House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cost.

Topics

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, this will not come as a surprise to the leader of the Bloc Québécois that I reject the premise of his question. Here is what I know: The minister has said very clearly that she was the one who made the decision.

With respect to the note on the form, her own deputy minister, a well-respected public servant of many years, said, “The inclusion of the word “not” is just a simple reflection of what her decision was”. She said that it was clear and quite normal.

That is what the deputy minister said on December 9 before committee.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this sounds like a bad B movie.

If the minister did not agree, all she had to do was refuse to sign the document. But what happened was that she signed it, which would have granted the funding. Based on statements made by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and the ideological decisions of the Prime Minister, she was told that it made no sense and that she should not grant the funding. She added the word “not”, or ordered the word to be inserted in the right spot. That is what happened. She falsified a document.

Do they think we will believe them when they make up a bad story to hide the truth? That is what happened.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the coalition is in fine form today.

What is true, and the minister was clear, she repeated it—10 times—before a parliamentary committee and said it on Monday in this House, is that she made the decision to deny funding to this organization. She made the right decision and the government supports it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has still not frozen the assets of the family of former dictator Ben Ali, despite repeated requests from the Tunisian ambassador, who is concerned that the assets stolen from his people will end up in tax havens. And yet, under article 54 of the UN Convention against Corruption, Canada can temporarily freeze these assets.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs realize that, by refusing to take action, he is an accomplice to the Ben Ali family and allowing them to move the assets of the Tunisian people to tax havens?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale
Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, our government is working with the Tunisian government on this issue. We have communicated to the Tunisian government clearly and on several occasions the specific information necessary for Canada to freeze any assets in Canada. The government of Tunisia has not yet responded to our request.

We remain committed to working co-operatively to bring justice for the people of Tunisia.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the Tunisian ambassador not part of the Tunisian government? The minister is completely out of touch with reality. And here is proof: the government's website still says that Ben Ali is Tunisia's president. Despite the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs promised to cooperate, the Tunisian ambassador has yet to receive a response to his requests, and Canada has yet to freeze the assets of the Ben Ali family.

Who is the government trying to protect by not taking action?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale
Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we stand ready to assist the people of Tunisia in their fight for justice. We have communicated this to the Tunisian government on several occasions. We have asked for specific information on any assets in Canada so those assets can be frozen. The government of Tunisia has not yet formally responded to our request.

We remain committed to working co-operatively to bring justice to the people of Tunisia.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

February 17th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister supports the Minister of International Cooperation; we know that. We know that he supports her decision to cut funding to KAIROS, an organization that is respected around the world for its work. His refusal to fire the minister shows that, for him, forging documents is okay, inventing excuses is okay and blaming others is also okay.

However, we still do not know why funding to KAIROS was cut. Why did they do it?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, maybe to the leader of the New Democratic Party, once any individual or organization gets a grant, they have an entitlement to it in perpetuity. That is not the case.

The minister made a decision on what she thought was best for the expenditure of public funds and the minister turned down this Canadian non-governmental organization's application for a $7 million grant. She felt that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

The minister has done outstanding work helping the vulnerable people of Haiti, working for women and children in our maternal health initiative in Africa, and she has done a heck of a lot to support women and children in Afghanistan.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is becoming a little too confident in its spin, because that was not an answer to the question. We still do not know why the funds were cut.

The Prime Minister really needs to take a look at this. The fact is his minister did not tell the truth. She forged a document and the Prime Minister says that is okay.

What kind of a civics lesson is that for our young people, that one can go ahead and forge documents? What a travesty that is when it comes to our responsibilities as parliamentarians. We are here to say that this is not the sort of leadership for which Canadians are looking.

It is not too late. Will the government finally take some responsibility?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, just because the leader of the New Democratic Party wants to say the same falsehood many times does not make it true, and it will not make it true.

He has his right to come to his own conclusion, make his own opinion on what organizations should get grants, but he does not have the right to decide what the facts are. The fact is, as stated by the deputy minister before committee last year, “The inclusion of the word “not” is just a simple reflection of what her decision was”.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact that one of his ministers misled the House and arranged for a document to be forged is bad enough. However, it is a pattern of abuse. It is a pattern that shows we cannot trust the government. We cannot trust it on prorogation. We cannot trust it on access to information or on media access. On its own election law, we cannot trust it, for heaven's sakes. We cannot trust it on the census because it does not want real information. We cannot trust the Prime Minister with democracy.

It is not too late. Do the right thing and fire the minister.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the member opposite and Canadians this.

Canadians can trust the Prime Minister to do the right thing on taxes. They can count on the Prime Minister to do the right thing on equipping our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do the job. They can trust the Prime Minister on sovereignty. They can trust the Prime Minister on providing health care funding for the provinces. They can trust the Prime Minister to never make a deal with the Bloc Québécois to form a coalition government.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have a very strange definition of trust. Every time a Conservative rises in the House, we have been asked to believe the unbelievable. They do not just say it is okay to doctor documents; they say it is the right thing to do. They do not just say that it is okay to lie to the House and to Canadians; they say it is the right thing to do.

The Prime Minister is using the minister as a shield to protect himself from blame. Why is he hiding behind the minister and why will he not let her resign?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as a surprise to any member of the House that I do not accept any of the statements made by the member opposite.