House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Air India
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, early in the morning a few days from now, on the coast of Ireland, a few families will be lighting candles and sending them into the water.

In Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, people will come together and reflect on the terrible events of June 23, 1985, when hundreds of children, women and men were killed by bombs that were built and set in Canada. These families and friends have kept this vigil for 27 long years. There is no closure for them, only memories that make the loss seem as if it happened yesterday.

The Air India attack was a horrific act of violence and terror, and it took Canadians far too long to fully acknowledge the magnitude of this event.

We recognize the courage and dignity of those who died, as well as those who live. We remember the words that are found on each monument across this country, and in Ireland, memorializing these lives:

Time flies
Suns rise and shadows fall
Let it pass by
Love reigns forever over all

Air India
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 23, 1985, 331 people lost their lives in the bombing of Air India flight 182. Two hundred and eighty of them were Canadian citizens. On behalf of New Democrats, I want to express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims.

For too long, some have looked on the Air India disaster as a foreign tragedy, but it was a Canadian tragedy. It is the worst example of mass murder and terrorism in our country's history. The families, friends and communities of the victims still feel the profound loss of this tragedy; a loss that has had to be relived throughout the lengthy investigation and prosecution process.

I invite all Canadians today to join New Democrats, and all parties, in honouring the memory of the victims of the Air India tragedy. As parliamentarians, we stand with the community and resolve to ensure that these acts of violence are never repeated.

Air India
Statements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of the bombing of Air India flight 182. The anniversary of this atrocity, which took the lives of 280 Canadians, including my cousin's husband, is a stark reminder that Canada is by no means immune from the threat of terrorism.

The first duty of any government is to keep its citizens safe. I am proud that our government has responded to the recommendations of Justice Major's report through the Air India report action plan. It responds to the six key areas, including combatting the financing of terrorism, streamlining the prosecution of terrorism offences and protecting air travellers.

We have also recently announced the first recipients of funding under the Kanishka project, to ensure that Canada is a world leader in research into combatting terrorism.

As we approach this solemn anniversary, I encourage all members of this House to work to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

International Trade
Oral Questions

June 20th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for months the Conservative government has been begging to be let into the trans-Pacific trade negotiations. The question now is what the Prime Minister gave up just to get a seat at the table. Did he agree to limit access to low-cost prescription drugs? Did he sell out poultry, dairy and egg farmers by agreeing to dismantle supply management the way he dismantled the Wheat Board?

Could the Prime Minister tell this House right now that he will not limit access to generic drugs and that he will not dismantle supply management? Could he simply tell us for once, yes or no?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has made no such commitments. We have indicated for some time that Canada was more than willing to aspire to the same high ambitions that other members of the trans-Pacific partnership have.

I know the depth of the NDP's ideological aversion to trade, but on this side of the House we believe very strongly that the Asia-Pacific region is a growing region. It is very necessary for this country to not just be part of this process, but to make sure we are able to increase exports in order to create jobs and growth for Canadian families.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he has made no concessions, but the trans-Pacific partnership negotiations began two years ago. There have already been 12 rounds of negotiations. The Prime Minister said yesterday that he will not try to undo what has already been done.

So the question is: What did the Prime Minister give up to get Canada a seat at the negotiating table?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is nothing. Our analysis of the negotiations to date indicates that they are at a very preliminary stage. It is important for Canada to be part of the negotiations.

We believe that trade is very important to the Canadian economy. I am well aware of the NDP's aversion to any kind of international trade. It is an ideological aversion. It is in the best interests of Canadian families for our exports to have access to global markets, especially in growing regions such as the Asia-Pacific region.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is all very vague. Canadians have the right to know what the Conservatives intend to sacrifice for the sake of the trans-Pacific partnership.

What concessions did the Prime Minister make?

Did he accept all the clauses that were negotiated before Canada arrived at the table, yes or no? Did he agree to dismantle supply management, yes or no? Did he agree to offer up access to generic drugs, yes or no?

What is the answer?

Why not be transparent and clearly state for once what Canada is giving up to be part of these negotiations?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, Canada is at the negotiating table to promote and defend all our interests. It is necessary in a global economy.

I know the NDP thinks we can ignore the world of trade, but that is not the economic reality.

Our party is the one that concluded the free trade agreement with the United States—a great success for our country—and we intend to maintain our systems and promote our exports throughout the world.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2010, the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board said, “the Parliamentary Budget Officer has improved how decisions are made by Parliament”. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs does not agree. Yesterday he claimed that the Parliamentary Budget Officer had overstepped his mandate.

Once again, there is trouble in the Conservative ranks. Who is telling the truth?

Do the Conservatives really think that Kevin Page has overstepped his mandate?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, let me state right off the top, it has never been the position of this government to interpret the mandate of the budget officer or the way he interprets his mandate. Indeed, we have echoes of that from opposition members. I recall the 2009 unanimous all-party committee report on the PBO that said, “The committee is of the opinion that the PBO's approach is inconsistent with the Act governing his position.”

This seems to be a general consensus in this House. We simply ask that the PBO do his job, and of course we will do our job through the regular means of reporting to Parliament.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a different minister made outrageous accusations, and frankly he has it wrong. The PBO has a legal opinion backing him up. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has a legal right to free and timely access to any financial or economic data.

The Conservatives have the nerve to accuse Kevin Page of breaking his legal mandate, even though it is the Conservatives who are breaking their own law by withholding information. If they actually believe their ridiculous accusations, will they repeat them outside this House and provide some examples?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is relying on lawyers. We are relying on an all party unanimous report from a committee of this Parliament that said that the Parliamentary Budget Officer's approach was inconsistent with the act governing his position. We are relying on that.

At the same time, we are fully reporting to this Parliament through the regular means, through the quarterly reports, through the public accounts and through other means that we have available to Parliament to report to parliamentarians and to the people of Canada on the plans of the budget, which are designed to grow jobs and opportunity for all Canadians.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party's 2006 plan clearly says that the plan is meant to ensure truth in budgeting. It announces the creation of a Parliamentary Budget Office that would be, and I quote, “independent” and that would demand timely and accurate information from federal departments and agencies.

So how is the Parliamentary Budget Officer overstepping his mandate?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Liberal Party noted, it was the Conservative government that established this office. We are more than familiar with this office's mandate. As usual, we will give all the information to parliamentarians through the regular means.