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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know that it is very difficult to predict an act of insanity and that the gun registry is not a cure-all that will prevent violence in our society. But the public health association, the suicide prevention centre and the police all recognize that there has been a marked reduction in thefts, suicides and homicides involving firearms.

Why does the minority government not recognize that this registry is valuable, even if it saves just one life?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General said that there was a great deal of waste in the system: nearly a billion dollars. We will have a more efficient system. We will have more officers on the street in our communities, across the country. And we will have programs that can prevent tragedies such as these.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has decided to address the United Nations General Assembly instead of the House of Commons to present his vision for Canadian foreign policy. And yet, he heavily criticized his predecessor, who also announced his decisions outside the House of Commons.

Does the Prime Minister not have a duty to present his foreign policy to the House of Commons and the public first, including his view on the Afghanistan mission, the Darfur crisis, the WTO negotiations, UN reform and multilateralism?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the leader of the Bloc Québécois was when I addressed a number of these issues in the spring. This week is the annual week at the UN when government leaders arrive to talk about their concerns on matters of foreign policy. I plan to be there to defend the values of this government and of Canadians, including such values as democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have time to hold an emergency debate on this issue before Thursday.

The Prime Minister presented an overview of his foreign policy for the first time, not here but in London, England, on July 14, and those aspects of Canadian foreign policy for the most part fall into line with the foreign policies of the United States, Australia and Great Britain.

Is the Prime Minister not just moving away from the United Nations multilateral framework and into an alliance of countries that have broken from this framework, in particular on Iraq?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc should wait for my speech at the United Nations on Thursday to hear what I have to say.

Nonetheless, this summer I heard the leader of the Bloc say that our foreign policy is my policy and that of George Bush. But now that we have a very important foreign policy agreement on softwood lumber: it is mine, that of George Bush and of Gilles Duceppe.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am sure the Prime Minister meant to say the hon. leader of the Bloc Québécois or the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie. I believe that was the very name.

The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government recently announced that it will deploy another 200 soldiers to join the troops already in Afghanistan.

Since the government has already authorized extending the mission in Afghanistan without giving us any information, we would like to know, today, if this new contingent is a one-time addition or if it is the first of what may turn out to be many.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to offer my condolences to the military families and their friends relating to the four casualties we had last night. It is a very sad event for the military.

In response to the question, the military made an assessment that it needed additional infantry and armour and engineers to fulfill its requirements in the area to provide better security for both our reconstruction effort and for our security forces. We have provided the military with what it needed.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past two weeks, the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that Canada was doing more than its share in Afghanistan. Now, all of a sudden, the government has decided to increase its commitment.

Can the Prime Minister explain why he is sending 200 more soldiers when the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have said that Canada is already doing its part? What changed for this to happen so suddenly?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these are two separate issues. One is that our troops on the ground said that they needed some improvements to improve their security, and we have done that. Quite separately, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are approaching NATO to encourage NATO countries to provide more resources to Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear to Canadians that the government simply does not know what it is doing in Afghanistan.

First we were told that it would be a two year commitment, maximum; now we are being told it is a five year commitment, minimum. First we were told we had sent enough troops; now we are sending hundreds more. First we were told no tanks would be needed; now we are sending tanks. We were told that there would be no discussion with the combatants and now we learn that senior military officials were in discussions with the Taliban already.

Do our troops not deserve better than to have policy made up on the fly, copycat of U.S. foreign policy?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House will know that today in Afghanistan four Canadian servicemen were killed. Obviously, whenever we lose one of the fine men and women of our Canadian Forces, members on all sides of the House feel a great deal of sadness and also respect and honour for the sacrifice that the forces are willing to make for their country and for their fellow human beings. The circumstances of today's deaths, where our servicemen were in the process of distributing some candy to some children in a village and were killed by a suicide bomber when doing this, nothing more than this incident illustrates the evil that they are fighting and the goodwill and the nobleness of the cause that they are taking to the Afghan people.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the greatest respect that we can show for our soldiers serving abroad, and they are brave and they are courageous because they are doing what our country asked them to do, is to consider very carefully what we are asking them to do. Let me draw the House's attention to what Captain Leo Docherty, former aide-de-camp to the commander of British forces in Helmand province said on Monday. He said that the NATO-led mission is “a textbook case of how to screw up a counter-insurgency....We've been grotesquely clumsy...and sucked into a problem unsolvable by military means”.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his Minister of National Defence when he said that this mission cannot be won by military means?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it has been clear from the beginning that the United Nations effort in Afghanistan requires a multifaceted approach, not just security operations to end the remnants of the Taliban regime and its presence in the country, but also development work and diplomatic work, a whole range of skills of governance building to ensure that country moves forward as a peaceful and democratic society that does not ever again present a threat of terror either to the world or even to its own citizens.

