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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this is a very sad day for Canada. Members of the Liberal Party have exposed just how bankrupt intellectually they are--

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. Minister of the Environment has the floor, notwithstanding all the applause. Order.

Minister of the EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada is intellectually bankrupt. The Liberals have no policies for this country. They have no vision. They are providing no leadership and no agenda for the future.

Those of us on this side of the House are working to improve health care, build a strong economy, fight crime and we are getting the job done. That is why they support us each and every day to allow us to stay in government.

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday General Rick Hillier announced he will step down as chief of defence staff as of July 1 of this year.

In his 30-plus years of service, General Hillier demonstrated his dedication to the men and women of the Canadian Forces and made a great contribution to the rebuilding of the pride of serving in Canada's armed services.

His retirement leaves an opening for the military's top position. Can the Prime Minister explain how the government plans to proceed in selecting a new chief of defence staff?

Canadian ForcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I thank the hon. member for the question and I would like to repeat what I said yesterday. General Hillier has provided strong and remarkable leadership for the military during a period in which it has been rebuilt. He has left it a much stronger institution than when he found it.

He has also left us with a strong cadre of senior officers from which the government will consult and will ultimately pick a successor. We look forward to seeing an even stronger Canadian Forces in the future.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party set up an elaborate scam to circumvent the election financing rules of Canada and when it was caught, it tried to intimidate Elections Canada into backing down. It has obstructed, defied and made a mockery of attempts by this Parliament to get to the bottom of it, but most shocking of all is the contempt the Conservatives are showing for the RCMP. Yesterday's raid was not a publicity stunt, as the government claims. It was a serious police action.

When will the government stop defying the political and legal institutions of this country and admit that it broke the election financing laws of Canada?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 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, our dispute with Elections Canada is a disagreement over the interpretation of the elections law. Elections Canada takes the somewhat unusual position that local Conservative candidates cannot promote in their advertising their national leader or national policies.

We think that is absurd and we do not think that is fair, because in the last federal election, if one were driving around the greater Toronto area, one would have seen everywhere NDP signs outside of the NDP leader's riding of Toronto—Danforth, all of which had the NDP leader's name on it, all outside that riding. That is the exact same principle at work.

We do not see anything wrong with that. We think it is legal. We think all--

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, elections financing rules are a fundamental cornerstone of a legitimate democratic process. They are there to ensure that some party cannot come along and buy an election.

The Conservative Party jigged the rules and when it was caught, it tried to intimidate officials. The Conservatives promised the Canadian public that they would set a higher bar than the corrupt, old Liberals and they are no bloody better.

Why is it that average Canadians play by the rules and that party refuses?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would urge the hon. member to show some restraint in his use of language. There is no use getting into other things than intestinal fortitude here.

The hon. government House leader has the floor.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:55 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 remember that this was a dispute initiated in the courts by the Conservative Party of Canada because of the unequal treatment of the Conservative Party compared with other parties, including the NDP, which engages in the transfer of funds between riding associations from its central party to assist in local targeted ridings. It has been going on for years. Duff Conacher said that on television. He said it is legal.

Parties can donate as much as they want to a local candidate and they often do that to candidates who do not have a lot of local support which, of course, happens with the NDP very often. We think that is perfectly fine. We just think every party should be treated the same. That is why we took Elections Canada to court.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

A few weeks ago, General Hillier said he thought the governor of Kandahar was doing phenomenal work. Those were his words. Yet the minister asked if the governor was the right person in the right job.

My question is very simple. Who is right: General Hillier or the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party claims to speak for human rights. It claims to speak for good governance. It claims to speak against corruption. But in Afghanistan the Liberal Party does not stand up for the Afghan people, does not stand up for good governance.

You know what, Mr. Speaker? On this side of the House, what is good for Canadians is good for Afghans.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an old trick: weak point, shout louder.

I have a very simple question for the minister. Does he not realize that there were diplomatic efforts to deal with the question of the governor of Kandahar? He himself had a private conversation with President Karzai about the governor of Kandahar.

