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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I follow the details of the question.

Let me just say this. We understand that the New Democratic Party has been opposed to the mission in Afghanistan since it was undertaken in 2001. The fact is this government, the United Nations and this Parliament believe this mission is important for the Afghan people, for the United Nations and for our national interests.

While our men and women in uniform are there and in dangerous circumstances pursuing our interests, they deserve the support of all members of the House.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, testimony at the public accounts committee is proof positive that the government needs to appoint a full judicial inquiry to investigate the RCMP pension scandal. Four different witnesses; four different stories. The committee will continue to do its work at public accounts, but a judicial inquiry has the powers necessary to get to the bottom of this issue for the benefit of the RCMP officers, and they deserve this.

The public accounts committee yesterday passed a motion calling for a full inquiry. When will the minister from the government call for a full judicial inquiry?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, once again, we have said very clearly that we want to get answers quickly. We want to find out exactly what took place. We do not want to handle this situation the way the previous government did by ignoring it. We have a process in place to do that. An independent investigator has been appointed. His work begins. He will be reporting in June.

If among the things he reports or suggests is that there should be a more formal inquiry, then we will proceed with that, but we would like to get some answers right away. The RCMP deserves that and the people of Canada deserve that.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. The longer it takes for the minister to call a judicial inquiry, the longer it will take for the RCMP officers to get the answers for which they are asking.

Four separate witnesses yesterday, including one who has already given conflicting testimony, told four different stories. It is time for a full judicial inquiry. The RCMP know it. We know it in this Parliament. The Canadian public knows it. It seems the government does not know it.

When will it call for the full judicial inquiry? It is necessary.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, one of the key individuals who has testified at the committee has already said that he is pleased with fact that we are going ahead with an investigator this way, and wants to get answers.

I wish we would get some positive assistance on this rather than this full anger we hear. I wish there had been the same type of anger from the member opposite when the former minister of public safety said:

—let me reassure everyone in the House that there is no conduct on the part of the commissioner that needs to be investigated.

I wish that kind of ire had been directed toward the then minister so we could have had answers then instead of now.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, since March 28, Liberals have been calling for a full judicial inquiry into the RCMP pension scandal. Yesterday the public accounts committee endorsed this call even though Conservative members on the committee abstained from voting on the matter. Yet the minister continues to stonewall, blocking full accountability for an organization that just happens to be deciding whether to investigate him for the Jim Hart scandal.

When will the minister do the right thing and call for a full judicial inquiry into the RCMP?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, all of this feigned irritation coming from the Liberals would be funny if it were not so pathetic. Where were they when all these events were unfolding while they were in the government?

The Conservative members on the committee yesterday said very clearly that if it turned out, following the report that we will get in June, that a more formal inquiry was needed, then so be it. However, members here and the RCMP and Canadians want answers as soon as we can get them. We do not want to wait two or three years. We want the answers now and that is what we intend to get.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy of this. Yesterday we learned, despite the minister's denials, Mr. Zaccardelli gave him a full briefing on what happened months ago. In Maclean's, on March 29, the former Conservative public accounts chair said, “I would rather see a judicial inquiry”.

Yesterday's highly conflicted testimony reinforces that a non-arm's length, powerless investigator, who reports to the minister, will be unable to get to the truth.

When will minister stonewall call a public inquiry, or does he plan to ignore the will of the committee?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite, rather than running around the Middle East crying for the delisting of Hezbollah, had focused on things that were going on here at home, we might have had answers more rapidly on this. This is why we have a process in place that will get to the bottom of it.

When I was talking with then commissioner Zaccardelli, I asked him about this. I did not give a carte blanche clearance as the previous minister of public safety did. I asked questions on this when the Auditor General brought this forward and I said that there would be follow-up, unlike the Liberals who did nothing.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

April 17th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Groupe interprovincial et industriel sur les réductions de gaz à effet de serre submitted a position paper to the government in February, calling on the government to work within the Kyoto protocol, for both strategic and financial reasons, and to immediately establish a carbon trading market.

How can the government, which received this report two months ago, continue to delay agreeing to the demands of this group, which has demonstrated that even private enterprise is ahead of this government when it comes to protecting the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear. We have a real action plan for reducing greenhouse gases.

