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House of Commons Hansard #101 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.

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 some on that side of the House enjoying reading certain kinds of newspapers.

On this side of the House, we are proud of the message the Prime Minister is delivering in Europe. He is travelling the continent speaking to other G-8 leaders about the importance of taking action on the environment, action on greenhouse gases and promoting the plan we have put in place, the turning the corner plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 2020. Most importantly, he is encouraging them to join with us in getting the large emitters like China, the United States and Russia to also make commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I would urge hon. members to calm down. We have to be able to hear the questions and the answers.

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso now has the floor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister is in London and Canada is all over the headlines there too.

The Times headline states: “--Foreign Minister...steps down after ex-lover reveals security lapse”. The Daily Mail states: “I quit, says minister who fell for Hell's Angel girl”. The Evening Standard says: “Minister resigns after leaving files with 'biker chick'”.

Is this the reputation the Prime Minister had in mind when he said he wanted to put Canada back on the world stage?

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 was just a couple of days ago that I heard the deputy leader of the Liberal Party saying he was not interested in these kinds of questions about personal lives, but it seems that he does not have too many followers in that caucus today.

In fact, I will go back to a previous prime minister, Jean Chrétien, who said this on privacy when he was talking about how he put together his first cabinet:

As for their marriages, sexual orientation, or other private matters that had no bearing on their ability to serve the public well, I didn't think these were any of my business.

Apparently the Liberal Party has changed its policy since Mr. Chrétien was prime minister.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is ridiculous. This affair has been bungled by the wilful blindness of a Prime Minister who wants to throw Canada's international reputation under the bus to protect his protege.

The government is afraid to investigate this incident because it knows what the outcome is going to be.

As for what the House leader says about the diplomatic passport, a diplomatic passport is the property of the Government of Canada, so this issue is pertinent. Have you guys checked that out yet and will you get that passport back to the--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I remind the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso that he should address all his questions to the Chair.

The hon. government House leader has the floor.

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 hon. member started by asking about Canada's reputation on the world stage. Our reputation is strong. We are leading in Afghanistan. We are leading with our NATO allies. We are respected for that.

We are the second-largest contributor in the world to the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, where we are very concerned about what is taking place. We are the second-largest donor to the World Food Programme and are doing what we can to help the world's poor, particularly at a time of turmoil like we have seen.

We have been doing other things around the world in taking the lead in Haiti with the United Nations mission and record aid, for example, and taking the lead with serious funding for the Middle East peace process.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the opposition, and particularly the Liberals, always claim that they have done a lot for aboriginals. They always trumpet the Kelowna accord as if it were some--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul has the floor. We will have some order.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, when coming to office, our government inherited some very troubling matters that required immediate action.

Could the Minister of Indian Affairs tell this House what progress the government has made on important issues, such as land claims and human rights for aboriginals?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 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, it is interesting to note that on the National Day of Action the members of the official opposition cannot even bother to ask a question about aboriginal issues, but why should we be surprised? Under the Liberals, there was no action on specific claims. Under this government, we have specific claims legislation. Under the Liberals, first nations living on reserve had no coverage under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Under the Conservatives, we passed legislation to cover them. Under the Liberals, there was no action plan to clean up dirty water. We have already cut in half the number of reserves facing that situation.

We have action all right, but it is on this side of the House, not over there.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, following the L'Acadien II tragedy, Coast Guard and National Defence representatives appeared this morning before the Standing Committee on Official Languages. What we heard was unacceptable. The mother of a sealer who disappeared contacted National Defence for information on the search. During the conversation, she had to switch from French to English to make herself understood.

What will the government do to make sure that this kind of thing does not happen again?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me inform the member that the search and rescue centres field about 950,000 calls every year. They respond to about 3,000 of them. Each and every one of them is responded to in the language of choice.

Do the people always get the answer they want when they ask a question? No, because not always can it be given. However, we have not had any complaints about the fact they did not get it in the language they wanted to receive it.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we have to change from French to English to get the answer.

In his report, the Commissioner of Official Languages blasted the obstacles facing communities: the Conservative government's inaction and lack of leadership. He made seven recommendations to correct the Conservatives' deliberate blunders.

Will the minister stop running and hiding from the cameras, accept her responsibilities and say whether she plans to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible? Yes or no? She has to stop running away.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I plan to run to the House every time there is a vote. Everyone knows that a vote was held here this morning. I will be running to exercise my right to vote, unlike what the opposition has been doing for several months now.

That being said, we received the Commissioner of Official Languages' report and we thank him for it. We are now studying the recommendations closely.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

May 29th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today's second National Day of Action is yet another blemish on Canada's international reputation. Our reputation was already tarnished when Canada voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last year.

Canada is now blocking a similar instrument at the Organization of American States.

When will this government listen to the concerns of aboriginal peoples, give up its artificial legal and constitutional excuses and honour the declaration?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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, when it comes to human rights for first nations, for the first time in 30 years there is one government, and it is the Conservative government, that has been dealing with that.

This House has passed at report stage and third reading the amendments and all that is necessary to include first nations for the first time under the Canadian Human Rights Act. They waited a long time, and they would still be waiting if that member were--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Churchill.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government talks about human rights for first nations and yet first nations children residing on reserve do not receive health care services.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Churchill has the floor.