Does the minister not realize that, in fact, he is making the fight against corruption, the fight against the mistreatment of prisoners more difficult by babbling in front of the media and putting public pressure on the government of Afghanistan and putting them in an impossible position? Does he not even understand what he has done? He does not.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, here is what we are doing. We are implementing the motion the Liberal Party voted for in this House. The motion reads: “— the ultimate aim of Canadian policy is to leave Afghanistan to Afghans, in a country that is better governed—” That is what we are doing.

Why do we want Afghanistan to be better governed? In order to ensure that schools, roads and infrastructures can be built for the Afghan people.

I would like the Liberal Party to do more than simply vote with us on the motion, but also to help us create good governance in Afghanistan.

EthicsOral Questions

April 16th, 2008 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, day after day I have asked the Prime Minister to explain his own words. With his silence, I have tried to put together what is already publicly known, giving him every benefit of the doubt. But every scenario leads to the same place, trying to buy a vote to bring down a government.

To the Prime Minister, it is time for an answer. Do not slink down. Look up. Stand up. Explain.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 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, it is a little bit ironic to hear the member for York Centre asking other people to stand up in the House of Commons. He has not stood up on an important vote in this House of Commons in months and stood up for his constituents.

On this issue, the Prime Minister has been clear. He has answered this question and the accusations by the Liberals are entirely false.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his cartoon strip Doonesbury as day after day no answers came from President Nixon, Garry Trudeau began building a wall around the White House. With every week that passed, the wall grew higher and higher. For the Prime Minister, with every week that passes, the wall is growing higher and higher as he slinks lower and lower behind it.

To the Prime Minister, do not slink down. Look up. Stand up. Explain.

EthicsOral Questions

3 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, today actually marks an interesting moment because this is actually the 150th question on this very issue asked by the Liberals. They are 150 questions on something that did not happen, and they are 150 questions that they did not ask on the environment, on trade, justice issues, or farmers. They are 150 missed opportunities to do what the Liberals said they were going to do in the election campaign, which is to stand up and be a voice for their constituents.

The Liberal Party members would do very well to leave their fantasies, like their questions, back in the 1970s, look to the future, stand in the House of Commons, vote and ask questions that are of substance to the Canadian people.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Parole Board has just released a drug trafficker sentenced to 50 months in jail after serving only two years. Because of the practice of giving double the amount of credit for time spent in custody awaiting trial, this trafficker is leaving jail almost one year before having actually served two thirds of his sentence.

Does the Minister of Justice intend to put an end to the double credit practice, which undermines the administration of justice, as demanded by the Bloc Québécois?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Finally, Mr. Speaker, a question from the Bloc Québécois on the justice agenda before Parliament. It has been a while.

I would ask the hon. member just to spend a couple of minutes to worry about the agenda that is presently before Parliament. The drug bill that we have before Parliament has mandatory jail times for people who want to sell drugs to children, people who want to import and export narcotics, and people who want to get into the grow op business. How about a little bit of support on this before the next part of the agenda?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that inmates can be released almost automatically after serving only one sixth of their sentence is shocking for Quebeckers. The case of Hugo Bernier, who murdered Julie Boisvenu after serving only one sixth of his sentence, clearly illustrates the system's aberrations. The victim's father, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu has spoken out against this situation.

Does the Minister of Justice intend to abolish accelerated parole review, which is undermining the justice system, as the Bloc Québécois has been demanding for many years, yes or no?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is amazing. This is the same political party that was supporting house arrest for arsonists and a whole group of people. When we needed their support on that, they were nowhere to be found.

I would like to ask them to get behind the auto theft bill, the ID theft bill, and the bill on drugs. Help get the agenda that is before Parliament right now before worrying about other things.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the government has demonstrated that it is willing to break the law with respect to the Elections Act and break the law with its attack on the Canadian Wheat Board. Now the Minister of Agriculture has shown in writing that he is prepared to break the law when it comes to the Privacy Act.

After being warned that his request would violate the law, can the minister explain why, in two letters, he demanded the board provide the names, addresses and specific commercial information about individual producers? Why the witch hunt on individuals?

Is there no law the government is not willing to break?