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House of Commons Hansard #160 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drug.

Topics

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the family did exactly as they were told by DND. The minister has to accept this responsibility.

The most troubling aspect of this situation is that the Minister of National Defence chose to blame his officials rather than accepting responsibility. The soldiers' families deserve much better than that.

Will the Prime Minister immediately ask for the resignation of this disgraced minister?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said previously, when I took office last year I directed that families receive full compensation for normal funeral and burial costs. Through some anomaly, a few families may not have received full compensation. I have asked the CDS to ensure that all families are contacted and that they receive full compensation.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Judge Grenier admitted that his mandate over Option Canada did not allow him to investigate federal expenses because he had no jurisdiction to do so. He therefore did not know how the love-in was paid for.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister kept saying he wanted to turn the page on the Option Canada scandal even though it was so very important to him to get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal two years ago.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to call a public inquiry into the Option Canada affair, when Judge Grenier's report clearly shows that the Referendum Act was violated in 1995 because of federal funding?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, compliance with provincial law is a provincial concern. The provincial government launched an inquiry, which resulted in a report and the facts are known. In the meantime, as far as federal expenses are concerned, we have received reports from the Auditor General. The former government launched the Gomery inquiry. We received Mr. Gomery's report and we are following through on his findings. Furthermore, we launched an inquiry on other issues raised by the Auditor General that go beyond the Gomery inquiry with the Paillé inquiry.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is reminding us that he hired Daniel Paillé to investigate polls commissioned by the federal government between 1990 and 2003. Yesterday the story was that 1995, 12 years ago, was too long ago. In my books, 1995 is not as long ago as 1990.

Will the Prime Minister admit that when it is a Liberal scandal we absolutely must get to the bottom of things and when it is a federal scandal it needs to be stifled at all cost?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that it is not the intention of this government to protect the former Liberal government. However, the reality is that everything has been investigated or is currently being investigated and that this government abolished the Canadian Unity Council and Option Canada as soon as it came into power. This is a new government and a new era and the Bloc Québécois should stop living in the past.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this sounds a lot like the former Liberal prime ministers.

Judge Grenier concluded his report with these words, “The evidence presented before me did not enable me to determine the funding source for the October 27 rally in downtown Montreal”.

Does it make sense to the Prime Minister that the funding source that paid for one of the federalist forces' biggest events, the Montreal love-in during the 1995 referendum, in violation of Quebec law, remains unknown?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister indicated, the Auditor General shed some light on this, and the former government launched an inquiry under Justice Gomery. Furthermore, our government appointed Mr. Paillé to investigate the polls and cast some light on that issue.

We believe that we have done everything that needs to be done with respect to this issue and that we can now move on. We will continue to deliver the goods for Quebec.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the Prime Minister is refusing to hold a public inquiry on actions taken during the Montreal love-in because it was not only the federal Liberals who violated the Referendum Act, but also the Conservatives and the New Democrats, who are all federalists?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can understand—

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I can see that there are a lot of discussions going on in the House, but they will have to wait until later because the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is speaking. He has the floor.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Conservative Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that our Bloc Québécois friends are determined to keep bringing up the past.

This government is focused on the future. As we said yesterday and today, relationships between the provinces and territories and the federal government have never been as good as they are now.

Furthermore, we have settled a number of latent issues that we inherited from the former government. We are settling those issues.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has lost a quarter of a million jobs in the manufacturing industry. We are in a true crisis. Many well-paid jobs are disappearing every day. The gap between rich and poor is growing. We have no policy in place to counterbalance the rising dollar, which is negatively affecting our manufacturing industry. There is no policy in place to stop the fire sale of our economic jewels.

Why is the Prime Minister so eager to replace good jobs with McJobs?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, despite the difficulties seen in certain sectors, we currently have the lowest unemployment rate in nearly four decades. As for the manufacturing industry, this government provided major incentives in its recent budget. That budget was welcomed by the manufacturing industry. The New Democratic Party should stop obstructing the budget and the benefits it brings to that industry.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

The fact is, Mr. Speaker, we are losing 150 jobs in the manufacturing sector every single day. Yet we have no action on foreign takeovers, no action on the high dollar, no action on fair trade that would protect Canadian jobs, and no buy Canadian policy. There is no policy at all when it comes to our industry. That is just like the previous government.

We can understand the booing that went on today. The fact is that a quarter of a million workers have lost their jobs and across this country their families are in tears.

Why is the Prime Minister not listening to them instead of the boys on Bay Street? Where is the policy?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, despite those difficulties, the fact of the matter is that we do have a lot of job creation in this country and we do have the lowest unemployment rate in nearly four decades.

At the same time, we recognize the difficulty for the manufacturing sector. The budget contains important incentives for the manufacturing sector. The budget was extremely well received by the manufacturing sector. The NDP should stop blocking the budget and stop blocking those benefits for the manufacturing sector.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

May 30th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday of this week the Minister of National Defence, in response to a question regarding funeral expense compensation to the families of our fallen soldiers, replied that his department had paid the full costs for troops killed in Afghanistan.

Today the parents of Corporal Matthew Dinning went public with the truth on this matter.

Will the minister today rise in his place and simply apologize to all affected families for his misrepresentation of the facts or will he continue to show contempt for such a personal and private matter?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think if you check the record, you will see that I did not say that they all got full compensation. I said that I directed that they all get full compensation. If there are any anomalies, the chief of defence staff is going to ensure that all families are contacted to make sure that everyone gets proper compensation.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, that minister can then produce the document proving that direction, here and now in this House of Commons.

The Dinning family is here today. However, the family should not have to come to Ottawa with cap in hand to look after something that our soldiers clearly deserve. Their son gave his life for this country. Paying for the funeral should have been very obvious.

However, the defence minister chose to mislead this House and today, at a hastily arranged press conference, he tried to cover up his incompetence and transfer the blame to DND officials.

Why do the Conservatives move to correct their bungling only when their incompetence and misleading statements finally catch up with them?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, no less an authority than the chief of defence staff has confirmed that these in fact are the government's instructions. They have been his instructions to the Department of National Defence.

At the same time, there have been payments made to this family. There also has been some discussion with this family, I understand, about what payments are reasonable. As I say, that is not an appropriate matter for the House of Commons. That can be resolved between officials and the family.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, consider this. The Dinning family, who are upright, honest people, lost a son in Afghanistan and are still deeply mourning their loss. A devoted mother is trying to come to terms with the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy. Yet these people are forced to drive eight hours to come here and put their private life on display, because their honour and integrity is being questioned, thanks to the Minister of National Defence, who also misled the House. Again this week, it appears that everything has been resolved to preserve the honour of the families of our troops.

I call on the Minister of National Defence to accept his responsibilities and immediately step down.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we look after families and we look after soldiers. It was my direction that all families get compensated fully for normal funeral expenses.

If, through some anomaly, some families did not get that compensation, the chief of defence staff will be ensuring that all families are contacted to ensure that they get their full compensation.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is so easy to say that we are sorry. The family is here. It is the Prime Minister who should say to them that we are sorry.

This morning the Dinning family shared their sorrow and frustration with the inaction of the government in paying the funeral costs of their fallen son. They said they felt that the government had attacked their integrity and honour.

No family should go through this kind of indignity because of a government minister. The worst part was to see that minister play the blame game and orchestrate a very bad crisis management strategy at the last minute, almost as an afterthought. Enough is enough. We want the minister to resign immediately.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again. We take the greatest care possible with soldiers and their families.

If there were some anomalies where some families did not get full compensation, we are going to be making sure that they do. I have asked the CDS to contact families to ensure that they get all the proper normal funeral and burial costs.