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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was change.

Topics

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to an extremely devoted group of citizens in my riding. I am talking about all the women ambulance attendants, police officers, firefighters and military personnel in my lovely part of the country.

I would like to thank all the women ambulance attendants in my riding who are always there to respond to the needs of the community. I would like to thank all the policewomen who, by working in the schools with our young people and by risking their lives fighting crime, are always there when we need them, making our citizens feel safe. I would like to thank all the women firefighters who risk their lives to save those of people in distress, and I would also like to thank all the women serving in the Canadian Forces who risk their own lives to serve this country.

On May 25, 2008, I will be proud to demonstrate my profound gratitude at a special event. To mark this event, I invite you all to bring your families and celebrate in Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière. We hope to welcome many visitors. Congratulations, once again, on a job well done.

Mathieu ÉmondStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Mathieu Émond, a Varennes firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty on March 4. Mr. Émond demonstrated courage and exemplary dedication in fighting the fire.

This tragedy reminds us that we should never forget that the firefighter's profession is dangerous, but essential for society. They are very courageous indeed to put their lives on the line every day to save others. They deserve our utmost respect for the acts of bravery they carry out every day without hesitation.

I wish to extend my most sincere condolences to his spouse, Mrs. Sarah Larochelle, to his young daughter, to his family and to all those who loved him and are bereaved. I would also like to pay tribute to this gentleman who sacrificed his life while serving his community, a selfless act worthy of the highest consideration and everyone's gratitude.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, as members of this House know, the Americas is one of this government's top foreign policy priorities.

We continue to be concerned about the recent escalation of tensions in the Andean region. We call on our Andean partners to pursue a constructive dialogue aimed at resolving these tensions and to work together to reinforce regional stability and to fight terrorism.

Canada demonstrated its renewed commitment to the hemisphere through active diplomacy in this week's OAS permanent council special meeting forging a unanimous declaration on the crisis.

We will continue to promote mutual respect and reconciliation among our hemispheric partners in the wake of recent events, as well as support efforts to build a strong peace that embodies our shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Human RightsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I spoke yesterday in the House of the danger of anti-Jewish terror, the targeting of Jews because they are Jews, we in the House did not know that at that moment, in a tragic irony, a murderous terrorist assault on a Jewish school in Jerusalem was taking place. Nor could we even fathom that, in an obscene declaration, Hamas would actually bless the terrorist attack and call for more, while thousands celebrated the killings in the streets. It reminded me of the words of Mideast scholar Fouad Ajami. At the time of the Passover massacre, yet another anti-Jewish terrorist attack, he wrote:

[The suicide bomber] did not descend from the sky: He walked straight out of the culture of incitement.... He partook of the culture all around him--the glee that greets those brutal deeds of terror, the cult that rises around the martyrs and their families.

This culture of hate must end. This incitement must stop. For it is this Hamas sanctioned hate and incitement that leads to Hamas rockets targeting Jews in Sderot and Ashqelon and terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. We need a culture of peace, not a culture of hate.

Arctic Winter GamesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the athletes participating in the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, which will be opened by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Sport on Sunday, March 9 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. This is an extraordinary event, bringing together athletes from circumpolar countries and regions to compete in sport and celebrate their cultural values.

Budget 2008 has committed to invest $164 million every year to support excellence in the participation of sport from the playground to the podium.

For years the Liberal Party ignored sports. We are pleased the Liberals have now decided to show confidence in this government by allowing the budget to pass the House of Commons. This government is restoring pride for our athletes and for Canadian sports in general.

Congratulations and thanks to the thousands of coaches, officials, event organizers, volunteers and parents who have supported the athletes throughout the years in preparation for this competition. Good luck to our athletes.

Automotive IndustryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise again today to call upon this House to institute a national auto policy. The Conservative government, supported by the Liberals, continues to move the auto industry in the wrong direction and cost Canadian jobs.

The 2008 budget in particular adds taxes to the auto industry and eliminates funding for new technology and programs that could actually create green sustainable jobs.

Why does the government continue to pursue trade policies where we cannot actually ship our auto products into other markets because of tariff and non-tariff barriers put on Canadians?

