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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

Brian MulroneyStatements By Members

April 19th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I witnessed a wonderful moment in Canadian history, as the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney was awarded the Order of King Yaroslav the Wise, the highest honour the Ukrainian government can bestow. At the same time, he also accepted the Shevchenko Medal, the most prestigious honour awarded by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was the first recipient of this honour in 1961.

As the Prime Minister said at the event, “[Fifteen years ago] under Mr. Mulroney's leadership Canada was the first country in the west to recognize Ukrainian independence”. For that fledgling nation, for the 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian origin and for all freedom-loving people, it was a great moment.

Our country has been shaped by waves of immigration that have enhanced its vitality and reputation. More than ever, Canada must continue to welcome immigrants in order to remain prosperous and defend freedom here and elsewhere in the world.

Mr. Mulroney, ardent defender of freedom, we congratulate you on this important honour and thank you for making us so proud to be Canadian.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our soldiers in Afghanistan are engaged in a dangerous mission in dangerous conditions. Their courage does honour to our country, and all the members of this House stand firmly behind them. But our troops and all Canadians have the right to demand clarity from the government regarding the mission.

Will the Prime Minister promise to end our combat mission in Kandahar in February 2009 and notify NATO immediately?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, NATO is not asking for our decision right now. The Leader of the Opposition keeps on changing his position. In October, he said he supported the mission, because he was convinced that most of the people of Afghanistan wanted our protection.

They still want our protection, and we will continue to provide that protection.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I said until February 2009.

But what the Prime Minister said is that he would continue our combat mission until at least 2011, and that we would stay until the progress made is irreversible, and that we might leave by 2010 “if certain conditions are met”, which is exactly what President Bush said about his war in Iraq, where the Prime Minister wanted to send Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister end our mission in Kandahar in February 2009 and inform NATO now?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the mission in Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is supported by the entire international community. NATO is not asking us for a decision today.

I note that the Leader of the Opposition has had about a half dozen different positions on this over the last year. One day he is for it, then he is against it, he wants to leave now, he wants to leave later, and he wants to stay.

He said this: “I'm supporting the mission because I'm still convinced that most of the people of Afghanistan want our protection”.

They still want our protection. What has changed to cause the Leader of the Opposition to change his story yet again?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have not changed my position. I said until February 2009. I believe that our allies and the Afghan government need clarity from our government. Canadians do as well. They expect the mission to end in February 2009. The government has said that it has ordered tanks and helicopters worth billions of dollars for the Kandahar mission, and this equipment will not be delivered until shortly before February 2009.

Is this a poor procurement decision, or is it a sign that the Prime Minister has already decided to extend the combat mission?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are making military purchases for the long-term rebuilding of our Canadian Forces. These purchases are not linked to the mission in Afghanistan; the government has made a decision to rebuild our country's military pride.

Also, I have to say this. We did not hear a lot about this in the last few months because Canadian troops had not suffered casualties. We see some unfortunate casualties and those members are back to attacking the mission. The Leader of the Opposition likes to talk about what is unfair. That is unfair to the men and women in uniform.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we indignantly reject the idea that we are concerned about this because of casualties. We are concerned about this because we want our citizens to be properly informed.

It is not too much to ask the government to replace ambiguity with clarity. It is not too much to ask the government to replace rhetoric with honesty.

It is not too much to expect a defence minister and a Prime Minister to have one clear position, which is whether they will commit today to end the combat mission in Kandahar in February 2009. It is a straight question. Let us have a straight answer.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, today in Kandahar the men and women of the Canadian Forces are doing us proud. They are protecting the Afghan people. We will stand by them and we will provide whatever equipment they need to do the job.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in February 2009, Canada will have been in Afghanistan for seven years. We will have served in a combat role in the most dangerous part of the country for three years. This will have been one of the longest combat missions Canada has ever engaged in.

