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House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of National Defence is a veteran of the Canadian Forces. He has served this country courageously in uniform for 32 years. When the Leader of the Opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country, then I will care about his opinion of the performance of the Minister of National Defence.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cannot remember the Prime Minister's service record.

On Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs foolishly called for the Russians to return to Afghanistan. He is the one responsible for our diplomacy.

On Tuesday, the Minister of International Cooperation declared that the Afghan people do not eat flour. She is the woman responsible for development.

This week, the Minister of National Defence has stumbled from one mistake to the other. He is the man responsible for defence.

Is it not time that the Prime Minister brought this triple crown of incompetence to an end?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will just say that it is true I have never served in the armed forces. I consider that an experience that I have missed in my life, but I can say that I have always lived and worked and paid my taxes in this country.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker--

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We seem to be having a lot of noise today. I would urge hon. members to restrain themselves. The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore has the floor.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can all play these silly games about who is the better Canadian. If they seriously believe that someone who has contributed to this country outside and come back to Canada is less of a Canadian, they should get up and say that to two million Canadians who live and work overseas.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member's time has expired. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister stated the following in the House in connection with Option Canada: “the reality is that everything has been investigated”. Yet Justice Grenier has, in fact, said that he did not have jurisdiction to examine federal expenses, such as the love-in, within his mandate to investigate Option Canada.

If everything has been investigated, can the Prime Minister tell us who financed the love-in and how much it cost? Justice Grenier and his team of forensic accountants do not even know this themselves. But the Prime Minister has investigated and he knows. Could he tell us?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General is responsible for examining federal expenses. To date, the Government of Canada has followed through on all of the Auditor General's findings and those of the Gomery commission and the inquiry by Mr. Paillé. Once again, everything has been investigated or is currently being investigated.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, everything, that is, except the Montreal love-in, except the $20 million in 1995 for the Canadian unity fund, a fund we were told did not exist and had been done away with. Something that did not exist had been done away with. Now we've seen everything.

So $20 million was used during the referendum period, either prior to it or during it, but the Prime Minister says it has been looked into. He should know. If he has all the information, then let him give it to us, in total transparency. We want to know. The Prime Minister knows, so let him tell us.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Justice Grenier investigated this matter of expenses during the referendum, with the full cooperation of the federal government. The leader of the Bloc is referring to the 1995 rally in Montreal. It was attended by Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, Canadians who believe in their country and have the right to believe in their country, despite what the Bloc Québécois thinks.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister has just said is that they have the right to break the law in the name of Canadian unity. Is that it?

We know that the federal government spent $31 million during the year of the referendum for projects related to Canadian unity. In his inquiry into Option Canada, Justice Grenier found explanations for $11 million, so there is still $20 million as yet without explanation.

While we know that federal funds were used to violate Quebec legislation, no one in this government is capable of telling us what those millions of dollars were used for. Let them tell us, then—

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, we can see that the Bloc Québécois is desperately trying to hang on to some minor issues. The fact is that the Auditor General of Canada investigated the matter. Justice Grenier had the opportunity to call everyone involved. He did so and he concluded that he could not go any further. Everything has been said about this issue. We on this side are being insulted because we defend our country, but we are proud to defend Canada.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable that a former Quebec MNA, who is now in the service of Canada, would accept the fact that Quebec law was violated.

Contrary to what the minister said, this is not a minor issue but, rather, a very serious matter.

Does the Prime Minister agree that basic decency calls for a public inquiry? If, as he claims, everything was investigated, then let him tell us what that money was used for.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have been a member of the Quebec National Assembly and to have acted as its deputy speaker. I am very proud to have been a member of the government of Robert Bourassa, as was also one of my female colleagues here.

I am not going to take any lectures from Bloc Québécois members, and particularly from the member who just put the question and who never sat in the National Assembly.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

May 31st, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the disgraceful outbursts that we have just witnessed in this House serve neither soldier nor citizen.

Two days ago, a majority of members voted in this House to get things going, to purify the air, to fight climate change, to clean the air and to improve the health of our citizens, and to reintroduce the clean air and climate change bill in this House for debate and for a vote.

When will the Prime Minister do it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard this past year to resolve the problem of climate change here in Canada with good initiatives such as industry regulation.

For the first time in the history of Canada, we are taking action, something that never happened in the last 13 long years.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is showing contempt for this Parliament and, worse, the Prime Minister, by his lack of action, pursuant to the direction of this House, is showing total disrespect for the very principles for which he claimed to stand not too long ago.

On April 13, 2005, after a motion had been adopted in this House, the current Prime Minister said at the time that “the Prime Minister has the moral responsibility to respect the will of the House”.

Will the Prime Minister now accept his moral responsibility and bring forward the legislation this--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, harmful greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise year after year in this country. Climate change is having a huge effect on this country.

I believe this government has a moral responsibility to act and we are acting. We are acting in a major way. For the first time in this country we will see an absolute 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, something that we never saw in the last 13 years.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the incompetence of the Minister of National Defence is no longer in question. It is a proven fact.

How the Conservative government can stand behind the minister while he hides facts, misleads Parliament and spends most of his day doing damage control is beyond any reasonable Canadian.

He says that he issued a directive on the funeral costs of fallen soldiers in February, or last year, or maybe it was last December.

Will the minister table the proof that he ordered his department to cover the full cost of military funerals or will he admit that he cannot table something that does not actually exist?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House a number of times, I directed last year that full funeral costs be given to families according to the normal funeral requirements and that if these amounts exceeded the current guidelines that they were to receive compensation, and that is our policy.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he does not want to table it.

General Raymond Henault, the first Canadian in 30 years to chair the NATO Military Committee, appeared before our committee this morning.

Interestingly enough, he stated that Canada's image would not be tarnished if it were to go ahead with a rotation of our troops in Afghanistan in February 2009, that it is not unusual and that NATO understands when countries make this decision. Rotation is in order.

Now that his claims have been debunked, why is the Prime Minister not respecting his own deadline of February 2009? Why not consider the rotation of our troops, which is considered normal by NATO and not as abandonment, as his propaganda implies?