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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was relationship.

Topics

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I did give a straightforward answer about the pins that are sold on Parliament Hill. The contract for the pins that are purchased by the Government of Canada and distributed to members of Parliament went to, wait for it, a Canadian company in Montreal. We are doing our job.

If the hon. member wants to distribute different pins from his office, he is free to use his MP budget and purchase whatever pins he wants.

We will make it crystal clear that this government has always stood up for this country and for our symbols in spite of the noise from the NDP.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

April 27th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, as if the issue of maple leaf pins is not bad enough, the government's handling of Canada Day activities is also being called into question.

Last year, Quebec received about 85% of the total Canada Day funds while the rest of the country received only 15%.

While funding for activities in Quebec is important, would the government explain why it does not think that Canada Day is important enough to promote in the rest of Canada?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, of course the member's facts are entirely wrong. It seems that she and the Bloc Québécois got their facts from the exact same inaccurate newspaper.

The reality is that we have increased funding to support Canadian festivals across this country, including Canada Day, to celebrate Canada. The numbers that she is using are entirely wrong.

We are using this money effectively to support festivals and events across this country that support the birthday of this country. We are proud to do that and we are doing it in a way that is more effective than what the Liberals did, as I described, in a report that was done that showed that 79% of the money under the Liberals went to Liberal only ridings.

We are doing our job to ensure that Canada is celebrated and celebrated with honour.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs had not yet read the ruling in the Omar Khadr case when he announced his decision to file an appeal. A few hours later, the department announced that a final decision on appealing the ruling had not yet been taken.

Has someone notified the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the final decision made by his deputy minister?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker Omar Khadr faces very serious charges. A news report showed media footage of Mr. Khadr allegedly building and planting the improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, the very devices that have taken the lives of dozens of Canadian men and women.

We are contemplating the appeal of this decision and we will be reviewing the court decision.

As the matter is still before the court, we cannot speak any further on that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the government wants to buy time by filing an appeal. That is the only reason it is prolonging the debate.

But beyond procedure, there is a question the government has never answered. We know that Canada is a signatory to the United Nations convention on the protection of child soldiers. Consequently, can the minister give us his definition of a child soldier?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have said on many occasions in the House, and I will repeat it, Omar Khadr faces very serious charges. He is accused of killing Sergeant Christopher Speer, an American medic in Afghanistan, the same country Canadian troops are fighting today.

President Obama has started a process and we will respect his decision by allowing the committee to run its course.

As I said, we are reviewing the court's decision and considering an appeal. I cannot say any more.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the U.S. Homeland Secretary said clearly that 9/11 terrorists came from Canada. Then Friday, former presidential candidate, Senator McCain, defended her, stating “well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada”. The public safety minister's response was that he and the secretary had a chuckle over it.

While a former ambassador to the U.S. calls the myth a “viral infection”, while it threatens thousands of jobs and billions in trade, while the secretary continues to say that terrorists come from Canada, the minister has a chuckle. What exactly is so funny?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, what we chuckle about is the fact that some people are so ill-informed as to perpetuate the myth and some people are so ill-informed and so uninterested in advancing Canada's interests that they continue to want to feed the myth all the time.

That is what the hon. member wants to do, but we prefer a different approach, where we work co-operatively with the Americans, both to educate them, as is the case with Senator McCain, who needs to get a bit of education on the issue, and the 9/11 commission report is a good place for him to look, but also to look at the considerable steps we have taken as a country to secure our borders and to become more secure against terrorism. We have had successes.

We have had two successful prosecutions against terrorists here with Momin Khawaja, with the Toronto 18. We are taking action to make Canada secure.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the actions of the Conservatives have not worked. The secretary continues to say that terrorists come from Canada. It should not take our leader going to Washington to do that government's job.

This is another quote, “We know that Canada is seen as a soft spot...of undesirable people, possibly criminal elements, being able to gain access to our country”. This time it is not a U.S. official. It is the international trade minister, as leader of the Alliance Party, peddling the same myth, using the same misinformation.

Is the reason the Conservatives refuse to act because the Conservative politics of fear fed fuel to the problem we have today?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we are taking action. We work very closely with our partners, including the Americans, in trying to combat terrorism.

However, I have news for the hon. member. There are real terrorist threats. That is why we just had a prosecution in this very city, the first ever successful prosecution under the Anti-terrorism Act of Momin Khawaja, convicted of assisting and making detonators, in touch with the London bombers.

These threats are real. We have to be vigilant against them and we are being vigilant against them. We will not turn a blind eye against these threats. We will protect Canadians and we will do what is necessary to ensure their safety.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, today the Military Police Complaints Commission finally released its report on allegations of detainee abuse in Afghanistan in 2006.

