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House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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 notice that leader will not even answer a question about his senators' conduct. They have brazenly launched a resolution that represents a real danger to Canadian democracy.

If passed, it would allow the Senate to refuse to deal with any government legislation. It irrigates to the Senate a power to compel references to the Supreme Court, something not even allowed the House of Commons. This is all to avoid losing their entitlements through Senate reform.

I ask the Liberal leader, will he direct his senators to respect the Constitution? Is there any leadership in the Liberal Party prepared to stand up for Canada's Constitution?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the G-8 the Prime Minister made empty commitments on the world stage to conceal his lack of leadership here at home. Like a child crossing his fingers behind his back, the Prime Minister committed to stabilize emissions overseas while his plan at home would allow emissions to continue to rise beyond 2020. And he hopes no one will notice.

Why has the Prime Minister continued this campaign of dishonesty on the world stage? And why did he join this rush to failure at the G-8?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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 think the G-8 is quite proud of what it has declared and we are quite proud of being seen as leaders by the G-8.

However, I was hoping that when he stood there might be a leader there in the Liberal Party willing to stand up for Canada's Constitution against the senators' efforts to brazenly amend Canada's Constitution unilaterally.

This member is also an academic with a distinguished record, like his leader. They both know how the Constitution works. They both profess to be defenders of the Constitution. And now we are having a brazen usurpation of constitutional power by the Senate to protect their entitlements.

Will they, for once, stand up for democracy and protect Canadian democracy and the Canadian Constitution?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the House leader makes reference to my academic experience and he has as well. He will understand that he has just engaged in a non sequitur. It is not an answer to the question he was asked.

The German chancellor called for global action, but instead—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the German chancellor called for global action, but instead, everyone agreed to do nothing. There are no targets, no limits on temperature increases, no mention of 1990 reference levels, and therefore no leadership.

Why did our Prime Minister contribute to this weak compromise?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 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 guess nobody there in the Liberal Party is willing to show any kind of leadership on Canada's Constitution, but I will tell the House who is showing leadership. It is our Prime Minister at the G-8, leadership that has been recognized in a G-8 declaration which says that Canada has a leading position that should be given regard for in terms of long term commitments.

What did Angela Merkel, who is president of the G-8 meetings and president of the EU, say right now? Merkel said that the goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050. She hailed the decision as a huge success.

Everybody but the Liberal Party says this is a great success. I guess that is because the Liberals do not know what a success is. That is because they had--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week Judge Grenier said there were still a number of grey areas around the role the federal government played during the 1995 referendum campaign. In fact, yesterday Chuck Guité revealed the existence of a pamphlet promoting the no side that was supposed to be distributed to all the homes in Quebec during the 1995 referendum period. We still do not know how much that pamphlet cost.

Will the government admit that a public inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of how federal public funding was used for partisan purposes during the 1995 referendum?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is coming back to something that happened 12 years ago. It is important to realize that we do not live in the past; we live for the future. We are offering an open federalism and we want it to work. We want the federation to work: a better Quebec within a united Canada.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same government that thinks that 12 years ago was too long ago, is holding an inquiry into polls that were conducted in 1990. If it wants to have open federalism, then it should open an inquiry.

Chuck Guité told us that he made several return trips between Montreal and Ottawa in order to distribute promotional material at the love-in. These expenses were never accounted for, which is against the referendum legislation.

What is the government waiting for to launch a public inquiry? Is it afraid of also being mixed into the referendum scandal?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is important to realize that on January 23, 2006, Quebeckers voted for change. Why? Because there is hope for the future. We are talking here about open federalism. We are talking about a Quebec that is recognized as a nation within a united Canada. We are talking about a seat at UNESCO. We are getting things done, not rehashing the past.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Chuck Guité told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that undeclared expenditures had been made during the 1995 referendum campaign. Flags, pins, various promotional items that were not declared, as well as travel on the very day of the famous “love-in”, which he organized, are all expenses that were not looked into by Justice Grenier.

Given that the Prime Minister tells us that everything has been investigated, can he tell us if he was aware of these facts?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, this government is looking to the future: there is hope for a better Quebec in a united Canada. Questions about the sponsorship scandal should be directed to the Liberal Party. Here, we have hope, we have open federalism and we want federalism to work.

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Guité also acknowledged that millions of copies of a brochure had been printed and paid for by the Privy Council and the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat.

Given that Daniel Paillé is already probing polls carried out between 1990 and 2003, why not change his mandate so that he can also conduct a public inquiry into federal expenditures before, during and after the referendum period?

Daniel Paillé is already at work. Could he not investigate this even though it happened 17 years ago?

Option CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeSecretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain: the results of the latest provincial election show that the vast majority of Quebeckers do not want a referendum. Why? Because we have open federalism, because we have recognized the fiscal imbalance and because we have solved it. It is important to understand that.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, reports out of Germany show that the Prime Minister has failed as a mediator within the G-8 leaders.

What we see now is a watered down commitment that amounts to nothing more than something cooked up by George Bush and served up by our Prime Minister. What our Prime Minister should have been doing is working to convince George Bush and the Americans to adopt higher targets and goals, and standards preferred by the Europeans and other countries, and by Canadians instead of watering it down.

Why is the Prime Minister helping George Bush export his bad ideas instead of importing—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the government House leader.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 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, leadership on the environment means making the environment better in a serious way and not just having a holier than thou position.

For us to survive in the long term on this planet, we have to have the major emitters that are creating greenhouse gases part of the solution. That means we have to bring them in.

Canada, as a recent convert to actually taking action on the environment, is well positioned to serve as a bridge, to serve as a mediator, and that is exactly what has happened at the G-8. That is why we have a declaration that sets a global goal for emissions reductions in the process. We have agreed today to involve all major emitters. We will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan, which include at least--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

AfricaOral Questions

June 7th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Conservative government is scared of adopting real firm targets on these issues because of its friends in the corporate oil and gas sector, and its friends at the White House.

More disturbing, or at least equally disturbing, are the reports coming out now that Canada is trying to water down the commitment to Africa to deal with the HIV-AIDS crisis there. Instead of adopting the firm targets and goals that are needed to reduce the suffering in Africa, our government is trying to come up with just general language, no longer committing us to getting the job done.

Why is the Prime Minister turning his back on Africa?

AfricaOral Questions

2:30 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, that is entirely untrue. In fact, Canada is carrying through on its commitment to double aid to Africa.

I know there is a concern, and this was disclosed by Gerry Barr the other day, that while the Liberals made that commitment, they then reneged on that commitment and did not talk about it.

We cannot do much about broken Liberal promises, but we can keep the commitments we made since we came to office. We are doubling foreign aid to Africa. In fact, we are doubling our entire foreign aid program over the period intended.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the chaos, the confusion, and the cover-ups by the Conservative government are never-ending.

After repeatedly misleading this House, the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Public Safety were forced to admit that there were two new detainee capture cases. They are obsessed with covering up their own mistakes rather than protecting fundamental human rights.

Will the minister tell us how many detainees have been captured by Canadian Forces? Or will he admit once and for all that he just does not know?

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, I think the hon. member is quite confused. She asked two different questions: one about detainees and one about allegations of abuse.

What we do know is that the previous agreement had shortcomings which we have now enhanced. We have an agreement in place that allows for unfettered private visits.

During one of those visits in Kandahar and another in Kabul, it came to our attention that there were in fact four allegations of abuse. We are following up on that with the process that is in place. That includes consultation with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the Red Cross as well as the Afghan government.