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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. It appears that is now complete. The government House leader has the floor.

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral 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 would only say to the hon. member that I hope he would get his policy briefings from a more serious program on television.

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, when Jean Chrétien formed his first cabinet in November 1993, Alfonso Gagliano was excluded because the RCMP had discovered that he was the accountant for a man who was linked to organized crime. The RCMP had alerted the Prime Minister's Office, which delayed Alfonso Gagliano's appointment until a more thorough investigation enabled him to join the cabinet.

Today, the government would have us believe that the RCMP and the Prime Minister's Office knew nothing about the questionable relationships of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Can the Prime Minister confirm, here in the House, that the RCMP did provide him with information about the shady past of the former partner of the Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, an unprecedented human tragedy is taking place in Burma. China has been rocked by a deadly earthquake. Civil war could resume in Lebanon.

But the only thing the sovereignist gossips in this House have wanted to talk about for at least a week is the past relationships of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Bloc is an embarrassment to Quebeckers.

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we have often found, question period is not necessarily answer period for this government.

If the answer were no, would the Minister of Public Safety launch an investigation to determine why the RCMP did not do its job? However, the likely answer is yes. At the time, the Reform Party called on the government to table the security reports about Alfonso Gagliano's friends and professional associates.

Now that the Conservatives are in power, can they ask themselves that question?

Minister of Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago the Bloc was interested in having a national conversation. Now it is more interested in neighbourhood gossip.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

May 14th, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is about to withdraw Canada's candidacy for a seat on the prestigious UN Security Council. There is every reason to believe that Canada would not be elected anyway, because of the Conservative government's alignment with George W. Bush's policies.

Is it not true that the Canadian government wants to quietly pull out in order to save face and avoid embarrassment?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my hon. colleague that the election to the Council will take place in 2010. That being said, we are a proud partner and participant in the United Nations, and we will remain just that. For instance, we are implementing the United Nations' resolution regarding Afghanistan. We are proud to be working with NATO in Afghanistan. We are proud to be working with the UN in Darfur. We are proud of what we are doing and we will always be a UN partner.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, our traditional allies have noticed our departures from our traditional foreign policies, whether concerning the environment with the rejection of Kyoto, concerning the Middle East with Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or concerning human rights with the death penalty and the torture of prisoners of war. These policy shifts affect our alliances and undermine Canada's credibility on the international scene.

Does this come as any surprise, considering how much this Minister of Foreign Affairs lacks vision and influence?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question, since it allows me to explain to her what we are doing on the international scene.

Some $300 million has been earmarked for the Middle East peace process. We are among the top five major donors to the peace process. Some $275 million is earmarked for peace in Sudan. We have imposed the toughest sanctions in the world on the appalling Burmese regime. We are working with NATO on a number of international missions, including Afghanistan. This government has a good record. We are proud of our record on the international scene.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is conducting interviews with respect to Conservative attempts to bribe Chuck Cadman.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Has he or any members of his staff been contacted by the RCMP regarding an interview?

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, I answered this question the other day.

The RCMP, of course, if they are doing any kind of investigation or questioning, the people whom they speak to is entirely up to them. They hold those lists themselves. My colleague can understand the reason the RCMP would do that in terms of their procedures.

If my colleague wants to know whom the RCMP have spoken to, perhaps he should call the RCMP, because it was he himself who asked the RCMP to do the interviews.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, since the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works is on his feet, I want to ask him a question he can answer.

The in and out scheme was about buying advertising with national money and fraudulently calling it local spending. The Conservatives forced many Conservative candidates in hopeless ridings to play this game, like the four ridings south of his, and spent the money to benefit marginal ridings, like his riding of Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam.

Is that why the parliamentary secretary condoned the illegal in and out affair?

Elections CanadaOral 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, of course we followed, and I followed, all the campaign rules in all three of my successful election campaigns.

With regard to Chuck Cadman, as I said yesterday, we wanted Chuck Cadman to rejoin the Conservative Party so he would vote in the House of Commons and throw the corrupt Liberals out, so we could get a Conservative government in that would deliver on its word. That is exactly what we are doing in this government.

The member for Vancouver Centre can continue to throw mud, but the facts are on the table and the facts are clear. Canadians spoke. They wanted a new government. They got a new honest Conservative government that has kept its word.

