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House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that means the government itself wants to be the executioner.

Does the government believe that the death penalty is acceptable, regardless of the circumstances, yes or no? It is a simple question that requires a simple answer, please.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this country and this government, in particular, has had an outstanding record with respect to human rights at home and abroad. I think it is a record for which all Canadians can be very proud.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, today our government has taken yet another major step to protect and conserve Canada's north, by announcing a land withdrawal twice the size of Nova Scotia and five times the size of Prince Edward Island. This is one of the largest land conservation initiatives in Canadian history near the east arm of the Great Slave Lake and around the Ramparts River wetlands, both in the Northwest Territories.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell the House how today's announcement will benefit our northern communities, especially those in the Northwest Territories?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the announcement that I made with the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was a significant one. We are protecting culturally sensitive lands. We are protecting some very fragile ecosystems. We are protecting something that will be remembered for generations to come.

We owe three sets of thanks to people. We owe the Prime Minister, for his leadership. We owe the environmental groups, led by the Canadian Boreal Initiative. Most importantly, we owe the real leadership, over many decades and centuries, of our first nations partners, who join us in the gallery today.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Surrey North has the floor.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the death of a new Canadian at the Vancouver airport has put a sharp focus on the use of tasers in Canada. There are no national rules governing the use of tasers, no standard operating procedures for the devices and no mandatory reporting of incidents.

The Toronto police plan to spend $8.5 million on tasers is now on hold. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has halted a plan to buy tasers.

Will the minister do what responsible forces are doing and suspend the RCMP use of tasers until standards and retraining are in place?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of Newfoundland's position. I am not aware of any other police force taking that particular step.

I have asked for a full review from the RCMP related to taser use, compliance and also implementation. I have also asked the chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP to do a thorough review of this, again along the lines of training and compliance. As the chair himself said today, he has a very broad mandate to do so and to report back by December 12 before we leave these chambers.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the taser company has some serious explaining to do. At least five police officers in the U.S. and one in Canada have launched lawsuits after taser training went awry. American states across the U.S. have launched lawsuits and investigations into taser use.

The government has a duty to gather all the information available. Does the minister support a parliamentary investigation into tasers and their use and misuse in Canada? Would he support calling the founders and the directors of Taser International to testify at committee?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, long before any opposition party or member took action, I requested a review of this particular matter on a number of levels. The commissioner who is in charge of the entire board, which is an independent agency, I might add, that takes complaints against the RCMP, is also doing a review. There are a number of reviews being done at different levels.

I am a bit surprised that my hon. colleague would ask me if I am in favour of what a parliamentary committee might be doing. Parliamentary committees set their own agendas. I am rather surprised that she would say I would have something to do with that. I would welcome any review at any level. It will all be helpful.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, first they violated the Geneva convention, and now the Conservatives are violating the protocol on child soldiers and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The evidence is clear: not only is torture practised in Afghan prisons, but Canada has transferred minors to those prisons. What is more, various reports clearly show that the facilities are inadequate, that holding adolescents in separate cells remains a problem and that we will not be able to correct the situation before 2010.

Why is Canada transferring minors to Afghan prisons instead of rehabilitating them? How many young people have we handed over to these executioners?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan have received clear instructions on how to take special care when holding minors. Any minor held by the Canadian Forces is kept separate from adult detainees. This is clear, and it is consistent with international conventions. All the Canadian Forces have always complied with international standards.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not understand anything.

The only thing that minister understood from his briefings is camouflage. The cowardice that government is showing by hiding behind our soldiers or slinging mud at the opposition is shameful and beneath contempt.

We support the troops. Let us be clear. Our army is following that government's orders regarding detainees. It is that government that is responsible. When will that government take responsibility for its actions and admit that it has done nothing to prevent the use of torture?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, what is certainly clear is that the bombast and the blast coming from the member for Bourassa do nothing to demonstrate that his party or that member support the troops.

These scurrilous allegations that somehow Canadian soldiers are complicit in war crimes is beyond contempt. It is reprehensible. It is un-Canadian for that member to make those kinds of allegations in this place.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister showed once again how far he will go to distract Canadians from his government's incompetence. He dismisses reports alleging the use of torture of Afghan detainees, and when anyone dares to ask to see the facts, he hides behind the bogus claim of national security and then brands his critics as pro-Taliban.

Protecting the government from embarrassment is not a matter of national security. When will the Prime Minister table uncensored copies of all reports about Afghan detainees?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, there have been numerous and consistent disclosures of documentation from Afghanistan. We have indicated clearly that we are complying with NATO standards, with international standards and with the Geneva Convention.

What is beyond understanding is why members opposite continually make up allegations without any evidence, now suggesting that Canadian soldiers have done something wrong. For the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, who may have been a pretty good non-fiction writer about international affairs, to now be engaging in fiction about Canadian soldiers is despicable.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

But, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims there is no evidence of torture. His own officials say there is evidence, but he just ignores them. There is a complete disconnect between what the officials are saying and what the Prime Minister is trying to lead Canadians to believe.

What is the Prime Minister afraid of? Is he afraid the truth will catch up to him?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Granted, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was not here in the previous Parliament, but she should know that the members opposite, the previous government, put in place a flawed arrangement with respect to the transfer of Taliban prisoners.

We have improved upon that. We have specific directions with respect to juvenile Taliban detainees. We have improved upon the failings of the Liberal Party in many ways, including now finally giving the equipment and the moral support of our government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 21st, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, France has stated that it intends to make climate change a central theme of the 2008 summit of la Francophonie in Quebec City. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has refused to take a stand, saying that it is up to the Prime Minister to decide what will be on the agenda. That does not bode well.

The government keeps saying that it supports the Kyoto accord, yet it stubbornly refuses to yield to the accord's inconvenient targets. If the Prime Minister really believes in the Kyoto accord, he should put climate change on the summit's agenda.

My question is straightforward: will he do it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, all representatives of francophone countries will work hard to fight climate change. We will have an initial opportunity to do that during the UN meeting in Indonesia, where Canada will work hard to come up with a better agreement to fight climate change.

It is absolutely essential for all large industrialized nations to work together with other members of la Francophonie. I am sure that francophone nations will show true leadership on this issue.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, climate change is affecting the Magdalen Islands. A preliminary study by the Ouranos group showed that erosion of the sandbanks could split the archipelago in two by 2012.

Given the growing body of scientific evidence, how can the government justify leaving this subject off the summit's agenda to other members of la Francophonie?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all. We are always happy to work with francophone countries. The best way to make that happen this year is not to wait six months to hold a meeting about it. We will work hard in Indonesia with all representatives of francophone countries to ensure that we have a real action plan for the whole planet in place after 2012.

AirbusOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned that the justice minister allows political considerations to influence his decisions about whether to extradite Mr. Schreiber.

If a parliamentary committee requests that Mr. Schreiber appear before it, will the Minister of Justice cooperate and will he ensure that Mr. Schreiber can appear before the committee?

AirbusOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not interfere with the business of a committee of the House of Commons, and inasmuch as I am seized of the extradition matter, it would be inappropriate to comment.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Conservative Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, for many years now overfishing has been a serious issue facing our country. Many communities, including several in my own province of Newfoundland and Labrador, have been devastated by the disregard by some foreign countries of international law that forbids these actions.

Today I was pleased to hear the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announce that serious overfishing citations in the NAFO zone are at an all-time low. Can the minister inform the House if the government has fulfilled its commitment to bring about custodial management beyond our 200 mile limit?