House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was discrimination.

Topics

Yukon Mine Accident
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, with tomorrow being the annual day of mourning for workers killed on the job, I rise on the sad occasion of a cave-in at the Wolverine zinc mine in Yukon that killed one miner and left two injured.

Our deepest sympathies are expressed from all of Parliament to the family and friends of William Fisher who died in the tragic accident, and our sincerest wishes are extended for the speedy recovery of the injured.

Since the time of the gold rush, thousands of Yukoners, to support their families, have risked their lives in the biggest industry in Yukon. Our hats go off again to all these courageous builders of our nation, to which a stone carving is dedicated in the foyer of this very House of Commons.

Perhaps the greatest heroes of all are those who, to the ecstatic jubilation of their families, escaped the original disaster and then courageously re-entered the mine to try to rescue their trapped comrades. This type of heroism by miners is constantly quietly occurring in Yukon, across Canada and around the world.

For all these unsung heroes and to the families of all those who died trying to save the lives of others, all parliamentarians extend their deep appreciation and admiration.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week pollster Frank Graves advised the Liberals to divide Canadians through a culture war.

We know the Liberal leader is taking the advice, but at every turn he is not just dividing Canadians, he is dividing his caucus. His plan to force Liberal MPs to vote to keep the ineffective Liberal long gun registry has left his eight rural members scrambling to explain why.

In addition, he supports shutting out many brilliant minds in the francophone, anglophone, first nations and new Canadian communities from serving their country on the Supreme Court; a move the Liberal member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre thinks is a bad idea.

Furthermore, 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.

Dividing Canadians against one another is something we expect from the Liberal leader, but his willingness to divide his own party is further proof that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians, he is in it for himself.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the government announced a reversal of Canada's abortion policy, which has been a position of consensus for 25 years in Canada.

Does this mean that the Prime Minister will exclude countries where abortion is legal, like Haiti, from his maternal health plan?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is, no.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have broken a 25-year-old Canadian consensus. They have broken the consensus with Canada's G8 partners. They are destroying Canada's credibility on maternal health.

Why is the Prime Minister so determined to deny that maternal health must include access to safe, legal abortions in Canada and abroad?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal leader who insisted on having a vote in the House.

The government's decisions respect the vote in the House and World Health Organization definitions. There are a number of ways in which we can help and save the lives of women, mothers and children around the world.

We can focus on things that unite the people of Canada, not on things that divide them.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a curious position for a government to take that has defied parliamentary resolutions time and time again.

The government is reversing a 25-year-old position of consensus in Canada on this question. One simply cannot promote reproductive health for women unless one respects a woman's right to choose and unless one includes access to safe and legal abortion.

How is it acceptable to have one policy at home for Canada and another abroad?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was the leader of the Liberal Party who decided to force a vote on this issue. He divided his own caucus and he got the opposite answer from the one he was seeking.

The government's policy respects not just the will of the House. It respects definitions of organizations, like the World Health Organization.

I think the lesson to the leader of the Liberal Party should be clear. He may think a culture war is a good idea but the fact is that Canadians want to see their foreign aid money used for things that will help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people rather than divide them.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am trying to understand the government's position a little more clearly.

The House will know that 15 and 16-year-old women in Congo have been raped in the thousands and that rape is a tool of abuse and brutality that is a matter of fact in many parts of the world, including Africa, which this government has abandoned.

Could the minister tell us if it is the policy of the Government of Canada that those young women will not have access to abortions after they have been raped? Is that now the position of the Government of Canada?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the position of the Government of Canada is very straightforward. We are sponsoring an initiative to help save the lives of mothers and children around the world. There is a range of initiatives that can be funded in that regard by various G8 countries. We are clear what initiatives we are funding and, believe me, there is more than enough to do in those areas to save the lives of women and children.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is another example of the Conservative culture of deceit. As we speak, a pregnant woman, Sayon Camara Sow, is being deported by the Conservative government after four years in Canada.

I have a question for the government. Where is the focus on maternal health in such a decision?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I understand that individual's lawyer has filed an application with the federal court and I understand that the court has granted a stay.

The CBSA carries out the orders of the tribunals and the court so that the rule of law is upheld.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the matter involving the former status of women minister and her husband, Rahim Jaffer, the Prime Minister has repeated on several occasions that it did not involve the government. New revelations prove otherwise. The Prime Minister has instructed his ministers to report their meetings with Rahim Jaffer.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his defence of the first few weeks has been shattered and that there are ties between his ministers—the ministers of his government—and Rahim Jaffer?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, it is clear that this does not pertain to government business. No government contracts are involved.

If Mr. Jaffer or someone else was engaged in illegal lobbying, our government will take steps to ensure that they are held responsible.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment has hidden many things. First of all, that a member of his riding staff met with Rahim Jaffer and, second, that this meeting took place in the office of the former status of women minister in Ottawa. According to the Prime Minister's reasoning, which he just repeated, Mr. Jaffer did not lobby members of his government because he did not obtain any contracts. That is twisted logic.

If that is true, why is the Prime Minister demanding a list of ministers who met with Rahim Jaffer?