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House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was airbus.

Topics

BraveryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating two Canadian heroes who are a living embodiment of what our Canadian Forces stand for.

On April 26, 2005, during a blizzard in the Northwest Territories, search and rescue technicians, Master Corporal Brian Decaire and Sergeant Darcy St-Laurent, parachuted from a 17 Wing based Hercules aircraft to assist a downed aviator near Boland Lake.

In complete darkness, they performed a challenging night drop. The rescuers and the downed pilot were forced for five days to wait out terrible weather conditions.

As I speak, the Governor General is bestowing medals of bravery on both these men. The motto of search and rescue techs is, “These things I shall do that others may live”.

These two men exemplify the selfless duty that our men and women in uniform perform every day.

Let me say on behalf of all Canadians a humble thank you to these men and every one of their comrades in uniform.

PovertyStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, in stark contrast to the Conservative fend for yourself philosophy, Liberals believe that poverty affects everyone and governments have a moral responsibility to help springboard Canadians to success, dignity and independence.

The Liberal leader is showing leadership on poverty, outlining a bold vision committing to cut poverty by 30% and child poverty by 50% within five years of being elected.

The Liberal leader is showing leadership in this file by presenting an ambitious program and promising to reduce poverty by 30% and child poverty by 50% in the five years following his election.

For the working poor, Liberals would create a making work pay benefit to lower the welfare wall and improve the child tax benefit to support families. Liberals would honour the historic Kelowna accord, which the Conservatives cut, and would work with all levels of government on affordable housing and universal child care.

I believe that when we invest in Canadians, Canada succeeds socially and economically. I ask my colleagues on the other side to take this issue seriously and work toward ending poverty now.

KenyaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Kenya's government and opposition signed a power sharing agreement yesterday to end the post election crisis that plunged the country into its worst turmoil since independence. Canada is hopeful that the power sharing agreement will lead to peace and stability, as well as create the foundations for a strong and democratic Kenya.

Canada had repeatedly called upon Kenya's political leaders to come together in direct discussions to end the crisis and to put its weight behind Kofi Annan's mediation efforts. The Government of Canada also announced in January that it would provide up to $4.3 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the post-election violence.

We want to thank former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the AU chairman for their efforts. We look forward to working with the government of Kenya in facing the challenges ahead for the country.

Infrastructure and Gasoline TaxesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, upon reading the budget we see that the government is going to permanently transfer the gas tax to municipalities. That is good news; however, we have to realize that this measure does not provide any additional funds for the sorely needed renewal of municipal infrastructure.

This government refused the Bloc Québécois request to increase the refund of the gas tax to municipalities to the equivalent of 5¢ per litre, commencing in 2008-2009. This increase would translate into an additional $1 billion for our municipalities, which already have too much debt. The Bloc Québécois is asking the government to reconsider its decision given that it has the means.

In addition, given that municipal revenues are not like those of higher levels of government, why not adopt the Bloc Québécois suggestion that, in every tripartite agreement, municipalities receive 15%, provinces 35% and the federal government 50%.

These are the types of proposals that are in the best interest of Quebec municipalities.

Prague SpringStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was a particular pleasure for our Prime Minister to meet with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in Ottawa. This is the 40th anniversary of the Prague Spring and also, sadly, of the subsequent Communist invasion and crackdown.

Czechs can nowadays travel freely in the world, and I am happy to report that last year Canada removed all visa requirements for visitors from the Czech Republic. Our two countries share a commitment to a principled foreign policy that promotes freedom, democracy and human rights.

Therefore, on the 40th anniversary of the Prague Spring, let us remember not only the past victims of European communism, but also the victims of present day communism who are still persecuted, imprisoned in gulags and re-education camps and tortured or murdered for the high crime of believing in human freedom.

And, in honour of the Czech nation, which blazed the path to freedom that so many others have subsequently followed, let us offer a warm welcome to a friend of Canada and a friend of freedom as he visits our capital.

Federal-Provincial RelationsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, what does the government have against Ontario? In everything it does, Ontario is the one being shortchanged. Bill C-22 reduces our representation in Parliament. The government's manufacturing fund does nothing to help manufacturers. The infrastructure plan, although stolen from the Liberals, is shamefully underfunded. Our economy is in crisis. Our cities are crumbling. Our most basic democratic right to representation is being undermined.

Yet, what happens when the Premier of Ontario, seeing his province being dealt one slight after another, dares to question the Conservative government? The same thing that happens to anyone who challenges the wisdom of the Conservative Party. He is denigrated, mocked and ultimately ignored.

In my own riding, Mayor Hazel McCallion pleaded for public transit funding that long had been promised. The finance minister openly mocked her for it. It took months of hand-wringing by Mississauga Liberals to finally get the government to keep its promise.

