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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

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we just spent a few days over there. We talked to a lot of soldiers. We talked to Lieutenant-Colonel Girvin, who is responsible for monitoring the mental health of soldiers in theatre. They do an exceptional job of that.

Every soldier is dealt with on a case by case basis. No soldiers go into combat or into operations when they are not fit to do so. They are monitored carefully. It is all done under the care of physicians and psychiatrists.

We take the care and well-being of our soldiers extremely seriously because they are doing a great job for us and the Afghan people.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have serious concerns about what treatment, if any, will be available when these soldiers return home.

The defence committee, on which the parliamentary secretary sits, has heard heartbreaking stories from soldiers and their families about struggles to get diagnosis and then to get treatment. Defence cannot cope now with the number of soldiers returning from war with psychological injuries.

Has the minister given any thought to what will happen to these soldiers when they come home, or is he simply focused on continuing the combat mission at any cost to our soldiers?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what we are focused on is rebuilding the country of Afghanistan. We are focused on doing that with the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces, who are doing an exceptional job. When they run into difficulties, whether it is mental or physical, we look after them.

We have made tremendous strides in the last number of years in that area. We have opened new operational stress injury clinics. We have started a new study with Veteran's Affairs to ensure we are treating soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen appropriately when they come home.

We are sparing no expense and no effort to do that. It is a difficult task. We ask them to do a difficult job, and we stand behind them all the way.

AirbusOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we know the Conservative government's scandal management squad has its hands full these days, but the Prime Minister has now had a full seven months to set up his promised public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber scandal.

Somebody less trusting than myself might think the Conservatives do not really want a public inquiry into the Mulroney affair. Justice John Gomery says that this is not a priority for the Prime Minister.

When will the government make this a priority and name somebody to head this inquiry?

AirbusOral Questions

11:45 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, as everyone in the House knows, some time ago the Prime Minister named Professor David Johnston to examine the issue and the terms of reference that needed to be produced for such a public inquiry and to provide those.

Some time was taken up when the parliamentary committee decided to have some hearings on this. Professor Johnston chose to avail himself of whatever information was provided by that, which was very helpful in narrowing the terms of reference that he provided. He has identified the discrete issues that will be examined by such a public inquiry, which will be established soon.

AirbusOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are told the government has a short list for this assignment. I believe all its lists are short in some way, but the government claims that it is having difficulty staffing the job.

Is it not true that the government is really having trouble finding somebody who will abide by its constricting terms of reference, to give it exactly the result it wants?

AirbusOral Questions

11:45 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 am not going to pass any judgment on the conduct of the ethics committee and whether it might have affected the willingness of people to take on this job. However, I can tell members that the government is actively in the process of putting in place a public inquiry commissioner.

The terms of reference are available now, and we look forward to that taking place soon.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, we now know that a republican operative, Frank Sensenbrenner was employed at the Canadian embassy in Washington. Our ambassador and diplomats did not want him there, but the Prime Minister's Office insisted he be hired.

Was this republican mole on the distribution list for the February 13 diplomatic report about the Chicago meeting with Senator Obama's adviser, yes or no?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:45 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, an extensive inquiry was done by Kevin Lynch, Clerk of the Privy Council, into the question of the leak, to which the member is referring, of unauthorized, sensitive, diplomatic information. His very clear finding was that the distribution list used by Foreign Affairs in this case was too broad and that the classification of the document was inappropriate.

The one thing we do know for sure is that he did indicate that there was no evidence that Mr. Brodie, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, disclosed any classified information.

We know at least one person was cleared, the person the people opposite said was at fault.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' refusal to answer shows their contempt for Canadians and for the House.

I will take that evasive answer as a “yes”.

In light of Mr. Sensenbrenner's obvious political motives and given his Republican, Reform roots, was he questioned during the investigation into these leaks, yes or no?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

11:50 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 want to say a few words about contempt for Canadians because what we have seen from the Liberals in the House for several months on this issue was a jumping to conclusions as they do every time they have any scintilla of any accusation they can dream up.

They would have hanged the Prime Minister's chief of staff. They considered him guilty and were ready to send him to the gallows.

The facts show, instead, that he was not at fault and he has been cleared entirely of any wrongdoing.

However, notwithstanding weeks of raising false accusations, the Liberals do not have the grace and class to get up and apologize for having made those allegations in the past. Perhaps they could take the opportunity to do that and show a little less contempt for the House and for Canadians.

Library and Archives CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 20, there was yet another leak in the Library and Archives Canada building on Wellington Street in Ottawa that put precious documents at risk. This incident is another reminder of the need to build phase II of the Gatineau Preservation Centre in order to properly protect all the archived documents. The blueprints for phase II have been available since 1997.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage finally show some leadership and authorize the construction of phase II in Gatineau?

