House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hunting.

Topics

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is clear. We support the tradition of ministerial responsibility to Parliament. That is the government's position and our employees answer to us.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is clear, but it clearly contravenes the authority of Parliament. With his stubborn refusal to appear before a committee, Dimitri Soudas could be charged with contempt of Parliament.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by supporting his press secretary, he is complicit in the contempt for Parliament and democracy? Such action is unbecoming of a prime minister.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, prime ministers and ministers are responsible to Parliament. The government's position is clear on another matter: the people of Canada believe that the pardon system needs to be overhauled. The people believe, as I do, that this subject is far more important than holidays. I hope that the Bloc Québécois will work with us to reform this system.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, like you, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the House of Commons has said that the parliamentary committees have the power to call whomever they want in order to accomplish their work. Today is the deadline for Dimitri Soudas to appear before the ethics committee.

Will the Prime Minister maintain his irresponsible position and continue to order his director of communications not to appear before the committee?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the tradition is clear: ministers answer to Parliament and their assistants answer to the ministers.

The reason the coalition parties do not want to ask questions of the ministers is that they do not want the real facts of this great country to come out. They do not want Canadians to know that, through the universal child care benefit, 56,000 children have been lifted out of poverty and that 5 million Canadians have registered tax-free savings accounts with up to $16 billion in new investment from that. The coalition parties also do not want Canadians to know about the 300,000 jobs. That is the real Canadian story and we are telling it.

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister truly believes he is above the law.

Does he realize that by digging in his heels and preventing his director of communications from testifying, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics will have no choice but to draft a report and initiate the process to find him and Dimitri Soudas in contempt of Parliament?

Committees of the House
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc and all the coalition parties have the right to ask ministers any question and we, as a government, are prepared to answer.

They do not want Canadians to know that this government is succeeding. Through our economic plan, we have created 300,000 new jobs. Five million Canadians invested in the tax-free savings accounts, which is $16 billion in accumulated savings for the future. The universal child care benefit has lifted 56,000 children out of poverty. We are getting the job done and they do not want Canadians to know it.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal Party leader flip-flopped yet again, this time on the Afghanistan issue. The Liberal Party leader wants to prolong Canada's military presence in Afghanistan, but that is contrary to the will of the House.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that Canada will withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan as of July 2011?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the NDP leader would criticize another party leader. One of his members, his House Leader in fact, basically denied Israel's right to exist by making extremist statements with impunity.

He is in no position to criticize the Liberal Party leader or any other leader in the House.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

So, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is not prepared to confirm that Canadian troops will no longer be in Afghanistan after 2011. The cost of Canada's involvement in the war is $20 billion so far. The NATO costs on training are $1 billion a month. That is exactly the approach that the Liberal leader wants Canada to continue with.

Would the Prime Minister tell us if he agrees that the Canadian money would be better spent on humanitarian aid, development assistance work, justice, human rights and peace negotiations in Afghanistan? Could he at least confirm that?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, successive governments, both Conservative and Liberal, have worked with our international partners and with the Afghan people to bring peace, security and development to that country. We are extremely proud of the work that our men and women in uniform, our diplomats and our development workers have done with our international partners.

Quite frankly, I do not think a leader who shelters an MP who makes anti-Israeli extremist statements without repercussion should be making any criticism of policy.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the faulty deal that the Prime Minister signed with the coalition of the unwilling shows why only a judicial inquiry will ever get to the bottom of the Afghan torture scandal. The government tried to silence diplomat, Richard Colvin, who was trying to blow the whistle on torture. DND officials were sending memos begging to silence him.

Why did the government reassign people who were trying to raise the issue of torture? Why did it want to stop Richard Colvin from exposing the truth and reporting on what he saw?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, three political parties worked to get a responsible resolution to this question but, unfortunately, the NDP did not. However, why would we be surprised? The deputy leader of the NDP knew full well what she was saying when she made statements that could have been made by Hamas, Hezbollah or anybody else, with no repercussions from that party whatsoever. I hope the leader of the NDP will come clean and actually face up to his responsibilities on that question.

While I am on my feet, I also hope that he will help us pass a reform of the pardon system, something for which Canadians have been waiting weeks.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked the government how much of its out of control G8 and G20 spending was being splurged on untendered contracts. However, we only received an answer from the Minister of Public Works and Government Services who would only talk about her department.

The vast majority of the G spending spree is being done by the Departments of Public Safety, Health, Industry and Foreign Affairs.

Will the government tell us how many summit contracts for those specific departments were untendered?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, does the member opposite have a specific example that she is concerned about?