This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

EthicsOral 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 are quite proud of our record on transparency and the introduction of an unprecedented accountability act that provides for transparency.

In terms of the specific issue at hand, there is no doubt that the leak of an internal document like this is not helpful to relations between Canada and the United States. The fact that our own history as a country includes a political party that campaigned saying it would scrap NAFTA and then did not do that while it was in office, of course creates an accentuating element to the situation. So, that is one of the reasons why we do take this seriously.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Perhaps members could restrict themselves to heckling on their own questions, instead of other members'.

The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, in terms of ethics, the truth is that after being in power for only 24 months, this government has a rap sheet as long as, if not longer than, the one the Liberals accumulated in 10 years. Not only is the Conservatives' conduct deplorable, but they are also trying to hide the truth. They are making a mockery of their promise to be beyond reproach.

Will they finally admit that their transparency is a facade and that they are following in the previous government's footsteps?

EthicsOral 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, the Bloc Québécois member spoke about our party's record. Our record is impressive. Take, for example, NAFTA and the economy. This morning, we learned that 43,000 new jobs were created throughout Canada in February. That is an impressive record. We are proud of our record, especially in times like these. It shows that our government's budget and economic programs—

EthicsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, an internal investigation is not enough and the government knows it. When a junior official from Environment Canada leaked documents that were unfavourable to the government, the Conservatives called in the RCMP and had the young man arrested and handcuffed. However, when the Prime Minister's chief of staff leaks information in order to help the Republicans in the U.S. election, the Conservatives simply conduct an internal investigation. This smacks of a cover-up.

The question is quite simple: why the double standard?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 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, I welcome back the leader of the NDP from his visit on the U.S. television circuit, which I gather was very successful in reaching the audience he was really trying to reach.

We know this was about NAFTA, which is something we take seriously because NAFTA has been very important for Canada's economy and has benefited Canada. I am very pleased to see that the leader of the NDP has now come to the table, after years of opposition, to agree with us that NAFTA is important and that we need to do everything we can to preserve positive relations with the United States so we can have a strong trading relationship.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this leak about NAFTA has not only damaged our relationship with a future possible president and damaged the Obama campaign, but it has hurt our relationship with the Americans.

Today we learned about a further problem. Canada's credibility has taken another blow because an American congressman has pointed out that our trade minister, the government's trade minister, told him in private that the government was prepared to renegotiate NAFTA, and yet publicly they are saying the opposite.

There is something that the government needs to do here. One, apologize to the American--

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. government House leader.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 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 question from the leader of the NDP is totally off base. I cannot understand why he would say that the government is not strongly committed to NAFTA. In fact, on the issue that he was asking about earlier, the risk in this situation is, of course, the possibility of harm to our relations with the United States, which is why we took action quickly. We made our position clear and I will make it again clear, and that has been helpful. The American ambassador himself has indicated that it has been helpful and that the U.S. has moved on from this issue.

We are strong supporters of NAFTA and we continue to be strongly committed to NAFTA. I am glad that the leader of the NDP is coming to the table as a strong defender of NAFTA today as well.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, most Americans have a tough time naming our Canadian Prime Minister but they sure are starting to learn the name of Ian Brodie and his role in leaking privileged information to mess up the Democratic primaries.

Another name Americans know well is that of Scooter Libby. Will the Prime Minister address this national embarrassment and fire his chief of staff, or would he rather keep denying and just wait until things turn out for Mr. Brodie like they did for Mr. Libby?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 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, I want to draw to everybody's attention that the member for Halton has been letting everybody on the Hill know that he has released his new book. I do not know if it is autobiographical in nature but he is having a launch for his new book entitled Greater Fool.

The book deals with issues in the United States, in which he has a great interest. I know that in the past he has been a great supporter of NAFTA. We think that agreement is important and our relations with the United States are important. I hope he will agree with us on the importance of working to strengthen that relationship.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the plug. Canadians now understand that Mr. Brodie's leak of information to help the Republican buddies in the U.S. had a direct impact on one of the closest Democratic primaries in American history.

If the Prime Minister will not take decisive action with his staff he will end up wearing this. When will the Prime Minister fire Scooter Brodie?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister and the government House leader have said, we take this matter very seriously and, for that reason, we have asked for an investigation by the Privy Council and we will continue. Once the results are known, we will take action.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, most Americans would not recognize the Prime Minister if he was standing right in front of them, but in the past few days the name of his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, has become as familiar to them as the names of any of their favourite television stars.

Ian Brodie made a serious mistake. By interfering in the U.S. primaries the way he did, he not only tarnished Canada's international reputation, but he put our trade interests with our biggest economic partner at risk.

When will the Prime Minister show him the door?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I and the Prime Minister have stated, we take this matter very seriously, which is why there is an investigation by the Privy Council. Once the results are known, we will take action.

However, what Canadians would like to know is what kind of action the Liberal Party is taking by putting forward a non-confidence motion for the opposition parties themselves.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the clerk of the Privy Council is the Prime Minister's highest ranking official. The Prime Minister's chief of staff is the most senior political employee. These two men are required to rub shoulders and work together on a regular basis.

How can the clerk of the Privy Council investigate someone he has to work so closely with? Does the Prime Minister realize that we do not need some phoney investigation for him to fire his chief of staff?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is important to know that we put complete importance on our relationship with the U.S.A., which is why we need this investigation. Once the investigation is completed, based upon the results we will act on that investigation.

What we would like to know is why the Liberals are not raising issues like the budget and the economy. As the report stated today, 43,000 new jobs were created in the economy in Canada. That is where they should be focusing their energy.

Status of WomenOral Questions

March 7th, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages told us that she does not need a lecture about an issue as tragic as the recriminalization of abortion. But she is the Minister of Status of Women, and she is the one who should be staunchly defending a woman's right to abortion.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages assure us that she will do everything she can to stop this assault on women's rights?

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has almost crossed the line to deliberately misleading Canadians about the vote that took place on a private member's bill.

Our government is 100% committed to tackling violence against women and that is why we introduced the Tackling Violent Crime Act, which I am pleased has passed into law.

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may have their blinders on, but the women of Quebec and Canada do not.

The president of Quebec's Campaign Life Coalition, Luc Gagnon, has said that Bill C-484 is the first step towards recriminalizing abortion. Joyce Arthur, of the Abortion Rights Coalition, said that once a person is found guilty of murdering a fetus, the Supreme Court will use the verdict to determine that a fetus is a human being.

Will the minister listen to the Bloc's recommendations and convince her colleagues of the dangers of voting for such a bill?

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it completely wrong. Our government is committed to fighting crimes against women and that is why we introduced the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

I should add that the bill the hon. member has raised was a free vote among our party. It was a private member's bill and we were pleased to have a free vote on that issue.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, more and more people in Quebec—90% of the population—are using French in the workplace. However, in the Montreal region, the rate drops to just 70%. Over one quarter of Montrealers work in English. Three quarters of anglophones work in English.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages realize that French is under threat in Quebec and that Quebec workers would have more opportunities to work in their own language if the federal government respected the Quebec nation's language in its Canada Labour Code?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as we on this side of the House have always said, we are working to strengthen Canada's linguistic duality. As usual, all the Bloc can do is whine and complain. It never has a positive contribution to make, especially when it comes to official languages.