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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House we once again saw that the Prime Minister will say anything and do anything to win his never ending election campaign. It is clear that this is a Prime Minister who thinks that no attack is beneath him, no shot is too cheap, and no smear is too unbecoming.

If the Prime Minister really cared about the troops, really cared about human rights, and really cared about the success of the Afghan mission, he would replace his incompetent minister.

Will the Prime Minister stop putting election politics before everything else and replace the Minister of National Defence immediately?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 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, Canadians see a pattern of behaviour from the Liberal Party. It neglected the military for 13 years. The Liberal defence critic calls the military names. He calls the Chief of the Defence Staff a prop.

The defence minister, a brigadier general with 32 years of distinguished service, is sneered at as the arms dealer. This is from the Liberal Party whose advertisements insulted the military by speaking of its horror at “soldiers in our streets”.

Those are the disrespectful deeds, words and ads of the Liberal Party and no, we are not making this up.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, members on that side of the House do not seem to understand they have no monopoly on patriotism, no monopoly on support for the military, and no monopoly on support for our troops in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister is blinded by ambition and Canada is hobbled by his arrogance. By putting into question Canada's duty to uphold the Geneva Convention, the Prime Minister has jeopardized our international reputation.

When will the Prime Minister put Canada's interests ahead of his own?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 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 government corrected an agreement originally entered into by the Liberal government on this very issue in order to ensure Geneva Convention protections are provided.

Yesterday, the Liberal defence critic told the media: “The answer of the Prime Minister today is a disgrace. To ask us to make a choice between the Taliban detainees and our troops--”. On this side we do not find it hard to make a choice between our troops and the Taliban. We stand behind our troops.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and again today, the government asked the Canadian people to make a ridiculous choice by telling them that anyone who believes prisoners of war should be treated according to international law does not support our troops. That is a ridiculous choice.

Does the Prime Minister believe that the Geneva Convention is optional? Does he think that our treatment of prisoners can differ according to what we think of them? Why is he tolerating an incompetent defence minister and when will he replace him?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 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 irony drips. This is from the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore who said that torture is justified when dealing with terrorists.

We have been seeing a pattern of behaviour from the Liberal Party. It does not respect the men and women in the military, suggesting they are a threat when they are allowed on the streets in Canada.

The Liberals spent the past month saying that police officers are not fit to participate in panels that review traditional appointments, something that the Liberal government entrusted to Liberal candidates and Liberal Party executives.

Why does the Liberal Party have a problem with the Canadians who put their lives on the line to protect us?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, with his disgraceful reaction to the issue of Taliban prisoners of war yesterday in the House, the Prime Minister once again tarnished Canada's reputation on the world stage.

I would like to remind him that there are now four Taliban fighters back in hiding who will surely attack our men and women at the earliest opportunity.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that his disgraceful conduct yesterday sends the wrong signal to the international community that Canada does not respect the Geneva Convention? Does he not know that taking this position could put the lives of our soldiers in great danger by inflaming our enemies and turning the Afghan people against us?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 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, we would send the wrong signal if we said, like the Liberal Party, that we do not stand behind our troops. We will stand behind our troops. We will ensure that they have in place what they need to protect themselves and ensure that they are protecting Afghan detainees under the Geneva Convention.

That is why we are pleased that under this government an agreement was negotiated with the Afghan independent human rights commissioner in order to allow access to detainees and to report back on that to the Canadian government if there is any evidence of any mistreatment.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only do we have an irresponsible Prime Minister, but we also have an incompetent, negligent Minister of National Defence who is incapable of handling matters transparently, who is incapable of fulfilling his duties, and who has deceived the people. I have here the Canadian Forces' code of honour, which talks about duty, loyalty, integrity and courage, and, most importantly, about honour and duty with honour. This is the military ethic, the warrior's honour.

Will the Minister of National Defence practice what he preaches, act according to his military ethic, and prove that he still has a sense of honour by resigning?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think I do follow that code and that is why I take responsibility.

However, let me remind the member that we will protect detainees within the Afghan prison system. We have recently made an arrangement with the Afghan Human Rights Commission. It has undertaken to supervise the treatment of detainees and that will give us some degree of comfort.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister once again involved himself in the Quebec election campaign. In response to a question from the Bloc Québécois asking for tax fields to be transferred to Quebec to resolve the fiscal imbalance, the Prime Minister said: “To have such fiscal relations with the provinces, it is necessary to have a federalist government in Quebec—”.

Is the Prime Minister going to apologize for this gross interference in the election campaign and is he going to make a commitment to Quebeckers that he will respect their choice, whatever it is?

