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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, that does not mean rewriting history. That is not what happened.

In a letter addressed to the people elected to this House and those appointed to the other house, the minister wrote “... it is difficult to maintain a strong, homogeneous national identity”, which is why it is important to promote so-called national symbols, such as the Crown of Canada. Yet this comes from a government that supposedly recognizes the Quebec nation.

Does the minister realize that by promoting homogeneous national unity, he is denying the very existence of the Quebec nation?

400th Anniversary of Quebec CityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is a little confused. As we all know, last week, they tried to create a scandal out of the Governor General's visit, a visit that made all Canadians proud of her and her responsibility. Her visit to France respected the dignity of all Canadians and she recognized the founding of Quebec as a key point in Canadian history.

Official Languages and the Supreme CourtOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, like the Commissioner of Official Languages, columnist Yves Boisvert has said that Supreme Court justices should be bilingual. According to Mr. Boisvert, it would be appropriate for them to understand both official languages and to have direct access to the language of one of Canada's two legal cultures.

Will the Prime Minister exercise judgment and add the knowledge of both official languages to the necessary criteria in the list of basic competencies of Supreme Court justices?

Official Languages and the Supreme CourtOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the appointment of a Supreme Court justice is the responsibility of the government. We will act in a timely manner. There will be extensive consultations. We will act in an open and transparent manner.

We will appoint an outstanding individual of whom all Canadians can be proud. Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada deserve no less.

AirbusOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, six months after promising to hold a public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, the Prime Minister has not yet appointed a chair or established the official mandate of the inquiry. The hearings of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics ended more than two months ago, the report was tabled over one month ago and the promise to appoint a commissioner has still not been kept.

Why is the Prime Minister waiting to appoint a commissioner if not to delay this inquiry and avoid the fallout from another scandal before the next election?

AirbusOral 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, we are carefully establishing the mandate at present. We are also looking for a suitable commissioner. This government is being prudent in order to avoid wasting public money. We will not speed up the process to the detriment of the commission's integrity and careful consideration of legal opinions.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, Dona Cadman, the Conservative candidate in Surrey North, confirms that she has been interviewed twice by the RCMP concerning the offer the Prime Minister's agents made to Mr. Cadman in exchange for his vote. She said she is anxious to find out who these unethical Conservatives were.

Can the government confirm whether the Prime Minister or any other privy councillor has been interviewed by the RCMP on the Cadman affair, or if interviews have been requested with the Minister of Natural Resources or with John Reynolds?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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 my colleague knows, the RCMP operates independently of the government. Any investigation the RCMP may be undertaking on this matter is entirely up to it, and if the member has questions about who the RCMP is questioning, he may want to go ahead and ask the RCMP.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has already started interviews in the Cadman affair. Mrs. Cadman, Conservative candidate for Surrey North, has been questioned twice.

Once again, has the Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources or John Reynolds been questioned by the RCMP in the Cadman affair? Will the Prime Minister himself, who described the situation as a financial offer, provide a list of the ministers who are being investigated?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 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 just said, the RCMP operates quite independently of our government. If the RCMP is conducting an investigation, it is up to it to conduct interviews.

I hear my colleague for Ottawa South asking if I am involved. I will answer no, that I was not personally aware of any interview.

We have been clear on this matter from the very beginning. We have answered all the questions regarding this.

It is very interesting that we are barely halfway through question period and the Liberals have already run out of steam on any policy questions. They continue to throw mud, but that is the sign of the times for the Liberal Party.

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been six months since the Prime Minister promised a public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. The government has known for six months. The Prime Minister promised a public inquiry and yet all we get is delay and denial by the government.

The question is quite simple. When is the government going to appoint a commissioner to conduct a true and fully independent public inquiry?

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 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, I know that the hon. member was chair of the committee that dealt with this, and that committee's detailed investigation of this did delay the commencement of a public inquiry for some time.

I do note that it was under his chairmanship that the member for West Nova was permitted to go ahead and ask questions that the ethics commissioner has since found were inappropriate. We are going to make sure that when we do things, we do things properly on this side, even if he cannot.

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were promised a full public inquiry and that is just what they expect to get.

