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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the member that there are 11 countries beyond NATO in Afghanistan, all contributing to the security and a better life for Afghan people. We would encourage other countries to join the UN NATO-led effort to make the lives of Afghan people better in the future.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals began this mission and both the Conservatives and the Liberals have kept us there.

If over 500 Canadian reservists are headed to Kandahar next February, is this not an escalation? If it is not an escalation, then what is? The government's direction in Afghanistan seems clear. It wants to have a surge in forces, increasing combat and more firepower.

The question is, why is Canada going so far beyond what other NATO forces consider to be acceptable, despite what the minister said today?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the problem in Afghanistan is the Taliban. The hon. member's party is for withdrawing completely from Afghanistan now. If we did that, the Taliban would take over completely and they would enforce their murderous regime again, where women would have no rights, children would not go to school, cultural institutions would be destroyed, and in the soccer stadiums every week we would have public executions.

That party, the NDP, claims to be for human rights, and it is working in exactly the opposite way.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, news reports are suggesting that Canada is now calling up 500 reservists for combat duty in Afghanistan. Canadians are trying to understand what is happening with this mission.

Yesterday the Prime Minister had an opportunity to provide clarity to our troops, to Canadians and to our NATO allies. Instead, the Prime Minister chose to throw around insults rather than simply say that our troops will end their combat role in southern Afghanistan in February 2009.

Why will the government not tell us its real plan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our real plan is to make the lives of Afghan people better. It is to bring security and to improve development and governance. In all of those three areas there is steady progress. That is our real secret plan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, our troops have served honourably in Afghanistan for seven years and have carried out major combat operations over the past three years. We are committed to doing so until February 2009. Today, we have to give NATO a clear response concerning our future involvement so that an effective changing of the guard can take place.

The government must inform our allies immediately that we will cease combat operations in February 2009. What is it waiting for?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer clarity to the Afghan people. We are there beside them. We are helping them. We will try to make their lives better and offer security, more development and better governance.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, effective diplomacy, defence and development are essential to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people to achieve success in this mission.

The Conservative government is spending on development only one-tenth of the money it spends on defence. Why has the government failed our troops and the Afghan people so miserably by not providing the effective aid our troops need to achieve success in the south?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is very misplaced. In fact, the Minister of International Cooperation and I were in Afghanistan last week and we saw for ourselves. We met with the people we have helped.

The claim by the hon. member is not very factual and is very misleading. The people of Afghanistan are very happy and thankful for all of the work that Canada and the NATO countries are doing to help them.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, our troops are doing an outstanding job in southern Afghanistan, but the government is not supporting them with enough effective reconstruction aid on the ground in the areas of operation. We know this mission will not be successful unless there is enough aid deployed on the ground where the troops are.

Let us be more specific. How much aid has the government budgeted from now until 2009 in Kandahar?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I would prefer to talk about the $1.2 billion that we have promised to spend until 2011. Let us not cut it back to 2009. We know that reconstruction will last beyond 2009. That is a given.

These people and the democratically elected government of Afghanistan have asked for our help. We must help them.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Minister of Public Safety announced his intention to proceed with a review of the operations of Canada's correctional system. To conduct the review, he has appointed Ontario's former solicitor general, Rob Sampson, who was behind the first privatization of a Canadian prison.

Does the government not realize that by appointing this person to review the correctional system, it is introducing a bias to both the process and the conclusions of the inquiry?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this new government is committed to ensuring a fair and effective corrections system with a priority to protect Canadians. That is why, as promised, we are undertaking a review of our corrections system.

Mr. Sampson, the former minister of corrections for the Ontario government, will chair the panel and will be joined by four others. The terms of reference clearly exclude the consideration of the introduction of privately run penitentiaries.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, should we interpret the Minister of Public Safety's selection as an indicator of his true intention, which is to do the same thing with Canada's correctional system, that is, privatize it?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oxford Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that the member did not clearly understand what I said.

