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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was policy.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.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, from the foremost experts, why were the Liberals so silent on the vote on the budget? If the Liberals are such foremost authorities when it comes to standing up and speaking the truth, why were they so silent on the throne speech, so silent on the budget, so silent on agriculture, so silent on trade?

The reality is while the Liberals talk a big game about the alleged indiscretions of this government, we continue to appreciate their support in votes of confidence in our government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, page eight of the Conservatives' paper, Detailed Emissions and Economic Modelling, clearly shows that, from 2006 to 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands operations will double from 25 megatonnes to 50 megatonnes. Furthermore, the carbon capture and storage requirements will only apply to major emitters as of 2018, and only to those corporations that start up operations after 2012. André Bélisle, of Coalition Québec-Kyoto, rightly states that the announcement of these deadlines has set off a race to complete projects that pollute.

Will the minister be honest and confirm his department's figures, and admit that that greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands will double between 2006 and 2020?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear. With respect to oil sands and existing facilities, regulations already existed for this part of our industry. We have established stricter measures for those under construction and for new facilities. We have introduced a real plan for reducing greenhouse gases.

It is very important. For the first time in Canadian history, real measures have been introduced and we have taken action to obtain real results.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of Conservative environmental propaganda should stop manipulating the numbers. He must stop passing the buck and bragging.

Can he rise in this House and say to Quebeckers that his plan does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands but, on the contrary, allows this polluting sector to double its emissions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that this government has taken action. We have met expectations by giving $350 million to Quebec to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

That is very important. This is the first time that a federal government has worked with the provinces. The Bloc Québécois will be taken to task for its powerlessness and inconsistency, since Quebec is growing stronger under our government.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

March 12th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jacques Saada, the president and chief executive officer of the Quebec Aerospace Association, is criticizing the poor economic spinoffs from the contract for 17 Hercules planes and is confirming the Bloc Québécois' fears that Quebec, which has 54% of Canada's aerospace industry, will come out losing in this operation.

How does the government explain that, out of all the contracts, only 28.5% went to Quebec? Where is the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec? Is he sleeping?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we disagree. The government does not award the contracts; the companies do. I encourage the hon. member to put his question directly to the companies.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, for his part, how does the Minister of National Defence, who is also the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, explain that the share of contracts for his region exceeds that of Quebec, when Atlantic Canada has only 5% of the aerospace industry?

In light of such injustice, where are the ministers from Quebec hiding? Are they sleeping or are they keeping mum in order to maintain their privileges?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said a moment ago, the government does not allocate contracts. Companies make those decisions. I would encourage the hon. member to speak directly with the companies.

If I might say parenthetically, the Bloc is simply interested in pitting Canadians against Canadians. We are interested in building a country and an aerospace industry that is among the best in the world.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in December 2005, the Prime Minister denied that his party had reached any kind of agreement with Alan Riddell so he would step aside to make room for another Conservative candidate. He was asked twice and denied it both times.

An agreement was in fact reached on November 25, 2005, a month before the Prime Minister denied it right here.

Why should we believe the Prime Minister today, when he denies making a financial offer to Chuck Cadman?

EthicsOral 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 fail to see what this has to do with the administration of government business.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 5, 2005, at two separate events, the Prime Minister was asked about an offer to Mr. Riddell, and he replied each time “there is no agreement”. However, an email from his party reveals there was in fact a binding agreement in place on November 25, 2005, 10 days before the Prime Minister's categorical denials.

Given these facts, why should anyone in this House believe the Prime Minister now when he categorically denies there was any financial consideration or offer to Chuck Cadman?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 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, this has nothing to do with government business and that continues to be the practice of the Liberal Party. It talks about imaginary and fictitious scandals that do not exist, to condemn patronage appointments that were never made, and to be upset about interference in court cases that never occurred. Why? It is because the Liberals would have done all those things.

Why do they talk about those things, the scandals, instead of about public policy? It is because they cannot make any decisions.