Will the government promise today to honour the February 2009 date, which the government itself set for the end of our combat operations in southern Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, today in the Panjwai and Zari districts life is returning to normal. Families are returning by the thousands because the Canadian Forces are providing security. They are training the army, they are delivering aid, and they are making life better for Afghanis. It is what the Afghan government wants.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment would have us believe that enforcing the Kyoto protocol would bring the apocalypse upon us. The minister must know, rather, that it is the manufacturing industry in Quebec that will suffer financially if no absolute targets are set. France, for example, plans to levy a green tax on all products from countries that have not set absolute targets.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by refusing to establish absolute targets, he is showing favouritism for western oil companies, which will continue to turn a profit while polluting, and damaging the manufacturing sector, which will pay a heavy price?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the targets that this government will set for industry will apply to all industries in Canada. For the first time, we will have national, mandatory targets.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his report, the Minister of the Environment refuses to acknowledge that, without absolute targets—and I mean absolute targets, not intensity targets—it is the manufacturing sector that will be penalized, an industry that is very important in Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, if he wants the manufacturing sector to remain competitive, he must immediately establish absolute targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases in accordance with the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government's policy is obviously different from that of the other parties of this House. Our policy is to achieve real reductions in greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, while preserving jobs and ensuring the health of the Canadian economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to put in place a carbon exchange, the government must set absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Is there no one in this government who understands that in the interest of all Canadian industry it is essential that those who pollute assume the consequences and that those who pollute pay to clean up the damage to the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have already said that, for the first time, we are creating a regulatory framework for industry. It is very interesting to see that the Bloc Québécois has the answer to every government problem and mistake. For 13 long years it did absolutely nothing for our environment. It is now time for this government to take action and we are doing just that.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is because of the government and not the Bloc Québécois that the environmental cause has lost ground. A carbon exchange to implement the Kyoto protocol is a definite advantage for the Quebec manufacturing sector, which has already implemented substantial restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

Will the government finally listen to the many Quebec companies, including Cascades and Alcan, that are calling for a carbon exchange and will it stop deliberately ignoring this solution, which presents a real economic advantage for Quebec and Canadian industries?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that the Bloc member did not ask these questions before supporting the Liberal bill that called on the government to provide the real figures and real results.

It is pointless for Bloc members to not do their homework and vote for something without being aware of the real consequences of their actions. This government is taking action and establishing one of the best plans in the world to really reduce greenhouse gases and to improve air quality. That is our goal.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, six months ago I called upon the Prime Minister to send his doomed clean air act to a special committee where all parties could participate and where every party could put forward its best ideas on how we could address the crisis of climate change. He agreed to do so.

Now that committee has finished its work. Every party has some of their ideas contained in that legislation.

My question is very simple. The future of this issue is in the hands of the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister table the bill before the House? When will he do it so we can debate, amend and vote on the clean air act, Bill C-30? When will he do it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before on numerous occasions, this government intends to bring forward the first full, complete, compulsory national regulation of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in Canada.

We will be doing that very shortly. This government will proceed in a way that will result in real reductions and will not harm the Canadian economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has to stop hiding behind bogus, irresponsible and incomplete reports that purport to suggest it is either jobs and the economy on the one hand or the environment on the other. That is simply wrong.

The greatest threat to our economy is the climate change crisis and it is time the Prime Minister understood it. Has he got the guts to bring Bill C-30, which was built by all parties of the House, before the House, and when will he do it?

If he has targets, let him bring them to the House so we can debate them and adopt them or change them. Will he have the courage to--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the real issue here is whether any of the opposition parties has the guts to face reality. The reality is this: we cannot reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one-third in less than four years and have a positive effect for the Canadian economy.

We will bring forward a plan that will result in real reductions in a reasonable timeframe, and it will result in long term growth for the Canadian economy. This party has no intention of doing anything that is going to destroy Canadian jobs or damage the health of this economy.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Anthony Ianiero deserves to know who killed his parents. Dr. Cheryl Everall and Kimberley Kim deserve to be cleared of the ludicrous Mexican charge that they are prime suspects in that heinous crime.

They are here today, trying yet again to get a little bit of help from the government. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs finally stand up for these Canadians and submit today a formal diplomatic protest with Mexican government officials over the botched Ianiero murder investigation and the framing of these two very innocent Canadian citizens?