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House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghan.

Topics

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, actions do have consequences. The vote yesterday to reject Canada's most outstanding CEO who was willing to provide his services to the Government of Canada for $1 a year is an action that has consequences.

I can understand why the party opposite would not want to clean up the appointments process given the kind of scandals it ran when it was in office.

This party will go ahead and do the job itself.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I remind all hon. members that cellphones are not to be used in the Chamber. The hon. member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville has the floor.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

It was not a cellphone, Mr. Speaker.

Just two short months ago, the Prime Minister was adamant that he would not support a parliamentary vote on extending Canada's mission to Afghanistan. He said, “We are not going to have votes on commitments already made”.

A week ago, in response to a question by the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, the Prime Minister said, “—we committed ourselves to holding votes on new commitments. We are already in Afghanistan”.

Why this sudden about face by the Prime Minister?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have long expressed the desire to hold a vote on military commitments. It is unfortunate that such a vote was not held long ago. All the parties in this House were in agreement yesterday with the vote and the procedure. Now they are starting to complain. There is no leadership over there.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would ask the Prime Minister to be worthy of his office. This is an extremely serious issue. He decided all of a sudden to have a vote in this House without debate on a matter as serious in a respectable timeframe for this House. So, either he has already decided and is determined to prolong the mission however the House votes—and so the vote means nothing—or he has not decided and so the House can debate for weeks on end this very important issue.

Has he or has he not decided?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party sent our troops to Afghanistan over four years ago. It kept them there. They are there and are there for the long term. That was their decision. The Liberal Party does not need any time to decide on its position. It is the duty of the Liberal Party to support our troops in this military campaign.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House of Commons passed a Bloc Québécois motion that calls on the government to publish, by October 15, 2006, a plan for complying with the Kyoto protocol. As leader of a minority government elected with only 36% of the vote, the Prime Minister has a duty to implement the will of the House.

Does the Prime Minister not agree that he has a duty to respect the decisions of the House?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, it is easy for an opposition party that will never be in power to say that it is easy to vote for very complex matters without a plan.

This government intends to develop a plan and take concrete action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my mandate is just as legitimate as his.

I was referring to the comments the Prime Minister made on May 11, 2005, when he said, “The government is duty bound to respect the decisions made by the House of Commons”.

Am I to understand that it was easy for him to say whatever he wanted when he was on this side of the House, to say whatever he wanted during the election campaign and to do the opposite today?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, polls indicate that the Kyoto protocol is popular. I notice today that the Bloc Québécois is indicating—just today—after four years, a change in position. It is opposed to our action in Afghanistan because polls indicate that our presence there is not popular.

Independent nations need leaders, not pollsters.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is rejecting Kyoto, and his future plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could very well be a carbon copy of the Bush plan, an approach that is very attractive to the oil companies because it imposes no restrictions and relies on voluntary action.

Will the Prime Minister see reason, listen to what Canadians are telling him and, in no uncertain terms, reaffirm Canada's support for the Kyoto protocol targets?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the critic for the environment should be embarrassed about the motion that he put before the House last week because it means for Quebec massive job losses and impacts the Quebec economy. He did nothing to explain to Quebeckers what his motion would actually entail and the consequences of exactly what he put forward.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the motion voted on yesterday enjoys broad support in Quebec.

From 1980 to 1990, Canada fought against acid rain using a territorial approach, which enabled the country to surpass its international targets.

In the wake of yesterday's vote on the Kyoto protocol, what is preventing the government from taking the same approach? Can the government promise to give money to Quebec so that it can implement the Kyoto protocol in its own territory?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this is not about money. This is about the environment. We have seen the Liberal record of billions of dollars in wasted money and we are 35% above our Kyoto targets.

If the member actually cared about the environment and the future of Quebeckers, he would be working with us for a sensible approach instead of putting forward a motion that means shutting down the Quebec economy and doing nothing for the environment.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

May 17th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, a lot of Canadians and members in the House welcomed the idea of having an appointments commission that would take a look at the whole process of how appointments are made. What we did not realize was that the Prime Minister thought that there was only one man out of the 32 million Canadians who was qualified to take this position. What we did not realize was that--

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth has the floor to put his question.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the face of this Canadians are rather shocked. Given that the House of Commons was not prepared to appoint the one man, someone who made quite a controversial speech to the Fraser Institute, the Prime Minister's favourite think tank, the question is, why would the Prime Minister decide to cancel a good idea just because his guy did not get the job?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Gwyn Morgan was voted the top CEO in the country. He brought forward with him a team of highly qualified executives, people from different partisan backgrounds, all of whom were willing to work to clean up the appointments process in this country for nothing, absolutely free to the taxpayers of Canada.

Mr. Morgan, instead of having an examination of his credentials, was treated to a buffoonish show of partisan behaviour at the committee. No quality person is going to go before that committee again for such an appointment and this Prime Minister is not going to ask anyone to do it.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to understand it now. Votes for the best CEO by whomever casts those votes is respected by the Prime Minister, but a vote in the House of Commons to respect international engagements on the environment is not respected by the Prime Minister. A vote in this place that would reject his personal choice for the appointments commission would not be respect by him.

This afternoon and this evening, when there is a vote in the House on the deployment of troops in Afghanistan, is he going to respect that vote or is he just going to say, “It's my way or the highway and just get used to it”?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am clear the vote has consequences. We are not proceeding with Mr. Morgan and his team on the public appointments commission.

In terms of Afghanistan, on Sunday the foreign affairs critic of the NDP said, “It's not a question of should we be in Afghanistan. Yes, we should; we need to be - we need to be in [for] the long haul...”. And yet today members of the NDP say they will vote against it, so maybe I will just wait a few days and we will get a different position from the NDP.

International AidOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is demanding that Parliament make an important decision on sending our troops into harms way for another two years without an opportunity to get briefings from foreign affairs, CIDA and defence, so we can make a decision based on the facts. This is utterly irresponsible. Aid is critically important for the success of the superb job our troops are doing in Afghanistan.

Will the Minister of International Cooperation tell the House how much money CIDA is going to invest in Kandahar over the next two years?

International AidOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, for the year 2006-07, the government has committed $100 million to help the people of Afghanistan, and address the issues of development and poverty in that country. In the next two years, an additional $100 million will be allocated.

International AidOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is the budget for Afghanistan. It is not the budget for Kandahar where the bulk of our troops are, where the bulk of our troops are paying the price, and where their lives are on the line. This issue is critically important to the success of our troops on the ground in Kandahar and the minister knows this.

Will the minister tell the House specifically, how much money will CIDA invest in Kandahar over the next two years with the extension of this proposed mission? Can she specifically tell us how much now?

International AidOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that the Afghan people need help, in Kandahar and throughout the country. There are not two Afghanistans, there is but one.

$100 million in aid will be given to the Afghan people every year until 2011.