I do not like what I am seeing here. Ontario deserves better. Canada deserves better.

Status of Women in NunavutStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to go to Iqaluit, Nunavut, to see the living conditions of women in the north.

I met with the minister responsible for the status of women in Nunavut, Leona Aglukkaq, who explained to me what challenges women in the territory are facing.

I attended a meeting where the Quillit Women's Council explained the work it does with these women and the limitations that come with the expanse and isolation of the territory. I also had the honour of visiting one of the support centres for battered women.

This trip also gave me the opportunity to announce $1.5 million project under the Status of Women Canada partnership program that will allow the YWCA to make a difference in the lives of these women who truly need it. This project is a perfect example of the kind of work Status of Women Canada does.

I am thankful to all the wonderful people I met there and I particularly want to pay tribute to all those women who have broken the silence on violence.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the front page of the Globe and Mail confirms what Canadians saw quite clearly in this week's budget; that the Conservative government does not care about our cultural sector and it is actively undermining our artists and their capacity to create.

The headline article includes the boasting of evangelical lobbyists who successfully convinced Conservative ministers and MPs to root out artistic works with which they disagree. Canadian heritage officials confirmed yesterday that they would be expanding the criteria used for denying tax credits to artists. What they are doing is called censorship. They are trying to silence voices that diverge from their political agenda.

We can stop this attack on our artists. Unfortunately, as the Toronto Star says today, the “official opposition has repeatedly turned itself into a Conservative doormat”.

It is time to stand up for Canada's artists and Canadian culture against ideological attacks by the government.

Sri LankaStatements By Members

February 29th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the world community have taken note of new violence in Sri Lanka following the Sri Lankan government's decision to suspend the peace process.

In a recent community forum hosted in Scarborough on the continuing conflict in Sri Lanka, members of the Sri Lankan Canadian community expressed their desire that Canada consult with the community here in developing a Canadian policy position on this issue, which could offer more leadership in fostering a peaceful and equitable resolution to the conflict. Moving forward with such would require the invitation and cooperation of the government of Sri Lanka.

Many have concluded that a military solution to this conflict is not viable and the renewed civil war would entail losses of life and levels of violence and destruction unacceptable by modern standards. Canadians know that peoples of different language, culture, religion and race can live and prosper and share a country together, but must have the political will and leadership to do so.

I urge all parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka to renew and redouble their efforts at implementing reforms and avoiding violence in achieving a resolution with peaceful means.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Budget 2008, the Conservative government is continuing its policy of inertia when it comes to fighting global warming. Scientists, economists and the business community have criticized this government's inaction a number of times and have asked that it immediately adopt a real environmental policy. Instead of taking tough action right now and doing what is necessary to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Conservative government is pushing back the effective date of its regulatory framework to 2010. This framework, which is based almost exclusively on intensity targets that favour the oil industry, is so weak that it in no way ensures real reductions of greenhouse gases.

While other countries, including France and the United Kingdom, have adopted tough measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this Conservative government still refuses to act responsibly.

EthicsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government preaches accountability, but practices Mulroney-style ethics.

The environment minister embroils himself in the bribery scandal of a mayoral candidate and meddles in Ottawa city politics by killing its light rail project.

The finance minister hands his friends untendered six figure contracts.

The industry minister breaks copyright law and demands a gag order on the settlement.

The Conservatives play shell games with cash to exceed campaign spending limits and then try desperately to shut down the inquiry looking into it.

The Prime Minister's communication adviser advises public works to stop suing a Conservative bagman, and the Prime Minister's bagmen try to buy off candidate after candidate, whenever and wherever it suits them.

My Liberal colleagues and I have a responsibility in the House to shine a bright light on the cold, dark backroom of the Conservative Party. It is what Canadians expect of us and it is exactly what we will deliver.

Post-Secondary EducationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian students are pleased to see another budget that invests in their education and their future. Budget 2008 will launch a new consolidated Canada student grant program to coincide with the wind-down of the Millennium Scholarship Foundation. The new program will provide certainty and predictability for Canadian families.

Furthermore, budget 2008 will provide an additional $21 million over two years to establish up to 20 global excellence research chairs. This will strengthen the ability of our universities to attract and retain top science leaders. It will help outstanding institutions like the University of Manitoba in my riding of Winnipeg South. Investing in these universities brings a great return.

With our government's support for post-secondary education rising to $9.7 billion in 2008-09, Canadians in my province and across the country can take pride in the growth we will see now and in the future.

After 13 years of Liberal mismanagement, Canada finally has a government that is getting the job done for students.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Dona Cadman has repeatedly confirmed that Conservatives offered her husband life insurance benefits to buy his vote. Yesterday, Mrs. Cadman was asked if she considered it a bribe and she said “yes”. Her daughter says the same thing.

