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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Violence Against Women and ChildrenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, so many times we have pleaded with the government to take seriously the growing number of missing and murdered women and all victims of sexual violence.

Today I will simply refer to the tireless work in Winnipeg of the Sexually Exploited Youth Coalition and Sisters in Spirit. Through their work and through the words of a poem entitled Unfortunate Soul, by Chrissy, I hope that this will finally bring results:

Her body is her treasure
That she will give away
To an unfilled stranger
Who will have to pay
With no worries or a conscience
She'll go out on the street
Where she'll perform for her money
And his expectations she'll meet
Little did she realize it'll be her paying the price
When she didn't come back and paid with her life
Slain, smothered, dead
Just another statistic
Not aware of those dangers that were very realistic
With her name in the papers
And a picture as well
She wasn't just another sex trade worker
She had a story to tell
She was once a happy being
And she did have a soul
Turning to drugs and prostitution
Just to fill an empty hole
Now she's buried in the cold ground
No more pain and worry free
And what's even more disturbing
Is that this could have been ME

May these words bring wisdom to this government and finally open its eyes.

D-DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 64th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the Allied effort to liberate the European continent from the scourge of Nazi oppression.

I stand in the House keenly aware of the sacrifices that were made by the brave young men of the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force, aware of the lives that were lost, and aware of the valour that was displayed on that day.

Nobody can question the unparalleled success of our soldiers on that fateful day. In fact, Canadians can remember with pride that our boys pushed farther inland than any other nation, achieving many of the ambitious goals that had been set for them as part of Operation Overlord.

Yet we must never forget the terrible losses that our soldiers suffered. Forty-three airmen and 369 soldiers paid the ultimate price for our freedom on D-Day. It is in their honour and in their memory that I invite all members of the House to join with me in recognizing this anniversary of their final victory over the tyranny of evil.

MercadOr AwardsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 10th edition of the MercadOr awards gala recently took place. The awards recognize the success of exporters in the Laval region.

The leading exporter award went to Pelican International, a pleasure craft manufacturer and the third largest kayak manufacturer in the world.

Alpha Vision won for best foreign ventures, for its ability to set up shop close to its clients, both in the United States and Germany.

Équipement d'emballage MMC and Cirion won in the market diversification category. Équipement d'emballage MMC opened it doors in 1991, penetrated Latin American markets in 2005 and is now targeting Europe. Cirion, which specializes in biotechnology, entered the American market in 2000 and now does 35% of its business in Europe.

Lastly, Bedcolab, a laboratory furniture manufacturer, was honoured as best new exporter. It began exporting to the United States in 2003, and those exports south of the border now represent 40% of its revenues.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to congratulate the award winners and commend their contributions—

MercadOr AwardsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Don Valley East.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a fierce competition taking place on the government benches these days.

Parliamentary secretaries are locked in a battle to determine which one has the least amount of credibility.

The PS for Treasury Board is the leading contender. His ability to fall in line and say outrageous things means he is always near the bottom of the credibility pile.

Not to be outdone, the PS for Public Works made a bold move on Wednesday to demonstrate that he too can be just as ridiculous as his colleague, even if it means breathing new life into an old scandal.

However, when it comes to lack of credibility, no one can hold a candle to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He lacks credibility internationally, which is something that the government excels at.

With such shining performances from his parliamentary secretaries, it is easy to see why the Prime Minister has no confidence in his frontbench and is the minister of everything.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

June 6th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, day three and still no answers from the Liberal leader. The deadline for him to pay off all of his leadership race loans was three days ago and he still has not tabled the agreement with Elections Canada, nor how he is going to pay off the loans.

When will he reveal the truth to Canadians? When will he reveal to Canadians just how much he owes and how he is going to pay it off?

The Liberal leader has racked up massive leadership race debts and now he has failed to find the supporters to help him pay it off. The Liberal leader has clearly shown that he cannot be trusted to handle the nation's debts.

When will the Liberal leader table his agreement with Elections Canada and clearly show his debt repayment plan? Canadians are waiting for this. They are waiting for the truth.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is, in the absence of others, to the government House leader. I would like to ask the minister this question.

It is now clear that Madam Couillard has been a person of interest to the police, not only in Quebec but the RCMP, for over 10 years. Is it still the position of the government and is it still asking us to believe that in fact no one from the police contacted the Prime Minister and provided him with any information with regard to--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 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 think what we made quite clear here is that the resignation of the former minister of foreign affairs was as a consequence not of any relationships he had but, rather, as a consequence of a breach that took place with regard to the rules related to classified documents. When that breach became apparent, the minister offered his resignation and it was accepted immediately by the Prime Minister.

That is the nature of the incident. The government is not in the business of inquiring into the exciting details of people's private lives the way the Liberals are.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact that Ms. Couillard was under police surveillance is not a private matter but a public one. That is now clear. It is ironic that the security system of the Hells Angels and Mom Boucher is better and more professional than that of the Government of Canada. This is ridiculous.

Is the government serious when it says that the police did not speak to the government about Ms. Couillard?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 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 I said, we have a different view on what the government should do about people's private lives and the extent to which we should meddle in them. I know that when he was the New Democratic premier of Ontario, he demanded the resignation of one of his ministers when he appeared in a newspaper in a good looking photo.

We do not think that people's appearance, whether their pictures are in the newspaper or that kind of stuff, should be an occasion to demand their resignation. We are not into those kinds of probes into people's personal lives, like he was when he was NDP premier.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is true there is no danger of a Conservative minister appearing in a good looking photograph. I agree with that statement. There is no danger of that happening.

But let us get back to the question at hand.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when will the government recognize that this is not a matter of privacy, this is not about someone's private life, this is about the public responsibilities of the Government of Canada?

Surely to goodness, the Prime Minister of Canada must have been informed by the police about Madam Couillard.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 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 guess the error that Mr. Kormos committed back when he was the NDP premier of Ontario was that he actually appeared in the newspaper fully clothed, unlike that gentleman when he appeared on Rick Mercer Report without any clothes. I think the questions that he is asking in the House indicate the same lack of clothes on that would-be emperor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would take a lot of effort to get him on television in the nude.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the member for Beauce are thumbing their noses at accountability by not testifying in committee. They refuse to address all the unanswered questions concerning this sad affair.

How can this be when a belief in “the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law” is part of the founding principles of the Conservative Party? Does that not make their refusal the height of arrogance and hypocrisy?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 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, with regard to the invitation to appear on television in a particular fashion, I can assure her nobody has been trying to get me to do that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps it shows good judgment on the part of the television companies.

Their refusal to testify before a parliamentary committee means that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the member for Beauce are hiding something. Why else would they steadfastly refuse to answer questions in this House and in committees when one of the fundamental principles of the Conservative party is, and I quote, “the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law”?

Is this not another example of the Conservatives' hypocrisy and arrogance?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 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, we prefer a serious approach to dealing with these matters. That is why the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting a review to assess the matter and to determine if there are any outstanding concerns.

I know that there has been a practice that has evolved in this minority Parliament of the opposition parties using committees to advance their partisan interests. They now want to have public hearings into people's daily lives. I think that Canadians have a different view about what their parliamentarians should be doing as the summer approaches, but I will leave that to the opposition members if they want to do that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Globe and Mail reports that court documents show that Julie Couillard was under police surveillance as early as 1998 as part of an RCMP drug investigation.

Given that she had been known to the RCMP at least since 1998, if not earlier, and that the RCMP is also the police force responsible for protecting cabinet ministers, there is no way the Prime Minister could not have been made aware of Ms. Couillard's past by the RCMP.

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons tell us when the Prime Minister was informed by the RCMP of Ms. Couillard's shady past?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 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 believe it is the leader of the Bloc Québécois who was mostly interested in any past history of Madam Couillard; something that he spent a lot of time discussing when he was getting his hair done, it appears. Our concerns have to do with public policy.

The Prime Minister, in this regard, became aware of a different matter, which was a security breach regarding classified documents, where cabinet rules were broken and when he became aware of that, the foreign minister at the time tendered his resignation, which was accepted.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government and the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is discrediting himself with false pretenses.

The fact is that Ms. Couillard was known to police at least as far back as 1998, and she still had ties to criminal bikers just a few months ago. We know that she had dinner with a shylock very close to Mom Boucher and very well known to police. There is just no way the RCMP did not inform the Prime Minister of Ms. Couillard's shady past.

When will the lies stop and the truth be told that Ms. Couillard's shady past was very well known when she was the spouse of the former foreign affairs minister?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 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 think what happened in this incident is quite clear to everybody. The former minister of foreign affairs, the member for Beauce, left a document in an unsecured location. That was contrary to the rules that applied to a foreign minister, that applied to a cabinet minister. As soon as the Prime Minister became aware of that, the foreign minister offered his resignation and that resignation was accepted.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the accumulation of disturbing facts concerning Julie Couillard proves that there is no way that the RCMP and CSIS did not alert the Prime Minister to his former foreign affairs minister's relationships. Some of the testimonies heard by the Standing Committee on Public Safety might confirm this, thus showing his irresponsible attitude toward state security.

Is that not the real reason behind the Prime Minister's refusal to appear before the committee and all his efforts to sweep the Bernier-Couillard affair under the rug?