This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Couillard, in whose apartment the former Conservative minister forgot his briefs, had well-documented links to the Hells Angels.

Though he denies the report, Nazim Gillani has been linked to the Hells Angels by a newspaper as respected as the Toronto Star. His associate, Rahim Jaffer, was carrying on business from the office of another Conservative minister. The Prime Minister fired both from cabinet and even threw her out of caucus, but still will not say why.

Let us see. The case involves cocaine, possible links to organized crime, influence peddling and now it is six, seven ministers. Are we getting warmer?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I guess the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party would have us get rid of the judiciary and he could provide judicial judgments on the floor of the House of Commons.

Here is what the Prime Minister did. Serious allegations were brought to this attention. He immediately referred those to the relevant authorities so appropriate action could be taken.

I want to underline, once again, that Mr. Jaffer, in connection with his any of his meetings, received no government money. That is a big difference from the previous Liberal government.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been told for a month that Rahim Jaffer did not have any privileged access to cabinet. And yet, one minister after another is coming forward.

A new series of documents clearly shows that the office of the former minister of public works pushed to have Mr. Jaffer's files given priority. I repeat: priority.

Staff were strongly encouraged to fast-track Mr. Jaffer's files.

I want the Minister of Natural Resources to tell us why.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are having a conversation on the floor of the House of Commons about documents. Why are we having that conversation? Because this government released all of the documents. This government has acted in a very transparent fashion and that is tremendously important.

Let us contrast our actions to those of the previous Liberal government. Mr. Jaffer got no money, no grants in connection with any of his meetings, so unlike the previous government, where literally millions of dollars went to Liberal insiders, and criminal investigations and criminal convictions have resulted. Shame on them.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, listen to this.

“Hello Sébastien, thanks again! I just spoke to [the minister] and we are going to try to get together for a beer next week”.

That is my translation of an email from Rahim Jaffer to Sébastien Togneri, who was the minister's director of parliamentary affairs at the time. The message was about funding for solar panels.

We now know what the meetings between Rahim Jaffer and his former buddies were about.

Do the Conservatives have the nerve to continue denying that Mr. Jaffer not only had privileged access, but received privileged treatment as well?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, one thing is very clear. As a result of any of these meetings or any of these actions undertaken by Mr. Jaffer, no government money was involved. That is in sharp contrast to the previous Liberal government when $40 million went missing.

For my friend in the Liberal Party, tomorrow is the day when Canadians have to pay up for their tax bills. Tomorrow should also be the day that the Liberal Party pays up for their $39 million of missing money.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's communications director assured Canadians that the government's doors were locked to Rahim Jaffer and then we learned of one Conservative minister, then a second Conservative minister, a seventh Conservative minister who granted privileged access to Mr. Jaffer.

Curiously silent is the former minister of natural resources, the now Minister of Labour. She was the minister actually responsible for the green funds. Do the Conservatives really expect us to believe that neither she nor her parliamentary secretary had any dealings with Mr. Jaffer or Mr. Glémaud?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in fact, I am the minister responsible for the green infrastructure fund and Mr. Jaffer got no money. Let me repeat that. Mr. Jaffer got no money from the green infrastructure fund.

I would tell my friend from Newfoundland that tomorrow is taxation day. Every Canadian has to pay up. It is time the Liberal Party paid up too.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Yes, Mr. Speaker, but he did get privileged access.

After weeks of the government's stonewalling and denying the privileged access bestowed upon Mr. Jaffer, late last night more details were released showing that the former minister of public work's staff placed one of Mr. Jaffer's projects on the fast track. When the file apparently stalled a month later, the minister's office staff even asked public servants to accelerate their review of the project.

Why did it take so long to make this information public? What are the Conservatives trying to hide?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that made all of this information public. It is this government that has been transparent. The fact that we are debating the documents in question is because the government made it public.

If the member from Newfoundland and Labrador wants to suggest that that privileged access got him the fast track, the fact is that the fast track was really going in the ditch because he did not get any money.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' decision to cut off funding for organizations that give women in developing countries access to abortion is indicative of what they dare not do here in Canada. Because they are a minority government, they are using private members' bills to reopen the abortion debate.

Why will the government not just say that, when it comes to abortion, its backward Conservative ideology supersedes women's rights?

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The government has absolutely no intention of reopening the abortion debate.

