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House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

Canada-United States RelationsOral 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, the hon. member simply asserted as fact something for which he has no evidence whatsoever.

What we do know is that the Clerk of the Privy Council was asked to investigate this matter thoroughly. He called on two professional companies involved in these kinds of investigations to do the most thorough and complete assessment. They determined that there was no evidence whatsoever that any classified information had been revealed by either the chief of staff to the Prime Minister or the ambassador to Washington, though they did express concerns about the fact that the memo in question was circulated by foreign affairs to over 200 addresses, including those outside foreign affairs.

Canada-United States RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government misses the point.

The NAFTA-gate report was supposed to address the leaks at the highest levels of government. Instead, all we got was a whitewash and, apparently, for good reason. It was because the Prime Minister's own office was the source of all the leaks, including the memo that was given to the Republican Party.

Loose lips interfering in foreign elections, briefing books left unsecured and diplomatic memos handed out for partisan gain. What does the government plan to do to clean up this mess?

Canada-United States RelationsOral 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, on the contrary, the report found the opposite of what the hon. member indicated. The memo in question from foreign affairs was not made available to the Prime Minister's chief of staff until a much later date.

It was released to over 200 addresses, according to that memo, including some outside of foreign affairs. That created a situation where the government decided to accept the recommendations, which included a recommendation that those processes for determining how memos are classified and where they are circulated be tightened up at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Canada-United States RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, we asked very respectfully for the simple assurance that there was no security leak pertaining to the former minister of foreign affairs. The government House leader replied:

This is a question that should not be answered here. It should not be asked now. It should not be dealt with ever....

His judgment, however, was wrong and the government will be accountable for the security breaches, for PMO leaks to Republican cronies in the U.S. and for illegal Conservative campaign spending.

Why can the government not tell the truth about anything?

Canada-United States RelationsOral 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, the government is quite happy to tell the truth. The problem is that the Liberals should look at themselves in asking questions, and those who have preceded this, as to why they will not deal with the truth.

The questions that were asked with regard to the private life of the hon. member for Beauce are not appropriate questions and we continue to stand by that view.

However, with regard to the issue for which he provided his resignation, which was accepted, it related to documents, but that information only became available yesterday.

Canada-United States RelationsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, has Canada's national security been breached?

The Prime Minister said that he did not take it seriously. He called the opposition leader a busybody.

Canadians cannot trust the Prime Minister, not on security, not on PMO leaks to Republicans, not on illegal election spending, not on Afghan detainees, not on climate change, not on untendered contracts, not on ministerial expenses, and not on the environment minister calling the OPP.

The Conservative government's credibility is in tatters. The Conservatives need to answer the questions. Why do they only take things seriously after they get caught?

Canada-United States RelationsOral 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 will resist the temptation for today to respond to the litany that the hon. member raised and focus simply on the question of the documents that were dealt with yesterday that gave rise to the resignation.

Let us be clear. The issue is not people's private lives but the fact that documents were left in an inappropriate place. It mattered not what place it was. It mattered not whether it was Ms. Couillard's home, a restaurant or a friend's house. Those were not the issues. The issue was the error in leaving the documents somewhere where they were unsecured.

When those rules were violated, action was required and that action was taken.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the hon. member for Beauce stepped down from his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs for reasons of his incompetence, among other things. The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is proving that the Minister of Public Safety is just as incompetent by preventing him from answering questions. We have a question on airport security and the answer we get is that this involves the private lives of ministers.

I am asking a simple question for the Minister of Public Safety, so that he can reassure us. Is there a systematic check into companies that respond to a call for tenders in airports? This has nothing to do with private life, but with airports where there are airplanes.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Obviously the minister said something, but I did not hear him.

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie has the floor.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting. The Minister of Public Safety just said there are systematic security checks of companies that bid on contracts in airports. Julie Couillard put in a bid. A security check was done that uncovered her background.

Knowing that background, why did the minister stand idly by when he saw that she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs' companion? Let us hear the answer.

Public SafetyOral 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, I know that once again the only issue for them is the private life of Madam Couillard and they continue to pursue it.

The fact is that no contract of that type was awarded. We know that happened under a Liberal government, but no contract was awarded. If one was awarded, I am sure that as part of that process all security clearances would have been satisfied.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the justice minister refused to answer whether the President of the Treasury Board was in the running for a federal judicial appointment in Manitoba. I took his refusal to answer as confirmation that the minister has in fact completed a personal history form and is now a prospective nominee.

