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House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was peoples.

Topics

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, during the last election the Prime Minister recognized the important work undertaken by ACOA and committed to maintaining the budget.

Since 2006, ACOA has invested almost $500 million in more than 700 economic development projects in Atlantic Canadian communities.

Recent media stories speculate about ACOA's budget cut in the coming years. Given the importance of this agency to Atlantic Canada, can the minister assure the House the ACOA budget will be maintained as promised?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral 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, of course, this government is very committed to seeing that the Atlantic Canada agency continues to work for Atlantic Canadians, and that the region itself becomes a prosperous have region. That is why we are committed to projects such as the Atlantic gateway which works well with all provinces in Atlantic Canada.

That is why our government announced nearly $500 million of funding through ACOA for more than 700 economic and community related development projects throughout Atlantic Canada since January 2006.

This is why we are investing in innovation throughout Atlantic Canada, through firms, through universities, and through world class research projects. ACOA is recognized by Statistics Canada as a key contributor to growing R and D in Atlantic Canada.

It is only the member for Kings—Hants--

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada today has world class imaging satellite technology with RADARSAT-2. Those stepping up to be heard in opposition to its sale are growing each day. Today the chair of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council told the Ottawa Business Journal:

When we lose technology companies [like MDA], it undermines the whole business framework from which new companies can grow.

Can the minister tell this House how innovation in Canada's high tech sector will be helped by allowing the sale of MDA to an American weapons manufacturer?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, again, I really urge members of this House to wait until the process is complete before deciding how to respond. It is foolish and it makes no sense. It does not help Canadians to speculate about what might be if this or if that, when the process is still working. No decision has been made.

I urge members of the House to wait until a decision has been made before they draw any conclusions. I think Canadians deserve at least that.

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me ask something concrete. Canada got RADARSAT-2 technology for non-military purposes.

ATK, the U.S.-based company that wants to buy MDA, is a weapons manufacturer, interested in such things as ballistic missile defence.

With NATO endorsing President Bush's plan for ballistic missile defence, can the Prime Minister tell us whether he or his officials have discussed with the Bush administration the future of RADARSAT-2 and, if so, what was the content of that discussion?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeSecretary of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, I assure the hon. member that the Minister of Industry is making a very full and complete investigation into this matter. He has all the documents in his hands.

I am sure that he is well aware of the anxious concerns of the member opposite. I can assure her, as the minister himself has stated many times, that his decision will be made with the best interest of our country at the fore.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, when someone is recorded making controversial statements, he should explain himself and apologize. Will the Prime Minister finally explain to Canadians what he meant when he spoke of the “financial considerations” presented to Chuck 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, the Prime Minister has already explained this many times. The only offer made to Chuck Cadman was to rejoin our caucus, run as a candidate and be re-elected. There was no offer of a million-dollar life insurance policy. This accusation by the Liberals is false.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has admitted there was an offer made to Chuck Cadman. It is there as plain as day on tape. But so far in this House the Prime Minister's plan A has been to dodge the question.

So why does he not go to plan B instead, come clean with Canadians, and explain what his recorded words really mean. And if he acted inappropriately, why will he not apologize to the Canadian public, the Canadian citizens?

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, as I have said, this question has been answered a number of times.

After a month of Liberals throwing stones and trying to build a false scandal here, they still have all of their work ahead of them because the allegation that they have made against the Prime Minister that he somehow offered Chuck Cadman a million dollars in life insurance is utterly nonsensical. It has proven to be so day by day.

The Liberals should get on and talk about issues that are a concern to Canadians, rather than continuing to invent these scandals day after day.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have asked the Prime Minister many times to explain his words on the Zytaruk tape, but he has chosen not to. Until he does, I will try my best to understand what he would say if he did answer.

He might say: “Chuck was dying and he knew it, and if he died as an MP, his family would receive a much larger parliamentary benefit than if he were a former MP. So this was an incentive for him to vote with the Liberal government, but if he had another insurance policy that would pay out the same amount, he could then vote however he wanted and not be distracted by what he shouldn't be distracted by”.

For the Prime Minister: Is this how it all began?

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, this is a new approach that I have not seen in eight years in Parliament. The Liberals invent a scandal, then they invent their questions and then they invent their answers to their own questions.

Again, we have been straightforward on this, as has the Prime Minister. There was no offer of a million dollar life insurance policy. Any efforts to present that as the truth is in fact fraud.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, if he was willing to answer, might go on this way.

