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House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, all these questions have been thoroughly answered.

I hope the member opposite is not so naive as to think that meetings between CSIS members and the Prime Minister on any subject would be a matter of total public record. How naive is he being?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that does not sound like a “no” to me.

I would like to ask the chosen representative of the government a simple question. It would appear that the Prime Minister, at noon on Monday, said that he did not take these issues seriously at all. It also would appear, from the press reports that the government House leader has referred to, that the documents were returned well before that. There is even one report that the Prime Minister received a resignation letter from the former foreign affairs minister on Monday morning.

Can he account for the Prime Minister's statement at lunchtime?

Foreign AffairsOral 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, I can account for it quite simply. Sometimes journalists get things wrong.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is true that everyone makes mistakes. Nevertheless, I would like to ask the government a simple question.

After problems with the minister first surfaced, it took a good five weeks for him to resign. Why did government members sit on their collective duff for five weeks?

Foreign AffairsOral 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

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, that did not happen. As soon as the Prime Minister became aware of this issue, action was taken and the resignation of the foreign affairs minister resulted.

There was no delay. Action was immediate. As the Prime Minister has indicated quite clearly, what took place was that as soon as he discovered the information the foreign affairs minister offered his resignation and the resignation was accepted.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the D.R.P. security company, owned by Robert Pépin and Julie Couillard, bid on an air transport security contract. The Minister of Public Safety confirmed that systematic checks were done on bidders. The Minister of Public Safety and the security services therefore knew about the shady past of the member for Beauce's ex-girlfriend.

How could the minister be so negligent in his responsibilities as to not forward that information to the Prime Minister?

Foreign AffairsOral 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, this matter is not about the private lives of individuals. In the matter involving the minister of foreign affairs, the issue is the documents that were left in an unsecured location. That is the issue.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, an investigation was done in 2005 into the ex-girlfriend of the hon. member for Beauce, the swearing-in incident, trips to the UN and Afghanistan, and his meeting with President Bush. They would have us believe that the RCMP and CSIS did not inform the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office.

Why did the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister, who were in the know, not take the necessary measures to ensure public safety, unless they were trying to hide the facts?

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, as I have already said, the minister of foreign affairs' mistake had to do with documents, not with his private life. Private lives remain private.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, many things do not add up in the Couillard affair. The Minister of Public Safety has a report that dates back to 2005 on Julie Couillard's shady past, because she had bid on a contract. Yet on March 31, 2008, I saw the Minister of Public Safety in a restaurant in Ottawa with the member for Beauce and his former companion, Julie Couillard.

Is this not proof of the negligence and carelessness shown by the minister responsible for public safety?

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, the only thing being proven here is that the hon. member from Quebec City is very engrossed in members' private lives.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minster's duties do not end at 5 p.m. It is a 24-hour-a-day job. The Minister of Public Safety covered up the facts for partisan purposes. The Conservatives are using the argument of “no evil seen, no evil done”. They are hiding behind a privacy defence, even though the member for Beauce, the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister were all fully aware of Julie Couillard's shady past.

Is this not sufficient proof that this government lacks transparency and failed in its responsibilities?

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, it is not this government's objective to make the private lives of the members of this House transparent.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know that the Prime Minister would rather collect Air Miles in Europe than answer our questions. He is letting his puppets do the covering up. But he did say something in Paris. He said that he was sure there was no problem for five weeks, that the only thing that happened to the documents was that the former minister forgot them, but that it was nothing serious. If it was nothing serious, he must have known something was going on and had some information.

Could the naive Minister of Public Safety tell us whether the RCMP and CSIS conducted any checks for the Prime Minister?

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, as I have indicated, we do not believe that the private lives of individual members are matters for public debate. We will not inquire into them, monitor them or control them no matter how many times the Liberal Party encourages us to do that.

It is our view the Prime Minister's trip in Europe is very different. We believe that Canada should stand tall on the world stage and we make no apologies for being there representing Canada's interests and advancing the interests of helping our environment and reducing greenhouse gases.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he did not understand. This is Earth calling. My question was not complicated. For five weeks, the Prime Minister said that there was no problem and not to worry, because there was no problem. If he thought there was no problem, it must have been because he had information. And if there is information, it is because a minister had done some checking.

My question is simple. Have the RCMP or CSIS investigated what the Prime Minister said? That way we will know that there is no problem with these documents.

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, the Prime Minister just learned about this on Monday—on Monday—and not five weeks ago—just on Monday. The Department of Foreign Affairs has been asked to look into the situation.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the absolutely arrogant and dismissive response from the Minister of Public Safety is absolutely unacceptable.

Will he state publicly whether or not there was a meeting between CSIS and the Prime Minister's Office to discuss the conduct of the former foreign affairs minister. This is an absolutely legitimate question?

I ask again, was there a meeting between May 1 and May 8 of this year between the Prime Minister's Office and CSIS to discuss the former foreign affairs minister?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite is the one who is doing the shouting and the screaming. Apparently, he is absolutely ignorant of items related to the security of this nation.

It would not be, nor should it be, nor will it be the policy of any prime minister to be publicly talking about meetings he or she may or may not have had with members of CSIS. Those types of meetings are items of national security and the member opposite is being quite naive in trying to abandon an approach like this.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely nonsense. As a former attorney general and a former premier of the province of British Columbia, what this minister is now saying is absolute hogwash.

The fact is that the Prime Minister's Office met with CSIS to discuss the former foreign affairs minister. Why would he not say whether or not a meeting took place? Did a meeting take place or not?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that when we have lost a point in debate the only way we can possibly recover is to try to get enough froth going so that it makes it look like we still have a point.

Once the hon. member has calmed down and eased off the caffeine a little bit, he will recognize that as attorney general in the province which I come from, there is no way in the world he would be publicizing any kinds of meetings when it comes to items of security and with agencies of security. He knew that then, he knows that now, and he is just playing a silly game right now.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader repeatedly said he was against a federal carbon tax, but in true Liberal fashion he flip-flopped. He now thinks it is a good idea to punish Canadians through higher prices at the pumps, on their home heating bills, and even at the grocery store.

My constituents have told me they are very worried about a carbon tax. Environmentalists are raising concerns, the manufacturing sector is worried about the devastating impact this could have on the price of exports and even some of the Liberal leader's colleagues do not support his flawed idea.

Can the Minister of Finance tell us what he has been hearing about the Liberal carbon tax and whether the government has plans to implement it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are sure hearing a lot from Canadians about the Liberals' proposed new regressive tax on carbon, along with their plan to hike the GST. We hear a lot about that as well.

Carbon tax and GST go after people who are poor, go after people on fixed incomes, go after seniors in Canada, go after the manufacturing sector, and make it more difficult for the manufacturing sector in Canada by driving up its costs. They target poor seniors and threaten manufacturing jobs. No wonder even Premier McGuinty disagrees with his little brother's plan.

HealthOral Questions

May 28th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday B.C.'s Supreme Court decision makes it abundantly clear that Insite, the supervised injection facility in east Vancouver, is a health facility. The ruling also makes it clear that closing Insite would be “inconsistent with the state’s interest in fostering individual and community health, and preventing death and disease”.

Can the Minister of Health assure the House today that his Conservative government will abide by the court's decision and not appeal this important case?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I am not in charge of appeals. That is the Minister of Justice.

But I can say to the House that on this side of the House at least we are disappointed with the judgment. We disagree with the judgment. We are, of course, examining our options and I would say to the House that we on this side of the House care about treating drug addicts who need our help.

We care about preventing people, especially our young people, from becoming drug addicts in the first place. That is our way to reduce harm in our society and we are proud of taking that message to the people of Canada.