This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was changes.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.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 may be some confusion here with regard to the hon. member between the question of a designated traveller, as is determined by the Board of Internal Economy, and I know there has been some public reporting on that, and the question of a spouse as is understood legally.

As I have made clear repeatedly, during the time the member for Beauce was minister of foreign affairs, he was not legally married or in a legally recognized common law spousal relationship.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the last known whereabouts of the ex-foreign minister's secret documents was at the NATO summit in Bucharest on April 3. The missing papers then turned up in a Montreal television studio last Sunday, May 25.

April 3 to May 25: that is more than seven weeks. But the Prime Minister says “don't worry, be happy”, nothing happened in the meantime. In the absence of any comprehensive, independent investigation, how would he know what happened to those documents for seven weeks?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, that is why the Department of Foreign Affairs is going to conduct a review.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, secret documents went missing for more than seven weeks. They were finally repossessed by the Government of Canada last Sunday afternoon. The deputy minister at foreign affairs, the government's security services, the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Prime Minister's Office all would be alerted immediately, but the Prime Minister said no one told him until 24 hours later, at 5 p.m. on the Monday.

Was all of this a calamitous failure on the part of the PMO and literally all of Canada's senior public servants or are they being forced to hide the truth?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:30 a.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 hear so many versions of what happened from over there. No wonder some people get confused.

The fact is we presented quite clearly what took place. On Monday afternoon of this week, the Prime Minister was informed of the fact that documents were left in an unsecured place by the member for Beauce. At that time his resignation was tendered and the resignation was accepted.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his report on official languages, Graham Fraser put it clearly: the Conservative government has shown a lack of vision, coherence and, above all, leadership. The federal website for Status of Persons with Disabilities, which is riddled with errors, is glaring proof of that. We have been waiting for an action plan for months now, and the government is delaying for purely partisan reasons. The government could not care less about francophone communities.

Will the Minister of Official Languages give us a plan now rather than waiting and making a splashy announcement in Quebec City in order to look good and hide her incompetence?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our government eagerly welcomed the Commissioner of Official Languages' annual report and will study it thoroughly. We have already said that we plan to launch the next phase of the action plan by the end of spring. It will happen. We will be releasing it soon.

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages said in his report that the cuts to Status of Women Canada have affected the funding of francophone women's groups that bear the responsibility for the transmission of language and culture and that provide French-language social services to francophone minorities.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages tell us whether she will take the commissioner's comments into consideration, and restore the original criteria of the women's program?

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our government is working hard for the men and women in our official language communities across Canada. For example, we have allocated $30 million for assistance to official language communities here in Canada.

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to the Conservatives' plan to infringe upon Quebec's jurisdiction by creating a single securities commission, Quebec finance minister, Monique Jérôme-Forget, vowed to confront all Conservative members who run in the next election campaign.

Will the Conservatives heed the unanimous motion of the National Assembly, which opposes the creation of a single securities commission?

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this government will always recognize constitutional jurisdiction when it comes to financial matters in our country.

The finance minister has been very clear. We are seeing some troubling things coming out of 13 separate regulators across the country. We heard many presentations at committee about the asset-backed commercial paper issue.

Perhaps we would not be facing these issues if we had a common securities regulator. We encourage the provinces to take a serious look at this. It is important to our Canadian investors.

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of implementing a centralized solution that benefits only Ontario, it should allow Quebec and the provinces to harmonize those of their practices that have already proven successful.

Why does the Canadian Minister of Finance refuse to abandon his plan, which has been denounced by Quebec and all the provinces, except Ontario? Does he already think of himself as premier of that province?

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us be factual. There are provinces that recognize the benefits. We encourage those other ones that actually recognize it today that there are weaknesses in the fact that we have 13 separate regulators.

