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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of working very hard with the European Union and with our fine colleagues in France. The Prime Minister had a very good meeting with the President of the French Republic. We have also met with France's new Prime Minister, François Fillon. Mr. Fillon was very clear that the purpose of this plan was not to target Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the irony is that Quebec is respecting Kyoto while the federal government is rejecting this protocol and the European Union could penalize Quebec for Canada's inaction.

If the industry suffers because of this new injustice, will the government assume the cost related to this tax, or will it abandon the industry, the same way it is doing right now?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Quebec gave us Jean Chrétien and the leader of the Liberal party to work on resolving this problem. Unfortunately, we did not see any action. The previous government did absolutely nothing for 10 long years. This government is taking action. This government is in the process of establishing rules for large companies, which did not happen in the 13 long years the previous government was in power. We are getting things done and working very hard to get real results.

AirbusOral Questions

November 16th, 2007 / 11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, legal experts agree with the official opposition that Dr. Johnston's mandate is constrained because it is limited to a review of Mr. Schreiber's allegations about his financial dealings with Brian Mulroney.

In other words, it does not include any examination of how this deeply conflicted government has managed this whole mess, nor will it answer the key question about what the government knew and exactly when it knew it. Why is it so?

AirbusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, members opposite apparently wanted to see a full public inquiry and it really is curious to see that as soon as one is announced they are shocked. Their leader could not get over it, but he finally understood that it is going ahead. Then they came out supporting Professor Johnston's appointment, but now they are critical of work that is really just beginning.

I think they should just settle down a little and send recommendations to Professor Johnston, by all means, but not prejudge the man before he gets to work. This is going to be a full public inquiry. We want answers to these questions.

AirbusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is just grasping at straws. Words in the House of Commons do not change the legal mandate.

Canadians want to know what the Prime Minister knew about the allegations against his political idol and chief Quebec adviser. Dr. Johnston's written marching orders handcuff him from looking at what steps the government took over 22 months to shield Mr. Mulroney.

Will the government make it clear, in writing, that the government itself is included in Dr. Johnston's review?

AirbusOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite knows anything about the sterling reputation of Professor Johnston, she would know that he is not the type of person who would take kindly to the thought of being, as she said, handcuffed. That is not going to be happening. We want a full public inquiry.

Professor Johnston has served governments at a variety of levels. The Leader of the Opposition has come out in support of his appointment. His reputation is very well known. We expect that he will deliver that mandate for a full public inquiry.

AirbusOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Prime Minister belatedly warned his ministers against having any dealings with Brian Mulroney, but does that prohibition extend to Mulroney's close associates such as lobbyist Fred Doucet?

Fred Doucet arranged the meeting at Harrington Lake and worked for one of Mr. Schreiber's companies. He is now actively lobbying the government on 11 files, mostly in the defence department. Can the minister, who is also in conflict, tell the House whether he and his staff have ceased contact with Mulroney operative Fred Doucet?

AirbusOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite has information that is somehow going to be pertinent to this full public inquiry, then she should absolutely bring that forward to Professor Johnston.

The other thing I find very interesting is that members opposite seem to have great details, which I appreciate because all Canadians want to get to the bottom of these questions. They have great details, but when it comes to details of where the $40 million in stolen money went, which have come out through the Gomery inquiry, with Liberal friends they seem to have no information at all. I wish they would be as aggressive in helping us pursue that $40 million as we are in wanting to pursue this $300,000.

AirbusOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Doucet was also registered to lobby Foreign Affairs for five clients while the minister was in his former post. The minister has failed to step aside from any of this despite the fact that his close friendship with Mr. Doucet was the reason an RCMP relocation contract was suddenly cancelled last year.

Speaking of details, will the minister table all records relating to Mr. Doucet's lobbying activities in both of the departments he has overseen?

AirbusOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, detailed information appears to be in the hands of members opposite. We know there is a lot of information out there generally. That is why we want to get to the bottom of this. That is why the Prime Minister has called for this full public inquiry. As soon as he had that affidavit with the allegations from Mr. Schreiber, he moved on this very quickly.

We are looking forward to all this information coming forward. I encourage members, if they have information that will help us and Professor Johnston get to the bottom of these questions, to by all means bring that information forward.

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is working together with special interest groups in their mission to take away choice in child care from Canadian parents and instead waste taxpayers' dollars on building bureaucracies and imposing a one size fits all model that does not work for Canada's diverse families.

I know that our government's plan is providing resources directly to parents so they can choose the option that works best for them. Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development tell the House and Canadian parents what the government is doing for child care and early learning?

Human Resources and Social DevelopmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, after years of inaction and broken promises by the Liberals, the government acted quickly to provide parents with choice in child care. We are investing more than any government in Canadian history on early learning and child care and three times more than the previous Liberal government.

This includes additional money to the provinces to create child care spaces and the universal child care benefit that goes to each and every child under the age of six. The Liberal leader said he would take it all away.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has been forced by a judge to release documents the NDP has been demanding for months. In the heavily censored documents, we have confirmed three key facts.

