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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

Grant Forest ProductsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of the facts that the hon. member is relying on, but what I can tell the member is that Georgia-Pacific has in fact committed to maintaining the current workforce, quite frankly because it recognizes the value of the workers at Grant Forest Products. It is sourcing all timber for the Canadian business from Canadian forests, utilizing Canadian-based logging contractors while promoting sustainable forestry practices. Those are a part of the agreement that Georgia-Pacific has agreed to as part of this decision.

Grant Forest ProductsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, is this the start of a new practice? Are we going to actually have the government table the agreements of these foreign takeovers that have been made? Because it is about time that happened.

That is not what just happened here in the House. We had the minister quoting from the Georgia-Pacific press release, which I have here in my hand. That is what we have going on here.

Meanwhile, if the minister and his staff had bothered to take a look, they would find out that Georgia-Pacific is already firing workers contrary to this press release and contrary to any agreement.

When are we going to have a government that stands up for the people who built the wealth of this country?

Grant Forest ProductsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the reason that it is in the Georgia-Pacific press release is because I insisted that the terms and conditions for approving the investment be public. That is why it is in the press release.

If the hon. member wants to talk about saving jobs, perhaps he should review some of his party's policies which increase taxes, drive away business, drive away investment and make the country poor.

That is not our agenda.

Grant Forest ProductsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the Investment Canada Act was passed, there have been 13,516 foreign takeovers in Canada. And how many have been refused by the various governments? Just one. The latest is the takeover of Grant Forest Products by Georgia-Pacific.

Will the Prime Minister guarantee that the terms and conditions will be met and that all employees who have been told they will lose their jobs will be kept on? Is he prepared to do that?

Grant Forest ProductsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member has heard something other than what I said, he should share it with me so that we can settle this matter.

But I can tell the House that, in fact, this is an agreement that this company has agreed to. It agreed to it and that is what made this particular deal of net benefit to Canada, which is a test in the legislation.

We believe in more investment. We believe in more companies increasing the number of jobs in this country. That is why we act for the benefit of Canada.

EthicsOral Questions

April 20th, 2010 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities said that he had met with Rahim Jaffer and personally received grant applications for three green infrastructure projects. The parliamentary secretary was delegated the authority to review these projects, not to decide which projects to fund.

If it is true that Mr. Jaffer's funding application was denied, was the minister informed? Did he make the decision? If not, who is managing this $1 billion program?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear with respect to the issue the member raises. Serious allegations were brought forward to the Prime Minister's attention. He acted immediately, referring them to the relevant authorities. None of the allegations that were brought to the Prime Minister's attention had anything to do with government business.

With respect to the individual in question, no grants were either recommended or awarded.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, ministers and their staff are legally obligated to report any time they are lobbied. In a huge loophole, apparently parliamentary secretaries are not.

So, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities delegated authority to review projects to his PS, someone who does not report his interactions with lobbyists, not even a meeting with an unregistered lobbyist who is past chair of the Conservative caucus, husband of a cabinet minister, and was trolling for government cash.

Accountability is not the title of a bill that the government passed and ignored. It is the actions taken right here.

Will the government turn over these proposals? Will it come clean? Will it tell us who it was lobbied by and when?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite has any allegations that he would like to make, I would encourage him to take them to the independent authority, but I doubt he will because any allegations that this member has ever raised have turned out to be totally incorrect and false.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, otherwise known as FedDev, needs to focus its limited resources on considering only projects of clear merit that will create long-terms jobs for Ontarians.

Could the minister in charge of FedDev confirm that his director of operations, Andrew House, met with representatives of Sustainable Ventures Inc. last fall on behalf of a number of its clients?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, ministers have an obligation to meet with Canadians. Mr. House did meet with the representatives, but they discussed the new fund, the southern Ontario development program. There were some projects talked about, but none of those projects received any funding.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, normally when people vying for funding from FedDev met with Andrew House or other members of the minister's staff, they registered those meetings with the lobbying commissioner as the law requires. After all, as a former Conservative candidate in both 2006 and 2008, Mr. House knew the accountability act well.

Could the minister confirm that Rahim Jaffer's business partner, Patrick Glémaud, presented four specific client proposals for funding to Andrew House on behalf of Sustainable Ventures Inc., and while he is at it, could he also explain why none of this was registered with the lobbying commissioner?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member is absolutely incorrect. It was three projects. None of those projects received any funding.

This government does not give funding to projects that do not qualify. That is exactly what the Liberals used to do. But if the lobbyist who is required to register the meeting did not register the meeting, I suggest the member report it to the lobbying commissioner as we have done.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, further to the Bloc's proposals, labour and environmental groups are now calling for a tax on international financial transactions. Similarly, a consensus is emerging among G20 nations to tax the gargantuan profits of banks so as to be able to respond to possible crises.

