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House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was impaired.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the Leader of the Opposition's statements. Something happened in January of last year. Canadians chose to change their government.

That is what they did this year. Today we are celebrating our first year of real change. That is what we are offering Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians did not know that they were voting for a government that would ransack everything. One of the things it destroyed was the carbon credits market that would be in place in Canada today had the Prime Minister not decided to cancel it, to cancel greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for industry and to delay clean air regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

When will the Prime Minister announce greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean air targets for Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me say to my friend opposite that I can guarantee him the Prime Minister and this government will not take 10 years to begin to tackle the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions.

Let me tell him that work is well under way to bring in regulations to regulate both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. We want to accept the twin challenges of Canada's responsibilities with respect to climate change and also the important responsibility for human health and smog and pollution.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is no reason to postpone the regulations that should have been done a year ago.

Goldman Sachs has said that worldwide green investment opportunities have increased sevenfold, by 700% over the past three years. Canadians need to get our full share of this growing multibillion dollar market.

Instead of deprecating the global fight against climate change as a “job-killing, economy-destroying”, money-sucking socialist plot, will the Prime Minister now concede that smart, prompt action on climate change must become a positive driver of Canadian economic growth and competitiveness?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think that was an excellent description of the previous Liberal government.

Let me say to the Leader of the Opposition that when he says we should have acted one year ago, I say he should have acted 10 years ago.

The Leader of the Opposition can quote Goldman Sachs. I can quote someone speaking about Canada's environmental role in the world:

--Canada, once again providing leadership in the world, fighting above its weight class and showing moral authority to the rest of the world. That's what Canada's known for.

Do we know who said that yesterday? Al Gore.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is the minority government's record in this first year? No financing for child care, cuts to the court challenges program, $5 billion slashed from environmental programs.

Given the government's record, can the Conservatives not understand that Canadians would like to choose another government?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would like to talk about the record. We are speaking loud and clear about our record.

We are very proud of having adopted the accountability act, legislation that was needed in view of the scandals of the previous government.

We are also proud of our national child care program to create child care spaces. Above all, we are very proud of having made it possible for Canadian families to choose how they wish to look after their children.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has spent a year slashing environmental programs, cutting programs for women and failing to deliver on promised child care spaces.

How can the Prime Minister get up and claim a record of results in today's speech when his government's actions so completely contradict his claim?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, for my friend from Etobicoke—Lakeshore, in the last 12 months the government has accomplished more than the previous Liberal government accomplished in 13 long years.

We passed the federal accountability act, the toughest anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history. We have placed a significant amount of trust on Canadian families to decide what is best for them in terms of child care. Finally, we have put more tax cuts in the recent budget than the Liberal government gave in the last five budgets.

That is a big step forward for the Canadian people.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his lunchtime speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa today, the Prime Minister missed another opportunity to explain how he plans to make good on the promise he made during the last election campaign to correct the fiscal imbalance. Yet the provincial premiers are holding a teleconference tomorrow to discuss the new equalization formula, an important issue related to correcting the fiscal imbalance.

Can the Minister of Finance at least tell us whether he plans to include all 10 provinces and 100% of natural resources revenues in the new equalization formula, as Quebec and the Bloc Québécois have called for?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite will have to await the budget and the announcements in it, as will all members of the House.

We are precisely on track. We said in budget 2006 that we would consult with the provinces and territories. We have done that at great length. We have done it intensely. The Prime Minister has, various ministers have and I have with the ministers of finance of all governments in Canada, including Quebec.

I look forward to announcing the changes that we will be proposing, having acknowledged the fiscal imbalance, at budget time.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the rumours about correcting the fiscal imbalance, there is also the matter of limiting federal spending power in provincial jurisdictions.

Will the Minister of Finance also give the provinces the means to meet their needs, in their areas of jurisdiction, by transferring tax room, as the Bloc Québécois and the Séguin report have called for?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are two points with respect to which Canada's new government is very different from the government that was here for 13 years.

