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House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was privacy.

Topics

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I notice the minister did not explain the “thank you fundraiser”.

A government official said it is not normal for the RCMP to be investigating the $9 million contract to LM Sauvé. He did, however, acknowledge that changes were made to the contract that favoured Sauvé.

How is it that the best companies in the world were shut out, companies such as EllisDon, PCL and Fuller, and the contract was awarded to a company that paid $140,000 to a well-connected Conservative lobbyist?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, he heard the officials at committee this morning. They were open, they were transparent and they answered all questions on the substance of the matter. When asked if there was any indication of political involvement in the Sauvé contract, the senior public servant assistant deputy minister said, “No”.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government completely discredited itself in the Omar Khadr case. It meekly accepted the American position and did nothing to help a Canadian national. It ignored its international commitments and decisions from the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, which all said that Mr. Khadr's constitutional rights were being violated.

Does the government understand why it did not win a seat on the UN Security Council?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Khadr pleaded guilty to killing Christopher Speer, an American army medic. He also pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted murder. He admitted to providing material support to al-Qaeda. The trial is now at the sentencing stage, during which the court will hear from the victims, in particular the widow of the deceased.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, by refusing to help a Canadian national, Canada contributed to the pressure put on Omar Khadr to get him to confess by using force and threats. The government should be ashamed of allowing such a thing to happen.

Is the government aware that it failed to meet its international commitments concerning the protection of child soldiers?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the case is still before the courts. This question obviously concerns Mr. Khadr, his lawyers and the American justice system.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Bill C-16, the government wants to eliminate most community sentences a judge can hand down. Before a judge can hand down a sentence to be served in the community, section 742.1 of the Criminal Code already stipulates that the judge has to be “satisfied that the service of the sentence in the community would not endanger the safety of the community”.

In the opinion of the Minister of Justice, do Canadian judges comply with this requirement?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government believes that those who commit very serious crimes should serve their sentence behind bars and not in the comfort of their homes. I do not see why that is always such a problem for the Bloc.

Yes, there is a bill before Parliament that would accomplish that end, and for once, we should be getting the support of the Bloc.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, if judges are complying with the requirement to protect the safety of the community, then clearly they are not releasing serious and violent offenders, as the title of his bill would suggest.

Why eliminate this very useful power to help rehabilitate so many offenders? If certain judges are not complying with this requirement, why are those sentences not simply appealed?

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what is so difficult about this concept. It is Parliament that makes the laws and the judges interpret that law. I do not see why that should be such a big problem with the Bloc.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I also have a question for the government about Mr. Khadr.

When will the Government of Canada tell us clearly what its policy is regarding Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen and a child soldier?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, the trial is now at the sentencing stage, during which the court will hear from the victims. Since this case is still before the courts, this question concerns Mr. Khadr, his lawyers and the American government.

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that the minister is once again playing a game of let us pretend. Let us pretend that Mr. Khadr is not a child soldier. Let us pretend that he is not a Canadian citizen, and let us pretend that there has not been a process of discussion, that there has not been a diplomatic exchange, and that there has not been a plea bargain.

This House is entitled to know. What is the policy of the Government of Canada?

Omar KhadrOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what we know is that Omar Khadr is guilty of murdering U.S. army medic Christopher Speer. He pleaded guilty as well to attempted murder and he pleaded guilty to being in and supporting al-Qaeda.

The trial has now moved into the sentencing hearings where the court will hear from the victims of the crime, and that will include, of course, Corporal Speer's wife.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

October 26th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, in South America, there are 13 countries and Canada has embassies in 10 of them. There are 45 countries in Europe and we have embassies or high commissions in 35 of them. In Africa, where there are 250 million more people than in Europe, there are 54 countries and Canada has embassies in fewer than half of them, 23 to be exact.

Now we are hearing rumours that the Conservatives are thinking of closing more embassies in Africa. Would this be in reaction to not winning a seat on the UN Security Council?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada consistently evaluates its interests. We consistently look at where we can best serve Canadian interests abroad, and in some cases, new embassies are opened. New offices are opened; others are closed. We do this in full knowledge of defending Canada's best interests.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, that sounds like a yes.

Mr. Speaker, of the 10 embassies with the most Canadian or local employees, none are African. Of the 10 Canadian embassies that hired the most employees in 2009, none are in Africa.

Some embassies, such as the one in Nairobi, which serves four countries in addition to Kenya, can take up to twice as long to process files.

Can the minister assure us that his government will not close any embassies or high commissions in Africa, whether in Cameroon or elsewhere?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, our government is an accountable government. As such, we are constantly looking at where we can best serve the interests of Canadians, our companies and our diplomacy abroad. Of course, there are times when we have to defend, advise and act in the best interests of Canadians and taxpayers. That is what we will do every time our interests are at stake.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is lowering taxes, helping to create jobs and boosting our economic growth in communities right across Canada, and it is getting results. Over 22,500 projects are under way or completed in communities across Canada. Canada has created over 420,000 net new jobs since July 2009. Clearly Canada's economic action plan is working.

Could the Minister of Finance please tell the House just how effective Canada's economic action plan has been?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is getting results, more than 420,000 net new jobs since the end of the recession. Both the IMF and the OECD project Canada to have the strongest growth in the G7 over the course of this year and next, applauded by the OECD and applauded by the IMF.

Finally and very importantly, may I applaud the new mayor of the great city of Toronto, Rob Ford.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are five years late and massively over budget with the delivery of new helicopters.

The Conservatives said in 2006 that we urgently needed Chinooks for Afghanistan and sole-sourced the contract. Now we will not get the helicopters until 2013. The Auditor General said the sole-sourcing was unjustified and that National Defence did not follow its own rules.

If the Conservatives are breaking the rules on sole-sourcing, how can we trust them with the F-35s? If they did not know the full cost of the helicopters, how can they know the full cost of the new fighter jets?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, here is a news flash for the member. There are Chinooks flying in Afghanistan today with Canadian rondelles on their sides.

These new Chinooks, however, are going to allow Canada, for the long term, to continue with domestic and deployed operations. They are an important aircraft with respect to military personnel and equipment.

We thank the Auditor General for her recommendations. We are working on and streamlining the processes for procurement. In fact, we have, as a result of our current efforts, on average been able to reduce the time to get a contract award from 107 months to 48 months.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives issued a sole-source contract for Chinooks in 2006, only to change the specifications three years later.

This flip-flop increased the cost of the project by 70%. They dodged the required management structures that should have challenged decision making. They did not start planning for additional personnel until 2009. They have yet to come up with an estimated life-cycle cost of the helicopters.

How can the Conservatives expect Canadians to trust them with $16 billion for the F-35s when they have made such a mess with the helicopter purchase?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is a big difference between the procurement of helicopters and the F-35s that he is talking about.

Let us go back to the essentials here. These are important helicopters that Canada will need and fly well into the future. These Chinook helicopters have demonstrated, time and time again, their capability in Afghanistan. They are literally saving lives.

This is why we make these investments. This is why I will never apologize as a member of this government for making the important investments.

The proof is on the tarmac and in the fields of Afghanistan today. We are seeing the importance of this type of procurement going forward on time to give the men and women in uniform the important equipment they need.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, “municipalities could lose all of their subsidies because it will be practically impossible to complete all work before the deadline”. This is what was said by Michel Larouche, the mayor of Roberval and a former organizer for the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

Will the government finally listen to Quebec's municipalities and push back the March 31, 2011, deadline, as the former Conservative organizer and current mayor of Roberval is calling for?