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House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hours.

Topics

Public SafetyOral 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, as everyone in the House is aware, the Department of Foreign Affairs is undertaking a serious review of the serious public policy matters.

As for the other questions that I know are intriguing and an interest to the Bloc Québécois and others who watch eTalk Daily, programs like that, they can watch the parliamentary committee.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a public security matter, as a minister even had to resign. Yet, the Conservatives are not answering our questions in the House. That is why they have to appear before the committee. The secrecy surrounding this matter has to stop. This kind of governing under the seal of secrecy has to stop. The Conservative code of silence has to go, and so does their need to control everything.

Do the Conservatives realize that, if they refuse to testify, everyone will conclude that they have things to hide?

Public SafetyOral 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, we have been quite open about what took place. The former foreign affairs minister, the member for Beauce, left documents in an unsecure location. That was unacceptable. It was contrary to the rules that apply to cabinet ministers. As a consequence, he offered his resignation and his resignation was accepted because it is important that those rules be respected.

With regard to any other issues surrounding it, the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting a review and will surely get to a point where it can make recommendations for any changes that are necessary to ensure the processes are adequate.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, an internal review by the Foreign Affairs Department is not adequate at all. With all of the revelations about Ms. Couillard's life, and connections with the mob and the bikers, that her father's house had been under surveillance, and that she may have been under surveillance, this should have been obvious to the RCMP and CSIS that this matter presented a grave issue of national security.

My question is for the public safety minister. Did the RCMP or CSIS raise these security concerns with anyone in government at any time?

Public SafetyOral 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, I have made it quite clear in this House that the Prime Minister is not in the business of enquiring into the personal lives of particular citizens in Canada, and this is no exception.

However, I am not surprised that we have yet another former NDP premier wanting to ask questions about this instead of asking questions about public policy issues. Today, for the first time after us talking about it for weeks, the Liberals were finally prepared to talk about their carbon tax, and I am not surprised because they come from a party that really liked really high taxes.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister opposite continues to raise with nauseating sanctimony the issue of privacy of individuals. Let me advise him national security always trumps privacy, particularly in the bedroom of the top diplomat of the country, when national security is concerned. We know that the Prime Minister and the former minister are refusing to testify before the committee.

Will the Prime Minister tell us now if the RCMP or CSIS informed him of any potential or real security concerns, and if they did so--

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the government House leader.

Public SafetyOral 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, with the arrival of these former NDP premiers, this Liberal Party has come a long way from the days when its leaders said the state had no place in the bedrooms of nation. Now, the Liberals not only believe they have a place in the bedrooms of the nation, they consider the whole question of privacy to be, in his words, “nauseating”.

We actually think that one's right to privacy is an important right that should be respected and all Canadians should have that protection.

AirbusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it has been seven months since the Prime Minister promised a public inquiry into Mr. Mulroney's dubious financial dealings. It seems ridiculous that it has been seven months and the government still cannot find someone to lead that inquiry.

Is it the Prime Minister's contempt for the judges? Is it the Conservatives' desire to protect Mr. Mulroney? Or are they just waiting for the President of the Treasury Board to be appointed to the bench so he can head up the inquiry?

AirbusOral Questions

2:45 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, we indicated early on the importance of having a proper public inquiry into this matter. Unfortunately, that was delayed for some time when the opposition parties engaged in one of their trademark legislative inquiries that really did a lot to help.

Fortunately, we had Professor David Johnston looking into the matter and providing terms of reference for a committee and a commissioner that will be established before we rise for the summer.

AirbusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it seems ridiculous that, seven months later, the government is still promising to act soon. We are several months past soon.

Will the Prime Minister appoint someone to lead the inquiry into the Mulroney affair, or will he tell the people of this country that he has made yet another error in judgment and changed his mind about an inquiry concerning Mr. Mulroney and his cash-stuffed envelopes?

AirbusOral Questions

2:45 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 afraid that the hon. member was so interested in the question she was going to ask, she did not listen to my last answer. There will be a commissioner in place by June 20.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 9th, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has admitted he cannot set priorities and has made tens of billions of dollars in non-budgeted spending priorities.