International Co-operationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government promised to do more for maternal and child health, but it froze the international aid envelope. Many NGOs, including Oxfam, are worried that the government will eliminate other equally important projects in order to fund these new initiatives.

Does the government realize that, unless they increase the overall envelope for international aid, it is the poorest people on the planet who will pay for this freeze?

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, if the member were to read the budget, she would realize that our aid envelope is larger than it has ever been in the history of Canada. It is now $5 billion, thanks to the foresight of this government.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the États généraux du bois, a forest industry conference, took place in Quebec City on Wednesday. Robert Beauregard, dean of the faculty of forestry, geography and geomatics at Université Laval and president of Coalition BOIS Québec, again called for loan guarantees for the forestry industry. Speaking in the morning, Claude Perron, chair of the board of directors of the Quebec Forest Industry Council, did the same.

When will the minister put in place loan guarantees, as Quebec's forestry industry is calling for?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 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, yesterday, my colleague asked me what planet I was living on. I would ask him what age he is living in. Gone are the days of 78s, 33s and eight-track tapes. This is the age of MP3s, iPads and iPods. In the world of the forestry industry, more electronic copies than hard copies of The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter have been sold. It is high time he realized that this is 2010. The issue is markets, and we are going to keep working to create new markets.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should talk to his colleague, who was in Quebec City yesterday at lunchtime. The government is offering small financial incentives to encourage people to use more wood, but it is refusing to make an effort itself and promise to use more wood in federal buildings. The House of Commons, led by the Bloc Québécois, and the Forest Products Association of Canada are calling for such a measure.

When will the Conservative members from Quebec stop letting the steel lobby walk all over them?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 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 am very proud to be a token Quebecker, because at least I serve a purpose. Some members have been here for 20 years and serve no purpose whatsoever. That is not true of us.

We will keep on working to support the industry. In 2008, EDC reported $8.9 billion, and in 2009, $11.9 billion. The Bloc Québécois would never be able to do that.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, from the moment the torture complaint was first made to the commission in 2007, the government has been systematically obstructing the commission and the Afghan committee.

It gets worse. Important detainee transfer reports have been hidden in containers in Kandahar.

I want to know what time period these reports cover, will these reports be found and produced quickly, will the government end this culture of deceit, produce all the documents and call a public inquiry for all to know?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that any documents in the possession of the Canadian Forces are in safe containers.

Interestingly enough, here is what Gavin Buchan, the former political director at the Kandahar provincial reconstruction team, had to say yesterday. I know it runs contrary to member's narrative, but he said, “I saw nothing in the record through March 2007 that indicated Canadian-transferred detainees were being abused, nothing that changed the baseline understanding from 2005 when the original arrangement was put in place.

That failed arrangement has been improved substantially by this government. I wish the hon. member would get his facts straight.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was there and it was ambassador Arif Lalani who last week said that there was always a substantial risk of torture of detainees in Afghanistan.

How long has the government known that these reports have been missing at the bottom of some container in Kandahar? Will the government guarantee that the missing documents will be found?

I am asking if the government will guarantee that the documents will not be destroyed, that they will be brought back to Canada and that none of them will be shipped out of Canada. Or, will the culture of deceit prevent the government from offering that guarantee in the first place?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. Despite the overblown, over torque rhetoric of the member opposite and despite his hyperventilating and his hyperbole, we have heard from credible witnesses, including, as I said, the former director at the Kandahar provincial reconstruction team, the person, by the way, who was there before Mr. Colvin and after Mr. Colvin. When asked the direct question, “Were you told that the detainee file was an issue when you took over?”, he said, “In July 2006 there was no reference to the detainee issue whatsoever”.

Foreign AidOral Questions

April 29th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his role as the chairman of the Afghanistan committee of cabinet.

I and, I am sure, a number of other members have been receiving reports from Kandahar of deep concern from a number of NGOs about the fact that they are now receiving some notification that decisions have been made in Canada that there will be no funding for CIDA projects in Kandahar after March 30, 2011.

I wonder if the minister, in his role as chairman, could give us his categorical assurance today that no such decision has been made and that Canada plans to continue to fund civilian projects--

Foreign AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AidOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want reassure my hon. colleague that in the Speech from the Throne we indicated that post-2011 Canada would not only continue with its diplomatic mission in Kandahar but would also continue with its development in and aid to that country.