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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, let me read for the member opposite so he will clearly understand. This is from the affidavit:

—as Colonel Noonan's affidavit indicates, there were no specific complaints received from CF members, humanitarian agencies, detainees or former detainees to the CF...

Therefore, it is very clear. What we are seeing consistently is an effort by members opposite to distort, to stir up, to misrepresent what went on. The invention of a scandal on the other side of the House is not cutting it. Canadians are not buying it, particularly from the member.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no service at the number you have dialed.

Our brave soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan and the Conservatives in Ottawa are passing the buck. Foreign affairs denied existence of a report setting out allegations of torture. It is the lawyers' fault. The Minister of National Defence was contradicted by the Prime Minister about the existence of a new agreement. It is foreign affairs' fault. And do not forget the Minister of Public Safety who blames everybody except himself.

We have finger pointing instead of leadership, misleading instead of honesty. When will the Prime Minister put the troops ahead of them and clean up his own mess?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, unlike members opposite, we always put Canadian soldiers ahead of a government agenda. We put them first and foremost, central in our foreign policy, central in everything we do right now to ensure they get their work done. I want to credit the Minister of National Defence for having done his part to ensure that those men and women in uniform are getting the support the need.

When it comes to support, I want to quote the member opposite, whom I was with at a NATO meeting just last week, when he said in reference to the mission in Afghanistan:

I was part of the government when at first we decided to go to Kabul...and then we went to Kandahar...we support, of course, our government in that mission.

What happened to that support?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the French election campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a carbon tax on products from countries that do not comply with the Kyoto protocol. Yesterday, in his speech, France's new president confirmed that global warming will be his first priority.

Does the Minister of the Environment realize that by turning his back on the Kyoto protocol and helping big oil companies, he could end up penalizing all Canadian exporters, especially Quebec exporters who account for 40% of Canada's exports to France?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear: we have not turned our backs on the Kyoto protocol. We are still part of the Kyoto protocol and we will work very hard to reduce greenhouse gases.

I would like to congratulate France's new president. I do not know whom the opposition leader voted for, but we are all looking forward to working with the new president.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to a survey, 92% of Albertans believe that oil companies should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, 70% reject the Conservatives' intensity targets in favour of absolute targets. Quebeckers agree.

Is the government aware that the only ones who support his phony plan based on intensity targets are the oil companies and that the people, the scientists and the manufacturers are against his plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I told my colleague from Quebec very clearly, we have absolute numbers for absolute reductions in greenhouse gases.

I know that having a government that wants absolute reductions is a new thing here in the House of Commons.

We are ready to act and we have a real plan to reduce greenhouse gases, which is something that has not happened since the Bloc Québécois first came to the House of Commons.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the Department of National Defence responded to Colonel Noonan's testimony, saying that the prisoner who was tortured and then recaptured had only been interrogated by Canadian soldiers in the beginning, but that he was arrested by the Afghan police. In short, Canada is tossing the hot potato, rather than assuming its responsibilities.

Does this admission by National Defence not illustrate the government's hypocrisy in the Afghan prisoner file, regardless of the conclusion of a new agreement?

There were, and still are, two kinds of prisoners: those transferred after being interrogated by Canada, and those transferred immediately to Afghan authorities.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, what the hon. member is saying is not correct.

What we have here clearly is a case of a detainee who was not in Canadian custody. He was arrested by Afghan police. Canadian soldiers did the responsible thing. They saw what was taking place. They acted in a humanitarian way to intervene, and he was later placed in Afghan custody again. This is something for which Canadian soldiers should be commended.

What we have in place now is a new system that will work better. It has been commended by others. It has taken the best of other countries' systems and incorporated them into one that will work extremely well to protect detainees.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government may say that this agreement solves all the problems, but its obligation, as the government, is to ensure that the agreement does so. There is a double standard here.

Does the government plan to take the necessary measures and ensure that, from now on, all prisoners are protected by the new agreement, in accordance with the Geneva convention, as they should be?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we have done when it comes to the responsibility of Canadian Forces. If it is Afghan forces, then the Afghan forces will follow their procedures. Clearly that is the situation.

We want to encourage the Afghan government to do everything possible to live up to its expectations. Canada as well has taken steps now to ensure that the new arrangement will enhance our capacity to track those prisoners, to see that the Afghans live up to those expectations.

This has been something that has been commended by other countries, that will be studied by other countries and I suspect that it will be modelled by other countries.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is continuing with his lame excuses and questionable practices.

We learned this morning that the minister did not voluntarily disclose all travel expenses. This is even more disconcerting because we suspect that the minister travels by private air service between his riding and Ottawa at taxpayers' expense.

