House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, my colleague asked me what planet I was living on. I would ask him what age he is living in. Gone are the days of 78s, 33s and eight-track tapes. This is the age of MP3s, iPads and iPods. In the world of the forestry industry, more electronic copies than hard copies of The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter have been sold. It is high time he realized that this is 2010. The issue is markets, and we are going to keep working to create new markets.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should talk to his colleague, who was in Quebec City yesterday at lunchtime. The government is offering small financial incentives to encourage people to use more wood, but it is refusing to make an effort itself and promise to use more wood in federal buildings. The House of Commons, led by the Bloc Québécois, and the Forest Products Association of Canada are calling for such a measure.

When will the Conservative members from Quebec stop letting the steel lobby walk all over them?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to be a token Quebecker, because at least I serve a purpose. Some members have been here for 20 years and serve no purpose whatsoever. That is not true of us.

We will keep on working to support the industry. In 2008, EDC reported $8.9 billion, and in 2009, $11.9 billion. The Bloc Québécois would never be able to do that.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, from the moment the torture complaint was first made to the commission in 2007, the government has been systematically obstructing the commission and the Afghan committee.

It gets worse. Important detainee transfer reports have been hidden in containers in Kandahar.

I want to know what time period these reports cover, will these reports be found and produced quickly, will the government end this culture of deceit, produce all the documents and call a public inquiry for all to know?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that any documents in the possession of the Canadian Forces are in safe containers.

Interestingly enough, here is what Gavin Buchan, the former political director at the Kandahar provincial reconstruction team, had to say yesterday. I know it runs contrary to member's narrative, but he said, “I saw nothing in the record through March 2007 that indicated Canadian-transferred detainees were being abused, nothing that changed the baseline understanding from 2005 when the original arrangement was put in place.

That failed arrangement has been improved substantially by this government. I wish the hon. member would get his facts straight.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was there and it was ambassador Arif Lalani who last week said that there was always a substantial risk of torture of detainees in Afghanistan.

How long has the government known that these reports have been missing at the bottom of some container in Kandahar? Will the government guarantee that the missing documents will be found?

I am asking if the government will guarantee that the documents will not be destroyed, that they will be brought back to Canada and that none of them will be shipped out of Canada. Or, will the culture of deceit prevent the government from offering that guarantee in the first place?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. Despite the overblown, over torque rhetoric of the member opposite and despite his hyperventilating and his hyperbole, we have heard from credible witnesses, including, as I said, the former director at the Kandahar provincial reconstruction team, the person, by the way, who was there before Mr. Colvin and after Mr. Colvin. When asked the direct question, “Were you told that the detainee file was an issue when you took over?”, he said, “In July 2006 there was no reference to the detainee issue whatsoever”.

Foreign Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his role as the chairman of the Afghanistan committee of cabinet.

I and, I am sure, a number of other members have been receiving reports from Kandahar of deep concern from a number of NGOs about the fact that they are now receiving some notification that decisions have been made in Canada that there will be no funding for CIDA projects in Kandahar after March 30, 2011.

I wonder if the minister, in his role as chairman, could give us his categorical assurance today that no such decision has been made and that Canada plans to continue to fund civilian projects--

Foreign Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want reassure my hon. colleague that in the Speech from the Throne we indicated that post-2011 Canada would not only continue with its diplomatic mission in Kandahar but would also continue with its development in and aid to that country.

Foreign Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister can help us. The problem is that all of our troops are now concentrated mainly in Kandahar because they played an important role in that region for a long time.

Can the minister assure us that, after March 30, 2011, Canada's civilian presence will remain not only in Kabul but also in the Kandahar region? That is an important issue.

Foreign Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what I told my colleague just now. I would suggest he check the Speech from the Throne, in which we indicated that post-2011, Canada would continue its diplomatic mission in Kandahar and Afghanistan. We will also maintain development assistance as well as CIDA involvement.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, with over 8,000 trucks and 68,000 travellers crossing the border between Detroit and Windsor every day and more than $500 million of trade daily, the Detroit River international crossing is the most important infrastructure project for Canada's economic security and future prosperity.

Our government has said since 2007 that we are committed to building a new bridge in the region. Would the Minister of Transport please inform the House of the major step our government took today with respect to this crossing?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Essex for his great work on this important issue. There have been discussions about this bridge for some 20 years and today this government took a big step forward to make it a reality.

We announced that we will work with the state of Michigan on a credit and financing regime that would allow it to leverage federal funding. This will help get this bridge built. It will help create literally thousands of jobs in Windsor and Essex county and all of southwestern Ontario. It will help our manufacturing sector in southern Ontario and southern Quebec, which is a key driver of the Canadian economy. We are going to get this job done.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it seems that if one has good Conservative credentials and knows the secret handshake, doors open, officials jump and illegal is just a sick bird. What red tape, they say. Rahim wants an answer by Friday, or at least before tea time.

We all know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport is just a patsy in all this, an expendable fall guy who we expect will take the fall.

I want to know when the Prime Minister will take responsibility for his ministers running roughshod over the Federal Accountability Act, the very centrepiece legislation of the government's agenda?