bloc's.

But that is not all. The Bloc leader says that Canada's voice is not the same as Quebec's, but he is wrong. I was at the winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, where Canada competed and won a record number of gold medals.

Our country is united and proud. Quebeckers are proud of our performance too.