House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was important.

Topics

Pensions
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, since Nortel entered bankruptcy in 2009, its workers have seen their pension plans devastated, their disability income lost and their health benefits vanish.

Now, the predatory vulture investors who bought Nortel shares for 12¢ on the dollar are trying to claim the full dollar value with interest, draining funds needed to pay for the benefits of former Nortel employees.

How is this possible? It is because the Conservatives, like the Liberals before them, have refused to amend our bankruptcy laws to protect employees from predatory investors.

This situation is shameful. It is wrong to put these speculators chasing a quick buck ahead of the hard-working Nortel employees who spent a lifetime building the company.

Nortel pensioners want the government to amend the bankruptcy laws and move pensioners and disability recipients to the front of the line.

Is anyone over there listening? Will anyone from the government stand up and do the right thing for Nortel pensioners?

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder the NDP advocates for a private member's bill that would restrict the ability of members of Parliament to represent their constituents' issues in the way they best see fit. Just a while back, the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain decided that the NDP was not the party she expected it would be and found a home elsewhere in the opposition benches.

This week, the muzzled member for Thunder Bay—Superior North broke his silence. After being muzzled and silenced again by the NDP leader, the northwestern Ontario member crossed the floor to sit as an independent. I hope he continues to stand for the interests of rural and northern voters like he did when he stood with our government in his support to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Now we see why the NDP supports a ban on floor crossing, as it clearly sees it has no support to gain, just members to lose.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 25th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is what the Prime Minister said in 2009: “The military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011. I have said it here and I have said it across the country. In fact, I think I said it recently in the White House.”

Now it is 2012 and our soldiers are still in Afghanistan.

Has Canada received a request from the United States to keep our soldiers in Afghanistan beyond 2014?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this House will make its own determination about the presence of our troops in Afghanistan. Our troops are there to train the Afghan forces to assume greater responsibility for their own security. Afghanistan's security is in our national interest and in the interest of the international community.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting because in the past the Prime Minister was perfectly willing to discuss with the House what the White House had told him to do.

Lawrence Cannon, minister of foreign affairs at the time, said in 2010, “We might be pressured obviously, but I think the prime minister has made this perfectly clear. March of 2014 is when we will be leaving”. We have heard those words before. We were supposed to be out before.

Are we being pressured again to keep soldiers in Afghanistan beyond 2014?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have been told that we have not had that specific request from the United States. Whether it comes or not, I will be very clear, Canada will make its own determination in this regard. We have our forces there now to help train the Afghan security forces because it is in the interests of our country that Afghanistan does not become once again a safe haven for terrorism and also in our interest that, in order to prevent that, the Afghans themselves assume greater responsibility for their own security.

Our government will make any decisions it makes with the best interests of our own country and the world community in mind.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that was artful, “that specific request”. We will see what that means.

Canadians do not want yet another Conservative extension of the mission in Afghanistan and the NDP will not support one.

Canadians have been perfectly clear. They want our troops home. They want this mission to end. It was supposed to end in 2006. It was supposed to end in 2009. It was supposed to end in 2011. It is supposed to end in 2014. When will it finally end?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is not a remarkable statement that the NDP will not support the mission. The NDP could not even make up its mind to support the World War II mission.

Canada has been involved in Afghanistan with the support of most of the parties in the House for some years. Our plan at the current time is, obviously, for the mission that goes to 2014, but, as we approach that date, we will examine all options and we will take the decision that is in the best interests of this country and in the best interests of our security objectives for the globe, and not an ideological knee-jerk response like the NDP.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are taking note. They will not deny it.

In 2006, the Conservative platform pledged that Parliament would vote on the “commitment of Canadian forces to foreign operations”. By 2010, that had been artfully amended to “combat” missions.

Will there be another amendment now? Will Parliament only review the missions that the Prime Minister feels like discussing?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all of the military missions committed to under this government have come before the House: the mission in Libya, which the House approved; we did not begin the mission to Afghanistan but the extensions of that mission. Certainly, should there be any other significant military missions, we are committed to getting the consent of Parliament before we act. That has been our action and that is what we will do in the future.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that in 2006, the Prime Minister said, “we made a pledge during the last election campaign to put international treaties and military engagements to a vote in this chamber.”

He added, “before we send diplomats, relief workers and soldiers on dangerous missions abroad, it is important to be able to tell them that Canada’s parliamentarians believe in their objectives and support what they are doing.”

That is what they promised. Will Parliament be able to vote this time on whether or not to keep our troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is right. We made a promise. We have kept that promise so far and we will continue to keep that promise.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 17, 2010, the Prime Minister accused the then leader of the opposition of wanting to tear up jobs “by tearing up the contract”. Therefore, he clearly stated that there was in fact a contract with respect to the F-35. It is a statement the Prime Minister repeated again during the election campaign.

If there was in fact no contract, which is what the Prime Minister is now saying, and he is saying there is in fact still no contract, why did the Prime Minister mislead the House on November 17, 2010?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I did no such thing. I think Canadians and the industry understand full well that Canada's participation in the development of the F-35, the next generation of fighter aircraft, is intrinsic to the work that Canadian companies have received. It is almost half a billion dollars in contracts that have come to the industry in our country.

Obviously this government will continue to support our air force as well as our aerospace industry.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we have to choose between the record of Hansard and the Prime Minister's newly discovered memory with respect to these questions, I think we will take Hansard.

Perhaps one of the reasons we can explain the lack of standards with respect to even being prepared to admit to having said something that he said is that might explain also the conduct of the Minister of International Cooperation. It might also explain what is going on at the Old Port of Montreal.

How does the Prime Minister feel about the revelations today, showing clearly an abuse of office, of misspending of public dollars, catered meals, limousines, the same pattern we have seen with the Minister of International Cooperation? How does he explain this kind of activity at the heart of his government?