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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judiciary.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has abandoned the fundamental principles of his clean air act by agreeing to send it to a special committee before second reading and he has abandoned his minister at the same time.

Yesterday, the Minister of the Environment was unable to explain her goals for the Nairobi conference.

Now that the Minister of the Environment has thoroughly been discredited at home, internationally and by the Prime Minister, will she have the courage to withdraw her bill and let the committee draft a real climate change plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, during the 13 years the Liberals were in power, they put forward four plans and they completely ruined Canada's international reputation.

We finally can go to the international community and get support for our new plan because this government had the guts to actually be honest with the international community and with Canadians and put forward a bold piece of legislation to regulate every industry sector across this country.

I wish the Liberals had been as honest with the international community as we have been.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning at the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development one thing was made clear: we must take action right now. The minister’s plan makes no provision for the short term: no objectives, no timetable, nothing. Everything is being put off until the year 2050. On the other hand, my private member’s bill sets out what needs to be done if Canada is to meet its Kyoto objectives and do something concrete, starting today, to preserve and protect the future for the next generations.

I am extending a non-partisan hand to the minister. Will she support my bill so that we can work for our children’s future?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again, our government is the first government to be honest with Canadians about where we are at with our Kyoto objectives. Yesterday in committee someone said that the bill put forward by the hon. member would have been good back in 1998. It is 2006 and we are 35% above our target.

We need to put bold regulations forward for industry. We need be honest with the international community and with Canadians and say that we will not achieve our target but that we will make progress toward it.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, a large majority of Canadians voted for parties that want to start fighting global warming right now. The public is worried about the serious and expensive consequences that the Conservative government’s inaction will have. The public wants immediate action. The international community wants to act right now; a large majority of this House wants to act right now; Canadians want to act right now.

Why are the Minister of the Environment and her government the only ones who oppose my bill? Why are the only ones who have abandoned the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member has a private member's bill, but that will not, after 13 years and four plans later, implement the Kyoto protocol. We need real government legislation and that is what we have put forward. The NDP is being constructive. Environmental groups are supporting us. The international community is supporting us. I would ask the Liberal Party to stop hanging on to the past and move forward.

Middle EastOral Questions

November 9th, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone has been touched by the tragedy that struck yesterday in the Gaza Strip where 18 civilians, including seven children, were killed. The entire international community condemned the rocket fire that exacerbated the situation, and also Israel's violent response and the outcome for the civilian population.

Why does the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency refuse to join the entire international community and condemn this violent action?

Middle EastOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question.

Our government is quite clearly concerned about this situation in the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday we expressed ongoing concern and support for peaceful measures to address the strife that is there. Clearly, Prime Minister Olmert has indicated his personal concern for this accident that took place in Gaza. We continue to call upon both sides of the dispute to come forward and take part in a peaceful and constructive resolution to the ongoing strife in the Middle East.

Middle EastOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, France, Great Britain and the Secretary General of the United Nations, who are not enemies of Israel, condemned the violent nature of the response.

Should the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency not avoid isolating himself from the international community and clearly express Canada's disapproval of the harshness of the response and its unacceptable consequences?

Middle EastOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we expressed sympathy to those victims and their families on behalf of the Government of Canada. We similarly expressed concern for this escalation in violence. We called upon the Palestinian Authority, as well as Israel, to take concrete steps toward reducing violence, protecting civilian life and taking all steps to move toward a peaceful solution.

I am also concerned about the leading Hamas official who encouraged attacks upon Israel.

Once again, this is deeply disturbing and demonstrates the incapability between peaceful solutions and the incapability of terrorism and democratic principles in the Middle East.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, faced with a government that boasts about its transparency and prides itself on having introduced Bill C-2, we were naturally very surprised to learn that the fax machine in the constituency office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was used by his father, Elmer MacKay, a former Solicitor General of Canada, in his work as a lobbyist defending an individual who is facing fraud charges in a court in Germany.

Will the minister acknowledge that his father's use of that office equipment constitutes inappropriate use of House of Commons property?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to respond to this question.

Clearly, my father is not a lobbyist nor a lawyer representing the interests of another individual. He wrote a letter in which he expressed a personal point of view. He used a fax machine in my office to send his letter.

However, he lives in my riding, and I believe that members of the opposition also allow their constituents to use their fax machines. It is a simple matter and my reply is clear.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

This is unbelievable, Mr. Speaker. This means that anyone can use the fax machine in the minister's office for anything they like. Is this really what it means?

