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 refugees.

Topics

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

April 26th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, pollster Frank Graves advised the Liberals they should start a culture war against rural Canadians and it appears the Liberal leader is taking this advice. He has insisted on forcing his rural MPs to keep the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

His own MPs rejected his party's cynical motion to hijack an important initiative to save the lives of women and children in the developing world, and he supports an NDP bill that would shut out many brilliant legal minds in the francophone, anglophone, first nations and new Canadian communities from serving their country on the Supreme Court.

Our Conservative government, that helped unite a country following Liberal abuse of our tax dollars, our values and our trust, will stand with Canadians against the Liberal leader's plans to divide Canadians.

Dividing Canadians against one another is further proof that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians, he is just in it for himself.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, according to U.S. military officials, major new combat operations are planned for Kandahar in the coming weeks. The New York Times even talked about the decisive battle for Kandahar, yet our government will not tell us anything.

I have two questions. Are the Canadian Forces taking part in these operations? Why is the government keeping Canadians in the dark?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the fact is we work with all of our allies. The Americans are our principal ally in Afghanistan. Operations are planned with them. We participate at a level that is commensurate with our obligations in Afghanistan and to the Afghan people.

I cannot comment on that particular operation. It would be premature at this time.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if we take part with the Americans and they are willing to talk about it openly to their people, why can the government not do the same with ours?

The issue here is that U.S. officials say that a decisive combat operation will be initiated in Kandahar in the coming weeks. The Conservative government has said nothing to the Canadian people about this important matter.

Again I ask the question, what will be Canada's involvement in these operations? Why can the government not tell Canadians the truth about it?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the Government of Canada we ensure that we protect our soldiers, we protect the security of our operations, and we protect the important relationships we have with our allies, whether it be the Americans or the Afghan people. If there is information that needs to be shared that does not violate the safety and security of our troops, it will be shared.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to answer the most basic questions about these issues even when Canadian lives are at stake.

Today we learned that there are new reports of a government-wide ban on transparency, ordered by the Prime Minister's Office. Officials talk about it, and call it unprecedented, draconian and Orwellian. The Prime Minister's obsession with secrecy means that Canadians have to read in American newspapers about what Canadian troops are doing in Afghanistan.

Why this Conservative culture of deceit?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the Leader of the Opposition has been for the last four years, but let me say that Canadian troops, our men and women in uniform, have been playing a decisive role in Afghanistan for many years.

We welcome the increased presence of American soldiers. We welcome the increased presence of the French and others. Step by step we are making substantial commitments in Afghanistan.

We are working hard and we are getting the job done, thanks to our men and women in uniform.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday afternoon the environment minister stood in this House and disclosed that his political director of regional affairs met with Mr. Jaffer last year.

While he made it seem like this was new information, he in fact knew last Tuesday. It seems he did not want anyone to know about this when Mr. Jaffer testified at committee the very next day. It is time to end the Conservative culture of deceit.

Will the minister confirm that his political director of regional affairs, who is from Calgary, actually met with Mr. Jaffer here in Ottawa in the former Status of Women minister's office?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the facts related to Mr. Jaffer's activities in April 2009 were brought to my attention on Tuesday of last week. The documents relating to those matters were collected on Wednesday. The information was assembled and provided to the Commissioner of Lobbying on Thursday. On Friday I advised the House and also at that time provided the information to the Ethics Commissioner.

The appropriate authorities have been informed, as has this House. My understanding is that the meeting in question did in fact happen in that particular office.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, because he wanted to conceal the facts and delay disclosing them, the minister's mea culpa only raises new questions.

Why did he want to hide the meeting from Canadians for so long? Why would he not admit that the meeting took place in the former minister's Ottawa office? Instead of sinking deeper into this Conservative culture of deceit, will the minister finally agree to hand over all the documents related to this matter and that meeting? It is a question of honesty.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, having learned of these facts on Tuesday of last week, I did what I felt was my obligation to this House and to its committees. I collected together the documents on Wednesday. I assured myself that they were the documents in question. They were then delivered to the commissioner of lobbying and the ethics commissioner. Of course, they will be provided to the parliamentary committee.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has been questioning the government about the former minister of the status of women and her husband, Rahim Jaffer, for two weeks now, but it was not until last Friday that the Minister of the Environment announced that Rahim Jaffer did indeed lobby the minister's constituency staff.

Why did the Minister of the Environment wait so long to disclose more evidence that Mr. Jaffer did indeed act as a lobbyist and why did the minister do so on the sly on a Friday afternoon?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Jaffer's activities of April 2009 were brought to my attention last Tuesday. The documents relating to those matters were collected on Wednesday. The information was provided to the Commissioner of Lobbying on Thursday. On Friday morning, I advised the House, and on Friday afternoon the information was provided to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The appropriate authorities have been informed, as has this House.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told us that Mr. Jaffer did not do any lobbying because he did not receive any government contracts. Now, following the Minister of State for Science and Technology and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, it is the Minister of the Environment's turn to admit that his staff was approached by Rahim Jaffer or his associate.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to release the list of his ministers who were contacted by Rahim Jaffer?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the company Mr. Jaffer represented has never received government funding.