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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Development and Peace organization tabled cards signed by more than 150,000 people calling for the application of the report of the round table advisory group, which is denouncing the attitude and behaviour of Canadian mining companies in Latin America and Africa. These companies are not respecting human rights or the environment. The government has had this report for 210 days now and still has not done anything.

What is the government waiting for to follow through and call these Canadian companies to order?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said at the UN in an official speech for Canada, we defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law in our foreign relations policy. We will study this report and follow up on it in due time.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the government tries to come across as reassuring and sympathetic, there are people who are suffering. The dubious and reprehensible behaviour of these Canadian companies is documented in a report that the government has had in hand for 210 days now.

Are we to understand from the government's inaction that it is sending these companies the message that profit trumps everything else?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe this government has been very clear in the past. We have said, and the Prime Minister has said, that we defend human rights and freedom of expression. That is what we do on the world stage. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am very pleased and proud to convey that message abroad.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, has any minister of the crown been served a search warrant?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure that question falls within the administrative responsibility of the government. I am sorry but I do not believe the question is the administrative responsibility of the government. Maybe the member can tie it in to his supplementary but whether a minister has been served with a search warrant, I do not think is the administrative responsibility of the government.

The hon. member for Hull--Aylmer.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps you are right. I need to be more clear.

Could the minister tell the House which ministers or federal authorities have been approached by the OPP for evidence concerning the Larry O'Brien investigation?

Noting the seriousness of this investigation, could the minister confirm if anyone in the PMO, in the former Treasury Board president's office, the Privy Council Office or any other federal body has been investigated in regard to this matter by the OPP?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, it is a matter of public record what occurred here and our ministers and staff have been quite open about it.

No appointment was ever made by this government and no offer was ever made by this government. The Liberal Party continues to engage in a practice where it thinks it is a scandal when patronage is not handed out.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, who, other than an unelected senator who deleted accountability from the mandate of his own department, could make a mess like this?

It was not enough that the Conservatives sold nine federal buildings at a loss of millions to taxpayers, they also sold two buildings that they were not allowed to sell. Because it failed to consult first nations and to do even basic due diligence, the government was forced, at untold cost, to pull two buildings yesterday, days before the deal was closed.

Was the Minister of Public Works hiding in the Senate when this deal was inked, or is this type of incompetence the norm?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the question, all of Canada's first nations with regard to the sale were consulted, the Musqueam in Vancouver and the Algonquin here in Ontario. Everybody was consulted.

However, I have my hon. colleague's position on this very issue. His press release has exactly nine paragraphs and, in those nine paragraphs, he manages to make a serious factual error in every one of them; a triple hat trick. Well done. Even the final paragraph, which has only five words in it, is factually wrong.

This real estate sale is in the best interests of taxpayers. As a matter of fact, when the Liberals were in government, in Public Works, we could count the number of good ideas they had on one thumb. This was one of them. He used to be in favour of it. Now we are actually implementing it and it is good for taxpayers.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, then why did the government pull the deal?

The government's incredible incompetence in this matter is staggering. I have no issue with the selling of public buildings. My issue is with the government and its bungling and mismanagement, and the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars.

However, it does not end there. We know the government is planning to sell off 31 more buildings. Some of these buildings are national heritage buildings of irreplaceable value.

Will the unelected, unaccountable Minister of Public Works admit that he has messed this up enough? Will he cancel this sale and put a moratorium on these sell-offs?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the accusation or claim that he makes about 31 buildings is entirely false. In fact, he just contradicted his own press release yesterday when he had a different number in his press release.

When the Liberals were in government they were in favour of this idea but when they became the opposition they were opposed to it. A month ago, before he was the critic for public works, he was against it. Now he says that he is in favour of it.

Those members do not know what side of the issue they are on or what their position is. When they were in government they were on one side and now in opposition they have been on a couple. That is why for a long time we have been standing up for Canadians and they can sit there for a long time.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, last fall, Canadians were shocked to learn that the Auditor General had uncovered serious mismanagement of funds by the former correctional investigator. They were not as shocked to learn that this abuse of taxpayer dollars took place, sadly, under the watch of the previous Liberal government.

Could the Minister of Public Safety today update us on the actions of this Conservative government to ensure that these hard-earned tax dollars are recovered?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this government takes a zero tolerance approach to the wasting of taxpayer dollars, which is why we passed the Federal Accountability Act to deal mainly with the types of atrocious scandals that we saw under the Liberal regime.