What the men and women in uniform require is a Parliament of all parties that believes in what they are doing and sticks behind their actions.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the incident at Dawson College is a tragic reminder that we must exercise constant vigilance to prevent violent acts committed with firearms. Canadians, and especially Quebeckers, are keenly aware of this.

Will the Prime Minister tell this House why he is listening to the gun lobbyists who backed him, lock, stock and barrel, instead of listening to Canadian moms and dads who just want strong gun laws?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, among the people whom we have listened to is the Auditor General. The Auditor General pointed to a great waste of dollars in terms of a failed plan by the former regime to try to have a system that worked when it came to a firearms registry. We are listening to her.

We listened to her comments when she said that when police officers drive up to a house, for instance, the data they have available to them is not reliable. We want reliable data for police officers. We want more officers on the street from coast to coast. We want programs directed to youth at risk. We will accomplish that, I hope with the help of the opposition.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is clearly ideologically incapable of maintaining effective control over firearms in Canada. It is not in his nature.

Who is the Prime Minister listening to on this issue? Not the chiefs of police. They want Canada's gun laws kept intact.

Nor is he listening to average Canadians: they want much stricter control of firearms.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are listening to millions across the country who want effective gun control. We are also listening with interest and appreciation to leadership candidates in the Liberal Party who say that it was a wrong idea to embrace the plan of the former Liberals, to see a $1 billion wasted. We listened to the police chief out of Toronto, who said that the approach the Liberals were taking does not reduce the possibility that a young person is going to get a firearm into his or her hands.

We want programs that will work. We are committed to seeing gun crime reduced, safety rise and our communities safer than they have ever been.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, if we follow their logic, we would have to remove the Criminal Code clause that makes it illegal to drive under the influence.

Elections Canada just told us that during the 2006 election, the gun lobby spent more than $133,000 to support the Conservative campaign aimed at reducing firearms control. Does the Prime Minister intend to reduce firearms control because he owes it to the gun lobby?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we do not know if the figures given by the hon. member are accurate. I believe they are, since she quoted them. The fact remains that Canadian taxpayers have spent more than a billion dollars, yet we still do not have an effective system. But that is exactly what we want: an effective system that will work for all Canadians.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is typical of the Conservative government not to tell everything. The Auditor General actually said that the for last two years the gun registry has been working very well.

There has been no shift in the attitudes of Canadians toward Canadian gun control. If anything, the resolve of Canadians is stronger than ever. The majority of Canadians and the majority of members of Parliament in this House want strong gun control.

The Prime Minister has no mandate to weaken our gun control laws, yet he is intent on pushing ahead. Is he aware that he does not answer to the gun lobby? He answers to Canadians, and Canadians will--

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Public Safety.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canadians responded last January 23. One of the areas in which they responded was our commitment to see increased safety on the streets of our communities. That is why we acknowledge that the Auditor General said that certain administrative systems have improved and we are keeping those.

Besides that, we have made a commitment to see over 1,000 more RCMP officers on our streets and in our communities. We are about to embark on a project with provinces and municipalities on a cost-sharing formula to see 2,500 more officers at the municipal level.

Also, anybody in the country who acquires or possesses a firearm for any purpose is still required to be registered. That person will be registered. Anybody wanting a firearm is going to have to follow all the usual laws that are in place.

AfghanistanOral Questions

September 18th, 2006 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian mission in Afghanistan should not be just a military mission, but also a humanitarian mission that allows for the establishment of a more democratic system. But from the information we get it seems that international aid is not reliably getting to those who need it, that poppy crops are flourishing, and the Taliban are getting increased support from the people.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs clarify what is happening with regard to the humanitarian and democratic aspect of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan?