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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we want to have an open, clear and transparent debate on the future of the mission in Afghanistan. I would ask my hon. colleague to take part in this debate with us and to present constructive proposals to help Canada have a mission that responds to the concerns of our country and the Canadian Forces and to what the Afghan government and the international community are seeking.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, MDS Nordion testified in committee today that it informed senior natural resources officials of the shortage in nuclear isotopes. Guess when? It was on November 22.

It conveyed a great sense of urgency and it warned of a global shortage of isotopes, yet the Minister of Natural Resources claims he did not know until December 3 and apparently he did not bother telling the Minister of Health until December 5.

Why did the Minister of Natural Resources put Canadian lives at risk because of his incompetence?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we have heard everything from all sides from Liberal opposition members. One week they are saying we did not act soon enough and on another week they are saying we should have acted sooner.

That is not leadership. On this side of the House we recognized when we were properly informed that there would be a long shut down, that we had to act to protect the lives and safety of Canadians.

We acted on this side of the House. On the other side of the House we had dodge, duck and deke. We have everything in dodge ball, but there is no leadership on that side. We have leadership on this side and we are proud of the decision we made.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the more that minister emphasizes the fiasco, the deeper the hole he digs for himself.

We learned today that MDS Nordion knew on November 21. We know now that natural resources knew on November 22, but the minister claims he did not know until December 3.

We also know that the nuclear medicine industry knew on November 27, yet the Minister of Health claims he did not know until December 5. Who is telling the truth? Exactly what level of incompetence is needed before one is kicked out of cabinet?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

I guess, Mr. Speaker, that this week the Liberal opposition question is: why did we not act sooner? Last week it was: why did we not act?

The question is this. When is the opposition going to show leadership on that side of the House? One week it is, why do we not act and the next week it is simply, why do we not act sooner?

The question is this. When are the Liberals going to show leadership so they can ensure the health and safety of Canadians? They never show leadership and that is the problem. That is why they will be in opposition for a long time to come.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I asked a very straightforward question about how the army deals with Afghan detainees. Unluckily for me, I got an answer from the parliamentary secretary who gave me statistics on violent crimes committed in Canada. As we might say, what's that got to do with the price of fish?

Rather than contribute to his government's culture of secrecy with meaningless answers, will the parliamentary secretary tell us what happens to those detainees? If they are not transferred, and there is no prison to put them in, what happens to them?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have an agreement in place that allows us to transfer Afghan detainees. The agreement has been implemented in a theatre of military operations by our armed forces. That agreement is still in place and they may, at their discretion, transfer Afghan detainees. This agreement is an improvement over the previous Liberal government's agreement. We have an agreement that respects international standards. If ever a case of abuse is brought to our attention, we will discuss it with the Afghan authorities directly.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just said that the armed forces have started transferring detainees again. Maybe he should get his story straight. First we were told that transfers have not been happening since November. Now we are being told that transfers are happening. That is the problem we have with this government: its lack of transparency. Its members systematically refuse to answer our questions.

We would like the government to tell us the truth, once and for all. What are the armed forces doing with Afghan detainees? We demand clear answers on this issue.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have an agreement in place that allows us to transfer Afghan prisoners. It is up to the armed forces on the ground to decide whether to implement that agreement.

That being said, I am glad that the Bloc Québécois is asking questions, but I would like the party to ask questions about the future of our mission and to participate in an open debate about it here in the House.

Why is the Bloc Québécois against letting Canadians have an open and transparent debate on the future of our mission in Afghanistan?

Election ReturnsOral Questions

February 7th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives complain that the senators are blocking their legislative agenda. But since September 10, 2007, the members—

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

But since September 10, 2007, the Conservative members have been going for a Guinness record for useless reading by delaying the work of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, thus protecting their elected members and candidates whose election returns are being challenged by Elections Canada.

We understand that the Prime Minister wants his members to practise to become senators, but can this behaviour, which has been going on for too long, be seen as an admission of guilt?

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 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 fact is that the opposition parties, including the Bloc Québécois, do not want a balanced debate that would examine the activities of the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals. That is fair, that is equitable, and that is what we are asking for.

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the only election returns that are being challenged are those of 67 Conservative candidates.

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Election ReturnsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Elections Canada has issued reimbursements for all the other returns here in the House. We have nothing to be ashamed of. The questionable returns involve nine members from Quebec and three ministers seated in the front rows.

Could it be that the Conservatives on the committee are trying to buy time so that they can do the same thing during the next election campaign?

Election ReturnsOral 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, if all the activities of the opposition parties are above board, then what are they hiding? What is the problem? They should support the motion calling for a review of all the activities of all parties.

I have one example. The member for Beauséjour had an example of a grouped advertising buy. It was never revealed anywhere in his returns filed with Elections Canada, yet he got reimbursed. We agree. That does not seem fair. That does not seem equitable. That should be examined. All parties should be treated exactly the same way, so I will pass.

TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Fred Montaseri, a Canadian citizen, was fired because of George Bush's ITAR law. This law bans Canadian firms that employ Canadians from countries like Iran, China and Haiti. The British and Australian governments have negotiated ITAR exemptions for their countries.

When will this Prime Minister defend multiculturalism and defend Canadian jobs? When will he stand up for Canada and stand up against George Bush's discriminatory ITAR law?

TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are standing up for Canadians.

We are standing up in French and English for Canadians.

I am proud to be the foreign affairs minister. I am proud to work with the U.S. I am proud of what we are doing. What we do for the good of Canadians is always in the interests of Canadians.

TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates pioneered and owns the Canadarm and RADARSAT technologies. MDA's space division is selling out to Americans partly because under George Bush's ITAR rules, the only way MDA can get more American contracts is to sell out to an American company. George Bush's ITAR law is hurting Canada's space industry. It is gutting Canada's economic and defence sovereignty.

When will the Prime Minister stand up for Canada's national interests and secure ITAR exemptions?

TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the proposed acquisition of MDA by ATK is a difficult transaction that must be approached with caution. It is important that the facts be clear.

First, the Minister of Industry, as the minister responsible for Investment Canada, is required to approve any such transaction under the net benefit test. To this point, no such transaction has been submitted to the minister and no approvals have been granted.

In addition to that, as the minister responsible for the Canada Space Agency and the former Technology Partnership Canada program, a very significant number of assignment consents are required from myself, as Minister of Industry. None of those have been granted. I will be diligent in protecting the interests of taxpayers.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, all we hear from the Minister of Finance is, “Yes, I broke the rules, but it was worth it for taxpayers.”

I therefore wrote to the Auditor General today to ask her if she thought this was the best use of taxpayers' dollars.

In the meantime, did the minister hire Hugh MacPhie to work on the budget speech again this year? If so, did he break the rules again?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear and consistent on this matter. Good value was provided for money in this contract. It was very legitimate work. Administrative functions were not followed, but the rules will be followed from here on out.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a useless answer. Could the Treasury Board president answer?

It is his rule that the finance minister broke in handing out a $122,000 contract to a Conservative buddy. Why does he have no qualms in firing public servants for obeying the law, while saying and doing absolutely nothing when Canada's chief financial officer flagrantly breaks the law?

Why does the government show no accountability, no transparency, no consequences when it comes to Conservative crime and Conservative ministers who break the law?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, following on the theme of—