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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Anti-terrorism ActOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no higher duty than the protection of our citizens from dangerous crime and terrorism. The leader of the Liberal Party and I know that both of our parties voted in favour of these anti-terror measures.

Bob Rae, a candidate for the Liberal leadership as we all know, has said that the opposition of the Liberal leader could well impact investigations into the Air-India incident. I know that other prominent Liberals have spoken out in favour of this, Anne McLellan, John Manley, the member for Mount Royal, the member for Etobicoke North. Yet the leader of the Liberal Party is being led by extremist elements in his own caucus. I would suggest that he get behind his own--

Anti-terrorism ActOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Anti-terrorism ActOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

I thought they were applauding for me, Mr. Speaker.

The Prime Minister's assertion that he will be appointing judges based on their ideology as opposed to their qualifications has ordinary Canadians across the country outraged that the justice system would be so manipulated. It is an absolute principle that Canadian judges must be independent. It should be an absolute principle that judicial candidates be screened by a process that is non-partisan and independent.

Will the Prime Minister reverse course and affirm the independence of our judiciary?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the only people who are outraged are the Liberals who are not appointing any more judges these days.

I can tell the House that the 51 judges we have appointed up to this point in time actually were recommended by the committees that were set up by the former government. We will continue to make those kinds of appointments. They will be good for Canada and good for our judicial system.

Security Certificate DetaineesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister does not recognize the importance of the independent judicial system in this country.

We saw today what an independent judge does. He ordered the humanitarian release of one of the three Kingston hunger strikers. I do not expect the Minister of Public Safety to comment on the specifics of this case, but I do expect him to act responsibly.

An independent judge has made a determination that all people in this country should be held humanely. Will the minister set in place policy that will ensure that individuals confined under security certificates be treated humanely?

Security Certificate DetaineesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the security certificate process as introduced by the Liberals and supported by us has been held up a number of times by the Federal Court of Appeal. When people are detained it is under the most humane of circumstances and also in this case.

I will comment specifically because the judge has recognized that this individual is a person who is a security risk. That is why the judge has put 24 conditions on the individual's release, including being monitored by an electronic bracelet and he will not be released until he has agreed to all 24 of those conditions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard the voice of democracy; democracy has spoken. The government will now be forced to take concrete action so that Canada can meet its commitments to the Kyoto protocol. The government does not have the choice. It can no longer say one thing and do another. Either it complies with the law, or it decides to waste the taxpayers’ money to defend itself in court.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to break the law, as his Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and his Minister of the Environment suggest? Is he above the law?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, obviously the bill passed by the House yesterday has to get through the Senate. And the Senate’s debates never move very quickly.

I will also give some other quotes. Tom Oleson of the Winnipeg Free Press said about the Liberal private member's bill, “The cynicism and hypocrisy of this is staggering”, and I agree.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the Minister that he will need more than a green tie and green underpants to convince us of his sincerity.

I am curious to know what the Prime Minister will say to the co-chair of his election campaign, John Reynolds, who said that denying the legitimacy of private members’ bills was the mark of dictatorships.

Can the Prime Minister of Canada now decide which law he will respect and which one he will break? Is he going to throw away the foundations of our democracy and close down Parliament? Is he going to say that democracy is over; long live his dictatorship?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I remind the member opposite that of course Parliament has not passed his legislation. On this side of the House we say that when a bill clears the House of Commons it is one-third of the way to becoming law because it still has two-thirds of its route through the Senate.

Let us look at what else our friend from the Winnipeg Free Press said in referring to the Liberal private member's bill. He said the Leader of the Opposition's “record as environment minister was abysmally bad, earning him a reputation as the Dr. Doolittle of climate change”, and I agree.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told us that he did not care about judicial independence and that he was seeking to appoint judges who would follow his ideology. Now we understand the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and his Minister of the Environment when they say that the government will not be bound by the bill by the hon. member for Honoré-Mercier, which was passed in this very place yesterday.

Is the Prime Minister sweeping aside the will of Parliament because of his ideology, in refusing to respect a law that requires a plan for the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we take great interest in the comments by the member opposite.

On this side of the House we are going to take meaningful action to fight climate change and not make empty political promises.

The bill that has come before Parliament gives no authorization for the expenditure of funds. It has no regulatory power. Quite frankly, those of us on this side of the House are not prepared, while the Senate takes its time to pass the bill, to wait another 60 days to get a plan. We have a plan and we are acting on it today.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, someone once said, “I will always bear in mind that the people express their wishes as much through opposition as through the government”. Do you know who said that, Mr. Speaker? The Prime Minister.

