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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to tell us how many children have been transferred to the Afghan secret service. Yet it can tell us that they are being held in special detention centres and that 280 monitoring visits have taken place. The Minister of Foreign Affairs cannot know all of these details and, at the same time, not know how many children Canada has transferred.

The question is simple: how many children have been handed over to the Afghan secret service?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and for the past few days, I have taken the time to describe to the member the procedure followed in the case of people under 18 who are captured while attempting to injure, shoot or kill a Canadian soldier. They are taken into custody, and we have provisions in place for doing so. I want to reassure my hon. colleague. These measures are in accordance with international conventions.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, how many children?

Also, contrary to the government news release announcing the extension of the mission in Afghanistan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Canadian soldiers will be deployed outside Kabul. Although the Conservatives promised to end the combat mission, we now learn that soldiers will still be in combat zones.

How can the government justify this falsehood?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in our policy we clearly indicated that we would respect the decision made in March of 2008 to end our commitment in Kandahar and withdraw our combat troops. They will be redeployed in order to help provide training to the Afghan army so that the Afghan army will eventually be able to assume responsibility for security in that country.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, I wrote to the Prime Minister asking him if he would invite Burmese democratic activist Aung San Suu Kyi to Canada. As members will recall, we extended Canadian citizenship to her on an honorary basis and I would like to know whether the government would extend an official invitation so she could come here to receive it.

Does the government intend to follow through on the initiative we took and invite the Burmese political activist Aung San Suu Kyi to Canada to receive her citizenship?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government, and I think all Canadians, are incredibly pleased that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest in Burma. Canada has taken very strong sanctions against this repressive regime.

The leader of the NDP has been a good advocate on this file and the government is certainly pleased to continue to work with him on this important issue.

AfghanistanOral Questions

December 2nd, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on another topic, Ambassador Crosbie is well respected and his assessment of Hamid Karzai's Afghan government is no doubt based on fact. The Prime Minister himself confirmed that Afghanistan does not deserve a penny because it is so corrupt.

If this is what the Prime Minister truly believes and if the Canadian ambassador agrees, then can the Conservatives explain why they think it is a good idea to provide such a corrupt government with an army of 300,000 soldiers?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our ambassadors and high commissioners are sent abroad to represent the interests of the Canadian government. The Government of Canada will continue to express its concerns about governance in Afghanistan. I was with the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence when the Prime Minister raised this issue with President Karzai a few weeks ago in Lisbon. Our ultimate goal is to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans, as a safer, more secure country that provides refuge to those who want peace.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ambassador is just telling the truth about the Karzai administration. Hamid Karzai's administration is corrupt. His brother, Kandahar governor Ahmed Wali Karzai, is even worse. He is now implicated in drug trafficking and after being bribed, he freed top Taliban fighters.

Ambassador Crosbie urged Canada to oppose Karzai's attempts to take control of the electoral law and stop the power grab. Why are the Conservatives training 300,000 soldiers for these guys? I do not get it.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first let me point out that the governor of Kandahar is Governor Wesa. He is a Canadian and he is not the brother-in-law or the stepbrother of President Karzai.

Both the Government of Afghanistan and the Government of Canada agree that corruption is one of the major challenges facing Afghanistan. Our government raises concerns regarding issues of democracy, human rights, as well as the rule of law directly with the Afghan authorities and we expect our ambassadors to do exactly that.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1982 Canada enacted the Constitution Act, 1982, whose centrepiece is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has had a transformative effect on the protection of the rule of law and on the protection of our rights. Yet the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke has referred to it as “this deeply flawed Trudeau Charter of Rights”.

I would like to ask the Minister of Justice, whose responsibility includes the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, whether the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke is speaking for the minister and for the government.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, no group of individuals has more respect for human rights in our country than the Conservative Party. That commitment goes right back to John Diefenbaker's Bill of Rights and beyond that. We are very proud of our record.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister has not answered the first question, maybe he will answer the second.

