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House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

AirbusOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not a happy thing we are talking about here, and it is not a joke. We are talking about people's trust in their government. This is a very very serious situation.

The question is this: is the government going to cooperate with a full and public inquiry, so that everyone will be able to understand what occurred and so that a solution may be reached that is fair to the taxpayer, yes or no? Public, yes or no? Cooperation, yes or no, Mr. Prime Minister?

AirbusOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are always problems when the opposition parties ask questions without listening to the answers. The answers are yes.

AirbusOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is telling Canadians that he had no knowledge of the specific letter that was sent to his office by Karlheinz Schreiber last March, seven months ago, nor did he have any knowledge of a similar letter that was sent to him just six weeks ago.

Canadians are finding such stories very hard to believe. Let the Prime Minister be clear. In total, how many letters has the Prime Minister received from Karlheinz Schreiber?

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as indicated, this individual may have sent many letters to members of Parliament, to members of the Liberal Party and to everybody in Canada.

However, what is important is that there are allegations in a sworn affidavit and the Prime Minister has taken the responsible act by appointing a third person to have a look at this and setting the parameters for a public inquiry. That is the responsible thing to do.

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on January 22, the Prime Minister's Office wrote to Karlheinz Schreiber and said:

On behalf of the Prime Minister I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of January 16.

I have forwarded a copy of your letter and enclosures to the Honourable [Minister of Justice and Attorney General Canada], for his information.

After January 22, who in the Prime Minister's Office decided to stop all correspondence with Mr. Schreiber? Was this just their scheme to cover up the paper trail? When did the pen pal relationship end?

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been clear that there will be a full public inquiry into these allegations. What we will find is that it will be a true fact finding mission and not a witch hunt.

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the Prime Minister admitted that he had a meeting with Brian Mulroney at Harrington Lake in the summer of 2006. What he did not explain was how Mr. Schreiber knew about the meeting. The Prime Minister claimed, “Mr. Mulroney has never spoken to me on behalf of Mr. Schreiber”.

That is not good enough for Canadians.

Has the Prime Minister or his representatives ever had any discussions with Mr. Mulroney or his representatives, not on behalf of but about Mr. Schreiber?

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear. When new allegations were made in a sworn affidavit, the Prime Minister indicated that he would appoint an independent third party to look into this.

As he indicated today, there will be a full public inquiry and the parameters will be set for that. I think that is the reasonable course to take.

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, apparently the Prime Minister and Brian Mulroney have a lot of things to talk about. The Prime Minister has admitted this himself. He said on The National, on the CBC on April 20, 2006, that in their dealings Brian Mulroney was very generous with his time and honest in his advice.

Over the course of those numerous conversations, how many times did they discuss the Schreiber case?

AirbusOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and members of the government have been very clear. When there were new allegations in a sworn affidavit that were filed with the court, the Prime Minister and the government took immediate action.

However, as the member indicated, probably to the disappointment of all the question writers today, there will be a full public inquiry.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, given the admissions by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that prisoners are still being tortured in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister cannot continue to deny reality and cannot continue to claim that these allegations of torture are the product of Taliban propaganda, since those are the words of the Afghan President himself.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his inaction is putting Canada in a situation where it is violating the Geneva Convention?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that my colleague from the Bloc Québécois is able to put a question to me today and that he is not doing what his colleague from Saint-Lambert did: jump ship from the Bloc Québécois to sit in Quebec with his friends in the Parti Québécois. From this side of the House, we can see that the Bloc Québécois is futile. I think the people in the Bloc can see that too.

On the very specific question asked by my colleague, I will answer that we are there to help the properly elected Afghan government to comply with its international obligations.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Amnesty International is calling for a moratorium on prisoner transfers. According to its information, prisoners are still being subjected to torture and abuse.

Will the Prime Minister today, from his seat, order an end to the transfer of prisoners to the Afghan authorities? That is the only way to ensure compliance with the Geneva Convention.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, we are helping the properly elected government of Afghanistan to comply with its obligations. Among other things, we have funded a $1.5 million project at the Sarpoza prison in Kandahar to improve the infrastructure and provide training in human rights.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has recently stopped asking foreign governments to commute the death sentences of Canadian nationals to life in prison. The Minister of Public Security tried to justify himself by saying there was no question of asking that criminals be transferred to Canada, although no one had made such a request.

Is the minister aware that in putting a stop to this approach, he is not only breaking with a clear policy rejecting capital punishment, but he is also even implying that he supports this treatment considered cruel and unusual here? It is completely revolting.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the subject of capital punishment, the law in this country is very clear and that is not going to change.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, these attempts by the government to reassure us are not convincing. If the government is sincere in its desire to continue to fight for the abolition of the death penalty, can it explain to us the recent decision by Canada, which refused to sponsor the UN moratorium on the death penalty?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, here in Canada, the law is very clear. The death penalty does not exist in our country. We are taking the same approach in the international arena. We will vote in favour of a UN resolution that encourages other countries to have the same policies that we have here in Canada.

AirbusOral Questions

November 13th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the justice department was investigating allegations made against the former prime minister, Brian Mulroney, but then the new justice minister came into office and, guess what? He stopped the investigation. Was it because he was a parliamentary secretary in the former Mulroney government or was he just trying to cover up and protect his former political idol?

How can the minister be impartial and act in the best interests of Canadian taxpayers when his only loyalty is to cover up for his former boss and his former political idol?

AirbusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we in the Department of Justice are dealing with is the whole question of the extradition of one of these individuals. Everyone in this Parliament and most of the members of the Liberal Party should understand that it would be inappropriate to discuss any of the issues surrounding that.

I must say that I resent the implications of the hon. member. I take my responsibility as Attorney General of this country very seriously, as well as my oath of allegiance to the Queen.

AirbusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer certainly was not worth $2.1 million.

The question really comes after the fact. Was the minister involved in stopping the investigation? We know that the justice department was acting on behalf of Canadians by trying to recover $2.1 million of hard-earned Canadian taxpayer money that is currently lining the pockets of a former prime minister. Canadians want an answer to get to the bottom of this Conservative cover up.

Did the minister stop the investigation that took place in the justice department?

AirbusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the member is referring to a settlement that was entered into 10 years ago, she should talk with some of her colleagues as to how they came about with that settlement.

With respect to one of the individuals involved with this transaction there is an extradition proceeding that is ongoing and, of course, it would be inappropriate to discuss that at all.

AirbusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us try in French. You have a Minister of Justice who begins a review of the investigation concerning Messrs. Mulroney and Schreiber. The ex-Reform Minister of Justice, the current President of the Treasury Board, was curious and asked for a full briefing on new developments in that matter. In my opinion, they found him too tiresome, because he lost his department. As luck would have it, this no longer interested the new Progressive Conservative Minister of Justice, and they lost the desire to recover all that.

Can the President of the Treasury Board tell us what new he learned about this matter while he was Minister of Justice?

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion that is an irresponsible question asked by the hon. member and he, quite frankly, should be ashamed of himself for what he is implying in that particular question.

Mr. Speaker, we all--

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!