A few months ago, we began giving details of that plan. We made a number of announcements in the budget, including between $4 billion and $5 billion of new money towards supporting our environment.

We also indicated that we will regulate industry for the first time, and we will be presenting this action plan over the next few days.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government wants to establish a carbon trading market only within Canada. However, this would constitute a very serious handicap for our businesses that would like to deal on the international market.

Will the government admit that the reason it insists on denying Canadian businesses access to the international carbon market is because it refuses to set absolute targets consistent with Kyoto, which is an essential condition to joining the international market?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say very clearly that it is not in our best interest to purchase credits from countries such as Russia, where there have not yet been any reductions in greenhouse gases. This is something that the Bloc Québécois supported in this House, but this is not something we intend to do. We are going to announce the other part of our program in the very near future. The members will have all the necessary details and will determine if they will support our plan, which will bring about real reductions in greenhouse gases. This is something that the Bloc Québécois has not been able to do in the past 15 years.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government keeps saying it will respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. Yet government officials are holding secret meetings to discuss the bulk sale of water.

Is the Minister of Natural Resources planning on taking the advice of environmental groups, which are demanding that the government withdraw from any talks concerning the bulk sale of water?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that there are no secret meetings, no in-camera meetings going on. If she has some information that she would like to bring forward, we would be more than happy to look at it.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that Quebec already prohibits the bulk export of water, and that this comes under Quebec's jurisdiction.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources explain how he can justify talks on a subject that is not even within his jurisdiction?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, again I can reassure the member there are absolutely no meetings going on. I have had no meetings with anyone, so she is sadly mistaken.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot say that the Minister of Defence is a model of clarity.

He says that we are in Afghanistan to seek vengeance and that we will remain until progress becomes irreversible. He is now talking about violent conflicts such as Afghanistan for the next 10 or 15 years.

In his nostalgia for the cold war, he is spending $650 million on tanks that he wants to send to Kandahar, a strategic error if ever there was one.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell us, rather than always having to clarify his position, whether or not his real intention is to have Canadian troops remain in Afghanistan beyond February 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite brought up the mission. The mission of our soldiers is to counter the Taliban.

Today, in Kandahar City, the Taliban attacked a UN convoy killing five people. Yesterday, they attacked a Danish aid group.

There are opposition parties in this Parliament that want us to pull out our troops right now and leave all those people in the hands of the Taliban and we will not do that.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative cabinet is not ready to discuss the Afghanistan mission's future but it is ready to spend billions of dollars on equipment, like tanks, for the purpose of the mission.

However, there is a problem. The problem is that most of the equipment will not be ready for the troops in the timeframe of the mission. The only way to use them would be to extend our military presence in Afghanistan past February 2009.

Will the defence minister come clean for once and tell us that his real intention is to stay in Afghanistan past February 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, we are committed to rebuilding the armed forces and providing our soldiers, sailors and airmen in Afghanistan with all the equipment they need to survive and to be safe.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know how and when Canada's mission in southern Afghanistan will conclude.

Yesterday, the minister tried to hide his true intentions after blurting out that we would be bogged down in Afghanistan for 10 years.

Why does the government not have a coherent exit strategy for this mission? Has the minister advised NATO that it should start looking for troops to replace Canadians past 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the member opposite has brought up the mission.

I want to point out that today the human rights organization pointed out that the Taliban has killed over 700 Afghan people and that we cannot allow that murderous regime to succeed. That is why NATO, UN countries and ourselves are there to prevent their activities.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of National Defence is speaking in good faith when he says that the Canadian Forces will leave southern Afghanistan in 2009, he has the duty to so inform our allies.

Has the minister notified NATO that Canadian troops will withdraw in 2009, and if not, what is he waiting for?

If this government is sincere in its intentions, why wait until the last minute to send a clear message?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in case I did not mention the Taliban, the Taliban have gone into a number of villages and killed all the men because they considered them to be opposed to their mission. We and NATO will not allow these kinds of atrocities to occur. We will not allow the Taliban to return and persecute women and carry out public executions in soccer stadiums.