Under this particular situation, which occurred under the Liberals, we have followed the dollars and we have now settled with the former correctional investigator. He is making up for this mismanagement of funds with a cheque for $77,500.

We go after taxpayer dollars. We are still on the hunt for the $40 million that are missing from their scandal on that side. We are going after these issues and we are doing it well.

Food and Product SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to product safety, the Conservative government is going in the wrong direction.

If Health Canada can recall dangerous medical products, if Agriculture Canada can recall contaminated foods and if Industry Canada can recall problematic faulty vehicles, why can the minister not do something more than simply wring his hands and set up a website?

When will the minister actually act on legislation if that is the problem? If he needs some help, would he like mine to write the law?

Food and Product SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I have never seen a good law drafted by the NDP so I might decline her offer.

We do take this issue very seriously. In the Speech from the Throne, which the hon. member voted against and hon. members opposite did not vote on at all, we indicated that product safety and food safety issues are a priority for this government.

After 13 long years of inaction when it comes to product safety, we are going to act. We will have the powers to do the right thing.

Food and Product SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the trouble is that the minister is taking baby steps when Canadians expect some tough action and some meaningful legislative provisions from the government when it comes to dangerous toys and toxic products.

We are talking about counterfeit toys being discovered, lead in imported brand name toys and food that is contaminated with E. coli. We know that inspections are down. The minister even says that he has no power to do anything about it except to put up another website. My goodness.

Will the minister get tough on products sold in Canada that can hurt Canadians or will he simply point and click his way out of this problem?

Food and Product SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I encourage the hon. member not to belittle the fact that at healthycanadians.gc.ca, Canadians can get more information than ever before when it comes to product safety, product recalls and food safety.

However, the hon. member is correct. After 13 long years of Liberal inaction, we will act. That was precisely what was in the throne speech and she voted against it. We will act on behalf of the safety of Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2004 the Prime Minister stirred up doubt about the innocence of Mr. Arar.

Yesterday we heard Condoleezza Rice refuse to apologize or recognize the torture endured by Mr. Arar while in Syria. This contradicts Justice O'Connor's report that cleared Mr. Arar of any terrorist activity. Regardless, Mr. Arar is still unable to travel to the United States.

When will the government use its allegedly good relations with the United States and have Mr. Arar's name removed from the no fly list?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, following a review of the transcripts of the secretary of state from the United States, I wrote a letter today to my counterpart in the United States, the secretary of Homeland Security asking, in light of what the secretary of state said, for them to reconsider their designation of Mr. Arar and remove him from those look-out lists.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. U.S. senators and even the Minister of Public Safety have claimed that they have seen the documents used to deport Mr. Arar and can find no information that points to Mr. Arar being involved in terrorist activity.

Justice O'Connor did a thorough investigation and cleared Mr. Arar, yet he remains on the U.S. no-fly list and the government is doing nothing.

With Mr. Arar still on the no-fly list and thousands more passenger lists being passed into American hands, when will the government stop bowing to the White House?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the situation with Mr. Arar, which took place entirely under the Liberal regime, is something that we took very seriously. We have followed every one of the recommendations from Justice O'Connor, including compensation for Mr. Arar, including an apology from this government for what happened under the Liberal regime.

At every diplomatic level, from the Prime Minister to the President, from our foreign affairs minister to the secretary of state, from me to the head of homeland security, we have asked that Mr. Arar's name be removed from those lists.

Air TransportationOral Questions

October 25th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport denies saying what he said in the House two days ago. Let me quote the minister's words from Hansard:

So far, we have been able to ensure that almost 80% of flights will not be captured by the new U.S. law.

What happens to the rest of those flights? Will the passenger information be disclosed for these flights? Can the minister now be very clear to Canadians just exactly what he means?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again, I want to indicate to the members of this House that this is a U.S. regulation. These regulations were introduced by the U.S. government in the month of August.

We have been consulted. We continue to work in order to exonerate Canadians from being put on this list. We do it while respecting Canadians' rights, but I do want to indicate to the members of this House, what is important is the safety and the security of Canadians as they take flights.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it makes front page news again this morning. The U.S. is very hostile toward Cuba, where tens of thousands of Canadians vacation every winter.

The Bush administration's new requirement that airlines disclose the private information of all passengers who enter American airspace on the way to Cuba raises a question. How will the Americans use this data?

Will Canadians who visit Cuba encounter difficulties at the U.S. border the next time they try to enter that country? What guarantees does the minister have to offer this? This is a serious question. I hope that he has a serious answer.