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 #120 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

Nelson LeesonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday we learned of the passing of Nelson Leeson, president of the Nisga'a Lisims government.

Mr. Leeson was a strong leader and visionary who distinguished himself serving his people. He worked tirelessly to close the social and economic gaps between aboriginal people and other Canadians. He was at the forefront of treaty making in British Columbia and he was instrumental in negotiating the Nisga'a final agreement, the first modern treaty in B.C.

Earlier this month, the Nisga'a membership ratified a national precedent-setting private land initiative on Nisga'a settlement lands, which Mr. Leeson promoted. His contributions to the implementation of modern treaties in Canada will be missed.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my deepest sympathies at this difficult time to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Leeson. Our thoughts are with Mr. Leeson's family and the people of the Nisga'a Nation.

Gilles CarleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday we lost one of the pioneers of Quebec cinema.

Gilles Carle devoted his entire life to his passion and left behind a body of work that resonated with entire generations. He began making movies in the early 1960s and his work includes dozens of feature films which celebrated and paid tribute to some of his favourite themes, including rural life and the lives of everyday people.

He received many awards and distinctions, including the Prix Albert-Tessier for his contribution to film and the Governor General's Award.

His talent and reputation know no boundaries. He was a giant among giants.

Gilles Carle suffered from Parkinson's disease for a number of years. His partner, Chloé Sainte-Marie, was by his side throughout his long battle. She showed extraordinary courage and devotion. We offer our most sincere condolences to Ms. Sainte-Marie and their family. Farewell Gilles Carle, you will be missed.

Gilles CarleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn of the death on Saturday of Gilles Carle, who passed away in Granby at the age of 81 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

A member of the Order of Canada since 1999, Mr. Carle is seen as a pioneer in Quebec cinema. This true cultural ambassador made more than 60 films, including La mort d'un bûcheron and Les Plouffe.

Mr. Carle represented Quebec a number of times in Cannes, a sure sign of the calibre of his work.

We will never forget Mr. Carle, whose films represent a rich legacy for Quebec.

We offer our condolences to his devoted partner, Chloé Sainte-Marie, to his family and to the friends who stood by him faithfully during his illness.

I would like to thank Gilles Carle for his incredible contribution to Quebec cinema, and for the lasting impression he made on Quebec culture.

Air Passengers' Bill of RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week the United States transportation department imposed the first penalties in North America for tarmac delays, collecting $175,000 from three airlines, including Continental Airlines, for leaving 47 passengers stranded on a plane for six long hours in Rochester, Minnesota. This sends a clear signal to the rest of the airline industry that companies must respect the rights of air travellers in the United States.

A week ago, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that passengers are entitled to compensation for flight delays, the same as for cancellation and overbooked flights under the air passenger rules that have been in place in the European Union for the last five years.

Will Air Canada and Air Transat stop flying into the United States and Europe because of fear of these new penalties?

When will the government get out of the pockets of the airline industry and support Bill C-310, the air passengers' bill of rights?

Canadian MilitaryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the Liberals' ugly attacks on the men and women who protect our country, our Prime Minister defended our soldiers, but the opposition leader quickly denounced the expression of support for them.

Our Prime Minister said that Canadians from coast to coast are proud of our soldiers and support them. Apparently, his words angered the opposition leader, who seems to think that the Prime Minister's Office has no place defending soldiers. But is it the Liberal Party's place to attack our soldiers?

The Liberals even used allegations against our soldiers to raise funds for their party. That is shameful, and the Liberals should apologize.

Liberal members need to understand that Quebeckers and Canadians are proud of our courageous men and women in uniform.

Gilles CarleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, Gilles Carle has died. I knew him. He left Quebeckers a huge body of work that is truly their own.

I would like to pay tribute to this unique Quebec filmmaker, painter and poet who had an indomitable imagination and a wealth of talent.

A body that became a prison slowed him down and his heart eventually failed him, but his creativity remains.

It used to be impossible to talk about her without him, and now it is impossible to talk about him without her.

I would like to pay tribute to my friend Chloé.

She fought tirelessly to make others understand that as long as a heart is living, it wants to beat near loved ones, surrounded by love.

The Maison Gilles Carle, a model of social solidarity, will survive.

I will conclude with the words of Gilles Carle, as sung by Chloé:

The candle of life is burning.

Our time is running out.

Farewell, my friend, farewell life.

FootballStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was all football all the time this weekend. First, I want to congratulate the Queen's University Golden Gaels, from Kingston, and the University of Calgary Dinos for making it to Quebec City for the finals. My biggest congratulations go to Queen's for winning the Vanier Cup for the first time in 17 years.

In fact, Canadian football fans were treated to two extraordinary finals. I want to congratulate the Roughriders and the Alouettes who put on quite a show last night.

With a fourth quarter full of suspense that saw both teams fighting with courage and determination, bar stools and chesterfields from coast to coast were vacated time and time again as fans leapt to their feet.

Our Montreal Alouettes showed us that perseverance can push us to perform miracles and that if a week in politics can be a lifetime, four seconds can make or break a football season.

The Alouettes are the Grey Cup champions this year. For the sixth time, our Alouettes were cheering last night, saying, “I love Montreal”.

Let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, that Montreal loves them right back.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about leadership.

