House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

International Criminal Court
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the International Criminal Court was first established on July 1, 2002, I stated then that it was the most important development in international criminal and humanitarian law since Nuremberg, that it would work to bring war criminals to justice, to combat the culture of impunity, to provide redress for the victims of mass atrocity and to act as a deterrent to further atrocities.

Years later, with all the imperfections that have attended its work, the ICC has nonetheless fulfilled its initial mandate and promise as exemplified in the indictment of President al-Bashir of Sudan for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and the referral by the UN Security Council, supported by the government, of the cases of Colonel Gadhafi and Libyan leaders to the ICC for prospective investigation and prosecution.

Therefore, it is astonishing that the government would seek to cut financial support for the ICC at a time when it is so crucial to the struggle for international justice. It is astonishing that a government that would expend billions of dollars for the building of megaprisons that are unnecessary, and that would cut funding for the International Criminal Court that is so necessary to the pursuit of justice.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, our party stands alone in its commitment to keep taxes down.

In 2007, this government made the decision to lower taxes on job creators. Thanks to our government, Canada's corporate tax rate today stands at 16.5%.

At the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's general meeting, one of my constituents asked the Liberal leader about the party's current position on job-killing tax hikes. The Liberal leader said, “We've got corporate tax in Canada at 18%”.

My constituent gave the Liberals the benefit of the doubt. The Liberals do not understand agriculture. They do not understand business. The opposition has made job-killing tax hikes the centrepiece of their vision for Canada.

Farmers deserve to know if the Liberals are deceiving them on purpose, or whether the Liberal Party, as has been speculated, just does not get agriculture or business.

Agriculture is a business that does not need to be taxed to death.

Pakistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, before I ask the normal round of questions, I want to ask the Prime Minister whether he is prepared to join the member for Don Valley West to express the shock, outrage, and anger of this side of the House at the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, a friend of Canada and a passionate defender of religious freedom in Pakistan.

Pakistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question and the member for his statement as well.

I want to also share in that shock and outrage, and also to express our condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a courageous defender of human rights. He was recently in my office. He knew that his life was in jeopardy in his fight against the notorious blasphemy laws and his defence of religious freedom.

We call on Pakistani authorities to pursue justice for the killers of minister Bhatti and also to ensure that they continue the fight for religious freedom for both non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

March 2nd, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of Appeal judges agree with Elections Canada and the crown attorney: the Conservatives violated the Canada Elections Act. They have been accused of fraud, and members of the Prime Minister's inner circle may have to serve time in prison. To claim that this is simply a difference of opinion on an administrative matter is an insult to the intelligence of this House and Canadians.

When will the Prime Minister stop defending the indefensible?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the courts rendered different decisions on this issue, which is why we will appeal the most recent decision. Our party's position is to always respect Elections Canada's interpretation of the law and, in fact, we changed our practices in this regard three years ago.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this in and out scandal is more than forged invoices. It is more than police raids on Conservative Party headquarters and it is more than just the clique around the Prime Minister facing jail time. This is fundamentally a question about the public character of the Prime Minister, his lust to win at any cost and at any price.

Will he admit that he encouraged his party to break the law, defraud the Canadian taxpayer, and will he have the decency to stand in the House and finally tell Canadians the truth?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, there have been different court decisions on this particular matter, which has gone on for some years. For that reason, we will be appealing the most recent decision.

That said, our position is clear: we respect the interpretations of Elections Canada. In this particular instance, we changed our practices to conform with its new interpretations three years ago.

As for election verdicts, I would encourage the Leader of the Opposition to focus on the economy and the real priority of Canadians.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed that the Conservatives did not have the right to be reimbursed for fraudulent campaign spending out of taxpayers' money. The Conservatives have been caught stealing from Canadians. The truth is out about their system of electoral fraud.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to punish his special friends in the Senate who have been charged in this case? Is he waiting until they are behind bars?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows this is a five-year-old administrative dispute. One court has ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and another court has not. Otherwise, it is the typical back and forth that one would expect in an administrative dispute of this kind.

That said, the Conservative Party has always followed all of the election rules. We have a strong case and we will continue to defend it.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, there will be a lot of people in federal prisons tonight who will think they had an administrative disagreement with the federal government.

The candidates in 67 ridings, the top national organizers and fundraisers of the Conservative Party are all in this up to their necks. They submitted fake invoices for fake expenses. They thought they could fool Elections Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. Guess what? They cannot.

Therefore, why did that party use illegal money to campaign with dirty money in the last election?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can become excited and animated all he wants. The reality is this continues to be a five-year-old administrative dispute. One court has ruled in favour of the Conservative Party and another has done otherwise.

That being said, we will follow the rules. We have a strong case and we will continue to defend and advance that case in the courts.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Elections Canada, which accused the Conservative Party of falsely allocating expenses to candidates to circumvent the spending limit for the 2005-06 election. Until now, the Conservatives have spread falsehoods and called the Elections Canada accusations “an administrative dispute”.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that the Conservatives violated Elections Canada's rules?

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party always respects the interpretations that are in place. At that time, there were different court decisions on the matter. We will continue to defend our position in the courts.

Political Financing
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Elections Canada, which refused to reimburse the illegal election expenses of some candidates. Sixty-seven candidates participated in the scheme, including the member for Pontiac, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent and the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

Can the Prime Minister tell us if the Conservatives will admit they were wrong, accept the Federal Court's ruling and not file an appeal?