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure my honourable colleague: on this side of the House, the Prime Minister and the government he leads have always been very firmly committed to reforming Canadian federalism. Time after time, in recent months, we have seen how far this reform of federalism has benefited not only Quebec, but all of Canada. The Prime Minister and the government are in fact going to continue in that direction so that Quebec can once again be strengthened within a strong and united Canada.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has just shown us that he has no sense of honour. If he had the least sense of honour, he would apologize today. Yesterday, what they said was that it was necessary. After wanting to choose journalists, immigration board members and judges made in his own image, now the Prime Minister would like to choose the next premier of Quebec. This is blackmail. The least he can do is do his duty as Prime Minister properly and say that he will respect the choice made by Quebeckers, because respecting the premier of Quebec means respecting all Quebeckers.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure my honourable colleague that on this side of the House it is very plain that we are going to respect the choice made by Quebeckers next Monday night. That being said, however, we are going to continue, we are going to go ahead with reforming Canadian federalism so that Quebec is able to grow, and grow stronger, within a better and united Canada.

AfghanistanOral Questions

March 22nd, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister made another blunder. In response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition, he criticized the opposition leader for being concerned about the safety of Taliban prisoners and suggested that he should be more concerned about the safety of Canadian soldiers, as though the two were mutually exclusive.

Instead of adopting a George Bush attitude and suggesting that those who do not agree with him are his enemies—that is how the Prime Minister is behaving—should he not be showing his disagreement with the one person really responsible for the government's problems, namely, the Minister of National Defence?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 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, we have made it absolutely clear that we take human rights seriously in Afghanistan and around the world. It is a cornerstone of our foreign policy in the way that it was not in the case of the previous government.

We are certainly ensuring that it is done in Afghanistan by entering into a new agreement. That was not done by the previous government who sent our troops to Afghanistan. This agreement is one that ensures the Afghan independent human rights commissioner has access to detainees and can ensure that there is no mistreatment.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could enter into an agreement with the Prime Minister.

Rather than wanting to choose the Quebec premier—which is none of his business—should the Prime Minister not choose another Minister of National Defence, because that is his job, his responsibility?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 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, we heard some words read from the code of duty for military forces, words like courage, honour, duty and excellence. These are all words that apply to our Minister of National Defence.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia has been ignored in the budget and the finance minister should immediately take steps to correct the situation.

There was nothing to fight pine beetle devastation, no flood strategy for the Fraser River, nothing for the Kamloops airport, nothing to help the owners of leaky condos, and nothing for affordable housing.

The Conservatives could have done all of that, but they chose not to. Why did the government fail ordinary British Columbians in the budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, British Columbia has done very well under the budget. Obviously, the member from Vancouver has not looked at the aspect of our past budget that gives British Columbia a billion dollars to deal with the pine beetle.

In fact, we bring federal support to B.C. with $4.7 billion in 2007-08, including: over $3 billion in the Canadian health transfer for the health of ordinary British Columbians; $1.3 billion for the Canadian social transfer, funding for post-secondary education and child care to help families from British Columbia; and $242 million for infrastructure.

In fact, we have the encouragement of the president of the association of--

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that B.C.ers do feel ignored and no amount of political spin can correct that. The finance minister seems to think that Canada ends at the Rocky Mountains.

Concrete actions could have been taken, like increasing the northern living allowance by 50% as the NDP demanded. But surprise, surprise, the only change made in the whole country to the allowance was made in the Conservative whip's riding.

Why not do what is right and increase the allowance by 50% and expand it, instead of this politically motivated change that we see in the budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia and the people of British Columbia have done very well in this budget. Just in infrastructure alone, over the course of the next seven years, the investments are well over $4 billion.

We know what that means, and my colleague, the Minister of Transport has helped me on this with leverage with the province, the municipalities and the P3s. It means that will be tripled. It will be more like $10 billion to $15 billion in new infrastructure in British Columbia, including the gateway. It is great news for the people of British Columbia.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister accuses the provinces of regional jealousies because they dared to speak out against the budget.

This is a Prime Minister who claims his budget has achieved peace. Instead, his budget has really pit province against province, region against region, and Canadian against Canadian. But why should we be surprised?

This is the same Prime Minister who said Atlantic Canada had a culture of defeat and wanted to build a firewall around Alberta.

How can Canadians trust a government that is sowing the seeds of division across the nation?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why that Liberal member is so grumpy. She ought to be enthusiastic.

Be enthusiastic like the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North who says he likes the optimism in the budget.

Be enthusiastic like the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca who says he plans to vote for the budget.

Be enthusiastic like the Liberal member for Charlottetown who praises the infrastructure investment for the province of Prince Edward Island.

Be enthusiastic like the Liberal member for Halton who--