Appointing a commissioner does not take rocket science. The government has known for six months that it should have appointed a commissioner. The Prime Minister himself started this process when he ordered all the Conservatives to avoid Brian Mulroney. I have to ask again: what is the Prime Minister doing now to ensure that Brian Mulroney never faces public scrutiny?

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 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, there are of course some questions of public interest that do need to be dealt with by a public inquiry. That is why we are carefully preparing the terms of reference based on the advice that has been provided by Professor Johnston, taking into account the very lengthy, detailed and successful efforts of the committee that the hon. member chaired.

We are in the process of finding a suitable commissioner to undertake that work.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Ottawa—Orléans and across the country, Canadians are paying more for gas than ever before.

Now, new reports show that about one pump in twenty shortchanges me and other consumers and gives out less fuel than what appears on the meter. The people whom I serve will not put up with this. Can the Minister of Industry tell the House if he has any plans to address these concerns in order to protect Canadian consumers?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his hard work. As he knows, I have just outlined the plans, but I know this: there is not a Canadian who would trust the Liberals around their gas pumps. First, that is because in 1995 the Liberals knew all about this. The difficulties with gas pump measurements were brought to their attention and they did nothing. Second, it goes beyond that to the current policy of the Liberal leader, who wants a Liberal Dion gas tax.

The real issue is tax-guzzling Liberal spending. We will not have any of it.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, another 1,400 well-paid manufacturing jobs are lost in a GM plant closing in Windsor. Sadly, Campaign 2000 reports that Canada lags behind the U.S. and the rest of the world in retooling and adapting for a new economy. For example, Germany is creating 400,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector and 1.6 million jobs in the environment sector as a whole.

We know that the industry minister has turned his back on the manufacturing sector, so where is the Minister of the Environment on this crucial economic issue? What hope for a new energy economy can he offer to those who are now losing their jobs?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the Windsor issue, the news is unfortunate for workers and their families and we obviously share their concerns.

Over the course of the weekend I spoke with Mr. Elias, the operating president of General Motors in Canada. This case involves the product mandate that will be expiring in the latter half of 2010. Our concern initially is to work with the workers and their families to make sure that people are well positioned to transition to other employment. We have every confidence that will happen.

In terms of the manufacturing sector, and the auto sector specifically, we will make sure that this sector is competitive.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, why is it that our Minister of the Environment can be extremely aggressive on partisan issues, but when it comes to his own portfolio, he kowtows to his cabinet colleagues who are responsible for the economy? Does he understand that his is an economic portfolio? Nowadays, the environment and the economy go hand in hand.

Workers in Windsor, like workers in Beauce, have hope. The problem is that the Minister of the Environment does not understand anything. He is just like his government: old-fashioned and visionless. It is pitiful.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do understand one thing. I understand that a whopping gas tax increase, a tax on home heating fuel, a tax on people who are heating their homes with natural gas, and a massive new Liberal tax on electricity would do great damage to Canadian working families and it would do great damage to seniors living on fixed incomes.

I do not want any seniors to have to face the choice between filling their refrigerators, filling their prescriptions or filling their gas tanks. That is what the Liberal Party will do to Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

May 12th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the governor of Montana stated that he would have entertained a request for clemency for a Canadian on death row. The Minister of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were both given the opportunity to intervene, but neither did.

Clearly the old Reform policy to not seek clemency for Canadians on death row is now Canada's policy under the Conservative government. Who specifically made this life or death decision?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear on this issue. There is no death penalty in Canada and there are no plans to change the law.

With respect to those individuals who are convicted abroad, they of course will receive consular services but each decision will be on a case by case basis.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister means there is no death penalty in Canada yet.

The Conservative government has been clear that it is in favour of the death penalty. This case by case basis of cherry-picking used by the minister is unacceptable. It ensures that some Canadians will be put to death as a result of this position. Will the Minister of Justice tell the House what criteria he is using to decide who lives and who dies?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Again, Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear that individuals who commit murders or multiple murders abroad and are convicted of course will continue to receive consular services, but we will deal with each case on a case by case basis.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the government's Canada First plan has put search and rescue last. Four years ago, the 2004 Liberal budget gave the air force the money to buy new search and rescue airplanes. It was all there, but the Conservatives cancelled it.

All the government does is talk about improving search and rescue. There is no action. It has done it again today. Why does the Conservative Canada First plan put the safety of Canadians last?