House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mississauga—Erindale
Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, members of the Ben Ali regime are not welcome in Canada.

Canada is ready and willing to use all tools at our disposal, including working with the international community to support democracy in Tunisia.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Ben Ali family are expert money launderers and the Conservative government knows it. Every day of respite we give them is another opportunity for them to transfer their money to tax havens.

Does the government realize that its failure to act makes it an accomplice to those who stole from the people of Tunisia?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.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.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government House leader used the word “courageous” eight times during question period, once describing a wounded veteran, but seven times referring to the Minister of International Cooperation, and twice already today.

Let us see, “courage” is misleading a parliamentary committee and pretending bureaucrats recommended this decision.

Real courage is showing leadership, acknowledging a mistake and taking responsibility.

When will the government stop talking its mindless talking points and take responsibility for this gross misconduct?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my friend from Vancouver East that I reject the premise of her question.

The minister has been clear that she took the decision on behalf of her department. The minister is not one to go along just to get along. She is not afraid to take difficult decisions and I think she made a good decision in this regard.

Just because a non-governmental organization gets a grant from the government does not mean it has an entitlement to receive it in perpetuity.

The minister has done a lot to reform CIDA. She has done a lot to ensure that every single dollar allocated to support the most vulnerable in difficult and poor places on this earth can get the best result for the Canadian taxpayer.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, is accountability a meaningless concept? Is answering a question actually beneath the Conservatives?

We have become accustomed to the Conservatives' methods, the promises of openness followed by secrecy, promises of transparency followed by withholding crucial financial information, promises to close revolving doors for lobbyists followed by unprecedented access to ministers, and now condoning of unethical behaviour.

Will the Conservatives grow up and take responsibility for these mistakes?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that brought in the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history. It clamped down and made major reforms to the lobbyists registry, made major reforms to eliminate the influence of big money, and made major reforms to ensure that we had an independent Ethics Commissioner who did not simply work as a staffer in the PMO, something that was absent in the 13 long years of the previous Liberal government.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, ever since Embassy magazine uncovered the doctored document exposing the minister's sneaky conduct, Conservatives have concluded that twisted talking points, not honesty, was the best policy.

CIDA officials recommended funding KAIROS because it was devoted to helping others, defending human rights and helping build democracy. Yet Conservatives cut funding to organizations like KAIROS, based on ideology not aid effectiveness.

When will the government acknowledge that foreign aid should be based on good policy and effective work? When will it reinstate KAIROS' funding?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has been very clear that she was the one who took the decision with respect to not providing the $7 million grant to an organization.

Let me read a quote from her deputy, the president of CIDA, a well-respected public servant, who said:

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—

I do not know what kind of stand the New Democrat Party would like to take, but in this party and this government, elected officials make decisions, and that is the way it should be.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is serious enough that the Minister of International Cooperation falsified documents and misled the House, but it is even more disturbing to see who the minister attacked with her fraudulent ways.

Since 1967, Development and Peace has undertaken nearly 14,000 projects and delivered over $440 million in international aid. Denying funding to KAIROS hurts Development and Peace.

What do the Conservatives have against Development and Peace?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government is working to make sure that aid is efficient, effective and focused.

We want to ensure that our assistance is getting into the hands of those who need it the most. Our aid effectiveness agenda is focusing assistance on food security, children and youth, and sustainable economic development.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

February 18th, 2011 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the tsunami in Indonesia, Development and Peace helped rebuild 3,000 victims' homes. Nearly half of Development and Peace's aid goes to South America, more than one-third goes to Africa and the rest goes primarily to Asia. Canadians did not give anyone the mandate to abandon the poorest people in the world.

How can the Conservatives have the gall to attack an organization of such merit and, on top of it all, commit fraud to do it?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, our government is working to make sure that aid is getting to the people who need it the most.

I would like to tell the House about some of the amazing projects that we are working on. Last week I announced the international aboriginal youth internships initiative. Each year, 140 Canadian aboriginal youth will have the opportunity to work in developing countries on Canadian-supported development projects with recognized organizations. That is getting the job done.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the House leader's claim, the Conservatives are taking foreign aid away from the poorest of the poor and giving it to the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Barrick Gold, Canada's largest and wealthiest mining company, with a market capitalization of $47 billion, is the happy beneficiary of a half billion dollar corporate social responsibility grant in Peru.

Is that what the House leader had in mind when he said that the KAIROS decision was based on focusing limited funds to help the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in the developing world?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the opportunity to clean up something that he misled the House about last week.

Barrick Gold has received absolutely no money from the Canadian government or CIDA. The pilot project to which the member refers started in 2009. It is putting local Peruvians to work as part of a reforestation program. Barrick Gold has contributed over $150,000 to this project, and we would like to see more companies get involved in corporate social responsibility.

We welcome support from Canadian companies that want to help the world's poor.