To fund his spending promises, he is trying to trick Canadians into paying a permanent new carbon tax he once vehemently opposed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Conservative Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

They can scream all they want, but they will not be allowed to conceal the carbon tax. Liberals are now busy concealing the real nature of this tax from the public. Shame on them.

Could the government tell this House if there are any plans to impose this punitive carbon tax on Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that the government has no intention of imposing new taxes on Canadians of any sort.

However, I wish I could say the same of the Liberal opposition. It was only last year that the leader of the opposition said there will be no carbon tax. Now we know differently. Now he is wrapping it up in language about a green tax, a tax shift, and revenue neutrality. When Canadians hear those words from politicians, they know they are weasel words to cover just another big tax grab.

We will not stand for it and neither will Canadians.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the federal government's responsibility to protect consumers from unfair trade practices. Oil companies, hugely subsidized by the Conservatives, are making obscene profits and are setting their predatory prices on the backs of Canadians. In my area this morning, a litre of gas cost $1.50. The Liberals are proposing a new tax that would do nothing to limit greenhouse gases.

When will the government assume its responsibilities and protect consumers as opposed to oil companies?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the members of the NDP can be hypocritical on this. They have never seen a tax they did not like. They certainly would support anything the Liberals would do to raise taxes for Canadians.

We have moved. We moved ahead of this. We have already lowered the GST by 2%. We have lowered income taxes. We have lowered taxes across the board for Canadians. The GST cut at the pumps alone is saving Canadians $500 million a year. We are proud of those changes we have made.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, “Yoo-hoo. Over here”. I have “a warning”. The Conservatives have just said they cannot do anything to help the middle class families who are getting gouged at the pump. The Liberals said the same thing for 13 years. We had “better not fall for this trick”.

The federal government can and has to act to protect consumers. Why is the Conservative government hell bent on making the middle class pay more than it needs to at the pump? Why are the Conservatives not doing anything to help middle class families?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as usual the NDP members are far behind the curve. They always are.

We have already moved in significant ways. We have lowered the GST by 2%, which is important to Canadians. We have lowered income taxes. We have raised personal exemptions. People are keeping their own money.

That is unlike the Liberals, who are going to raise taxes by imposing a carbon tax on Canadians. It is going to cost the Liberals billions of dollars per year to pay for the promises that they have not budgeted.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question concerns Omar Khadr. I would like to ask someone over there if the government can somehow explain how it is that those people who were interviewing Mr. Khadr were told to destroy their notes, which is something that would be quite improper in the Canadian context.

I would like to again ask the parliamentary secretary if he can please explain why it is that Canada is putting up with this kind of activity with respect to the trial of a Canadian citizen.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the former NDP leader of Ontario has just joined the Liberal Party. Hence, he does not know what the Liberal Party did before, but I would like to remind him that Mr. Khadr has been in jail since 2002 when that party was in power, and the policy we are following was brought forward by that party.

As for the question he has asked, he should be asking the leader of the official opposition, who was in the cabinet, why those members did not raise those questions at that time.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is during the watch of the Conservative government that the judge in the trial has been removed because he was not satisfactory to his military superiors. It is during the Conservative watch that Mr. Khadr's interrogators were told to destroy their notes.

Whatever may have happened in the past, that was then, this is now. The government can change an injustice and right a wrong. No Canadian citizen should be treated in this fashion. I would hope the government would at least agree with that.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:50 p.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 do not understand what he means by that was then and this is now. The fact of the matter is that for 13 dark years that party was in power.

All that is happening now is because that party was in power. Mr. Khadr was held in 2002 when that party was in power. Certainly those members cannot rise up and say now to let us forget the 13 years of darkness and let us move forward. That is not going to happen.

This government will act in the best interests of Canada.

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, ignoring months of study and extensive testimony, the Conservatives have decided to subvert the work of the trade committee and rush through a trade deal with Colombia, a country acknowledged as having the worst human rights track record in the western hemisphere.

What steps has the government taken to ensure that human rights have been addressed in a meaningful and enforceable manner? And why the rush?