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House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was use.

Topics

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, documents filed in the Federal Court by Elections Canada make it clear that one of the architects of the illegal in and out scheme was Conservative Party executive director Mike Donison. Another was Conservative past campaign chair Tom Flanagan.

Mr. Donison is now the senior policy adviser to the Minister for Democratic Reform. Given today's RCMP raid, will Mr. Donison be stepping aside from his current role?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, let us be clear. Elections Canada is in a dispute with the Conservative Party, for which the Conservative Party has taken Elections Canada to court.

We are very confident of our grounds. We have based them on our interpretation of the law, an interpretation that is not only consistent with our view but consistent with the conduct in the way other parties have interpreted the law through their own spending practices. They had better be hoping that we succeed in our court case because that would mean they have been doing things right too.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Donison is the minister's chief advisor on democratic reform despite the fact that he was involved in the Conservatives' illegal in and out financing scheme. The RCMP was forced to seize Conservative Party documents related to that illegal scheme.

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons ask Mike Donison to submit his resignation this very day?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, as I have indicated several times, this is flowing out of the disagreement with Elections Canada that the Conservative Party has brought to the courts.

For some reason, Elections Canada has asked the RCMP to assist it with its warrant. The RCMP has made it clear, contrary to what we have heard from over there, that it is simply assisting Elections Canada in its process. Why that is necessary in advance of a process where we have indicated a willingness to disclose every document it asked for, I do not understand.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is reasonable for us to suspect that the scheme whereby the Conservative government illegally spent $1.2 million in 2006 is behind the RCMP searches. The Prime Minister is telling us that it is normal for the RCMP to conduct a search. Next the Prime Minister will be telling us that the RCMP is paying a courtesy call to the Conservative Party.

We know that it takes a warrant to be able to conduct a search. Will the government commit to immediately making the RCMP warrant public?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:30 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, our election financing activities are legal. We know that they are legal because they are upheld by the law. We are not the only ones. Other political parties have used the same practices for years without any problems.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has just spoken about all of the parties. I would remind the leader of the government that only the Conservatives' election reports are being challenged, not those of the other parties.

If this government, champion of transparency, has nothing to hide, let it table the search warrant in this House. That is what we want.

Elections CanadaOral 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, he puts it very well, the hon. member does, when he points out that it is only the Conservative Party that was singled out by Elections Canada, which is odd when all political parties use exactly the same approach. That is why we went to court to have the matter cleared up--

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. There is too much noise. I cannot hear the answer.

The government House leader was asked a question. He has the floor to respond and we will hear his response. Order, please.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is why we have the same situation at the procedure and House affairs committee. It wishes a study only of Conservative spending practices in this regard. We have asked that the identical spending practices of all the parties be studied, which those members are all refusing to have done.

We believe all parties should be treated equally. All parties should be held to the same standard in the law. That is why we have taken Elections Canada to court. That is why we want the procedure and House affairs committee to be balanced.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

April 15th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in July, the 540 employees of Golden Brand, a manufacturing firm in Montreal, will lose their jobs as a direct result of potentially unfair competition from China in the clothing and textile industry.

Does the Conservative government realize that its lack of leadership at the WTO is costing jobs, including the jobs at Golden Brand, and that this is destroying the social and industrial fabric of Quebec?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, when something like this happens, it is sad, of course, for a region and also for the employees and their families, who will go through difficult times.

That is why we are putting measures in place to support regional economic development. That is also why we have to continue working so that we can provide the necessary tools for entrepreneurs who want to start or expand a business or access new markets.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a totally ridiculous answer to give the employees. In recent years, Chinese textile and clothing imports have increased eightfold. During that time, the Bloc Québécois has urged the government to use temporary safeguards to protect the clothing industry against this sudden, damaging increase in Chinese imports, as other countries have done.

What is the federal government waiting for to protect the employees of Golden Brand and the 100,000 workers who depend on the textile and clothing industry in Quebec and Canada?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, for the textile industry, we have established the CANtex program, which provides up to $100,000 in non-repayable contributions for companies that want to purchase new equipment and expand. In addition, we can offer loans.

The tools are there for entrepreneurs who want them.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for 17 months now this government has failed to address allegations of torture and evidence of corruption in Afghanistan. Now, at a very delicate moment, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has made an extreme clumsy mistake that undermines international efforts in Kandahar.

Both the Minister of Defence and General Hillier have spoken warmly in public about the governor, but behind closed doors, apparently, it is another message and another tune from the government. Then the minister makes the colossal mistake of babbling in front of the media. What does the Prime Minister intend to do about this mess?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Afghanistan is a foreign state that makes its own decisions about government appointments. I can assure members that Canada fully respects this and is not calling for any changes to the Afghan government.

Members need to know that Canada is in Afghanistan to help it become a stable, democratic and self-sustaining state so that never again can Afghanistan become a haven for terrorists threatening both global and Canadian security.

As the Prime Minister said, we have full confidence in the Minister of Foreign Affairs because he is doing a great job for Canada.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the response from the Prime Minister's stand-in.

The diplomatic efforts of the men and women in Afghanistan have been thwarted by this government's incompetence.

With one careless comment, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sabotaged months of diplomatic efforts and effectively crushed all international efforts in favour of human rights and against corruption.

The Prime Minister claims to be a champion of responsibility and transparency. Will he ask his minister of—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the Liberal stand-in leader.

Afghanistan is a foreign state that makes its own decisions about government appointments. I can assure members that Canada fully respects this and is not calling for any change in the Government of Afghanistan. We have full confidence in the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is doing a great job for Canada.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I could have asked a question today regarding the incompetence of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, who says one thing in private and the opposite in public concerning Bill C-10. That is real minor league stuff. I could also talk about the incompetence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who embarrassed us in Afghanistan. Actually, he embarrasses us everywhere.

However, considering that General Hillier, the real National Defence minister, has just announced his resignation, can the other Minister of National Defence tell us why he insists on muzzling the military police complaints commission and literally destroying over a year's worth of work on the torture investigation? What does he have to hide?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to welcome the hon. member who is once again the defence critic. Clearly, just as the Prime Minister said, General Hillier had our full confidence. He worked very hard for our country and to rebuild the Canadian Forces. Unfortunately, the hon. member did not share General Hillier's opinion. I would nevertheless like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank General Hillier for his service to Canada.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, even the military police complaints commissioner himself has said how disappointed he is that the government will not show transparency and accountability. Its court application will not only prevent public hearings but would kill the whole investigation that is going on, for more than a year.

The Minister of Defence can try any excuse he wants, but his actions and the actions of the government are clear. They want to stop anyone from investigating allegations of torture. What does the government have to hide?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary, I think we have seen a historic effort in transparency. We have given the police commissioner access to over 1,300 documents, with 38 witnesses. We have had 17 technical briefings. That is 16 more than the members opposite when they were in government.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

We'd prefer to have a real investigation.