Now, to deny the will of the House, his ministers mislead Canadians with talk of economic ruin. With its mechanism for a worldwide carbon market under United Nations rules, Kyoto is our best chance to tackle global warming as a global community through emerging global markets.

Why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to understand this?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it was the member for Ottawa South who said that when Canadians see the cost of Kyoto, they are going to “scream”. It was the member for Ottawa South, the Liberal Party critic, who said that implementing Kyoto would cost $40 billion. It would be very easy to make an empty promise and to simply snap our fingers and make the Kyoto targets.

An empty promise on the environment is something that is very well known in the McGuinty family because it was the member's brother who promised to close all five coal fired generating stations by this year and he has not done it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the European Parliament deplored the passivity and complicity of European states with respect to the secret CIA flights.

The O'Connor report said that Maher Arar was taken to Syria after stopping in Maine, on one of the CIA's prison planes.

Can the government provide us with assurance that this plane at no time used Canada's air space to take Maher Arar to Syria?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague and all Canadians that the Canada Border Services Agency has looked into exactly that question. I have its report here.

All flight plans were provided to Nav Canada in all cases. The pilots submitted the list of passengers, their dates of birth, their citizenship, their place of residence, the reason for travelling to Canada and the declaration of all goods being imported.

As well, on the question of the European study, Canada's name does not appear in it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first question related to Maher Arar. Was he in one of those planes—yes or no?

We know the CIA flight numbers and the number of flights that have overflown Canada. An investigation into the Canada Border Services Agency has shed some light on this.

When the government of Canada says that there was nothing illegal when those planes used our air space, are we to understand that in each case, the planes were not transporting prisoners, that is, they were empty? Is that really what we are to understand? Can he tell me—yes or no—whether Maher Arar was in the plane that flew over Maine, alongside the New Brunswick border?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I was very clear, and I will repeat. All of the flights, all of the planes, have passengers. We have the list of their names and their reasons for travelling.

In Mr. Arar's case, we have no information or indication to suggest that he was in a flight that was in Canada. That was simply not the case.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I just returned from a meeting of women chiefs and councillors who are outraged about a letter written by the Minister of Indian Affairs . In his ignorance, he claims when first nations children are removed from their homes by authorities it is because “those people who are supposed to love them the most have defaulted”. This is shameful.

The minister's responsibility is to work in a cooperative process with first nations to ensure protection of families and children, but instead, he insists on insulting us and blaming victims. Why?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I made it very clear that I agree with the Assembly of First Nations that 9,000 first nations children in care are too many. It is clear, I have said, that children are apprehended, they are taken into care by those who wish to protect them when there are difficulties by their caregivers. Those I think are the facts.

It is illogical in the extreme to suggest that because too many children are being apprehended the cause is that not enough money is being spent on the apprehension.

The government is spending $417 million on this program. We continue to work together with first nations to make sure that the system works.

Government ContractsOral Questions

February 15th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, in her recent report, the Auditor General looked at advertising campaigns and public opinion research projects to see whether the departments administering them were exercising adequate management and control. As members will remember, under the previous Liberal government, these proved to be very problematic and even scandal-ridden files.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services elaborate on the recent findings of the Auditor General regarding advertising and public opinion research?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, let me quote the Auditor General, “Given the serious weaknesses that we identified in our 2003 audit of government advertising activities, this year's findings”--this year's--“are good news”. She went on to say that Public Works has made good progress in ensuring that advertising and public opinion research contracts are awarded in a fair and transparent process.

Taxpayers deserve a government and an approach to contracting that is open, transparent, and gives value for taxpayers' dollars. This Conservative government is delivering. We are fixing what the Liberals did scandalously wrong for 10 long years.

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, CN added two more accidents to the string of mishaps that occurred in 2005 and 2006.

The government is still refusing to make the internal audit report public. For years, CN has refused to comply with safety standards, and people have died because of it. Even CN shareholders have denounced the company's management practices.

When will the minister stop conspiring with CN bosses? Will he make that report public today so that we can find out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that, like the Liberals opposite when they were in government, they are a year behind.

The minister actually issued a directive on July 24, 2006 for CN to submit an action plan. The action plan has been submitted and CN accidents are down by 25% over the year before.

The government has taken action where the Liberal government failed and the NDP never could.