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House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can try to stop us from asking questions by launching lawsuits but it will not work. He can stonewall the House and even shut down the justice committee to prevent an investigation from happening there, but he will not be able to dodge these questions when he is in court and under oath.

Why will the Prime Minister not simply tell Canadians why he did not stop Conservatives, who, by his own admission, were legitimately representing the party, from discussing financial issues with Mr. Cadman in order to try to get him to switch his vote?

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 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, again, the accusation is entirely untrue, and as I have said before, the Liberals do not have to take my word for it or that of the Prime Minister. All we ask is that they take the word of Chuck Cadman himself who, again, when he was asked on CTV's Mike Duffy show if we were making any offer that was inappropriate, said that the only offer was an unopposed nomination. Pressed again on the issue by Mike Duffy, Chuck Cadman said, “Yes...that was the only offer on anything that I had from anybody”.

The Liberals can cite Dona Cadman. Dona Cadman has said that she trusts and believes in the Prime Minister of this country. So do Canadians. When this comes to the light of day in law, the Liberals will be sorry for their false accusations.

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the lawsuit he filed yesterday, the Prime Minister is continuing his desperate attempt to rewrite the Cadman story. He maintains that he knew nothing about the financial offers made to Mr. Cadman until meeting with his widow on September 9, 2005. Yet, as he was leaving her home a few minutes later that he told the reporter—in the tape recording we have all heard—that he knew, before the vote on May 19, 2005, three or four months earlier, that the offer made to Mr. Cadman was “only to replace financial considerations”.

Does the Prime Minister realize that this cover-up is useless and that the only thing he has to tell us is what he meant by “financial considerations”?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 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 no cover-up; there are only facts. As I said yesterday, I agree with the deputy leader of the opposition. A few days ago, on television, he said that the fundamental question here is whether a financial incentive was offered to a member of the Parliament of Canada to convince him to change his vote. The answer to that question is no.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims that the tape recording has been tampered with, but he has provided no evidence of that. What he cannot deny is that in the recording, we clearly hear his voice say that “financial considerations” were offered to Mr. Cadman.

Can someone tell us what kind of “financial considerations” he was talking about and how this was not a way of buying Mr. Cadman's vote?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 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 to Mr. Cadman, except the offer that Mr. Cadman himself talked about, that is, an offer to return to our caucus, to run as a candidate for the Conservative Party and to have our support for his re-election as a Conservative Party candidate. Mr. Cadman himself said so, and his word should be accepted as the truth.

Access to Information ActOral Questions

March 14th, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' trademark is their secrecy and lack of transparency. Former Justice Gomery recommended including the public interest test in the Access to Information Act to avoid abuse by the government and by the Prime Minister's Office. The Conservatives promised this during the election campaign, but they have done nothing.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the Conservatives are just like the Liberals, even worse?

Access to Information ActOral Questions

11:30 a.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 not true. Yesterday, we saw an example of our government's different approach. Yesterday, the House of Commons voted on a resolution concerning the future of the war in Afghanistan, of our military mission in Afghanistan. Only under our government could we have made such a decision in this House. This is an example of how this government's approach differs from the previous government's.

Access to Information ActOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the war in Afghanistan, since the latest victim of a Conservative cover-up was the Military Police Complaints Commission. In order to stall the commission's investigation of torture allegations in Afghanistan, the Department of Foreign Affairs has refused to grant the commission full access to some documents that are essential to the investigation.

Is that not yet more proof that we cannot trust this Conservative government, and that we must absolutely and immediately include the public interest test in the Access to Information Act?

Access to Information ActOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, once again, unfortunately, the hon. member is mistaken. It is clear that our government has cooperated with the commission. Yesterday, we tabled a letter in the House of Commons explaining this situation. The government will continue to cooperate with the commission in the future. All government departments have prepared the legal documents this commission needs.

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Emanuel Montenegrino is the Prime Minister's lawyer. He is also now registered to lobby the Conservatives to approve the sale of RADARSAT technology to an American weapons maker.

Considering Mr. Montenegrino's regular contributions to the Prime Minister's Conservative campaigns, would the government not want to keep its promise of openness and accountability and tell the Prime Minister's counsel to stick to practising law and not political lobbying?

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, in our tough new accountability act we brought in sweeping provisions, including those which extend to lobbying, and further efforts to ensure transparency, more sweeping than any ever done under any previous government.

Let me assure the member that when the Minister of Industry makes the decision he is required to make on this, it will not be one that is determined by lobbyists. It is a decision that will be determined entirely by the best interests of Canada. He takes that responsibility very seriously. I think all of us in the House know that he will take it on that basis.