Will the Prime Minister call his minister to order and tell him that his behaviour is not only unethical, but it also violates the Standing Orders, and that this is both unacceptable and intolerable?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, my father is not a lobbyist. He is a retired lawyer and parliamentarian, as you would know, Mr. Speaker, having served in this chamber for 23 years.

Almost two years ago, he went into my office and, unbeknownst to me, sent a letter expressing a personal view, which he is entitled to do. He wrote a letter to express a personal view on behalf of himself. I would expect that this happens quite often when constituents come in and want to send a fax. However, he has guaranteed me that he will get his fax machine fixed and refund the 17¢ that this cost the taxpayers.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives broke their promise when they said that they would treat Canada's veterans with “the respect and honour that they deserve”, and “stand up for full, immediate compensation for veterans exposed to defoliant and agent orange”.

Would the minister inform the House why victims of the spraying of agent orange at CFB Gagetown are still waiting for a comprehensive compensation package?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly believe that question is coming from a member of a party that sat on this issue for decades and never attempted to resolve it.

We are working on a solution and we will have a solution. I have the support of the Prime Minister, my cabinet colleagues and, most of all, my caucus members. We are working on a solution and we will have one.

The member should examine the record of the Liberal Party on this issue. He should go back and do his research.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is good to see that the minister has some energy. He should put it into solving the agent orange problem.

During the election campaign, during a stop in Woodstock, New Brunswick, the Prime Minister falsely promised that a Conservative government would act immediately.

When will the minority government offer immediate compensation to soldiers and civilians who were exposed to agent orange or to other toxic defoliants?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think we have a pretty good record of dealing with veterans issues on this side of the House in the time that we have been in office. I would run through some of the things we have done. We made a commitment on this and we will honour that commitment.

I would examine the fact that those people were in a complete state of denial on this issue for all the years they were in office. Again, I cannot believe the member would get up in such a hypocritical fashion on an issue that we will have a resolution to.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative election platform misled Canadians when it promised that:

The Conservative Party would immediately extend Veterans Independence Program services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans regardless of when the Veteran died or how long they had been receiving the benefit before they passed away.

The Conservative government voted against extending the benefits to these widows. This is yet another broken Conservative promise.

Is this the minister's way of honouring veterans and war brides?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, just for the record, we are spending $352 million more on veterans and their families than the previous government did last year alone.

In addition to that, we approved ex gratia payments for widows who were left outside of policies that the Liberals should have implemented. We did that almost immediately upon forming government. They forget about that.

In addition to that, I initiated a health care review. We will act on that review to extend payments and benefits to all veterans.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I remember the promise the Conservatives made and they broke it.

The minister has confirmed that the government has no intention of honouring this commitment. In fact, at the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, the Minister of Veterans Affairs had the gall to tell Canadians that it was never promised in the first place, when it was very clearly laid out in the Conservative platform.

When will the government keep its promises to veterans and war brides?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on that issue, the member is wrong in terms of his presentation. We will honour our commitments. We will do it in a comprehensive fashion, not only for widows, not only for veterans, but for their families and for new members of the Canadian Forces as well.

We will honour our commitments. It will be for all veterans and all families, not just a selected group.

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government wants to tackle crime. That is why we are determined to do a better job of controlling firearms.

The Minister of Public Safety held a number of consultations with various organizations to discuss options for more effective gun control.

Can the Minister of Public Safety update the House on the status of these consultations?

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am still meeting with groups to talk about firearms. For example, just this morning, I went to Dawson College to meet with Hayder Kadhim, one of the students who was seriously wounded, Mrs. de Sousa, mother of Anastasia, who was so tragically killed, and members of the Dawson College committee. We had what I feel was a very constructive discussion about gun control.

I will continue to meet with people like the student Hayder Kadhim, who was injured at Dawson College, and the mother of the slain student. It is very important that we consider their concerns.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, A.T. Kearney received a contract to produce a report on how to save the government money on procurement policy. It said that it would cost $15 million over four years. The total cost of the contract was $24 million over nine months.

Mr. Fortier finally appeared before the estimates committee and, to my surprise, he said that no report was ever produced. That is $24 million and no report.

Could the Prime Minister explain to Canadians how he will get the money back? Where is the accountability in public works that the government promised?