I regret to note that Julian Fantino has spoken of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which governs this Parliament and which protects the rights and freedoms of all Canadians, as giving “great advantage to criminals”. The charter not only protects all of our legal rights; it protects also freedom of religion, expression, equality rights, aboriginal rights and minority language rights.

I would like to ask the Minister of Justice, whose responsibility is the protection of all rights for all Canadians, whether he agrees with these deeply flawed views of the charter.

JusticeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I had better inform the individual that the byelection is over and Mr. Fantino has won and he is certainly going to be welcomed into the House. There is no group of individuals over the course of Canadian history that has had a better record for standing up for human rights than the Conservative Party of Canada and its predecessors. I am very proud to be part of that tradition.

Release of Documents by WikiLeaksOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's mentor and former chief of staff, Tom Flanagan, made headlines around the world when he called for the targeted assassination of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. In England, The Guardian newspaper says that the Canadian Prime Minister's senior adviser has issued a fatwa against Mr. Assange. Netherlands' De Telegraaf is reporting the same.

Will the Prime Minister denounce the remarks of his mentor and clearly state that the Government of Canada does not, in fact, favour the covert assassination of anyone whatsoever?

Release of Documents by WikiLeaksOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday in response to the question that was directed to me by the New Democratic Party, this individual is no longer an adviser to the Prime Minister and has not been for some time. I would not share the view, and I disagree with him. That would be the view of the government.

Release of Documents by WikiLeaksOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tom Flanagan was not the only adviser to the Prime Minister to call for the assassination of Mr. Assange.

Ezra Levant, the Prime Minister's war room director in the last election, the man who gave up the party nomination in Calgary Southwest for the Prime Minister, and the communications director for the Canadian Alliance, questioned in an op-ed, “Why is Assange still alive” and why has President Obama not ordered a hit on him yet.

Why will the Prime Minister not rise in his place right now and denounce these outrageous statements by two of his closest political advisers?

Release of Documents by WikiLeaksOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I was watching television a few moments ago and the Prime Minister is in Mississauga, so it would be very hard for him to stand here.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the agreement covering the ad hoc committee of parliamentarians reviewing the Afghan detainee documents states that committee members are to have access to all of the documents outlined in the order passed by the House of Commons on December 10, 2009.

Given the recent allegations concerning the elite commando unit, will the Minister of Justice promise to hand over the documents on that unit to the ad hoc committee as a priority?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question and his co-operation in this area. There is a process that has been agreed to, by which documents are to be made available, and certainly within that agreement the committee members are entitled to prioritize which documents they want to see.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ad hoc committee needs to see all of the documents concerning war crimes allegations involving this commando unit. It is the government's responsibility, and the minister acknowledges this, to make all documents available to the ad hoc committee so that it can do its work.

Can the Minister of Justice assure us that these documents will be handed over to the ad hoc committee by December 17, 2010?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, again, all documents will be made available as expeditiously as possible, and the hon. member can count on that.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage says that he is working with Quebec minister Christine St-Pierre on improving Bill C-32 on copyright. Ms. St-Pierre believes that the education sector must pay copyright fees, private copying must be modernized, and Internet service providers must be made accountable. Passing Bill C-32 without these substantial amendments would result in enormous losses for Quebec creators.

Did the Minister of Canadian Heritage respond favourably to the minister's three concerns when he met with her?

CopyrightOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are always talking with the other governments. I had a meeting with Ms. St-Pierre this week to discuss the bill. She supports the key elements of our bill. For example, our Bill C-32 will make piracy illegal in Canada and protect artists across Canada from what is destroying their ability to earn a good living with their creations. That is very important and a key part of Bill C-32.

Why is the Bloc Québécois opposed to a bill that makes piracy illegal in Canada? That is the real question.

CopyrightOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer my question. Does he agree with these three points? We all agree that piracy should be illegal. It is all in how you do it. Artists must be compensated.

The education sector currently pays $40 million a year to authors. Bill C-32 is cutting off this compensation. Royalties paid to artists are not gifts; they are their income, their pay.

Does the minister agree with the Quebec minister of culture that the education sector should set an example for our children by teaching them to respect our creators and their works and pay them?