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House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Corporate TakeoversOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess it was lost in translation, or as usual he is lost on the economy, but the issue is foreign takeovers.

These are important and that is why, in deference to the Prime Minister, we offered to stop calling it the Liberal plan on foreign takeovers and instead call it the Gwyn Morgan plan. There is a broad consensus across the land that what we need is not a return to protectionism but an urgent review of the Investment Canada Act to make sure we have the best tools to do what is best for Canada in the 21st century.

Will the government adopt the Gwyn Morgan plan for an urgent review of the Investment Canada Act?

Corporate TakeoversOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I could understand if the member opposite did not read the budget after it was presented, but it is now more than two months since March 19. If he bothers to read the budget, he will see that the government is appointing a committee to report to the Minister of Industry on competitiveness, including the issue to which he makes reference. He should get with the program and read the budget.

AfricaOral Questions

June 11th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, as with the Kyoto protocol, the Prime Minister is repudiating Canada's signature by not honouring the commitments made for humanitarian aid in Africa.

The Prime Minister may boast that his government is on track towards keeping its promises, but we know that Canada's contribution for 2010 should double the current amounts, which means it should be $2 billion instead of $1 billion. Oxfam Canada said this is just not enough, and so have all international observers.

Will the Prime Minister honour the commitments he has already made concerning aid to Africa?

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister clearly indicated last week, Canada is on track to honouring its commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2008-09. No matter what the hon. member says, the Financial Times recently reported that Canada is the only G-8 country that is on track to meet its Gleneagles commitments.

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the minister's remarks, there is still a long way to go. According to Oxfam Canada, Canada spends less on AIDS than the average of the other countries, in relation to the size of our economy. We are talking about people who really need our help.

Will the federal government keep its word and reach the targeted 0.7% of its GDP in international assistance, as it promised for the achievement of the millennium development goals?

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the hon. member. Our government always honours its commitments. The Prime Minister

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Minister of International Cooperation has the floor. We have to be able to hear her response.

AfricaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Josée Verner Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we are doubling aid to Africa by 2008-09 and we will be doubling all international aid by 2010-11. We have taken these measures and included them in the budget.

As for HIV-AIDS, the government already announced a number of initiatives, including a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and another partnership worth $120 million, announced last December.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the media have been reporting that 40% of the contracts awarded by the Department of National Defence are awarded without competitive bidding. This is twice as many as two years ago. Despite claims by the government, emergencies and Afghanistan do not justify this way of doing things. We know that the Minister of National Defence is a former lobbyist, so one has to wonder to whom the minister is looking to give an advantage.

Should such a questionable choice for awarding defence contracts be blamed on favouritism or the incompetence of the minister?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the member brought up the subject of procurement because we are quite proud of our procurement. Our government is committed to rebuilding the armed forces and day by day we are doing that.

Since we have been in power we have acquired additional guns for the artillery and additional Nyala armoured vehicles for the infantry. We have ordered strategic airlift. We have ordered tactical airlift and medium to heavy helicopters. We have ordered 2,300 commercial and military trucks. We have ordered supply ships and tanks.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are always in a hurry to help out their buddies, but when it comes to, for example, respecting Quebec's 55% share of the aerospace industry, we are handed a line about the free market.

If the minister really wants to leave things to the market, why does he not accept the offer of Airbus, which says it can invest 55% of the spin-offs in Quebec and which would also save taxpayers $2 billion?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of re-equipping our military because it is needed, after 13 long years of Liberal government cuts. We needed to re-equip our military. We are in the process of doing just that, using open procedures that respect all the jurisdictions and accountability legislation.

Everything we are doing is in the best interests of Canadians and our military.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Minister of Foreign Affairs was once again forced to admit that his testimony before a joint committee on the Afghan detainee scandal was not entirely accurate.

The minister claimed that I was confused last week when I told him that the number of alleged cases of torture did not correspond to what he was saying. It is clear that he is the one who was confused. He now admits that not four, but indeed six alleged cases of torture were identified.

How many times have the three amigos of defence, foreign affairs and public safety misled the House without facing the consequences?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I was crystal clear then, as I will be now, in stating that there were four complaints that were received by Canadian officials after the enhanced agreement of May 3. There were two prior to that. There is no misunderstanding whatsoever. The only confusion that exists on this file is in the mind of the member opposite.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems he is the only one who thinks that.

The deception, cover-ups and misinformation that come from the government are a slap in the face to our soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan. The time has come to stop misleading and come clean with the Canadian people.

Between 2002 and April 2006 we know that Canadian troops transferred 40 detainees. How many of these Afghan detainees alleged torture and abuse by the Afghan authorities, and how many since?

What is the government's plan to deal with the Afghan detainees captured and transferred by our troops if they allege that they were tortured by the Afghan authorities? Canadians deserve the truth. Where is the plan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the plan obviously consists of improving upon the shortcomings that were left by the government opposite.

We signed a new enhanced agreement. There have been since that time four allegations which we have passed on to Afghan authorities. We have involved the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission as well as the Red Cross. Prior to that we had received two.

We are following this improved process that provides for greater transparency and openness. This is exactly what we have attempted to do from the very beginning, unlike the member opposite who is continuing to spin out misinformation that is not in keeping with the truth. That is what the hon. member opposite is doing. We are dealing with it in a truthful fashion.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat, last week the Minister of Public Safety said that four allegations of detainee torture had come to light in Afghanistan. The Minister of Foreign Affairs said there were six in total. His staff had to clarify it twice later on.

Is any one of them right? Do they even know which one of them is correct, if at all? Which of these ministers is actually in charge of this important issue of detainee torture?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I will speak slowly so the member opposite will understand. There were four, plus two, which equals six.

I would like to point out that since the signing of the new enhanced agreement just a month ago, in addition to the visits, Canada has worked with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. We have worked with the government of Afghanistan, including conducting workshops on human rights as well as working with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to set up a human rights mandate for Afghanistan organizations.

We are making great progress in that regard. The member opposite is trying to cast aspersions and trying to bring some kind of misunderstanding. He is not helping our efforts in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we have seen in the bungling on the detainee torture issue, no minister appears to be in charge of this file. We know from the foreign affairs department's own report that torture is all too common in Afghanistan and corruption is rampant in that country. TV stations are raided by the attorney general for being critical of him.

Under these circumstances, could the Prime Minister guarantee that detainee torture allegations will be vigorously and independently investigated?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Well of course, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing in working closely with Afghan officials. We have our ambassador to Afghanistan, Arif Lalani, working explicitly on issues such as this with the Afghanistan government.

We have taken steps to deal with these allegations. We are continuing to work closely with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission as well as the Red Cross. Unlike the members opposite, we are not just talking about these things, we are actually doing something to improve the lives of Afghans.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, day after day the Liberals and the NDP feign indignation and pretend to care about action on climate change and the environment. But here is an inconvenient truth. While Liberals and the NDP talk about action on climate change, their irresponsible actions in the House speak louder. Those very same Liberal and NDP members are actively delaying the budget implementation bill and billions of dollars to clean and protect the environment.

Could the Minister of the Environment tell Canadians what critical environmental funding is endangered because of silly Liberal and NDP political games? What environmental action are they trying to delay?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as usual I will just give the facts.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order. I know there is a lot of enthusiasm for facts in question period and if we are going to get some from the Minister of the Environment we have to have some order so that we can hear. The hon. Minister of the Environment has the floor.