One is that we respect provincial jurisdiction. We believe the federal government should concentrate on its areas of constitutional jurisdiction. It is not the role of the federal government, unlike the previous government, to constantly and persistently interfere in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Second, we are the first government in Canada, unlike the member's government, unlike the Leader of the Opposition, to acknowledge that there is a fiscal imbalance between the Government of Canada and other governments within Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised to correct the fiscal imbalance, and he has an obligation to do so.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that the fiscal imbalance recurs year after year and that the federal government must transfer the necessary tax room so that Quebec and the provinces can correct the fiscal imbalance once and for all?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member advocates for the transfer of tax points, which is one way of resolving the fiscal imbalance and moving toward fiscal balance. That certainly has been discussed at many meetings between the governments of the provinces, the territories and the federal government.

Many suggestions have been made. There are a number of studies out there that have been reviewed and studied by, I hope, most members of the House.

We will be in a position to announce our proposed changes, from fiscal imbalance to fiscal balance, at budget time.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has spoken about the need to limit federal spending power in areas that are not its own.

Can the Minister of Finance assure us that he will not use the limitation of federal spending power as a pretext to slash funding for the governments of Quebec and the provinces without first bringing in an offset mechanism for money already allocated to certain sectors?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no intention to reduce transfers to the provinces. In fact, I already wrote to all the ministers of finance in the other governments in Canada recently, outlining the floor, the minimum equalization and the statutory authority that I have now as Minister of Finance, so that all the other governments know what the floor is.

However, there will be more and that will come at budget time.

National DefenceOral Questions

February 6th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the very first day the House convened last year, we asked for an emergency debate on the treatment of Afghan prisoners because of a deal that had been signed by the Chief of the Defence Staff during the middle of the last election, with the backing of the Liberals. It is a flawed agreement. It does not live up to the standards that Canada sets for human rights.

Today very serious allegations of abuse have been made against the Canadian Forces. Could the government tell us that the investigation by the Military Police Complaints Commission will not be interfered with and that it will be a public investigation?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, members of the Canadian Forces are professional and well disciplined and they live by the best values of society. The alleged incident reported in the media today is under investigation and those investigations will determine the facts, whatever they are.

I assure the member that I do not interfere with, nor will ever interfere with, any investigative process.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does talk about openness and transparency frequently, but his government has introduced Bill C-7, a bill that would gut the powers of the Military Police Complaints Commission. The forces have been through enough with what happened in Somalia and the allegations and the cover-ups.

Can the Prime Minister and the government not see that this time we have to set things right? We have to be above reproach here. What will be the timeline of the commission? Will it be a public investigation, and can we be sure that National Defence will disclose what really happened here?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first, the Military Police Complaints Commission has not even determined whether it will get involved. It is investigating it right now.

However, I can assure the member that any board of inquiry, any reports that come from the investigations will be made public.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a question regarding those allegations of possible violence by the Canadian Forces toward detainees under their guard.

According to article 7 of the Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees Between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Canadian Forces must keep written records of detainees such as medical condition. Now it appears that some of these reports are missing.

Will the Minister of National Defence immediately table these missing reports and was he aware of these allegations before the official complaint of Mr. Attaran?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, there are two investigations going on, and perhaps three investigations, to find out whether there is any truth to this allegation. At the moment we have an allegation, which will be investigated. If there is truth to it, corrective action will be taken. If there is no truth to it, it will pass away.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our support for our soldiers in Afghanistan is undeniable. I know they have to do superhuman work in extremely difficult conditions. However, the allegations on the condition of certain Afghan detainees are troubling. Our fellow citizens expect our Canadian Forces to reflect our values abroad and to respect international conventions.

I have two questions. When the Minister of National Defence caught wind of these allegations, was he already aware the situation before Mr. Attaran complained? And what does he intend to do to shed light on the matter?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that there are two investigations, possibly three investigations, going on which will determine whether records have been adjusted or not. We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigations.