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House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was property.

Topics

Economic StatementStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, today the statement on Canada's economic and fiscal health will be delivered outside the House of Commons because of obstructionist tactics by the NDP.

The NDP's latest move is an outrageous and hypocritical reversal of its previous position that major announcements should be made in the House.

The NDP House leader sat on a parliamentary committee which recommended that “more ministerial statements and announcements be made in the House of Commons”.

Perhaps the NDP has changed its position because it does not want Canadians to be reminded that it is under this Conservative government that the economy is growing. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 33 years and taxes are being cut, leaving more money for Canadians to spend, save and invest.

Canadians know that it is thanks to this Conservative government that they have more money in their pockets. They deserve better than petty NDP partisan games. It is time that the NDP started working with this Parliament instead of holding it back.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, when I learned about the allegations of improper campaign spending by a Liberal MP, I took immediate action.

However, months after Elections Canada ruled against 17 Conservative MPs, the Prime Minister has done nothing and even refuses to answer questions about the Conservative electoral scam.

Why, what did he know and when did he know it?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 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, I continue to be amazed that the Liberals rise on this issue.

I think John Ivison put it best in the National Post today when he wrote:

What can be said with confidence is that the Liberals are wasting their daily parliamentary showcase.... Unfortunately for the Liberals, it's their brand that has cornered the market on illegal party funding in recent years.

All this suggests that [the Liberal leader's] problems cannot be explained by bad luck, his poor English or his lack of charisma. Rather, it is a question of judgment. Some really questionable strategic decisions have been made by the leader.

I think that is pretty clear.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party would be better off reading Elections Canada rather than the National Post. It would learn that of the $1.2 million in over-the-limit election expenses for the last campaign, the Conservatives are attempting to get $800,000 back from Canadian taxpayers. The Prime Minister says nothing and does nothing but he must answer for this.

What did he know about these election shenanigans? When did he find out?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 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, yesterday, the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine stood in the House and said that the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country did the right thing and today it sounds like the Liberal leader agrees.

Let us review what he did according to his campaign workers: illegal cash payments, non-disclosure of campaign expenses, deliberate efforts to hide spending from Elections Canada and swept it all under the rug until it was on the front page of the Vancouver Province.

That may be what the Liberals call doing the right thing but that is what Canadians call Liberals doing business as usual.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the contrast is striking. The Liberal Party is asking Elections Canada to investigate immediately. The Conservative Party is attacking Canada in court.

The Prime Minister does nothing but one day he will have to answer. He will have to explain himself. This is unavoidable. Why not now?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 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, as I have said many times, all our activities are entirely legal and follow the law. In fact, they are all publicly recorded and transparent.

It is very different from the Liberal practice. I will read, just for nostalgia, from a Globe and Mail report from 2005:

Marc-Yvan Côté, the Liberals' top organizer for eastern Quebec, distributed $60,000 in cash to several party candidates gathered in Shawinigan for the launch of Jean Chrétien's riding campaign in the 1997 election....

It sounds like the cash envelopes that were handed out in west Vancouver to Liberal organizers.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago tomorrow, the Minister of Finance devastated the savings of Canadians and wiped out $25 billion in market value in one press conference. Happy Hallowe'en, Mr. Minister. That was all because he broke a promise not to tax income trusts.

This afternoon, the same Minister of Finance will make more promises to Canadians. Considering his record, how can Canadians believe anything the Minister of Finance will promise them?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question that does lead into a wonderful opportunity. We are all looking forward to hearing the Minister of Finance deliver a fall update. Unfortunately, we are unable, because of the NDP, to hear it in the House where it should be given.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago, the Minister of Finance betrayed those Canadians who believed the Conservative promise that they would not tax income trusts. The savings of millions of Canadians disappeared like snow in the sun. This afternoon, this same Minister of Finance will make more promises.

How can Canadians believe him given that he did not keep his past promises?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think we would be assuming the promises that will be made. However, we all need to look forward to some good news coming out of this that I wish everyone in this House could be in their seats to listen to.

It is all about tax fairness and it is a little coincidental that opposition members are talking about tax fairness when they do not seem to be able to support the initiatives in our budgets and in our Speech from the Throne.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that allegations of torture in Afghan prisons were nothing but Taliban propaganda. However, according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, one third of prisoners are still being tortured. Even Foreign Affairs Canada's departmental spokesperson admitted that she had heard the allegations of torture. I do not suppose that she is a member of the Taliban.

Given that Canadian representatives have visited Afghan prisons 11 times, will the Prime Minister release a report on these visits so we can all know what happened?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the nature of the Taliban to make such allegations. We should not assume that all of these allegations are based in fact. Nevertheless, in accordance with the agreement signed with the Government of Afghanistan, whenever such allegations surface, the government investigates.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it may be the nature of the Taliban to make such allegations, but is it the nature of the spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Canada and of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to take such allegations seriously?

Is the Prime Minister aware that as soon as such allegations surface, Canada must stop turning detainees over to Afghan authorities because to do so would be a violation of the Geneva convention? That is serious.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is a process in place to deal with all such allegations. We have an agreement with the Government of Afghanistan.

The Government of Afghanistan committed to doing certain things, and this government can follow up to ensure that the agreement is being respected. Our information indicates that the agreements are being respected.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Geneva convention is designed to protect prisoners of war and avoid reprisals.

Does the Prime Minister realize that because of his government's failure to meet Canada's international obligations, not only is he exposing Canadian soldiers to the risk of prosecution for non-compliance with the Geneva convention, but he is also endangering soldiers by exposing them to retaliatory measures?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois supported the agreement we signed with the Afghan government, which was duly elected in May.

Our dealings with the Afghan government are based on that agreement. I can also tell this House that our country is concerned about human rights. We have a process. That process is followed. And we make sure the Afghan government also meets its international obligations.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the Bloc Québécois said yesterday, the minister can boast all he wants about having the best agreement in the world, but if that agreement is not honoured, then what is the point? That is the problem here. The government is boasting that it is in Afghanistan to bring the rule of law to the Afghan people.

Will the minister agree with us that the rule of law starts with full compliance with international laws, including the Geneva convention, which is clearly not happening at present?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right that the agreement we signed with the Afghan government is now a standard for the international community. It is one of the best agreements of all the NATO countries.

That agreement includes mechanisms whereby we can hold discussions with the Afghan government and make sure human rights are respected. We are meeting our international obligations, and we are honouring the agreement we signed with the Afghan government.

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian dollar is 1¢ away from its all-time high, yet consumers are not benefiting. Families have to go to Plattsburgh to shop. That is unacceptable. The government has failed. The same thing happened with ATMs. Harry Potter is not going to help.

My question is directed to the Prime Minister. What tangible results came out of the meetings between his minister and retailers on this issue?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, some companies have announced their intention to cut prices. In addition, the government is continuing to look into the problem. We intend to take action.

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we heard when we were talking about the unjust bank fees. People are still being robbed blind when they try to take their own money out of the bank.

What do we see when it comes to the rise of the Canadian dollar, the government cannot get its story straight. The finance minister said last week that it had to do with domestic factors, but the Governor of the Bank of Canada has now said that it does not seem to be related to domestic factors.

Who does the Prime Minister believe, his finance minister who says that the high dollar is the result of the Canadian economy or the Governor of the Bank of Canada who says it is not? Which one is it?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure in the end I completely understood the question, but if we go back to the issue of retail prices, the Minister of Finance raised this issue before it had even been noticed by any of the opposition parties. He has discussed that with Canadian retailers. We understand that retailers in several cases are looking forward to lowering their prices, particularly as inventories turn over.

At the same time, let me assure Canadians that this government is concerned with the prices consumers are paying and the government will take action.

AfghanistanOral Questions

October 30th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs was burying his head in the sand and casting doubt on the professionalism and integrity of an experienced journalist, his own department confirmed allegations of torture of some of the Afghan detainees transferred by our troops. This is quite serious. This government has a responsibility to enforce the Geneva convention before, during and after transfers.

Will the government make a promise today to stop transferring Afghan detainees until we can get firm guarantees that the Geneva convention will be respected?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, we expect these types of allegations from the Taliban. In terms of international agreements with different countries, the agreement we have is exemplary. We know that it is a good agreement for us and for human rights, since Amnesty International said:

It certainly is an improvement. In many respects, I wish this had been the agreement that had been the starting point of the debate, the one the previous Liberal government signed. We had a better agreement than it.