When will the Minister of Finance, who is going it alone, stop protecting his banking buddies?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the world has just been through the most serious credit crisis in at least a generation. Fortunately, in this country, we have a very sound banking system. In fact, the World Economic Forum ranks our banking system as the strongest in the world.

No Canadian taxpayers' money had to be put into our banking system. This is not true in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and other places. Some of these other countries are looking at taxing their banks. We are looking at alternative forms of accomplishing the same goal. We will continue to work with our international partners.

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is strange to hear that from someone who wanted to deregulate this industry in 2000.

According to Responsible Investment Group Inc., some of Canada's financial institutions, the minister's cronies, are on the wall of shame. They are reportedly helping to fund companies involved in producing submunition bombs, land mines and unspeakable weapons affecting civilian populations.

Why did the Minister of Finance not show leadership at the G20 summit by recommending to his colleagues that the worst practices of his buddies, the banks, be regulated?

Financial InstitutionsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question. I would welcome more information from the member about the relationship between Canadian financial institutions and some of the negative things that he just mentioned. If he has some information about that, I would be pleased to review it afterwards.

However, let me say this about our financial institutions and our regulatory system in Canada. They have proven to be the best. They have survived. We are an example to the rest of the world, a model to the rest of the world, and Canadians should be proud of our financial system and the way it is regulated in Canada.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to block the release of incriminating documents on the Afghan detainee issue. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice intervened before the Military Police Complaints Commission to block, once again, the distribution of new documents. The government claims that the commission does not have the mandate to study these documents.

Does this new cover-up by the government, which, by the way, is itself under investigation, not prove the need for a real, independent and public commission of inquiry?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the MPCC and indeed the Canada Evidence Act, under which it operates, have all been in place for many years. I have not heard any complaints from the hon. member, indeed any member of the opposition. Officials are having a look at this. I suggest that the hon. member let the commission do its work.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, while General Natynczyk rejects the accusations of the Afghan Canadian interpreter about the death of an Afghan teenager and the capture of innocent people in 2007, the interpreter asks the Prime Minister to stop being “soft on war crimes“. Like the interpreter, I ask the minister to immediately make public the internal report on these events.

What is the government waiting for to shed light on all these accusations?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, General Natynczyk, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the highest-ranking officer in the Canadian Forces, was very clear in a letter that he released this week. Again, I would invite the hon. member to actually take the time to read it.

It speaks of a Canadian Forces raid on a bomb-making compound that was used to make IEDs and rockets that were aimed specifically at killing innocent people, including Canadian Forces members serving in that country. He went on to talk about an insurgent who was shot in a battlefield incident, an armed insurgent who was posing a threat to Canadian soldiers who were there.

There were insurgents at that time taken into custody, all of whom tested positive for explosives and firearms residue. That is the type of work that our soldiers are doing.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Justice told the House that the government would continue to provide all necessary documents to the Military Police Complaints Commission. Today, the government would not even give a date for the disclosure of the documents to the commission. Instead, the government told the commission it will be done when it is good and ready.

The MPCC chair called that close to being offensive to the commission and to the public. Yes, it is contemptible. It is absolutely in contempt of the House. The government should be accountable to the House. Why would the government not call a public inquiry and end the charade?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. member would have a problem with the mandate of the MPCC. It was put in place by his government. The rules under which it operates were put in by the previous government. All of this was conducted and put in place by this hon. member and his colleagues. I do not know what his problem is. Let officials do the work that they are commissioned to do. Let the commission do its work. He should support that.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is not about the mandate of the commission, it is about the arrogance of the government. Let me read some quotations. There are “allegations of beatings, electrocution...and whipping with rubber cables”, “torture...is endemic”, the government is “accused of complicity in the torture of Taliban suspects”, and “government's denials of such abuse were the result of a ‘head in the sand’ attitude”. These came from the British press this morning about a British court case.

These allegations are exactly identical to the allegations that are being made by Colvin and others in this country. It is a damning indictment of Canada on the world stage. When is the government going to call a public inquiry and clear Canada's name internationally?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me read a few quotations. This is from David Mulroney, a senior public servant in charge of the Afghan mission. He said:

We never, ever transferred anyone if we thought there was a substantial risk of torture. We knew there were problems in the Afghan system, but we developed a robust monitoring system.

That is the failed system that we inherited from the previous government.

Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, the former commander of the expeditionary force in Afghanistan, said:

It's why none of us would knowingly have ignored, disregarded, suppressed, covered up, or put a cloak of secrecy over anything that we received from the field, especially on something as important as the detainee issue. I say that as dispassionately as I can. I mean it absolutely sincerely.

What he was concerned about was being labelled a war criminal by the member opposite.