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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

International Co-operationOral Questions

April 28th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the primary causes of death in African women are childbirth and risks associated with pregnancy. In sub-Saharan Africa, one woman in 13 dies in labour, while in industrialized countries it is one woman in 4,100. Worse yet, 44% of the women worldwide who die each year following a back alley abortion are Africans.

In light of such appalling numbers, does the government realize that its decision to no longer fund access to abortion in third world countries is a direct threat to women's health?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I will continue to read from this news release:

For groups like ours, who are working to make a difference in the lives of these millions of women and children, the upcoming G8 in Canada provides an historic opportunity to chart a course out of this desperate terrain.

And yet, instead of pushing forward in support of an initiative that could benefit millions, we're allowing the potential for hope and opportunity to be swallowed up by a political debate about abortion that is stifling the potential for progress.

It is very, very sad that these questions keep on coming in the way they are.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal women's health centre, the Quebec federation for family planning, Doctors of the World Canada, the Quebec federation of women and the National Assembly of Quebec have all denounced this decision. Canada's stubbornness could end up derailing the G8 plan on maternal health.

Does the government understand the tragic consequences its decision has for women's health, in Africa in particular?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it has been very gratifying to see the kind of progress that has actually occurred in Halifax under the leadership of the Minister of International Cooperation with the initiative that was put forward by the Prime Minister of Canada.

The only way it can get derailed is if the unholy coalition decides it is going to continue to do this kind of demagoguery over an issue nobody wants to debate.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Autorité des marchés financiers has attacked the Conservatives' plan to establish a federal securities commission in Toronto. He is asking all business people in Quebec to strongly oppose this project, which will kill jobs in the financial sector. In Montreal, 100,000 people work directly in this industry.

Why are the Conservative members from Quebec once again being doormats while the interests of Quebec are threatened?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the initiative with respect to a common securities regulator is an opt-in, voluntary situation. If Quebec or any other province chooses not to opt in to the Canadian securities regulator, that is its right. Work is being done on the draft legislation. Absolutely no decisions have been made with any of the willing participants with respect to the location of offices.

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Autorité des marchés financiers is calling for the rejection of the Conservative project. He said: “We do not need a commission of this kind.” Is that not clear? He pointed out that Quebec SMEs benefit from having a regulator that is nearby, understands their concerns and serves them in French.

Why does the government want to deprive our SMEs of a Quebec authority that knows them, recognizes them and already serves them very well and in French?

SecuritiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we made clear several times, this is an opt-in situation. If Quebec or any other province wishes to continue with its own securities regulation in its own jurisdiction, then we respect the constitutional competence of that province.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the documents submitted by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has a handwritten note that says “From Rahim, submit to department”.

My question is simple. Who wrote that note on the top of the page of one of the proposals submitted by Rahim Jaffer?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when information was brought to our attention, that information was immediately forwarded to the commissioner of lobbying. If the member opposite has any allegations or any evidence that she would like to suggest, we would welcome hearing it. If she also knows where the still missing $39 million is that the Liberal Party stole from taxpayers, I wonder if she might advise us in her supplementary question where that money is.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we had the courage to call for an inquiry, which the Conservatives refuse.

It is a simple question, so I ask it again. On the documents the minister submitted to the committee, who wrote the note, “From Rahim, submit to department”?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government has been very transparent. We brought in the Federal Accountability Act. We received information from lobbyists. When that was brought to our attention, we sent it to the commissioner of lobbying so it could be reviewed.

If only we had seen that same standard from the Liberal Party. When the Liberal Party received emails from lobbyists, it sent them bags of cash, and we had to spend $50 million on a public inquiry to get to the bottom of that stolen cash. I say to the member opposite, do the right thing and tell us where that $39 million is.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again in the other official language. Who wrote that little handwritten note on the proposal submitted to the cabinet minister? Was it from the minister, the parliamentary secretary or a staff member? Was it from someone else?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. No money was given to this individual for any of the matters being brought to attention. What money was given was given by the Liberal Party to its friends. Some $40 million was stolen from hard-working taxpayers and Canadians. They want their money back. I say to the member for Hull—Aylmer, stand up in his place, do the right thing, and tell us where the $39 million is.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I even gave him multiple choices. Either it was the minister or the parliamentary secretary who wrote the note, thus proving they must have been directly lobbied by Mr. Jaffer. Or was it someone else and they still misled Canadians about what happened?