Under the existing parliamentary life insurance plan, if members cease to be MPs, they can keep their insurance, but the premiums go up and the benefits go down.

Did the Conservatives offer to make up that difference in exchange for Mr. Cadman's vote? Was that the offer?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, no offer was made. Chuck Cadman said this himself on the record, on two national televised interviews with CTV and Global.

There were three people at the meeting that took place. All three people said that no offer was in fact made.

We all know that Chuck Cadman was an honourable man. He was a man of his word. We should respect his word and accept his word on this very issue.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government attacks the word of Mrs. Cadman, but her story is consistent. It is confirmed by her daughter and by the Prime Minister's own words.

In an interview taped in 2005 he was asked explicitly about the insurance offer. He did not deny it. In fact, he confirmed an offer was made. He confirmed it was about “financial insecurity”, not about a nomination. He told Conservative officials to “make the case to Mr. Cadman”.

Did the Prime Minister know that would be an indictable offence under the Criminal Code?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the member for Wascana is, as usual, misrepresenting what the then leader of the opposition did say.

The member for Wascana was not at the meeting. Three people were at the meeting. All three people said that no offer was made.

My colleague does not have to take my word for it. On a nationally televised interview on Global, on May 21, 2005, in answer to the question “Did he offer you a deal?”, Chuck Cadman said “No, absolutely nothing. There was never any deal offered”.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot escape by twisting an interview with Mr. Cadman totally out of context.

The Conservatives admit to a meeting on May 19, which talked about party nominations. That is not the issue. The issue is the previous meeting with Mr. Cadman, which talked about financial insecurity and life insurance. That meeting was not on May 19; it was on May 17. That is the meeting, a financial meeting, confirmed in the Prime Minister's taped interview.

Why was the Prime Minister so concerned about his taped conversation being published? What did he want to keep secret?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals started the line of questioning on this subject very well. They said that Chuck Cadman was an honourable, honest and decent man. He managed to do something that is very rare in Canadian politics. He was elected based on his own name, his own reputation as a good, decent and honest man. His word was his bond. His word on this subject was that no deal was offered.

I wish the Liberals would go back to where they began on this file, accept that Chuck Cadman was an honest and honourable man, that no deal was offered, because that is the truth.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who likes to cloak himself in the Federal Accountability Act, obviously did not take his responsibilities seriously. A recording made at the home of former MP Cadman clearly proves this. The Prime Minister knew that high-ranking officials in his party had visited Mr. Cadman to offer him a shameful bribe in exchange for his vote in the House. The Prime Minister failed to assume his responsibilities by allowing them to undertake such illegal activity.

Why did the Prime Minister fail to do everything in his power to prevent this crime?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, my colleague can invent such stories, but facts are facts, and the fact is, no offers were made to Mr. Cadman. He said so himself. His own words must be taken as the truth.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not ask himself whether it was moral, ethical or even legal to offer a $1 million insurance policy to a dying man in exchange for his vote in the House. The Prime Minister did not ask himself if it was his duty to try to prevent his closest confidants from taking such action. The Prime Minister did not ask himself if he should report this to the police.

Why is it that the Prime Minister's only question was whether this was going to be published?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is a simple fact to this case, and that is my hon. colleague was not at the meeting, and none of the Liberal members were at the meeting. They had their own meetings with Chuck Cadman when they were trying to persuade him to cross the floor to the Liberal Party and to vote their way on the budget.

There were three people at the meeting about which we are talking. All three of them said that no offer was made. That is the simple fact. I am sorry if it does not jive with the Liberal political tactic here, but it is the truth. The truth in this case is unassailable. No offer was made.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, with respect to the Cadman affair, the Prime Minister claimed that all Mr. Cadman was offered in exchange for his vote on May 19, 2005, was the nomination. That is what he said in this House. But that version of events has been contradicted by Chuck Cadman's wife and his daughter, both of whom claim that two Conservative Party representatives offered him a $1 million insurance policy.

Does the Prime Minister acknowledge that these allegations of corruption reveal his government's true colours, and that they are no better than those of the Liberals who preceded them?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, my colleague should not attack Mr. Cadman's integrity, because Mr. Cadman himself said that no offer was made here. Three people were at that meeting, and all three say that nothing was offered. Those are the facts.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Chuck Cadman's wife and daughter are not the only ones contradicting the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister contradicted himself in a recording that we all heard in the media this morning, in which he confirmed that he knew about financial considerations offered to Mr. Cadman by legitimate representatives of the Conservative Party.

How could the Prime Minister knowingly allow his party's representatives to attempt to buy Mr. Cadman's vote, which is formally prohibited in the Parliament of Canada Act and the Criminal Code?