I call upon the Liberals to stand up and stop this disastrous auto policy. The Minister of International Trade, was a Liberal before he crossed the floor. He said the Conservatives would kill the auto industry. Well, he is right and he is doing it with his colleagues right now.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, later this week women around the world will celebrate International Women's Day and its theme, “Strong Women, Strong World”.

We will remember Canadian trailblazers, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby, whose fierce determination overcame the prejudices of their time to pave the way for women to be recognized as persons in Canada.

This is also a time to remember that there is still more to do. Remember that Canadian women still only earn 71¢ for every dollar a man earns. Remember that the Conservative government cancelled the court challenges program. Remember that the Conservative government shut down the law commission. Remember that the Conservative government closed the doors of 12 out of 16 Status of Women regional offices.

On the eve of International Women's Day, we salute Canadian women and call on the government to stop making decisions that thwart their progress.

Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame GalaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I denounced the CBC's attitude toward francophone artists. I will go one better today because the CBC decided to cut images of all francophone artists from the broadcast two months ago. In fact, that is why Martin Duchesne, a Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame board member and the Quebec bureau chief, stepped down.

He said that in previous years the francophone broadcasters were told to keep away from the anglophone broadcasters and keep their speeches short. The artists had to leave an empty chair between francophones and anglophones for the sole purpose of editing images out of the broadcast. This event was planned and structured to eliminate francophone artists from the televised gala.

What is even more appalling in this entire affair is that not a single member of Parliament from Quebec, except those from the Bloc Québécois, stood up in this House to denounce the CBC's shameful attitude toward francophones.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

March 7th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week delegations from around the world were in New York to attend meetings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

After two years in government, the only thing the Canadian delegation could tell the world was that it intends to develop a so-called action plan to advance women's equality in this country. There are no details, no timetable.

Two years ago the government's action plan led to the elimination of the court challenges program, the law commission, and 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices.

More than 17 Canadian organizations, representing thousands of women were at the UN. The reaction to the Canadian plan was swift, “all words, little action, no money for women”, all thanks to the Conservative government.

We agree that the Conservative government has turned back the clock on women's rights and slammed the door in their faces.

On the eve of International Women's Day, the Liberal Party applauds Canadian women, their achievements and the many organizations that advocate on their behalf, even if the Conservative government will not.

International Women's WeekStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Week ends on March 8, which is International Women's Day.

Our government is working to support women's full participation in Canada's economic, social and democratic life, which will help achieve equality for all women.

Our government has taken real action to support women and their families. This week, we announced that five new women's shelters will be built. This will help fight violence against first nations women and families.

In addition, we have announced 14 more projects that will receive a total of $3.4 million in funding. For those of us on this side of the House, equality is not just a symbol; it is, first and foremost, our reason for being.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally salute all of the women in this House on this special day of ours.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to scuttle its Cadman scandal. It is now even highlighting other Conservative scandals, and it is a long list, to take attention away from that taped conversation which captured the Prime Minister's very own words: “the offer to Chuck”, “there were financial issues”, “replace financial considerations”, “financial insecurity”, “make the case”. These have nothing to do with a party nomination.

When will the government realize this issue will not go away until the Prime Minister finally answers?

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, I appreciate the Liberals' enthusiasm for their Friday leader. That is good to see.

As I have said, the only considerations ever presented to Chuck Cadman were the considerations that we wanted to have him rejoin the Conservative caucus and present himself as a Conservative candidate.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the only thing piling up faster than snow in Ottawa is the number of Conservative scandals the Prime Minister will not investigate.

However, he is not the only Conservative to have a revealing conversation back in 2005 about Chuck Cadman. The now Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works had one too, also with a journalist. The parliamentary secretary explained the exact death benefit issue that was so crucial to Mr. Cadman. Again, that had nothing to do with any party nomination.

Can the government not see that stonewalling will not work, not this time?

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 Liberals are going to be fixated on this as a consequence of their not accepting the facts and not accepting Chuck Cadman's own words that the only offer made to Chuck Cadman was our desire to have him run for us in the campaign, and for him to be the Conservative candidate in that election. That is the central fact of this.