In addition to Mr. Sampson, members of that panel are: Serge Gascon; Ian Glen, Q.C.; Chief Clarence Louie, Oliver, B.C.; and Sharon Rosenfeldt.

More specifically in answer to his question, the terms of reference clearly exclude the consideration of the introduction of privately run penitentiaries.

FinanceOral Questions

April 20th, 2007 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, representatives from major Canadian banks appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance. I asked them if they were willing to make available their figures on their costs, prices and profit margins on ATM transactions. My question was met with a long, ominous silence.

Does the Minister of Finance agree with the Bloc Québécois that, unless they are provided with these figures, parliamentarians will not be able to do their jobs properly?

FinanceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the member has a problem with the banks, he had better talk to the banks. The fact of the matter is that this government has engaged in constructive dialogue with the banks on the subject of ATMs and the fees.

The banks have been very responsive. They have in fact guaranteed ATM access in colleges and universities. They have unveiled new accounts with lower or no fees for seniors and students. They have improved access for the disabled.

We are very pleased with that response. We believe it will benefit Canadians. That is the important thing.

FinanceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of doing advertising for the banks, the minister should consider this: the members will have to determine whether Parliament should legislate ATM fees. To make that determination, members of Parliament will need the cost, price and profit margin figures associated with these transactions.

Does the Minister of Finance intend to amend the Competition Act to require banks to submit figures to the Commissioner of Competition, thereby putting an end to the voluntary approach once and for all?

FinanceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we have made sure that competition and choice work for Canadians with respect to banking fees of ATMs. I encourage consumers to compare packages and services offered by the major banks by visiting the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, where they will see information that will be helpful to them.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister on an issue that I hope he will take very seriously. Thousands of jobs have been lost, local economies devastated, and forestry workers and their families are running out of time and options.

The Leader of the Opposition has shown leadership. He has called for a national forestry summit to bring stakeholders together, to work together, and to address this crisis together.

Will the Prime Minister stand up for our forest communities and workers by calling for a national forestry summit now? We need the Prime Minister to take leadership on this urgent crisis.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I might remind this House that we have the opportunity, and we actually had the opportunity yesterday, to meet with the Americans and discuss this.

The only reason that we can actually sit down and have a conversation about this is because of the softwood lumber agreement that was put together by this government. If we did not have that in place, we would be back in litigation. I know that is where the Liberals would like to take us, to tear up that agreement and go back to litigation. What does that do for our industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, forestry workers need answers now. We are witnessing the rapid decline of the Conservative softwood lumber deal with the U.S. The seven year deal is actually probably a seven month deal. Export charges now exceed the previous U.S. duties. No wonder the forest industry is worse off now than before this ill-fated deal was signed.

With thousands of jobs lost, an industry in crisis and a trade deal that the U.S. is abandoning before the ink is dry, will the Prime Minister call for a national forestry summit now? My leader has. Why not the Prime Minister?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, we will take that under advisement, but let me tell the member that we are hearing support from all of the provinces that supported that agreement. They are working with their local industries. There are more people employed than there would have been under a Liberal-suggested softwood lumber agreement that never did take place, with 20 years of litigation.

We have industry that is employed. We have an agreement that is in place. We have a consultation that is taking place.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, now that independent economists have finally been allowed to see all the budget information from the finance department, they too are coming to some very negative conclusions for Nova Scotia.

An economics professor at Acadia University has concluded that this budget will cost the province $1 billion. This is not the rosy picture the government had painted. This broken promise will have real effects in Nova Scotia for years to come.

The Prime Minister has deliberately and purposely broken his promise to Nova Scotia. What negotiations are under way now with Premier MacDonald to fix this broken trust?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, of course the member is deliberately wrong. He knows very well that the government fully and completely honoured the Atlantic accord with Nova Scotia and will continue to honour that accord, by the way, until the expiry of the agreement.

There is a new formula for equalization that in fact enriches Nova Scotia even more. We have allowed the province to opt into that new system at its choice and still go back to the accord next year. The member knows we have been more than fair and have kept every promise we have made to Nova Scotia.