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House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I heard the Prime Minister earlier today talk about what the government has been doing in Darfur. I want to believe him, I really do, but the cries of the children of Sudan continue to ring in my ears and it is enough.

On the 50th anniversary of Lester Pearson's Nobel Peace Prize, the world is watching to see if we will step up to the plate on this file, and they are hoping we will.

Will the government honour the reputation and commitment of Pearson's legacy to diplomatic efforts and save the struggling peace agreement of Sudan and the people of Darfur?

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am glad my colleague mentioned that today is the 50th anniversary of Mr. Pearson's Nobel Prize. We are proud of that and we are working to honour that legacy. We are taking action to promote and protect human rights around the world.

That is why we took a strong stand last November against the military regime in Burma. We imposed the toughest economic sanctions in the world. We also took action and are still taking action in Afghanistan together with the international community to promote human rights and help lift the country out of its misery.

We are taking action around the world. Whenever I talk with my colleagues, I take advantage of the opportunity to discuss situations—

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mount Royal.

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was International Genocide Day. Today is International Human Rights Day. The one genocide in the 21st century is in Darfur. The number one international human rights issue today is Darfur, yet there was no reference in the Speech from the Throne to Darfur. Darfur is nowhere a priority for the government.

Will the government commit itself to combat the mass atrocities in Darfur? Will it commit to peace in Sudan as the number one human rights foreign policy priority of this government and this country?

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my opposition colleague seems to have developed a new passion. When he was in government, he was not quite that passionate about protecting human rights.

It strikes me as a bit strange to be so selective when it comes to promoting and protecting human rights. Right here in Canada, we want to make sure that aboriginal people can benefit from human rights like all other Canadians. The party opposite is doing everything it can to delay the process to ensure that aboriginal people can benefit from the same rights as all other Canadians.

That being said, we have allocated $441 million in humanitarian aid to help people suffering in Darfur.

DarfurOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I had been speaking about Darfur even before I became a minister. Anything less than an international priority will not stop the genocide. It will not stop the culture of impunity where the Sudanese minister of humanitarian affairs indicted by the ICC is actually promoted by the Sudanese government.

Will the government engage in concrete involvement to stop the killing? Will it, for example, provide the necessary resources, equipment, logistical support, command and control assistance, air and transport assets, helicopters, force multipliers to effectively deploy the unified protective mission?

DarfurOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the previous government was a lot of talk but no action.

We are acting to promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy all across the globe. That is what we are doing.

We have a good report card. UN Watch said that we got 100% on the promotion and protection of human rights in the world. It is not us who said that, it is UN Watch who told us that and I believe them.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment's strategy is becoming increasingly obvious. It consists in slavishly copying the approach adopted by George W. Bush, who does not accept the scientific evidence on global warming so that he can continue to pollute at will.

Recently, the Minister of the Environment declared that there will be no agreement in Bali if the United States refuses to make a commitment. Does this not confirm that Canada has definitely turned its back on Kyoto and is actively working with Bush to derail the Bali conference?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely wrong. We are in Indonesia working internationally to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The only way that can happen is if everybody participates, everybody gets their oars in the water, everybody, especially the major emitters. The minister of the environment from Quebec said, “We believe that mandatory targets must be imposed upon everyone, and that is, countries must participate in the fight against climate change, including the United States, China and India”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this shift is not surprising when we look at the composition of the Canadian delegation to Bali.

The minister has excluded members of the opposition and environmentalists and made room for some private companies, including his oil friends. Is that not indicative of this government's anti-Kyoto position?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have a very strong delegation going to Indonesia. It includes three Canadian companies which are leading the way in green technology right here at home, strong leadership including gasification of garbage, carbon capture and storage, and cellulosic ethanol. We are leading the world in technology. We are sharing that, telling the world how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.

Aboriginals AffairsOral Questions

December 10th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first nations of Quebec and Labrador have developed a blueprint for an ambitious plan to improve their living conditions and allow them to flourish. This plan proposes, over a 10-year period, the creation of 10,000 jobs, the construction of 10,000 housing units and assistance for new graduates. The minister is well aware of this initiative since his department made commitments during the forum in Masteuiash.

Will the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development promise to submit a plan of action to the first nations of Quebec to back up the commitment he made in Masteuiash?