The Liberals are going to be continually spinning in the mud as they continue to ignore that fact.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's explanation is just not credible.

If those “financial considerations” mentioned by the Prime Minister on that tape back in 2005 were only to get Chuck Cadman to run as the Conservative candidate, if that was the only goal, then surely the party interest would be ongoing.

How many efforts were made to persuade Mr. Cadman to become a Conservative once again after the May 19 vote on the 2005 budget?

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, Chuck Cadman was always welcome to rejoin the Conservative caucus. As a matter of fact, after that vote there were a number of times when I saw Chuck Cadman around and I would tell him he was welcome back to our party any time. There were always efforts to have Chuck rejoin us. He was always welcome to come back.

The Liberals can continue their conspiracy theories, but the truth is they have already made up their minds on this issue. They have already decided that there has been a crime here without any evidence whatsoever. They have made the accusations outside of the House of Commons and they will be seen in court.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can try to evade the issue as much as he wants, but Canadians want some answers. On a tape recording, we clearly hear the Prime Minister say he authorized two legitimate representatives from his party to offer “financial considerations” to Chuck Cadman. The offer was to compensate Mr. Cadman for any losses he might incur if he changed his vote and an election was called.

Thus, the question is very clear: what losses are we talking about for which Mr. Cadman was offered compensation?

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 only offer was the one I mentioned yesterday, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and last week. We wanted Chuck to run for the Conservative Party.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is Friday. The Conservative government is pretending that it does not understand the seriousness of this scandal. We are talking about buying a member's vote. The government may not know this, but that is illegal. It is prohibited by the rules of the House of Commons. It is prohibited by the Criminal Code. It is prohibited by the Parliament of Canada Act. It is prohibited, period.

Does the Conservative government understand that it is the public's confidence in its elected officials that is at stake here, and that we are talking about a completely flagrant lack of respect for our democratic process?

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, I hope my colleague and friend does not hurt himself when asking his questions. He is pretty energized today.

I can understand if my colleague does not want to take my word for it. He does not have to. That is fair. That is common in our parliamentary procedure.

I would ask him to just take the word of Chuck Cadman himself when he was interviewed by Mike Duffy. Mike Duffy asked him, “--Conservatives were prepared to offer you an unopposed nomination if you would vote with them, and also help with campaign funding and so on. Was that offer actually made?” Chuck Cadman said, “Yes...that was the only offer on anything that I had from anybody”.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister did not stop bragging that the Conservatives would establish good relations with the United States. With an alleged leak by his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, the Prime Minister has completely missed the mark, to say the least, unless, when he promised better relations with the United States, he was thinking only of relations with the government of Mr. Bush.

At the end of the day, is the leak not just an attempt by this right-wing Conservative government to help the Republicans in this presidential race?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 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 simply not true. The government is working to get to the bottom of this matter.

It is important that Canada has very good relations with the United States. It is our largest trading partner and it is our neighbour with whom we share a long border. An incident of this type has the potential to harm the construction of those kinds of good relations and that is why we take it seriously.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals did not hesitate to fire Jean Chrétien's press secretary, Françoise Ducros, and to throw Carolyn Parrish out of their caucus under similar circumstances.

Since the investigation now extends to the Prime Minister's Office, and since Mr. Brodie, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, is the alleged source of the leak and is clearly in a conflict of interest, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to suspend him until the investigation gets to the bottom of this situation?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:20 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, we have taken action in this regard and there is an investigation taking place. We can all agree that an event like this is not helpful to Canada–U.S. relations and the NAFTA has been very positive for Canada and the United States.

Canada has certainly enjoyed the benefits from a significant increase in jobs, an increase in the standard of living, and an increase in average incomes. These are all very positive things. The United States has experienced similar benefits. So, we all agree that this is important and we want to maintain those good relations. That is why we take this matter seriously.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, now we have the problem of the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie. Before that, it was the political interference of deputy press secretary Soudas in Michael Fortier's office. There was also the director of communications' refusal to comment on the Cadman affair.

Is this not proof that the Prime Minister's inner circle, as well as all members of this government, do not practice what they preach when it comes to transparency?