House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly assure the questioner from the Liberal Party that on every occasion that the Prime Minister engages on the international scene, particularly on occasions where he is speaking with other leaders as he is doing in Perth, the issue of human rights is always there. The issue of human rights is something closely associated with our country and with our government. It is something we are very proud to put forward both internationally and here at home.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence still does not appear to be able to use the word “gay”. That is the question I am asking and that is what I am relating to. I would like—

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Defence regarding Sri Lanka. Apparently the Prime Minister is going to be taking a position with respect to the human rights record of the Government of Sri Lanka. The government opposite has not always been consistent on this question. With respect to the situation in Sri Lanka, as the minister is being prompted by his colleague next to him, I would ask him very directly, can he tell us that it is the position of the Government of Canada that there need to be minimum standards for membership in the Commonwealth?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary of what the interim leader has just said, the reality is the Prime Minister has been crystal clear on the international scene. He has made statements definitively with respect to Sri Lanka and our desire to see that country reconcile the very appalling human rights record we have seen over the last number of years.

That is a situation the Prime Minister will address at the Commonwealth. That is a situation on which the Prime Minister has already very firmly advanced a position.

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is twice now that the Minister of National Defence has not answered my questions directly. I will give him a third chance.

With respect to the selection of the Auditor General, yesterday his colleague said that they had chosen this candidate for the position because he was the most meritorious, despite the fact that the government itself insisted that the candidate should be bilingual.

Is the position of the government that there was no candidate who was both meritorious and bilingual?

Auditor General
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, once again, our government's position was very clear. The government looked for bilingual candidates. After an exhaustive process, the most meritorious candidate was chosen. Mr. Ferguson is an extraordinary person. He wants to learn French and has already started taking lessons.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the government was embarking on an almost half a billion dollar offer on a new satellite system. The program is already delayed and wildly over budget in the U.S.

Could the minister confirm that he is going ahead with the Canadian version of this program anyway, and in terms of transparency and accountability, why is this the first that Canadians are hearing about it?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our efforts in Afghanistan and Libya have proven that the ability to exchange information between headquarters and deployed elements is critical to the success of modern military operations. This government intends to meet this requirement while ensuring the best value for taxpayer money. As such, we have sought an agreement with our allies that provides the Canadian Forces with access to an international constellation of satellites.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister will appreciate that Canadians are nervous about the government getting us into yet another big, expensive, sole-sourced boondoggle: the Chinooks, the F-35s, the Cyclones.

We have been here before and it has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and this sure looks like another boondoggle in the making.

What will the minister do differently this time to make sure that it does not happen again?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, space continues to be an important part of the global security environment. The Canadian Forces space-related activities are an essential component of a robust defence for Canada and North America, wherein are the F-35s and the other assets that we are providing for our men and women in uniform to do their work, and also to maintain Canada's sovereignty.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, over the past week the Minister of National Defence has refused to say whether any bases will be closed as a result of Conservative cuts. He even claimed the whole story was made up by the opposition, despite the fact there is a directive from his department saying this is so.

My riding is home to CFB Esquimalt, and people want to know how far these cuts will go? Will the minister stand in the House today and assure the sailors and families at CFB Esquimalt that support for our Pacific fleet will not be cut?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca that CFB Esquimalt is a very important base for the Canadian Forces, for the Royal Canadian Navy.

With respect to his question, he would know that this memorandum, this directive, he is referring to makes no reference whatsoever to base closures.

I repeat to him, as I said to his friend from Hamilton, that the only people talking about closure of bases are members of the NDP and one Liberal senator.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2008 Corporal Stuart Langridge was found dead in his barracks. He had suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

After three flawed investigations, the Langridge family is now facing huge legal bills as high as $200,000 in their attempt to find out why DND failed their son.

Will the Minister of National Defence comply with the recommendation of the chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, do the right thing, and help this family with their legal bills?