House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugee.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government brought in important reforms for lobbyist registration. The culture of lobbying in the previous government was outrageous. This government, immediately upon taking office, brought in comprehensive reform and most importantly established an independent commissioner of lobbying who reports to Parliament through you, Mr. Speaker, so that Canadians can have confidence.

Every single Canadian is required to follow the Lobbyists Registration Act. If the member opposite has any allegations to make with respect to anyone, she should forward them on to the independent commissioner of lobbying that this government established.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on April 13 the infrastructure minister claimed, “Mr. Jaffer had no discussions with me about any of his commercial interests”. What he failed to say was that his office received two funding proposals from Jaffer and Glémaud and sent them to his department for formal review. The minister has also never explained why his parliamentary secretary was given the role of gatekeeper for his $1 billion green fund.

Under what authority did the minister delegate this power and why was it never made public?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the green infrastructure fund is administered by my department. At the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, I am the one responsible for it. I asked my parliamentary secretary to assist me with respect to this initiative, as he assists me with many initiatives in the House, in committee and in departmental business.

Let me be very clear. There are strict eligibility criteria for this fund and every single project is assessed by an independent and non-partisan public service. This green infrastructure fund is doing great things to have cleaner air, cleaner water and cleaner electricity generation right across the country.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not enough that public servants wisely refuse to fund these proposals, they should never have been sent by the minister's office for formal review in the first place.

The minister and the parliamentary secretary should have blown the whistle on this scheme at the beginning instead of perpetuating the Conservative culture of deceit.

I ask the minister, how did Mr. Jaffer and Mr. Glémaud know that the parliamentary secretary was the gatekeeper for this fund when the fact was never made public?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. I totally reject the premise of the question asked by the member from Winnipeg.

It is not new for parliamentary secretaries to assist their ministers in the House, in committee and with departmental issues. It is no different in our government from what it was in previous governments.

I am the one, as minister, who is accountable for the fund. I am the one who makes decisions on the advice of the non-partisan professional public service.

On the green infrastructure fund we are doing remarkable things. We are doing clean electricity in northwestern British Columbia. We are having cleaner water in the Great Lakes working with the city of Hamilton. In every region of the country we are making great green investments to help our environment.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 26th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are desperately trying to put a lid on the issue of the torture of Afghan prisoners.

Their latest tactic is to shut down torture hearings at the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan. The best way to ensure that the committee's work does not drag on is to make public all of the documents, in their original, uncensored versions.

Why does the government refuse to cooperate with the committee?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think there has been a great deal of co-operation and all available documents will be made available to the appropriate authorities, whether it is to the MPCC or to the committee, and to the House. That is as it should be and it should have the support of the hon. member.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's repeated attempts to hide the truth are dragging out the committee's work.

In an attempt to protect the data related to the security of the country and the soldiers, the Bloc Québécois even proposed having an initial look at the government's documents behind closed doors.

Why is the government hiding the truth? What is it trying so hard to hide?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is very reassuring coming from the Bloc. I have to tell you though, Mr. Speaker, the government has always said that officials will provide all legally available documents. In addition, to assist with this process, we have appointed Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci to have a look at the documents.

I suggest to the hon. member to let the committee, Justice Iacobucci and the commission do their work. I think that is the appropriate course of action.

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, the G8 development ministers are meeting in Halifax to harmonize their policies on maternal and child health. We know that this government is ideologically opposed to abortion and that it would like to export its Conservative values abroad.

Will the government set aside its ideology and recognize that family planning measures, including abortion, help improve the health of women and children?

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, my minister is hosting the G8 development ministers in Halifax today where this issue will be discussed. We will be leading the discussion at the upcoming G8 summit on child and maternal health. We are focused on how to make a positive difference to save the lives of mothers and children in the developing world. Canada's contribution to maternal and child health may include family planning, however, Canada's contribution will not include funding abortion.

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has asked for Norway's help in establishing its maternal and child health strategy for developing countries. Norway's special adviser insists that family planning measures, including abortion, are essential to such a strategy.

Will the Conservative government listen to this wise advice and make resources available in order to give women the freedom of choice?

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it gets a little tiresome having the opposition always trying to score cheap political points on the issue of abortion.

We are giving the opportunity to all our G8 partners to assist us in promoting maternal and child health. The standard practice is that each country makes its own domestic decision on which areas it will focus. Our government has no intention of reopening the abortion debate in Canada. We will work with our partners on this important issue.

Military Police Complaints Commission
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Military Police Complaints Commission's investigation of the detainee torture scandal started years ago in 2007 with no end in sight because the government has obstructed it every step of the way. Its lawyers have acted like dictators, insulted the commission, intimidated the witnesses and bullied the journalists. The Conservative culture of deceit must end.

Why can the government not be honest with Canadians and call a public inquiry?

Military Police Complaints Commission
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the MPCC is very clear and well set out. Certain parts were challenged in court and they were upheld. There are officials there who take their role very seriously. Procedures are in place and the member should let the MPCC do its work.