The MPCC has found that many of the reforms brought in after the Somali inquiry have not taken hold and that “military police did succumb to perceived pressure from the chain of the command” and “failed to complete mandated [detainee] transfer procedures” and conduct a full investigation.

Will the Minister of National Defence release the sensitive portions of the report and allow all Canadians to see what this independent body has found?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Defence is always pleased to receive these reports and act on the recommendations.

What the member did not reference was that the report concluded the three individuals detained by the Canadian military police in April 2006 were, in fact, treated humanely and it exonerated the Canadian military of any wrongdoing in that regard.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the MPCC was created as an oversight body for the military police and to build confidence in our military justice system. However, the Conservatives have been hostile to its reports and to its independence. Only this week, the Conservative government was in federal court, trying to stop MPCC from holding hearings on whether military police also failed when detainees were knowingly transferred to Afghan police units that torture.

Will the minister stop his attempt to block the public hearings? Why do the Conservatives want to shut them down and what is it that they want to hide?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. We have been very co-operative with the MPCC. We have provided thousands of documents for its perusal. The only thing that we take issue with is the jurisdiction, the efforts of this body to reach into an area of jurisdiction that we feel is not correct. That is the only issue. It has nothing to do with disclosure. It has nothing to do with withholding information. The member simply has his facts wrong.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, this House voted for a bill that aims to put an end to lenient sentences for criminals who exploit children. While all the other political parties voted in favour of the bill, the Bloc, with a single exception, chose fanatical ideology instead and abandoned Canadian children and families.

This week is National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Could the Minister of State for Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec please tell the House how this government is helping to raise awareness about victims' issues?

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Ottawa—Orléans for this important question.

Parents, sisters, brothers and friends will all be proud to know that our government is making sure that criminals who commit certain crimes against our children will face minimum prison sentences.

How can the Bloc vote against victims and for criminals? Once again, the Bloc prefers to play political games rather than protect Quebec families.

During this National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, our government is taking action in partnership with our communities to protect our families—

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Halifax West.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, documents obtained under access to information prove that the Prime Minister is unable to rise above petty personal potshots, even when it comes to the health and safety of Canadians. The natural resource minister's own briefing notes clearly showed the Prime Minister inflamed the recent medical isotope crisis for partisan purposes.

Instead of focusing on the problem, instead of doing his job, why did the Prime Minister choose to play politics with public safety? Will he assure us that he will not fire the official who wrote the briefing note?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:55 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, it is the member opposite who is playing politics with this. It is clear from his question that he has not read the document to which he has referred.

Members will remember in the midst of medical crisis, this government acted swiftly and decisively. I point out that Parliament voted unanimously in December 2007 to start the reactor. The decision to remove Linda Keen from her position was supported by a federal court judge.

I am surprised by the opposition's attempt to rewrite history.

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current Minister of Revenue rightly justifies 40% of his travel on charter flights by saying that he had to visit remote areas when he was the minister for Canada Economic Development. But the government website gives no justification for the other 60%. There is no reason to believe the minister could not have taken regular commercial flights or his ministerial limousine.

Can the current Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec tell us whether he has adopted the same practice as his colleague, the revenue minister, to travel to his riding of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean?

Government ExpendituresOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, a minister of state for economic development has the responsibility to visit all the regions of Quebec, and I am very proud to visit them. Obviously, a number of regions are further from Ottawa or major urban centres, and we are not always able to take commercial flights.

I will keep on proudly visiting all the regions, several of which are represented by parties other than ours. Personally, I feel it is important for our government to be everywhere in the field in Quebec and to support economic development throughout the province.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the government will issue a death sentence to Roohi Tabassum by deporting her to Pakistan. Her ex-husband has promised to kill her if she returns. Her only crime is that, as a hairdresser in Canada, she cut men's hair.

Roohi came to Canada fleeing religious persecution eight years ago. She has filed a refugee claim and a permanent resident application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but so far to no avail.

She is begging for her life. Will the minister ensure that Roohi is not deported?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that deportations are the responsibility of the Canada Border Services Agency, which simply enforces the rulings made by the IRB or the courts and our civil servants.

I would be happy to review the case as it relates to an apparent application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. If I receive the file, typically what members of Parliament do is to approach the minister rather than raise the matter on the floor. I cannot discuss the details of case files on the floor of the House of Commons. It would violate the Privacy Act.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, on April 14 the Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

Does the government agree with the Liberal leader when he says, “We will have to raise taxes”, and should Canadians take him at his word?