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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister, if he has any sense of honour and responsibility, to tell us from his seat that on August 14, he was not aware of his spouse's rather shady past. Let him stand up and answer.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the Bloc Québécois were a Conservative, one thing is certain: he would be able to make good on his promises to Quebeckers, as we are doing.

I have taken note of the fact that the leader of the Bloc Québécois did not threaten any reporters.

Economic Situation of FamiliesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber, manufacturing and automobile industries are in crisis. Large numbers of people are losing their jobs and have less and less access to employment insurance. The census indicated that middle-class families have only improved their lot by $2 a year in 25 years.

Can the Prime Minister tell us why families today are in the same position they were in 25 years ago with these policies—

Economic Situation of FamiliesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Economic Situation of FamiliesOral Questions

2:25 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, that is not true. Those are old statistics from the Liberal era. There have been many policy changes, including a reduction in taxes for the middle class and workers. We have reduced taxes in terms of the GST and capital gains. There are also child benefits and so on. Because of all this, the middle class is in a better position.

Economic Situation of FamiliesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Essentially then, Mr. Speaker, what we have is a government that is completely out of touch with what is going on with ordinary families across this country. They are being thrown out of work by the tens of thousands. They cannot get access to the employment insurance that they have paid into for their whole lives.

Why? Because the government has robbed the employment insurance program of billions of dollars just at a time when there is more need for the social supports the program was meant to provide. It has drained fiscal capacity of the federal government by giving tax cuts in the billions to its friends. Why will the Prime Minister not understand the real economic situation?

Economic Situation of FamiliesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the truth is exactly the opposite. Fewer Canadians need employment insurance now than at almost any time in the past 33 years. That is because we have created over three-quarters of a million new jobs since we became the government.

Last fall we took measures to ensure that we were ahead of the American downturn. As a result, we have been performing better than the Americans have on job creation, with another 14,600 net new jobs last month. Why? Because our measures are working. We are managing the economy well and ordinary Canadians are benefiting and are better off today as a result.

National SecurityOral Questions

May 8th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the government benches say, questions of ministerial judgment and national security can never be private questions in the House of Commons. This is the court of public opinion. This is where we need to ask those questions.

I want to hear from the Minister of Public Safety. Did he ever meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Couillard?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 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 am really saddened and surprised that the Liberal Party continues to--

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

I should confess that I am not surprised that the Liberal Party continues to engage in deep personal attacks that are not matters of government business. If anybody's judgment as to their personal partners is something that people disagree with, I do not think that is a matter of government business.

If we are going to spend time in this House of Commons inquiring into people's personal lives, I think people can conclude that whatever politicians are engaged in that they are entirely wasting taxpayers' money and are not fit for public office.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, a cabinet minister having a relationship with someone who has contact with biker gangs is absolutely a question of national interest and ought to be answered in this House, and we will ask that question.

I ask the Minister of Public Safety: did he ever discuss Ms. Couillard's background with the Minister of Foreign Affairs? This is a question that needs to be answered here and now.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 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 is a question that should not be answered here. It should not be asked here. It should not be asked now. It should not be dealt with ever in this kind of forum.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Wascana has the floor. We will have some order, please.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, private lives are not the business of this House, but issues that do affect, potentially, the public security of Canada must be discussed here, and the answers should be very straightforward.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us if his former personal friend has ever had access, even inadvertently, to any official briefing materials of the Government of Canada?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 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 am not going to inquire into the private conservations they have with their spouses. I am not sure why anything that goes on between partners and why these kinds of personal relationships are a matter of public business.

I do not understand, Mr. Speaker, why you are even allowing these questions.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is not about Madame Couillard. This is about national security.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

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

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker--

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

National SecurityOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We will have some order. The member for Wascana has the floor. We will want to hear the question.