In fact, when we look at the leader of their party, it is very simple. His position is clear. Once he has made up his mind, he is full of indecision.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the job of the Canadian Ambassador to Washington is our most sensitive diplomatic post, so sensitive that the Prime Minister usually appoints someone who he can trust to manage such an important relationship.

Yet, it seems our current Ambassador, Michael Wilson, forgot the first rule of diplomacy, knowing when to keep his mouth shut. By leaking confidential conversations to the media, Michael Wilson directly interfered in the American Democratic primary. Will the Prime Minister bring Michael Wilson back from Washington before he causes another incident?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are taking this matter very seriously. This is why the Clerk of the Privy Council is carrying out an investigation right now. We are being a responsible government and we are going to get to the bottom of this investigation.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are so desperate they are trying to sweep this issue under the rug.

For days now I have asked the Prime Minister to be clear about who is under investigation for the multiple leaks of sensitive diplomatic conversations. At least two of these leaks came from the Prime Minister's inner circle: chief of staff Ian Brodie and Ambassador Michael Wilson. Yet, the government has refused to clearly state whether they are under investigation.

I will ask my question again. Are Ian Brodie and Michael Wilson under investigation? Will the Prime Minister ask them to step aside, yes or no?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we cannot prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The investigation is underway, led by the Clerk of the Privy Council. We will see the results in due course.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Canadian government has expressed concern for the ongoing violence in Sudan and Chad. The situation is destabilizing the region and no one wants to see the violence escalate.

As a prosperous and caring nation, Canada has an obligation to help those in need. We know that when lives are threatened, every second counts. Reports have suggested that thousands of refugees are in desperate straits.

Can the Minister of International Cooperation tell the House if the government has offered any humanitarian assistance to the region?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that the ongoing violence and instability in Chad and Darfur is devastating the lives of millions.

Today, this government announced it is making a significant commitment to support the refugees in the region. Through organizations such as the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières, we will be providing clean water and sanitation, emergency health care, food and shelter, and increasing coordination of emergency services.

Today's announcement means more humanitarian aid for those in Chad and Darfur.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Justice John Gomery says his landmark report on ministerial responsibility is being ignored and disregarded by the Conservative government. Of course, he is right.

Two of the most senior Canadian government officials are at the heart of the NAFTA-gate leaks, our Ambassador to Washington and the Prime Minister's chief of staff.

The Gomery report states: “Ministers are fully responsible and accountable for the actions of exempt staff”.

Why has no minister taken any responsibility for the leaks? Why is Justice Gomery being repudiated by the government?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the government's response to Liberal corruption was the accountability act, the most sweeping anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history.

As a result of the government's response, Canadians now have an independent Ethics Commissioner, a new lobbying act, a stronger Auditor General, tougher rules for political financing, and real protection for whistleblowers.

These are things that members on the opposite side would not do when they were government. In fact, they perpetrated that--

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Burnaby--New Westminster.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, even under Liberal corruption, even during the sponsorship scandal, several Liberal staff members, under suspicion, were placed on paid leave until the investigation by the Gomery inquiry was complete. The Ambassador and the chief of staff are at the heart of NAFTA-gate and the government should do the same.

There is a bizarre limbo dance contest going on between Conservatives and Liberals on who can go lower on ethical standards.

Why is the government failing to meet even the low ethical bar set by the previous government?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have a very solid relationship with the Americans. We will maintain our solid relationship with the American government. The free trade agreement signed by the three countries has been working well. It has meant prosperity for all three countries, increased wealth and raised the standard of living in the three countries. We hope to continue to build on the solid relationship we have with the United States.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, borrowing from their Republican idol's playbook, the Conservative government is turning Parliament Hill into the libel belt.

When the Prime Minister cannot answer questions about his own words caught on tape, he threatens to sue questioners. When the environment minister is reminded of his links to Walkerton or staff meddling in police affairs, libel letters are fired off. When the Conservative Party gets caught manipulating its expenses in the last election, it takes Elections Canada to court.

Will the government stop abusing the court system and start giving Canadians the answers they deserve?