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, my question is for some senior minister over there who might want to earn his or her salary.

The OPP, who have not cleared the environment minister in the O'Brien affair, interviewed John Light, who works in the constituency office of that parliamentary secretary. Mr. Light says that Conservative operatives told him Mr. Kilrea would not be a factor in the Ottawa election because he was being taken care of and was going to be offered something.

Could some senior minister over there tell the House when they first learned of the bribe to Mr. Kilrea?

Municipal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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 am only 45; I am not yet a senior.

That being said, what we continue to see from the other side is a policy plate that is entirely void of any substance whatsoever. Every single question in this House has nothing to do with anything, except for imaginary scandals in their desperate effort to find something to hold together a fracturing party that lacks any policy. But you know what, Mr. Speaker? They have a policy coming. It is the key to their success. They have decided in this time of rising gas prices that the key to winning the next election and keeping their party together is to raise those gas prices on ordinary Canadians. That is the plan their leader is going to be unveiling in the weeks ahead.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is like playing Whac-a-Mole today: we ask a question of one, and a totally different one pops up, so I have a question for the House leader since he is on his feet.

It is clear that Michael Donison was the key architect of the in and out scheme. Strangely, Mr. Donison got a promotion after the last election. He is now the top adviser to the House leader.

How can the House leader think it is appropriate to get strategic advice from Mr. Donison when his scheme is considered illegal by the elections commissioner?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I have noticed for some time that the members across the way have been tense. As a result, I have developed a routine of reminding them of their own election practices. We all know what I am talking about: $5,000 in, $5,000 out; in, out. Where is Elections Canada?

When I ask these questions, it is to remind them that what they did in the last election, just like what we did, is common practice. It is perfectly legal, and I thank them very much for giving me so many occasions to point that out.

Human RightsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights, a Liberal senator said the Canadian government was morally equivalent to al-Qaeda and the Taliban for not seeking the immediate release of Omar Khadr. Offered several opportunities to retract his remarks, the Liberal senator doubled down and repeated them.

Does the Secretary of State for Canadian Identity think the senator's comments will affect Canada's reputation on the world stage?

Human RightsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid it might. I was deeply disturbed to hear the remarks of the Liberal senator who repeatedly and deliberately said that there is a moral equivalence, that is to say no moral difference, between the mass murder of civilians by terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the policy of Canada on the Khadr matter, a policy established by his own Liberal government.

I find and I am sure that all Canadians find these remarks unacceptable, extreme, odious and demanding of an immediate apology from that senator and from his leader.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives seem to have given up on the idea of Canada having a seat on the United Nations Security Council. There are only two possible explanations for that. Either the government is afraid of losing the seat because it knows Canada's lack of leadership on the world stage is hurting the country's chances, or the government has given up on the idea of Canada as a world leader. What is the government's explanation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I explained earlier, we continue to play an important role in the United Nations. That is our country's historic role. We are in Afghanistan because of a United Nations resolution. We are in Darfur because of a United Nations resolution. We are working in the best interest of Canadians and the entire international community. We are proud and we will continue to take action on the world stage as a member of the United Nations.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is like this. We have concerns about Darfur. We have concerns about the Middle East. We have concerns about Africa. All of these issues are decided at one place in the United Nations, at the Security Council.

What we are asking the government and what Canadians want to know is, will the government put forward a name? Will the government take some action to make sure that Canada is in the running?

I hear the Prime Minister say that no decision has been made yet. The Prime Minister should know. He does not have to worry. The Minister of Foreign Affairs does not have to sit at the Security Council table so we could have some competence there.

Will the government make a decision? Will it put a name forward, yes or no?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in 2010 a vote will be held in the UN concerning a seat for the Security Council. It is important for us.

Each time I meet with my counterparts, I always speak on behalf of Canadians. I am worried also about what we can do and what Canada's role will be in the future for the UN. The UN appreciates what we are doing. We are going to be an active participant in the UN in the near future.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the NGO Development and Peace presented a petition with over 190,000 signatures, calling on the government to stop turning a deaf ear and to take action by responding now to the national round table recommendations—of March 2007—on corporate social responsibility for Canadian companies involved in the development of extractive resources in developing countries.

When will the government make a decision and address the concerns of over 190,000 Canadians?