Aboriginals AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, of course, it has been our pleasure to spend a record amount of money on aboriginal issues, including a record amount of money for both on and off reserve housing, and a record amount of money for education. We continue to work with the provinces and first nations to improve the quality of that work across the country.

I would like to thank the member for coming last week to the Quebec National Assembly where we signed an agreement with aboriginal people from the north. I would ask him to continue to urge the Liberal Party to quit stalling the Inuvik land claim agreement which would put $400 million in the hands of Inuit people.

Aboriginals AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 13, 2007, despite Canada's opposition, the United Nations General Assembly took a step forward when it adopted, by 143 votes to 4, the important Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since that historic date, Australia, which voted against, has announced its intention to adhere to this important declaration.

What is the Conservative government waiting for to reverse its position and finally give back to the first nations the dignity they deserve?

Aboriginals AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, first nations deserve the dignity that every other Canadian has by being covered under the Canadian Human Rights Act. That is why we proposed removing section 67 which does not allow coverage under the Canadian Human Rights Act for first nations.

One of the basic things before we start lecturing the world is to get our own house in order. Right now first nations do not have coverage under the Canadian Human Rights Act in our own country. It is time the opposition parties got that through their heads. The time for protection for first nations is now. Let us get it done.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien has today been charged under Criminal Code sections 121 and 125 relating to the negotiation of a federal appointment. Top level Conservatives John Reynolds and the Minister of the Environment have been linked to this investigation. Police have served warrants, have interviewed the minister at least twice, and have evidence to suggest that an appointment was not only in the works, but that the minister and Mr. O'Brien met during the course of these unseemly negotiations.

Will the Prime Minister take responsibility and ask the minister to step aside while the courts determine his involvement?

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, after last week in this House I am saddened and disappointed to hear the opposition persist in this kind of reckless smear. Today we saw charges laid and implicitly in that process there was a decision not to lay any charges as the Minister of the Environment always said, there was never any involvement, there was no appointment ever offered, no discussions ever occurred regarding an appointment.

You owe an apology to that member for continuing these smears.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. The government House leader of course will want to set an example for all members and continue to address his remarks to the Chair. I do not think those last remarks were quite addressed to the Chair.

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was asked if Conservative candidate Alan Riddell had been offered cash to step aside, there was also denial, yet the courts proved otherwise. There seems to be a disturbing trend of illicit Conservative inducements.

Last election, the Prime Minister praised Brian Mulroney for not tolerating scandal in government and for being quick to “pull the trigger” when it came to asking ministers to step aside.

Well here is the test. Will the Prime Minister rise to Mulroney's ethical standard and ask the Minister of the Environment to step aside?

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 obvious to me that the leader of the Liberal Party is not in this country right now, because I am sure after last week, he would be ashamed of the conduct he is seeing from across the floor today.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Mr. Kilrea refused the offer. The charges indicate that an offer was discussed and not that an offer was accepted. The Minister of the Environment told this House that he never met with Mr. O'Brien, but the Ontario provincial police seem to think otherwise. The minister is the political minister for the Ottawa area. He is the one who could help Mr. O'Brien make this offer possible.

Will the Prime Minister ask captain accountability to step down until his name is cleared in court?

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, the members of the Liberal Party should be offering an apology to the repeated, baseless, without any evidence smears they have conducted against the Minister of the Environment, who has been quite open and frank throughout.

There were never any discussions of any appointment. That is what he has always said. He did not say anything close to what the member just suggested. Frankly, those members really do owe him an apology, especially today.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment knew that an offer had been discussed and yet he did nothing to stop it. He met with Mr. Kilrea. The provincial police suspect that he also met with Mr. O'Brien and that after that meeting, Mr. O'Brien stood by his offer to Mr. Kilrea.

How can the Minister of the Environment claim that his hands are clean when he did not inform the authorities as soon as he came into possession of this information?

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, I continue to be saddened. The Minister of the Environment has been quite frank and open throughout. He never offered any employment. The issue has nothing to do with this government. Nothing ever came from this government. The continued efforts at sleaze over there should be tried outside the House, and then see how those members feel.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that as a northern country, Canada is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Canadians across this country have seen the impacts of a warming climate. For example, we have seen the mountain pine beetle infestation that has ravaged the boreal forest and the melting of the permafrost in the north that has destabilized foundations of homes and schools.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources please tell this House what action the government is taking to help Canadians adapt to the changing climate?