House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Middle East Protest Movements
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the jasmine revolution in Tunisia and the popular democratic protest movement in Egypt, the movement is now expanding to other countries in the Middle East, such as Iran.

After the massive demonstrations that were held in the country in 2009 to protest the results of the presidential election won by Ahmadinejad, the green movement has mobilized yet again. A demonstration was held yesterday in Tehran, in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian people, at which the existing Iranian regime was also protested. This demonstration was harshly repressed: people were shot dead, tear gas was fired and opposition leaders were put under house arrest.

The Bloc Québécois supports these popular and democratic protest movements and denounces the conservative elected officials in the Iranian Parliament who now want the death penalty for the opposition leaders accused of leading yesterday's demonstration. The Iranian people must be able to freely express themselves.

National Flag Day
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was 46 years ago today that Canada reached a defining moment in its identity, as the red and white maple leaf flag was first raised over Parliament Hill and communities across the country.

In 1964, the great flag debate took place between the government of former Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and the Progressive Conservatives led by John Diefenbaker who wanted to keep the old red ensign.

This impasse ended in 1965, with the adoption of the maple leaf flag chosen by a parliamentary committee chaired by former Liberal MP John Matheson and designed by former New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor George Stanley.

Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien created National Flag Day in 1996 to commemorate the day that our flag was raised for the first time, February 15, 1965, as well as to remember the great flag debate. I encourage all Canadians to make the most of National Flag Day by hoisting the maple leaf and reflecting on what it means to be a citizen of this absolutely extraordinary country.

National Flag Day
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was not the flag in days of yore; not Wolfe's flag, nor Sir John A.'s. It was not the flag of Vimy or Passchendaele. It was not even the flag of Mr. Diefenbaker.

Yet it is “our emblem dear”. When we welcomed the world at Expo in 1967, when we won the 1972 series against the Soviet Union, when we set a Winter Olympic record for gold medals last year in Vancouver, it was our flag.

We are proud to be here representing Canadians under our single red maple leaf raised 46 years ago. Well, most of us are proud. One MP, however, has said, and I quote:

In the case of the Canadian flag, I cannot entirely forget that it is both my flag and a passing imitation of a beer label.

The Liberal leader should be ashamed of himself. We should all be proud to celebrate Flag Day. As one company has said, “I am Canadian”.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

February 15th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation cut funding to a reputable church organization, then doctored a document from her officials to make it look as if they agreed with her judgment when they did not, and then she misled the House. This is conduct unworthy of a minister.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What consequence will the minister face for misleading the House and the Canadian people?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation has been very clear that she took this decision. These kinds of decisions are the responsibility of ministers. When we spend money on foreign aid, we expect it to be used effectively for foreign aid and that is the decision the minister took.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I did not receive an answer.

The minister cut funding to a religious, Christian organization that is doing a good job. She then altered a document to misrepresent her relationship with her bureaucrats. She also misled the House.

How can she still be a part of cabinet?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has clearly stated, in the House of Commons and in committee, that it was her decision. It is her responsibility to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent effectively for foreign aid. That is what she did.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister is tied up in “nots”. She did not listen to her officials. She did not take responsibility. She did not tell the truth. She did not have the integrity to resign.

How can the Prime Minister not demand her resignation?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the minister has been clear here and in committee repeatedly that this was her decision, as it is supposed to be. When the government spends money and gives out grants and contributions, those are decisions that ministers have to make, that they have to be responsible for.

It is not the decision of appointed officials, it is not the entitlement of outside organizations. It is a decision of the minister to make sure that taxpayers' dollars are used effectively for foreign aid, and that is what she has done.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the CIDA minister admitted that she ordered that the KAIROS document be doctored. She wanted KAIROS and Canadians to believe that it was the CIDA officials who rejected the application, knowing full well that it was not true.

Regrettably, she did not use her statement yesterday to apologize to KAIROS and the millions of Canadians who have supported KAIROS over the last 35 years. Will she do so today?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here is what the president of CIDA said before a committee of the House. She said, referring to her minister:

This is quite normal, and I certainly was aware of her decision. The inclusion of the word “not” is just a simple reflection of what her decision was, and she has been clear. So that's quite normal.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian NGOs have every right to expect that the funding process be transparent and accountable. The treatment of KAIROS, the Canadian Teachers' Federation and CCIC has been characterized by manipulation, false accusations and untruths.

In order to restore Canadians' confidence in how the Conservative government treats these groups and the poorest of the poor, will she now follow her department's advice and restore the KAIROS funding?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister could not have been clearer. Ten times in committee and again yesterday in this place, she was very clear that the decision to grant a contribution to this organization was hers as the minister. That is the way it is supposed to be and she has taken full responsibility for that decision.

It was the right decision, it was the correct decision, it was a decision based on focusing priorities and focusing limited funds to help the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in the developing world. It was the right decision she made.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the refusal to fund the humanitarian organization KAIROS, the Minister of International Cooperation answered many times that KAIROS had been subject to a rigorous review and that it did not meet the government's standards. Now we have learned that the department's officials had approved funding and that the minister blocked it.

Will the Prime Minister relieve the Minister of International Cooperation of her duties for having misled the House, a mistake just as serious as the one committed by the former foreign affairs minister?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been clear on a number of occasions, here and in committee: it was her decision. It is the responsibility of the minister to make decisions to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are used effectively to achieve the objectives of humanitarian aid.