House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Canadians and victims' advocates spoke out in overwhelming support for our government's legislation to eliminate pardons for serious crimes. But what did the opposition parties say? The Liberal Party members responded that they wanted to hear from the experts. The NDP said it opposed the principles behind the bill. The leader of the Bloc Québécois expressed concern about stigmatizing rapists.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please inform the House why the opposition should get behind this legislation?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her very hard work on this important file. The current pardon system implies that what the offender did is somehow okay, or that the harm done to victims has somehow disappeared. Our government disagrees and so do Canadians. That is why our Conservative government is taking action.

I call upon the opposition parties to support speedy passage, to this urgently required legislation, at all stages. It is time for the opposition to finally side with victims and not criminals.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, in theory, the Conservatives have decided to await a Supreme Court ruling before invading provincial jurisdictions in matters of property and civil rights. In reality, the government—bad manager that it is—is already spending millions of dollars on the transition office the minister just mentioned. It is clearly all a sham. They have already decided to take over the securities sector even though the provinces are against this and will lose jobs and expertise.

The other claim that this is voluntary is totally disingenuous because once the commission is created there will be no other choice. Why not wait for the Supreme Court of Canada ruling?

Securities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we will respect provincial jurisdictions.

This provision, with respect to funding of the transition office, was in budget 2008 and it received the support of the House.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, part of their argument is that cases like the Earl Jones scandal would not happen. Let us look at what the federal regulatory systems have actually done.

Earl Jones was denounced in 2001 as having used his trust account fraudulently. The Royal Bank deposited that document in court, federally-regulated. What did the Royal Bank do for the next seven years? Nothing.

What did the robust federal regulator do? Nothing. What did the victims get? Nothing. What lessons do the provinces have to learn about regulation and enforcement in their own areas of jurisdiction? None. They should mind their own business. Let the provinces regulate.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member does not feel too strongly about the subject.

This is a voluntary proposal. Ten provinces and the territories are working together with the federal transition office to create the common securities regulator. They are working together. We welcome the participation of those two provinces that have not chosen to participate yet.

Yes, we are going to do a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada. Yes, business and the Canadian people need to have certainty about the legislative authority of Parliament to legislate in this area, and that is what we will do.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

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

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are enjoying confusing everyone and using bogus arguments to justify their objection to requiring Supreme Court judges to be bilingual.

According to the Conservative spokesperson in the Senate, requiring judges to be bilingual would violate the Constitution, which says that a judge can use the language of his or her choice.

Could some kind soul explain to the government that this is not about forcing a judge to speak one language or the other but a matter of ensuring they are able to understand without the help of an interpreter?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government is guided by the principles of merit and legal excellence in the selection of all our judges.

What surprises me about the Bloc is that it continuously gets it wrong. The Bloc has now decided to go on a campaign of attacking judges and procedures before the courts of this country.

When is the Bloc going to figure out that the problem is not with judges? The problem is with individuals who commit crime in this country. Why is that such a difficult concept for the Bloc?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, why does the Minister of Justice always act like he does not understand my questions? Clearly because he does not have the answers.

The Constitution guarantees that judges can use their language, but what we are debating here is their ability to understand both official languages without the help of an interpreter.

Will the Minister of Justice admit that with a unilingual judge, it is the citizen who does not have a choice and who loses the right to be heard and understood?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely it. I actually do understand the Bloc. It does not want to crack down on white collar criminals. It votes against a bill to toughen up the sentences for people who traffic in children in this country.

Earlier, I heard Bloc members raise their concerns about the safety of Taliban prisoners. All I am asking them is that once and while, maybe every six months, they could worry about victims of crime in this country. That is all I am asking them.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, General Laroche said, “I was not happy about the fact that these inspections were not conducted in a regular fashion and that there was not the rigour that we had reason to expect”.

Those are not the words of some amateur. Those are the words of the person who was responsible for the well-being of our troops.

Why is the minister refusing to level with us about what General Laroche said?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have heard from a number of witnesses and what we know is that we have now in place a much more rigorous process of monitoring, a much more vigorous process of investing in the prison system and working with the Afghans. We never said it is perfect, but it is getting a lot better.

We have improved upon the system. We have improved upon the failed arrangement that was in place under the previous government. We have made things better in Afghanistan, the human rights situation, its agriculture, immunizing children, improving education. This is a tremendous effort on the part of our country, particularly the men and women of the armed forces.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question for the minister that still remains is that, despite the changes that were made in 2007 by the government, the general who is responsible for the operation in Afghanistan said, and I am translating, that the inspections were not conducted in a regular fashion and that there was not the rigour we had reason to expect.

The simple question for the minister is this. The government was responsible for that period in 2007-08. Why does the minister not stand up and admit that in fact General Laroche's response was right and that he in fact was wrong? Why not admit that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

What I will admit, Mr. Speaker, is that the Canadian government, the Canadian Forces, members of the Department of Foreign Affairs, members of the public safety department all have made Herculean efforts to improve upon a very difficult situation.

Here is what Gavin Buchan, another individual on the ground, had to say:

...I met with the ICRC.... I met with Afghan judges, prosecutors, prison officials, and police. I met with political figures, with village elders, and with farmers. I met with the UN, with NGOs, and with NATO allies. I even met with the Kandahar Council of Religious Scholars.

None of these contacts produced information to the effect that Canadian transferred detainees were being abused, or that our detainee arrangement was not being respected by Afghan authorities.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the Afghan detainee situation was still unacceptable, even after the transfer agreement was changed in 2007. General Guy Laroche said prison visits were far too infrequent and that the situation was, indeed, critical.

When the military halted transfers in November after instruments of torture were found, General Laroche said they had to resist pressure from senior diplomat David Mulroney to resume transferring prisoners. This conflict between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Forces shows a lack of leadership and responsibility by the Conservative government.

Does the government not trust General Laroche and will it now, finally, call a public inquiry?