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, that answer is exactly why Canadians do not trust the Conservative government.

It is very simple. Mr. Montenegrino is the Prime Minister's lawyer. He is lobbying for approval of the unethical sale of Canadian RADARSAT technology to an American weapons maker in violation of our national interests, putting Canadian sovereignty at risk

The Conservatives promised accountability, so why is the Prime Minister's lawyer and long time friend lobbying a minister for a rotten deal that should never go through?

LobbyistsOral Questions

11:35 a.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 government has taken great steps to advance and assert our sovereignty on the world stage much more strongly than has happened under previous governments. We have seen that with our initiatives in the north, where we are extending Canadian sovereignty with serious commitments and investments, and we are seeing that with our action elsewhere on the world stage.

In terms of the transaction in question, the decision will be made on a simple basis: what is in Canada's best interests? That is how the minister will make that decision.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, Brenda Martin is languishing in a Mexican prison and is at the end of her rope. While this Conservative government drags its feet, Ms. Martin is hitting rock bottom. There are concerns that she will not make it. She is so desperate that she says she is now thinking of taking her own life.

What is this government waiting for to give her a glimmer of hope? Since his ministers are incompetent, will the Prime Minister finally deign to pick up the phone and help Ms. Martin?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, like all members, we are very concerned about Ms. Martin's health. We have expressed our strong concerns to the Mexican authorities regarding inappropriate conditions of her detention, delays in bringing her case to trial, and lack of translation facilities.

I want to assure all Canadians and Ms. Martin that in the coming weeks the Government of Canada will continue to press for a quick, positive resolution to this case.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

It continues, Mr. Speaker, and we will get more of the same. I am not at all certain that the Canadian people really accept this answer.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs would not even take Ms. Martin's phone call. The secretary of state could not even be bothered to visit Ms. Martin in jail when she was only 20 minutes away. When she was asked why she did not visit Ms. Martin's cell, where she was crammed in with 11 other prisoners, the secretary of state answered, “It's not my job”.

If it is not her job to help Brenda Martin, will the Prime Minister use this break week to fill the void and make the case to have Ms. Martin immediately returned to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my previous answer, the government has made the highest of representations to the Mexican authorities. The foreign affairs minister called the foreign affairs minister of Mexico just last week to express his strong concerns on this case.

Again, I can assure Canadians and Ms. Martin that we will continue to talk with the highest levels of the Mexican authorities to have a quick, positive resolution to this case.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs continues to hide behind his so-called investigation into the leak of confidential diplomatic information, which continues to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. He will not release any details. He will not give us any facts. He expects us to trust him on this one.

Unfortunately, when it comes to trust, the government's record is miserable and Canadians know it. Will the minister ask Ambassador Michael Wilson to step aside during this investigation to prevent any further leaks and any further damage to our relationship with the United States?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has already said, we take this matter very seriously.

However, I want to tell members that NAFTA has been a very, very good agreement between Canada and the U.S.A. It has helped raise living standards and it is touted as one of the best trade agreements. Not only that, but we take our relationship with our southern partners very seriously. It is a strong relationship and we will continue to further this relationship.

As I have said, as the Prime Minister has said and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has said, the investigation is going on and appropriate action will be taken when the results are out.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is no answer, so let me make it specific and easy for the government. Article 41.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says of relations between nations that the government has “a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State”.

That seems pretty clear. Has the minister even sought a legal opinion as to whether Michael Wilson's involvement in the NAFTA leaks constituted a breach of this international convention?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I fail to understand why they do not listen to what I have just answered, which is very clear and straightforward. The investigation is going on. When the results are in, we will take appropriate action as deemed necessary, but I would like to tell the hon. member that even the U.S. ambassador to Canada has said that this matter is now over.

We take our relationship with our southern partners very seriously and we will continue strengthening our relationship.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the case of Omar Khadr, the young Canadian held in Guantanamo, we have learned that the American sergeant who interrogated him is before a court martial accused of abusing detainees during interrogations. It is even suspected that he caused the death of one of them. We know that, during his detention, Mr. Khadr was subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment.

What is the government waiting for to bring him back to Canada for his trial?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges. The Government of Canada has sought and received assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. Department officials have carried out several welfare visits with Mr. Khadr and will continue to do so.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have also learned that an American army officer allegedly changed a report in order to blame young Mr. Khadr. The first report, the original one, said that the assailant had been killed. Mr. Khadr was therefore not involved in this case. In view of the facts, there is no reason for the government to wait.

When will it take action to bring Omar Khadr home?