One: the government was aware of conditions in Afghan prisons at the same time ministers claimed they knew nothing. Two: Canada is incapable of tracking all of its prisoners in over 600 Afghan prisons. Three: the detainee agreement is not being respected.

Why, when it promised it would do better, is the government just as bad on the detainee issue as the previous Liberal government was ?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it should come as no surprise that my hon. colleague has his facts completely wrong. In fact, the latest allegation to come up that may prove to be substantiated came up because of the arrangement we put in place in May of last year, an arrangement that was superior to the one in place prior to that.

That brought forward the information we needed and it brought forward our ability to work with the Afghan authorities to get to the bottom of it. We are conducting that investigation. My hon. colleague should stand by. It has been less than a week since that started. We are working very hard with the Afghan authorities. We will get the job done where it was not done before.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is more. On April 23 diplomats told Ottawa that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission was “unable to monitor the condition of detainees as per their agreement with Canadians...”. The very next day, the former defence minister told the House that the “Commission has assured us that it will report any abuse of prisoners”. He said, “It is able to monitor all the prisoners”.

Is the government finally willing to admit it has been caught? Is it willing to admit that it is in violation of the Geneva Convention or do the Conservatives believe the Geneva Conventions are simply a suggestion list?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that question is ridiculous. Canada abides by the Geneva Convention. The primary responsibility rests with the democratically elected government of Afghanistan. It is obliged to abide by the Geneva Convention. We brought forward an arrangement in May of last year that is superior to the one that was in place previous to that. We are abiding by all measures. We are abiding by all requirements.

For the member to suggest that somehow Canada is negligent or criminal in this is absolutely absurd and he ought to be ashamed of himself.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada violated the Geneva Convention in Afghanistan. Even worse, by setting out to hide the truth that it has known since the start, this Conservative government has deliberately violated the convention. It must immediately stop the transfers and repatriate the prisoners who have already been transferred.

In the meantime, I would like to ask the pathetic Minister of Foreign Affairs whether he agrees with the Afghan Governor of Kandahar, Mr. Khalid, who said that it was acceptable to beat prisoners if it helped fight against insurgents.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, and that is more of the same. The challenges highlighted in the recent reports just indicate that Canada is required to be there to continue helping the Afghan authorities to build their judicial system, to build their prison system, to build their governance systems, to rebuild their country and give them back the country that was stolen from them, and to give Afghan women, children and men back their lives.

We are not abusing anybody's rights. We are working together with the Afghan authorities to ensure that those rights are sustained under the Geneva Convention and every other agreement we have entered into.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is in standing violation of the Geneva Convention. Even worse, Canada is in knowing violation of the Geneva Convention. For months the government tried to hide specific reports on torture. Those reports of torture are now confirmed.

Canada must stop the transfer of detainees or it will continue to violate the Geneva Convention. When will these transfers stop?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is confirmed here is the standing violation of common sense in this House from the member. Again, to suggest that Canada is in violation of the Geneva Convention is absolutely absurd.

It is really easy to be sanctimonious in the warm, cozy comfort of this place or fantasy island off on my right, but there are thousands of Canadian women and men in Afghanistan now helping to rebuild that country, part of which is the judicial system, part of which is the prison system, all the governance systems. We are giving the Afghan people their country back.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the disturbing footage released in the case of the man tragically killed by taser last month in Vancouver does not show a man that is out of control as stated by the RCMP. At the time of the incident, the RCMP claimed that it was necessary due to his erratic behaviour but the video footage does not show this.

Why did the RCMP try to cover up this information? Does the minister responsible for the RCMP think that this kind of withholding of the tape for a month is acceptable?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians and most people in this House watched that video. It was a tragic, disturbing and grievous event that took place. A number of investigations are ongoing to determine what exactly happened and what series of circumstances could have led to such a disastrous conclusion to that particular matter.

We want to get all those answers and surely the member opposite is not suggesting that we judge the matter based on watching the video alone. There are a number of inquests that are ongoing. We want to find out what took place there.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, websites around the world were inundated yesterday and revolted by the footage of Mr. Dziekanski's death. One said, “I'm ashamed to be a Canadian”. Another said, “Mere words cannot convey my disgust I feel towards the RCMP”. Others called it a “sickening display and an ugly stain on the RCMP”. The reputation of the RCMP and our nation has been damaged.

Will the minister responsible for the RCMP finally take seriously our call for a national review of taser use?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, a number of investigations, quite rightly, are going on. The RCMP has a process itself and it has involved other police agencies in that.

Further to that, the complaints commissioner has also taken up this concern, which we all share, and he has launched an investigation into this. There is also a coroner's inquest.

Just a few days after this tragic incident took place almost a month ago, I asked for a review in terms of tasers themselves. Other reviews are ongoing. We want to get this information to ensure something like this never happens again.