House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, of course, another officer said that they were handing out guns and money. Warnings about Mr. Khalid have been around for some time.

Richard Colvin testified that Mr. Khalid had a criminal gang and a dungeon where he tortured people. When the President of Afghanistan raised concerns about the governor, Canada defended him. The government knew he was trouble. Even the Minister of Foreign Affairs wanted him gone, yet we had military leaders supporting him.

What was going on? Can the Minister of National Defence explain why this should not be the subject of a public inquiry?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, there are so many inaccuracies in that question that I do not know where to begin. What I can tell him is that I just returned from Afghanistan. There I saw the incredible work of dedicated men and women in uniform as well as officials from CIDA and the Department of Foreign Affairs doing incredible things to help the people of Afghanistan.

Are we handing out money? No, we are paying Afghans to do important work to improve the infrastructure of their own country. I saw it first-hand. Why does the hon. member not dig a little deeper into these facts before he comes into this chamber and starts disparaging the good work of the Canadian Forces?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to two soldiers who testified before the Military Police Complaints Commission, military police in Afghanistan are not given specific training on the provisions of the Geneva convention applicable to the treatment of prisoners.

How can the government claim that it respects the Geneva convention when it is not even able to ensure that military police have adequate knowledge of the convention's obligations?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is another allegation that is completely false. I have here a quote from Brigadier General Denis Thompson.

This is what Mr. Thompson had to say about this subject matter:

...what we train on is the third Geneva convention. We make sure we handle all detainees in accordance with the regulations that are laid out there...

This is from a senior member of the Canadian Forces, a commander leading the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan during the period in question. Why will the hon. member not take the word of the hard-working, dedicated, professional leadership of the Canadian Forces instead of a journalist?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about what journalists are saying, we are referring to the testimony of soldiers before the commission. The minister must understand this. He told my colleague that we must believe them. We listened and are reporting their concerns in this place.

In addition to inadequate training, the military police do not even have sufficient resources to investigate the allegations of torture of Afghan detainees. Consequently, when investigations are initiated, they take months and it becomes increasingly difficult to substantiate the allegations of torture.

Does the lack of resources and training not prove that, once again, at the political level, every effort is made, as the minister just did—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have heard continually from the leadership of the Canadian Forces and the soldiers on the ground doing their work, each and every time there has been a credible allegation of wrongdoing. These are allegations, by the way, of things that take place inside Afghan prisons, of Afghans on Taliban prisoners who have been transferred after being picked up for being involved in trying to blow up Canadian soldiers or affect the citizenship of their own country.

When we transfer them over to the authorities in Afghanistan and allegations arise, we investigate. We have a new transfer arrangement in place, much improved upon the previous government's—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Defence on the future of the Afghanistan mission.

There is some confusion. He spoke of training Afghan police and the possibility of the presence of troops to train other troops. I have a simple and direct question for him.

Can the minister guarantee that the future of the Afghanistan mission will be the subject of a real debate in Parliament and that he will finally present the Canadian government's policy on—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I can only say again that the government has been very clear. Canada's military mission will end in 2011. Officials are now considering and examining Canada's potential and non-military role post-2011.

I would remind the member opposite that we encourage the members of the special committee on Afghanistan to study Canada's potential role in Afghanistan post-2011. Every time the government suggests in committee that they do that, the opposition votes against it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the same minister.

I wonder if the minister could explain how it is that the leaders of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Nigeria, India, and the list goes on, 12 leaders, are able to get a bilateral meeting with President Obama over the next two days in Washington while the President is there.

I wonder if the minister could explain why the Prime Minister of Canada is not able to discuss the future of our mission in Afghanistan with the President of the United States in a bilateral meeting.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my colleague on the other side of the House that the Prime Minister has spoken any number of times with the President and with the Secretary of State and made it very clear that this Parliament decided that Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in March 2011.

Fisheries
Oral Questions

April 12th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced that crab quotas in area 12, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, have been cut by 63% this year. The crab fishing industry was not expecting such a dramatic reduction. These quotas mean that plant workers and deckhands will have just three weeks or so of work, and some will lose their jobs.

The Government of New Brunswick has already asked the federal government to help these workers. What does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development plan to do to support them through this crisis?

Fisheries
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of this very sad and disappointing situation. We are working with the provinces to help the people affected by this measure.