Library and Archives CanadaOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, indeed, the issue of Canadian archives is exceptionally important. I have no notice or knowledge of exactly where this is but, taking his question very seriously, I will respond to him and give him the information for which he is asking.

Francophone Education and Training ConferenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Comité syndical francophone de l'éducation et de la formation is organizing an international conference to be held in Quebec City in two weeks. These activities are part of the events leading up to the next Sommet de la Francophonie. Some of the invited guests have had their visa applications denied while others are still waiting for a response from the embassies. Only three delegates out of 32 have received their visas so far.

Does the minister realize that this situation is jeopardizing the event?

Francophone Education and Training ConferenceOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, of course we are aware of this situation. We want the conference to be a great success and we are taking measures to ensure that the delegates are allowed to enter Canada as soon as possible.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, FedNor.

The record shows that I have been asking for a straight answer on FedNor from the government in numerous parliamentary debates and committee hearings.

The usual Conservative spin over substance has been the sad response. The government's own records show that the funding for FedNor was cut by $6.4 million in the 2006 budget but it continues to deny the facts.

Will the minister now commit to restore FedNor's funding to $51.9 million per year, no spin, yes or no?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:50 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, the government remains strongly committed to economic development, including through FedNor. The government has been funding FedNor very generously on an ongoing basis. I know the communities that receive those funds appreciate them.

However, those very same communities, many in northern Ontario, that face very high heating costs and transportation costs are fearing that they will need a lot more support and assistance if they are faced with a carbon tax from a Liberal Party. It would be especially punitive for those who have to travel great distances, as do those in northern Ontario, and those who have to heat their homes a great deal, as do those in northern Ontario.

That is why we are taking care to stand up for northern Ontario residents by opposing a carbon tax.

HealthOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the former Liberal government, Canadians were sent mixed messages about drug use. While the Liberals sure talked a good game, they did little to nothing to help people get off drugs.

This week, the Minister of Health announced that the government would appeal the decision of the B.C. Supreme Court to allow Insite to continue operating. Reports are now surfacing that the same advocates for the Vancouver site are pushing for similar facilities in major cities like Toronto.

Could the parliamentary secretary please tell the House the government's position on Liberal and NDP initiatives to open drug injection sites all across the country?

HealthOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said yesterday, the government will appeal the decision allowing Insite to continue operating.

With regard to Toronto, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has been very clear that a facility similar to Insite would be ineffective and that other proven strategies are working well to help Torontonians get off drugs.

It is absolutely shameful that the McGuinty Liberals are choosing their ideology over the facts by funding the development of Insite facilities in Toronto when its effectiveness is clearly questioned.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's most recent trip abroad puts former Prime Minister Joe Clark's lost luggage in perspective when we consider that, instead of building bridges overseas, the government is undermining our credibility on climate change and Afghanistan.

I would ask the Conservative government if it could confirm that the Prime Minister has landed, is back on Canadian soil and that the international embarrassment tour is finally over.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:55 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, the Prime Minister has returned from his trip and he returned to a country that is better respected on the world stage than it was previously.

For example, let us take the world anti-corruption index by Transparency International. In the 1990s, when there was a Conservative government, Canada was usually around fifth place on clean government. Under the Liberals, it fell to 14th place in 2005. However, our international reputation is rebounding. Since we have been elected we have gone from 14th to 9th place.

We are making Canada stand taller on the world stage and people around the world say that we have a cleaner and better country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister told a well-heeled audience in London, England that his government would fight climate change by an increased use of nuclear power. In his speech, the Prime Minister tried to claim that under his watch Canada would become a clean energy superpower.

Nuclear energy is not clean or green. Nuclear waste remains lethal for thousands of years and no solution has been found to safely deal with this waste. Without a safe solution for toxic waste, how can the Prime Minister call nuclear energy clean and green?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we certainly will not interfere with the provinces' decisions on their energy mix, but Canada is an emerging energy superpower and we are committed to ensuring it becomes a clean energy superpower.

In our government, we have focused on the priorities to really make a difference in these areas, including things like cleaning up conventional energy, adding clean renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency, and nuclear energy is certainly one of the options in that mix.

HealthOral Questions

May 30th, 2008 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is trying to play both sides of the Insite issue. Yesterday he claimed at committee that he supports needle exchanges and yet he refuses to secure Canada's safe injection site. The minister pretends to have no control over Insite's future as he fights tooth and nail to shut it down.

Why is he using taxpayer money for the court case against Insite's future when the science, the province, the city and the police all say that it works? Why does he insist on ideology over evidence?

HealthOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary for Health

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the member has her facts incorrect. The fact is that the science is mixed. The fact is that the government is appealing the decision to allow illegal illicit drugs to be used. Other functions of Insite, like mental health issues, nursing care and a needle exchange, will be allowed to continue.

Our government is dealing with preventing illicit drug use, treating illicit drug addiction and combating illicit drug production and distribution. That is the right balance.