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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, wonders never cease. This was a party that put a vote of confidence against the opposition, not against the government.

As the Prime Minister has said, this is a very serious matter. For that reason, the Clerk of the Privy Council, with the Department of Foreign Affairs, has started an investigation. When the report comes in, we will take action, unlike that party, which did not get up to vote on its own non-confidence motion.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, a disturbing pattern is becoming evident. The Conservatives cannot seem to stop tampering with elections: municipal, federal and now, God knows, even an American election.

There is evidence that the environment minister interfered in the municipal election in Ottawa. There is evidence that the Conservatives made a financial offer to trigger a federal election in Canada. We now find that their partisan games have gone international, with a clumsy attempt to skew the vote in Ohio.

The Ambassador calls this interference. When will this pattern of interference end?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral 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, what we have heard from the Liberal Party members is a series of wild accusations. What they considered to be a scandal was a patronage appointment that was never offered and never made, a court case that was never intervened in, a contract that was never handed out, a political effort that was never made.

I feel sorry for the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. I know he is a better man than this, but I know his leader has taken him in this direction.

Status of WomenOral Questions

March 6th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of International Women's Day, we are outraged—

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We are running out of time. The hon. member for Laval.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of International Women's Day, we were outraged to see this bill introduced by the hon. member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park, a bill that would make it a crime to harm a fetus, passed yesterday at second reading. It is worrisome because, by introducing such a concept, freedom of choice opponents in the United States were able to have abortion criminalized.

Since the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages voted against it, does she intend to defend her position in committee and is she prepared to do whatever it takes to convince her colleagues?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government is firmly committed to protecting women from all types of violence and ensuring that perpetrators are accountable for their acts. That is why we introduced Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act. We know that among 14 to 15 year olds, the individuals who are most likely to be victims are young girls.

We are taking action on that. We have an agenda that includes concrete protection for all Canadians.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister dare to rise or was her vote simply playing to the gallery?

Considering all the groups opposed to this bill, the minister now has the opportunity to tour Canada and Quebec and to prevent it from being adopted.

Will she use all the public forums available to explain the dangers this bill poses to women's rights, which led her to vote against it?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the member noted, we had a free vote yesterday. I exercised my right to vote freely on the question. That being said, I have nothing to learn from the Bloc member about how I wish to deal with these issues.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has broken another election promise. During the campaign he said: “Yes, I'm ready to support women's human rights and I agree that Canada has more to do to meet its international obligations to women's equality.”

Abolishing the court challenges program, preventing human rights groups from having access to the women's program, closing Status of Women Canada offices—is that how the Conservatives promote equality for women?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the way for a government to promote equality for women is to make a formal commitment in the budget, as we did in the latest budget, the 2008 budget. The Bloc members voted against that budget.

Having said that, in two years, we have accomplished more for Canadian and Quebec women than the Bloc has in 18 years. We know very well that, even in the next 18 years, the Bloc will accomplish nothing because from now on their watchword is “conversation”.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, when we know that the Conservative budget dedicated only six lines out of 400-plus pages to women and that their election campaign mentioned the word “women” only twice, we quickly see that women are of little importance to that party.

While no new investments were made for women and while this pittance, this $20 million for projects, was announced by the Conservatives with great fanfare, but actually came from the cuts in the Status of Women budget, how can the Conservatives claim to be promoting women's causes?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, nothing is further from the truth. The $20 million that was announced have increased the number of projects we are able to fund for women. Yes, in our budget there are six very important lines dedicated to the women of Canada and Quebec. In the list of concrete achievements by the Bloc for the women of Quebec, there is not one line and not one word.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, apparently we always have to draw a picture for the Conservative government. Section 119 of the Criminal Code stipulates that everyone is guilty of an indictable offence who “gives or offers to a member of Parliament, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment...by that person in their official capacity”.

Can the Prime Minister confirm in this House that no legitimate representative of his party committed an offence under the Criminal Code?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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, the type of offer the Liberals have been talking about from the start, an offer of a $1 million to Chuck Cadman, is not a real accusation. The only offer made to Mr. Cadman was to express our desire to see him rejoin the Conservative Party and to run as a candidate for our party. That is the only offer that was put on the table. Mr. Cadman said so himself.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the government should get tough on Conservative crime.

I have another excerpt from section 41 of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Every person who gives, offers or promises to any member of the House of Commons any compensation for services...rendered or to be rendered, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year....

Would the Prime Minister not agree that this should be required reading for the members of his team?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 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, I am surprised that my colleague did not have that section of the Criminal Code memorized after sponsorship, but that she had to read it, fair enough.

The only offer made to Chuck Cadman was for him to rejoin the Conservative Party.

However, while I have a brief moment here in the House, I do want to thank my colleague, in spite of her heated words here in question period, which I know is the nature of question period, for demonstrating her confidence by standing down on the budget and letting it pass the other night.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary--

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The member for Halifax West now has the floor. Order, please.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has been shielding the Prime Minister against bribery allegations by claiming that the only offer to Chuck Cadman was to rejoin the party.

However, he told a different story in 2005. Back then, he told journalists that his party was trying to work something out so Mr. Cadman would not suffer financially. He indicated that serious financial considerations were on the table.

Will the Prime Minister admit the truth, that financial considerations were indeed offered to Mr. Cadman?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 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, my mom used to tell me not to believe everything I read in the newspaper.

The only offer that was made to Chuck Cadman was the one that I have told a number of times in the House of Commons. The Liberals have interesting conspiracy theories on that side of the House of Commons, but the truth speaks for itself and this truth was spoken in the voice of Chuck Cadman who said that the only offer was the offer for him to rejoin the Conservative Party.

However, again I would like to thank the member for Halifax West for his support of the Conservative government on the budget as well. He is a good member and it was good of him to do that.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I guess we will never know if the parliamentary secretary was telling the truth in 2005 or if he is telling the truth today.

The parliamentary secretary is avoiding the question again.

Will the government admit, as the parliamentary secretary did in 2005, that when the Prime Minister spoke of financial compensation on the tape, he was talking about the benefits Mr. Cadman would have lost if the government fell? Yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 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, the Liberals are on quicksand and are sinking quickly. Their stories continue to change.

First they said that a $1 million life insurance policy was offered. It is not credible and it is not true. They accused the Prime Minister of a crime and they were wrong. They declared that there was a meeting on May 17 and the book has since changed that, but the Liberals have yet to withdraw that accusation. They said that Chuck Cadman was not running again and in fact they were wrong.

It turns out that the only thing in the past week the Liberals have been right on was their support of the Conservative budget.