Why the secrecy? Have the Conservatives not learned that they cannot hide information from the House and get away with it? Or will their culture of deceit continue?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we did the right thing. When this was brought to our attention, we forwarded all the information to the commissioner of lobbying, an independent officer of the House. I say to the member for Hull—Aylmer, he was sitting there, right in the middle of the government benches, when $40 million were stolen. He was right in the middle of it. Where is the $39 million? Tell us. Canadians want their money back.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, sadly, the Liberal leader is whipping his members to ignore their conscience and their constituents and to vote for the wasteful long gun registry. He refuses to listen to rural Canadians, or anyone else for that matter, and put an end to this Liberal-sponsored boondoggle. Last Thursday, the Liberal leader had his members attempt to hijack the public safety committee's agenda and dictate the witness list for Bill C-391.

Can the Minister of Public Safety please bring some reason to this issue and provide the House with an update?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is not fooling anyone with his proposals for unconstitutional amendments to Bill C-391. It is time to end the criminalization of our hunters and outdoor enthusiasts once and for all.

I hope that those Liberals who voted for Bill C-391 will put the call of their constituents above the orders of the Liberal leader.

We trust that the NDP will support the bill in its original form, instead of following the Liberal-led coalition of deceit.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has settled on a completely irresponsible policy on women's and maternal health. This policy not only fails women abroad on the key issue of access to safe abortions, it is reopening a very divisive debate domestically and putting us at odds with our international partners. Both Britain and the Obama administration in the U.S. have been very clear that access to safe abortions must be part of the maternal health initiative.

Why will the government not put the interests of our country and of women everywhere ahead of its own Conservative ideology?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read the ideology of people who are actually involved in this. They say:

With an investment at the community level, where women and children are best able to access health care, the G8 initiative can prevent the deaths and improve the health of millions of children and women. Providing families with access to proven low cost health interventions can ensure healthier pregnancies and prevent illness and death from such diseases as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

That is the ideology we are following.

International CooperationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not for the Conservative government to tell women in developing countries, or anywhere, what they can and cannot do to maintain their health.

According to the World Health Organization, 13% of maternal deaths in poor countries are the result of unsafe abortions. Yet, while abortion services are available in Canada, the government refuses to advocate the same rights for women abroad. It is offensive, irresponsible and unacceptable.

Will the government stop dictating its ideologically driven Conservative policies to women abroad?

International CooperationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member what is offensive and irresponsible. It is hearing the same question from all three members of the coalition. It is those members who want to create a debate in Canada that no one wants, no one.

We want to get on with serving 8.8 million mothers and children who desperately need the help that Canada wants to give them, not another debate.

Appointment of JudgesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, as proof of the absurdity of the judicial appointment process, consider the example of Mr. Léger, a former president of the Progressive Conservative Party, who was appointed to the bench by the Conservatives in 2006. He currently sits on the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Despite the fact that he was the Hells Angels' business lawyer, he was the man chosen by the Conservatives to replace the chief justice of the highest court in Quebec, who himself was a former political organizer for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Why does this government continue to support a process that favours partisan appointments over merit?

Appointment of JudgesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, candidates for the judiciary are referred to me by one of the 17 judicial advisory committees from across the country.

I should tell the House that all candidates undergo an RCMP screening process. So we have complete confidence in the process.

I want to know from the Bloc members, why are they always attacking the judiciary? They are soft on crime and now they are after the judiciary. I am very disappointed.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the appointment of judges who do not understand French is another aberration of the system, according to former judge Claire L'Heureux-Dubé. Independent senators who are being courted by the Conservatives to block a bill requiring bilingualism do not see why judges should understand French, because as they put it, “about 70% of this country functions in English every day.”

Is that the bottom line for the Conservatives: in Canada, French is just a second-class language that has no place in the courts?