The hypocrisy of such an appointment discredits the judicial appointment process.

Will the justice minister now be honest and admit that this appointment is rife with conflict? Will he confirm that as the minister responsible he will not participate in such an abuse of power?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

We are getting much advice, Mr. Speaker, from the Liberal Party.

I indicated that all the appointments we have made and the ones we will make in the future have been and will be based on legal excellence.

I think what is really upsetting the Liberals is that now we are making the appointments and they are not.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the coastal communities in Quebec and the rest of Canada are facing considerable challenges. Although the Bloc never mentioned fisheries in its long list of budget demands published this year, some Bloc members would now like us to believe that they are concerned about Quebec's small craft harbours.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans update the House on this important issue?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for his question. I will also be doing everything I can on behalf of Quebec fishers.

We have added $31 million in permanent funding for small craft harbours. We have added $45 million for the divestiture of unneeded ports which has helped us put money into the real needs. We have identified new resources. We are helping them reduce their expenses. We will not add a carbon tax to their fuel to put them out of business.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the children of Attawapiskat are taking the extraordinary step of coming to Ottawa to challenge the minister directly on his decision to abandon any commitment to build a grade school. These are the children who have spent their entire primary lives without a proper school. They are tired of being patient. They are tired of being told to wait and, most of all, they are tired of the broken promises.

They are coming to Ottawa to ask the minister a simple question. What will it take to ensure that he does not abandon the next generation of Attawapiskat children like they have been abandoned?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I know about the situation in Attawapiskat, including the unfortunate situation with the spring flooding again this year and I am glad to see that was resolved.

These children are coming here in the next day or two. I am going to meet with them and with the chief as well when they are here. I look forward to the discussions we are going to have with them and we will do that without the benefit of YouTube, like the member tries to use from time to time.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have 2,000 letters from St. Edmund Campion School in Brampton, 5,000 letters from students in Aurora, 1,500 letters from Clarke Road Secondary School, thousands of letters from educators, students and teachers across this country, and they have one simple message. They are ashamed of a government that has the nerve to cry poor when it comes to dealing with the most basic educational needs of first nations children.

What will it take for the minister to end the systematic negligence that has left so many children abandoned to makeshift portables, condemned facilities, and substandard education? And he can take that to YouTube.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I will admit up front that I will never be able to keep up with the hyperbole of that member. That is for sure.

I am looking forward to meeting with the students from Attawapiskat. As I did this last week, I continue to meet with students and school leaders. I was in Akwesasne on Sunday meeting with the school board and the teachers there as they continue to do good work.

We continue to sign agreements. We have one in B.C. We signed another one just a month ago with New Brunswick that deals with everything from funding to a tripartite agreement. We have an agreement in Nova Scotia. We continue to work together with first nations and willing partners to make sure we look after educational needs.

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over a year the Prime Minister's friend, Emanuel Montenegrino, has worked for Conservatives on personal legal matters and PMO assignments while actively lobbying the PMO and MPs on behalf of clients. This lobbyist, who has been suspended by the Law Society for professional misconduct, is also vetting potential applicants for judicial appointments.

Does the government not see the obvious conflict of interest?

Code of ConductOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

All individuals, Mr. Speaker, who are interested in a judicial appointment have to apply through the judicial advisory committees. We have set them up in every province and territory. They go through that process. It is a good process and I think that is one that has worked up to this point.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

May 27th, 2008 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over a decade low and middle income students in particular were left to struggle as the previous Liberal government ignored their needs and ignored the crucial importance of a skilled and educated workforce for the future of this country. In the riding I represent this impacts a large percentage of some 25,000 students who attend McMaster University and Redeemer.

Finally, in budget 2008, the government announced the biggest reforms to student financial assistance in a generation. Can the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development give us an update on its progress?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I am very excited about these important reforms to student financial assistance. They include an improved online service to manage student loans, a more reasonable and flexible repayment system for student loans, and upfront, dependable, monthly cash grants for low and middle income students in every year of a university, college or trade school undergraduate program.

For the first time in our history as a nation, the dream of a post-secondary education is available to every Canadian student. We are working in the classrooms, unlike the Liberals who love to root around in the bedrooms of the nation.