Our government, led by our Prime Minister, supports the men and women of Canada's armed forces. Yesterday the Prime Minister said:

Let me just say this: living as we do, in a time when some in the political arena do not hesitate before throwing the most serious of allegations at our men and women in uniform, based on the most flimsy of evidence, remember that Canadians from coast to coast to coast are proud of you and stand behind you, and I am proud of you, and I stand beside you.

What was theLiberal leader's response? According to the Liberal leader, standing behind our armed forces is beneath the office of the Prime Minister. It is breathtaking.

The Prime Minister must stand beside our men and women in uniform. Anyone who thinks that is below the office does not understand what that office is all about.

AfghanistanOral Questions

November 30th, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, evidence of torture has now been given to a journalist and to former army officers. This is a disinformation campaign. The government reveals its secrets to those it chooses but hides the truth from Canadians.

When will the government stop hiding the truth? When will it give the evidence to the parliamentary committee and to Canadians?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if there is any disinformation campaign going on here, it is the disinformation, innuendo, second-hand information being spread by the Liberal Party. Those members are only too happy to spread half-truths and this type of innuendo about our troops. Last week we heard from well-respected public servant David Mulroney, who said there was no evidence of abuse.

When will the Liberal Party stop attacking the actions of our men and women in uniform?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at no time has this party attacked our troops or our men in the field. It is the government we are attacking. It is the government's conduct.

For 18 months the Conservatives knew about allegations of torture and did nothing. Then they sought to smear a distinguished public servant. Even now they are not telling the truth and they are hiding behind our soldiers. When will they start telling Canadians the truth?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier has worn the uniform of our great country for 36 years. He is a Canadian hero. When did the Liberal Party attack our troops? Yesterday at 11:29 a.m., when the official spokesman of the Liberal Party characterized the general's appearance before the committee as morally weak and legally flimsy.

When will they stop attacking these men and women who are heroes? Most important, when will the Leader of the Opposition stand up and apologize for trying to raise money for the Liberal Party?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker--

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, order.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, when will the government apologize for using a Canadian destroyer as a backdrop for party political propaganda?

At no time have we ever attacked the integrity of the Canadian armed forces. The issue is the conduct of the government. The issue is whether the Conservatives are telling Canadians the truth. The issue is whether they have covered up allegations of torture for 18 months. It is time to hear the truth from that side of the House instead of these baseless attacks.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the official opposition stands in this place and says that, and the Liberal defence critic, the official spokesman for his party, characterizes a gentleman who wore the uniform for 36 years as being morally weak and legally flimsy. No wonder the most well-respected soldier of his generation, General Rick Hillier, called the Liberals' time in office a decade of darkness. He should be ashamed of himself.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in trying to understand the process under way with respect to dealing with allegations of harsh treatment, Kerry Buck who is a senior spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said under cross-examination in 2008, “It is not our role to determine credibility of the allegations, to determine the veracity of the allegations. We don't investigate those allegations. We record them”.

I wonder if the Minister of Foreign Affairs could tell us, is that his understanding of the way in which these allegations are supposed to be dealt with?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is the members opposite cannot have it both ways. They cannot accept the testimony and the evidence of senior public servants, of long-serving members of the Canadian Forces in charge of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan and then accuse the government of not accepting that same evidence to make its decisions.

That is the hypocrisy coming from the member opposite and members of the opposition, They are now trying to hug the Canadian Forces outside the chamber, while coming in here and casting aspersions on the job they are doing in this mission.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am doing my best but I did not hear the answer to my question. It is very simple; the question is very simple. Ms. Buck, a Foreign Affairs official, said that it is not the role of Canada's federal government to investigate the allegations. Its role is to forward the allegations to the government of Afghanistan and to wait for a reply. I will once again put the very simple question to the minister.

Is that his government's attitude towards the serious allegations that we have heard?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

Mr. Speaker, two and a half years ago, when we improved the failed transfer arrangement, we started to invest in its justice system and in its prison system. We improved the mentoring that was taking place, with respect to transfer detainees. We improved the investments around the conditions within the Afghan prison system. That is concrete action.

What the member opposite now is trying to do is confuse Canadians by suggesting, in this chamber, that they do support the diplomats and the military, while outside the chamber they are saying something totally different to try to cast aspersions on the advice that the government took from those same officials. We have been consistent—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence finally admitted that he had been aware of allegations of torture since 2006, when the Conservative Party took power. That means that one and a half years went by between the time the government was informed of these allegations and the time the new detainee transfer agreement was signed. Canadian authorities handed detainees over to Afghan authorities knowing full well what could happen.

Will the government admit that it failed to live up to its responsibilities to Afghan detainees?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, whenever the government has received serious credible and specific allegations with respect to this matter, the government has acted.

What we heard before the parliamentary committee this past week was passionate testimony from some of our country's greatest heroes, three high-ranking generals and one senior official on this file. What they said, at the end of the day, was there was no specific evidence.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there certainly is a problem. The Minister of National Defence says that he knew in 2006. But the new agreement was signed in 2007, a year and a half later. However, the Geneva convention prohibits handing over detainees if they risk being tortured. The minister himself admitted that the government knew this and acted a year and a half later.

Why did the government continue to transfer Afghan detainees until 2007, despite a flawed agreement, for one and a half years, thus violating the Geneva convention? We are not making anything up. This is what the government itself has said.