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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be embarrassed about the conduct of her party in the last Parliament with respect to the Gomery commission. All those issues still have not been resolved. Why does she not answer some of those?

The hon. member has already indicated that he does not speak for the government and we have the greatest respect for our court system and for all those who serve in the judiciary.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in introducing the agreement on Quebec’s role in UNESCO, the Prime Minister made this disparaging comment, and I quote: “And for the Bloc anything short of Quebec being unable to veto the position of Canada at UNESCO is the humiliation of Quebec.” It must be pointed out that humiliation and victimization have never been part of our strategy. We are sovereignists out of pride, full stop.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the promise he made on December 19, to give Quebec status in UNESCO equivalent to what it has at the Sommet de la Francophonie, is an empty one? At the Sommet de la Francophonie, Quebec has a seat, a voice and a vote, which is impossible in UNESCO. Will he admit this?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister, like a former Conservative prime minister, invited Quebec to participate in UNESCO fully, formally and directly. On Friday, we signed an historic agreement on Quebec’s participation in UNESCO. It is a good agreement for Quebec and for Canada.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is a man who pays attention to detail. He was well aware that he was promising a role similar to Quebec’s role at the Sommet de la Francophonie, which meant that it would have a genuine voice at UNESCO and the right to vote.

How can the Prime Minister have promised that Quebec would have status equivalent to what it has at the Sommet de la Francophonie when he knew very well, on December 19, that this was impossible, unless Quebec were a sovereign country? He knew that. Why did he promise this when he knew that it was impossible?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are no votes at the Sommet de la Francophonie. This Prime Minister, like a former Conservative prime minister, invited Quebec to participate in UNESCO. We have signed an agreement.

Perhaps the Bloc Québécois prefers an independent Quebec in UNESCO.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes!

UNESCOOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

They say “yes”, but the position of this government is to have a stronger Quebec in a better, united Canada.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister realize that what he is offering Quebec is the privilege of whispering in the ear of Yvon Charbonneau at UNESCO, rather than having a seat, not only at UNESCO, but also at the UN, as if Quebec were independent? That is the difference between the two. Does he understand it?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, obviously I would have liked the Bloc Québécois members to congratulate us on this excellent work and excellent negotiation. Even Louise Beaudoin, the former colleague of the member who has just asked the question, found that it was an excellent agreement. Pierre Curzi, of the Union des artistes, also found that it was. And even another former colleague of the member, Claude Morin, found that this was a good agreement.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Conservative Pontiac, QC

The members of the Bloc Québécois can laugh. But we seem to be watching the disintegration of the sovereignist movement.

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing is the disintegration of a formal commitment made by the Prime Minister to all Quebeckers, whereby Quebec would have a seat at UNESCO. But this is not the case. That is the reality we are witnessing.

Will the Prime Minister dare to deny that, with the agreement he has just offered Quebec, even in Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction, the last word and the decision are Ottawa’s and that in the end absolutely nothing has changed?

UNESCOOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I invite my honourable colleague to reread the agreement carefully. In doing so, like us on this side of the House, he will see that, contrary to his statements to the effect that we have weakened Quebec, we have been able to strengthen Quebec, within Canada and within its delegation.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is becoming a chamber of surprises. For 13 years of course we watched the Liberals make election commitments and break them, and that is no surprise. Last week we saw the Bloc Québécois abandon its longstanding commitment to progressive ideas and support the Conservative budget.

Now, the biggest surprise has the Conservative Party, which for years railed against the privatization of the Prime Minister's agenda, joining the Liberal court case to prevent public access to the Prime Minister's agenda.

When will the Conservative Party stop acting like Liberals, promising one thing in the election and doing the opposite?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, with Bill C-2, it is this government that has given greater access to information. For the first time in the history of Canada, 16 additional agencies or commissions will be included in the Access to Information Act . This is very important. Giving the Canadian public more information will ensure accountability.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the facts show otherwise.

The Prime Minister campaigned for transparency, ethics and a change in the questionable practices of the previous government. And now? The Prime Minister is acting like a good Liberal.

Why? What is he hiding? Will the Prime Minister listen to reason and act as his party demanded when it was in opposition? Will he abandon the case before the courts and make public the documents regarding his agenda?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, not only did the government include 16 agencies which had never been included in our legislation in Canadian history but we also put forward both the access to information commissioner's report and a white paper that goes much farther than even the access to information commissioner suggested.

In fact, he has called some of our proposals radical and said they go farther than anything he has even asked for. We think it is important to get the views of parliamentarians on all sides of the issue. We are very committed to coming back with additional legislation on this important issue.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

May 8th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has killed the Kelowna accord, taken early learning opportunities away from aboriginal children, tormented residential school survivors with needless delays, and excluded the Métis from the budget.

To add insult to injury, why has the Prime Minister anointed the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin as chair of the aboriginal affairs committee, who insists that Canada's judicial system is race based and too lenient on aboriginal people?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, so the record is perfectly clear and in case the hon. member has forgotten, this budget does more for aboriginal Canadians than any previous Liberal budget. There is $300 million for northern housing, $300 million for off-reserve housing, and $150 million additional dollars. It is a fair and reasonable budget for aboriginal Canadians, and the hon. member should know that or learn it.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wish I could count the ways how that is not true. However, the views expressed by the chair of the aboriginal affairs committee were abhorrent.

At a conference held in Regina entitled “The Race/Culture Divide in Education, Law and the Helping Professions”, a speaker stated racism hurts, it kills, it destroys, it numbs, it creates poverty and assails human dignity, and it impairs human relationships.

Will the Prime Minister insist that the first agenda item at the aboriginal affairs committee this afternoon be the resignation of the anointed chair?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the first agenda that I have dealt with is the advancement of social justice for aboriginal Canadians. That is why this budget contains an additional $1.075 billion to deal with issues such as off-reserve and on-reserve housing. That is why we have the $500 million Mackenzie Valley socioeconomic fund. That is why the residential school agreement is included in the budget.

I do not intend to take lessons or lectures from that hon. member with respect to this budget.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister snubs the premier of Canada's largest province, it seems he has time to sit down and talk governance with U.S. republican pollster Frank Luntz. In fact, the pair met this weekend at the national conference of the radical right wing Civitas Society.

Why is the Prime Minister taking direction from republican pollsters? Why are they more important to him than the elected premier of the province of Ontario?

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have known Mr. Luntz for some years, but he does not work for the government or the Conservative Party.

In terms of Premier McGuinty, the government recently concluded a historic softwood lumber agreement with the cooperation and support of Premier McGuinty. I wish the party opposite would support that agreement.

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is the Prime Minister has been ignoring the premier of the province of Ontario and has been shoving him aside. I want to go a little further on the issue of this cozy relationship between the government and the Civitas Society.

The Prime Minister's close associates, Tom Flanigan and Ian Brodie, are intimately involved. Many Conservatives, including the Treasury Board President, were there this weekend. Their mission: to plot out a social conservative agenda and discuss such topics as the morality and justification for war.

Since the Prime Minister muzzles his MPs and hides from the press, is the Civitas Society where we need to look to uncover the truth about the government's real agenda?

Government of CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member seems to be amazed that the leader of the Conservative Party would attend a cocktail party where there were several hundred members of the Conservative Party.

I had a good meeting with Mr. McGuinty on Friday. We have his support and we hope to have the support of his federal cousins for our work on the softwood lumber agreement.

As usual, when it comes to Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Luntz and everything else, the member has all his facts wrong.