“So, I talked with Chuck several times, but he was not interested. He already had his life insurance policy and besides, this would be illegal. But our guys still wanted to run it by him. I told them it wouldn't work. He'd made up his mind. But they still wanted to try”.

For the Prime Minister: Is this how it happened?

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, once upon a time there was actually an official opposition in the House of Commons that used to raise substantive policy questions in the House of Commons. Once upon a time there was an official opposition that gave a damn about what Canadians wanted the House of Commons to address. Once upon a time there was an official opposition that really, truly brought issues of substance to the House of Commons. Once upon a time there was a Liberal Party that actually believed in things rather than smear people's reputations with false accusations.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security has learned that 10 seconds elapsed from the time police arrived at the Vancouver airport room where Robert Dziekanski was being held to when he was tasered. That was 57 seconds after they entered the building. The RCMP was quick to use this electro-shock weapon. Does this not clearly show that the taser has become an easy solution used without even considering other, less dangerous options?

What does the minister responsible for the RCMP think?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, I have asked for a report on the use of the taser. Now, every time a taser is used a report must be filed. Mr. Kennedy has also prepared a report and we are awaiting his final report for further recommendations.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this happened six months ago. The Vancouver International Airport Authority has had the time to learn some lessons. But not the RCMP. It could not even enlighten the members of the committee who travelled to Vancouver to investigate this matter. It is using the investigations as an excuse for inaction and silence. However, it is obvious that there is a serious divergence between the measures that it acknowledges should be taken before using the taser and what happens in reality.

Will the minister acknowledge that a moratorium is necessary? How many deaths will it take to convince him?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the government was first to ask for a complete report on the events at Vancouver airport. The Canada Border Services Agency has already conducted an investigation and provided a report with many recommendations. Furthermore, the Vancouver International Airport Authority has also conducted an investigation which resulted in more recommendations, and I believe we will be receiving eight other reports as well.

AirbusOral Questions

April 7th, 2008 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, this government has said that it is absurd to ask whether there was any contact between ministers or government representatives and Mr. Mulroney that may have been organized or facilitated by Mr. Mulroney. However, Mr. Mulroney did meet in private with the former Minister of Industry last April.

Will that meeting be part of the public inquiry's mandate, yes or no?

AirbusOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, the opposition is trying to make up stories or scandals out of thin air.

When I was Minister of Industry, I never met with Mr. Mulroney about anything. I did however have social contact with him during his book launching in Montreal.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after years of deep budget cuts by Liberal governments, our Canadian Forces were left with aging and out of date equipment.

Our Conservative government committed to strengthen and better equip our military. Part of the process of rebuilding our forces includes obtaining medium and heavy lift helicopters.

Could the Minister of National Defence tell the House if the government has made any progress in this regard?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today the government announced that we would be issuing a request for proposal to acquire 16 medium to heavy lift helicopters. This is part, as the member has suggested, of the government's strong commitment to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, to provide them with the proper equipment.

These versatile aircraft will give Canada's military the ability to operate in remote and isolated areas and increase its capacity to respond to disasters both at home and abroad.

After more than a decade of rust out, the Canadian Forces now have a government that cares for their concerns. This is good new for them. It is good news for Canadians. It is certainly good news for everyone in the world who depends heavily on the courageous and important work of the men and women of the Canadian Forces.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in Bucharest the Prime Minister said that when it came to the high levels of opposition to the war in Afghanistan, Canadian public opinion was being misread. He said that it was not the mission to which Canadians were opposed, but rather it was not being successful of which Canadians were afraid.

Millions oppose this mission because it is the wrong path for Canada to take in Afghanistan. The recent meetings in Bucharest reveal that this is effectively a U.S. counter-insurgency war.

Could the Prime Minister tell the House exactly where he draws his conclusion on Canadian public opinion from?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we have seen in this UN backed NATO-led mission, with over 60 countries participating in the development and reconstruction, the more Canadians hear, like the 30 hours of debate that took place here in the House of Commons, like the vote that was taken here to extend the mission, something that is unprecedented and has happened twice under this government, is important.

I know the member perhaps was not here for much of that debate, but the more Canadians hear about the important work that is being done, about the schools being opened, the thousands of kilometres of roads that are being built, water and electricity being made available to Afghans, those types of humanitarian efforts to increase medical coverage for the entire country, is important.