The fact that we were not recognized by the SEC in the United States and Australia was should prove that we need to improve our system to make it safe for investors in our country.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the military commission, pressing charges against Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay, fired the judge overseeing the trial. That is unbelievable. This follows a threat by the judge to suspend proceedings in the case if the prosecutors continue to withhold key evidence from Mr. Khadr's lawyers.

How can the government continue to show confidence in this process when the deck is so clearly stacked against Mr. Khadr ever receiving a fair trial?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr faces some very serious charges in relation to his being captured in Afghanistan, such as murder and violation of the laws of war, attempted murder and violations of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.

The Government of Canada has sought and will continue to receive assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely.

Any questions regarding whether Canada plans to ask for the release Omar Khadr are premature and speculative as the legal process and appeals are still going on.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to read from a sheet that was prepared before the new information came out.

The facts are clear. First, the judge did not have the jurisdiction. He tried Mr. Khadr. Then he was overruled. Now he has been removed altogether for having ruled that the prosecution was withholding key evidence from Mr. Khadr's defence team.

Mr. Khadr is the only citizen of a western democracy still being tried at Guantanamo Bay. Every other country, except Canada, has repatriated its citizens.

When will the government stop ignoring what is happening? When will it bring Mr. Khadr back to Canada to face justice here?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I was clear in my answer. Mr. Khadr faces very serious charges in relation to his being captured in Afghanistan. However, the Government of Canada has sought and received assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. Department officials have carried out several welfare visits to Mr. Khadr, and will continue to do so.

However, any questions regarding whether Canada plans to ask for the release of Mr. Khadr are premature and speculative as the legal process and the appeals are still going on.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, while the minister and the government keep referring to last year's throne speech, nothing concrete is being done about official languages.

Could it be that the minister is too busy with other things? Could she get her priorities straight and immediately announce the renewal of the action plan? Or is she ashamed of her plan and waiting for the House to adjourn? When will the minister stop giving any old answer and finally explain that her government does not want to do anything for language communities?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, our commitment is clear. It is true that, in the last throne speech, we said that we would support the second phase of the action plan for official languages. The Liberals voted against that measure.

We also said in our budget that we would fund the next phase of the plan, but the Liberals voted against the budget.

We said that we would table our second phase of the plan before the end of the spring, and that is what we will do.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, we cannot vote against something that was not even in the budget. The budget did not contain any money for official languages. That is not true.

It has now been two months since Canada's action plan on official languages expired. While the government delays, the anglophone community in Quebec has to put projects on ice or cancel them altogether.

Why will the government not stand up for Quebec anglophones?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as I just stated, we have demonstrated our engagement toward the official languages program and for the next phase of the action plan. In fact, we stated that we would announce it before the end of the spring, and we will announce it before the end of the spring.

In the meantime, we have ensured that all the current funding for official language communities across Canada will continue during this period.

Child CareOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night members of the House were supposed to debate the NDP child care bill, but for the seventh time NDP members have played procedural tricks to delay debating their own bill, a bill that would take away $2.4 billion a year in direct support to Canadian parents. It would also stop the provinces from creating the types of child care spaces that worked best for them, more than 60,000 of which have been announced so far.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development tell the House what effects the NDP bill would have on the progress that our government has made so far on child care?

Child CareOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, for the seventh time now, the NDP has run away from this disastrous child care bill, a bill that it called its number one priority. However, this is no surprise because the bill would hurt every investment in child care implemented by this government. It would take choice in child care away from parents and from provinces. It would scrap the $2.4 billion universal child care benefit that arrives every year for two million children. It would put an end to the creation of more than 60,000 new child care spaces announced by the provinces.

I would run away from—

Child CareOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, reports today suggest that many of our soldiers in Afghanistan are prescribed anti-depressant or sleeping drugs while they are deployed.

This raises very grave concerns about the psychological trauma our troops suffer. We know this war has placed an enormous strain on the Canadian Forces. There are too many rotations too close together.

Is the government so intent on continuing this misguided war in Afghanistan that it condones soldiers fighting, even while suffering post traumatic stress disorder?