Why is the minister not more transparent? Does this concept apply to everyone except Conservative ministers?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I have already stated that all expenses of the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec have been published in full for all to read.

There is a difference. Not only did he spend less than his Liberal counterparts, but it seems to be almost across the board.

During the last year of the Liberal government, the treasury board president's expenses were 426% higher than the expenses of our President of the Treasury Board during his first year. The expenses of the Liberal human resources ministers were 526% higher in their last year than our Conservative minister in her first year. It seems—

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hull--Aylmer.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us look at a concrete example.

On Friday, May 4, the minister was seen on Parliament Hill at noon. At 2:30 p.m., he was at a press conference in Saint-Félix-d'Otis in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. He had less than two and one half hours to travel more than 700 kilometres.

Will the minister voluntarily disclose his travel expenses for that trip? Do we need to file an access to information request or will the minister be transparent? Will he accept his responsibilities and make a true voluntary statement?

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I will slowly repeat my statement for the minister responsible for Shane Doan: all expenses, absolutely all expenses, incurred by the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec have been published on the website. It is good reading.

It is more interesting reading. Guess what? It is less than his Liberal predecessors, and I could keep going. The expenses of the Liberal ministers of health in their last year were 289% more than a Conservative Minister of Health in his first year.

I would be happy to continue going through all the expenses. This would make for very good reading for a government that finally takes accountability and taxpayer dollars seriously.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

May 7th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minority Conservative government is again showing its true colours. According to the Conservatives' own Federal Accountability Act, all public opinion research must be deposited with Library and Archives Canada.

We now know that a $117,000 research project, which should have been listed by March, still does not appear in public records.

Why is it that when it comes to the Conservative government and accountability, it is always do as I say, not do as I do?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite right that under the Federal Accountability Act all public opinion research must be disclosed. We have directed that it be disclosed immediately, and it is being provided today to Library and Archives Canada. She can read it all to her heart's content.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, just for the record, the Liberals have been doing that for over a decade.

While a minority Conservative government hired a separatist to lead a redundant investigation through its invisible, unelected Senator Fortier into polling commissioned by previous governments, the Prime Minister failed to disclose his own public opinion research conducted within ethnic communities this past year.

Why, oh why, does the Prime Minister insist on hiding behind the facade of accountability?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member did not hear my answer to the question. It is all being provided to the Library today. She can read it all. There is nothing to be hidden at all.

It is very different than the kind of contracts that were given under the Liberal government to Liberal sympathetic pollsters, people who continued to give tremendous support to the member for LaSalle—Émard during his time in finance. It was something that was worthy of an inquiry. That is what the Auditor General said.

The members do not hear the Auditor General complaining about our practices because we are cleaning up the mess and the way politics were practised by the Liberal Party while in government.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Asia Pacific gateway and corridor initiative is designed to enhance Canada's access to Asian markets. The goal is to have the best transportation network facilitating global supply chains between North America and Asia.

Last week the Prime Minister was in B.C. announcing further investment in this initiative.

Could the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway update the House on this announcement?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that the Prime Minister was in British Columbia last Friday. He gave a tremendous, strategic and compelling speech on our vision of global commerce, on the Asia Pacific gateway and corridor strategy.

The Prime Minister reiterated over a billion dollars in capital commitments to the Asia Pacific gateway and corridor strategy.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, working families are facing rising gas prices at the pump. At the same time, oil companies are raking in record profits at the expense of consumers.

The Competition Bureau is totally ineffective in this measure. It does not have the power to stop gas prices from rising and it does not have the backbone to tell the big oil industry that Canadians are sick and tired of being hosed at the pumps.

There have been six investigations and zero results. After six failures, it is time to get serious about this and have a full-blown public inquiry.

Why would the government not move on a public inquiry? It is what is needed right now for consumers in our country.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, what is truly amazing is that the NDP continues to support the Liberal environment plan. Everyone knows that under that plan gas prices would rise from $1.70 to $2 a litre. Independent economist Mark Jaccard said that gas prices could rise as much as 60% under the Liberal plan.

Why are NDP members being hypocrites, trying to pretend they are concerned, when in fact they are advocating for $2 a litre gasoline?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. What we have been calling for is accountability for consumers.

The government's Minister of Industry's briefing book identifies that the Competition Act is deficient. In fact, it was based on an analysis done in 1969. That is when we had the Woodstock festival. How can consumers be protected if the government is looking at a system that has not been updated in 40 years?

The briefing book also identifies that resources have not kept pace. Enforcement is not there to meet the need and the speed has been diminished.

Who are those members protecting by not updating the Competition Act?