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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Omar Ahmed Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes. He pled guilty to the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, an American army medic. He also pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy and spying.

Last week the courts readily decided that he must continue to serve his sentence in a maximum security federal facility. Too often this serious criminal gets all the attention, especially from his soft-on-crime friends in the NDP and Liberal Party. In fact, the member for Gatineau referred to the “tragedy of Omar Khadr”.

The real tragedy is that on August 6, 2002, Tabitha Speer lost her husband and Taryn and Tanner Speer lost their father.

Rather than focusing on the rights of confessed terrorists like Mr. Khadr, the Liberals and the NDP should join our government in standing up for the rights of the real victims of crime.

AutismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about Autism Awareness Month, which is observed every October in Canada.

It was recently estimated that nearly 1% of Canadians live with autism. My colleagues from Vancouver Kingsway and Sudbury have moved motions regarding autism, and I am proud to say that the NDP has worked very hard to find solutions and help Canadian families who have loved ones with this disorder.

During recent discussions with autism groups, I learned what little compassion the federal government has shown for their realities. It has ignored the practical solutions that have been proposed, such as the creation of national treatment standards to ensure fair access to care for children and adults across the country. The Conservatives also refused to improve surveillance standards, which would have helped us better understand autism.

As deputy health critic for the NDP, I hope that Autism Awareness Month will help Canadians better understand this disorder and understand the need to offer better support to the people with this disorder and to their families.

Canadian Forces CollegeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces College in Toronto is among the premier centres of military education in the world. The CFC plays a vital role in the professional development of selected Canadian officers and prepares them for senior command positions at the global strategic level.

The CFC includes international military members, RCMP, senior public servants and private sector leaders addressing future strategic responsibilities in a complex global security environment through many programs offered at the CFC.

The National Security Programme is the CFC' s year-long senior course. This week is its annual field study exercise to Ottawa, visiting key federal departments and varied experts. The International cadre are from Brazil, the U.S., Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, the Netherlands and Poland.

As a former graduate and staff member at the CFC, I welcome the Canadian Forces College National Security Programme to Ottawa on its annual field study exercise.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I participated in an international conference in Paris in support of the struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran and in remembrance of yet another massacre of 52 Iranian residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, protected persons under international humanitarian law.

The victims' families and former political prisoners, with whom I met, were particularly pained by what they felt was the silence of the international community in the face of ongoing massive domestic repression in Iran, where hundreds of Iranians have been executed since President Rouhani's election, where Rouhani has appointed a justice minister who is a person directly responsible in the 1988 massacre of 5,000 political prisoners, and where the massacres of Camp Ashraf residents, of which the most recent was the fifth of its kind, continue with impunity, while other residents have disappeared.

It is our responsibility, as they have asked me to convey, to break the silence, to hold the Iranian and Iraqi governments to account, to secure protection for the Ashraf residents and to ensure, as they cautioned me, that nuclear negotiations must not serve as a distraction from the ongoing massive violation of human rights in Iran.

Religious FreedomStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday we witnessed yet another tragedy in Egypt. Another Coptic church was attacked, killing four people, including two young girls, an 8 year old and a 12 year old. I would like express my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

This assault represents the latest attack, targeting the Coptic community in Egypt. Our government condemns this. Places of worship should be places of safety. We call upon the Egyptian authorities to protect Coptic Christians and bring those responsible to justice.

Our government firmly believes that implementing a transparent, democratic system that respects the voices of Egyptians, including the members of all religious communities, is the best way to restore calm. It will give all Egyptians a stake in the future stability and prosperity of their country.

Canada will continue to support the transformation to a pluralist, democratic Egypt that protects the right of all Egyptians, regardless of faith, to live in peace.

International TradeStatements By Members

October 22nd, 2013 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives seem to be at their happiest when they are misleading Canadians and spreading falsehoods about the NDP. Yesterday, it was about a trade deal.

Last week, our excellent trade critic sent out a statement saying:

New Democrats welcome progress towards a comprehensive new trade agreement with the European Union. We believe in expanding and diversifying our trade relationships...

Reasonable people would recognize this was a responsible position. In fact, a Conservative minister called the NDP approach “balanced”. Yet the Prime Minister yesterday disregarded the facts and instead started making stuff up. I think he has been reading too much Jeffrey Simpson, or maybe his talking points were inaccurate due to a production deadline.

In reality, the NDP supports greater trade with Europe and we can be trusted to tell the truth and defend the interests of Canadians.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, through the Canada-Europe trade agreement, our government is creating new and historic opportunities in Europe for our agricultural producers. Almost 94% of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free when the Canada-Europe trade agreement comes into force.

Our government has successfully negotiated an outcome that provides our exporters access to 500 million new hungry consumers. Our government is standing up for Canadian farmers and ranchers. In fact, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance said:

CAFTA fully supports this deal, which we expect will expand agriculture and food exports to the EU by an incredible C$1.5 billion dollars a year.

However, the NDP is an anti-trade party beholden to unions and radical anti-trade activist groups. Union friends of the NDP have already denied the benefits of a Canada-Europe trade agreement and the Leader of the Opposition said last week, “there's going to be a hell of a price to pay” for trade with Europe.

On this side of the House, we support free trade and new jobs and opportunities for Canadians, while the NDP supports no trade and the Liberals support the drug trade.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister regret any of his actions? Not Nigel Wright's actions, not Mike Duffy's actions, but does the Prime Minister regret any of his own actions in the Senate scandal?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, as I have said before, we expect that when people are parliamentarians in either House, they will respect the rules, particularly rules obviously regarding expenditure. If they do not, we expect there to be accountability, and that is what we expect when people make mistakes. We will continue to operate on that basis going forward.

This government, of course, will focus on the real priorities of Canadians, and that is jobs, growth and ensuring we have opportunity for future generations.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on June 5, the Prime Minister said that no one else in his office knew about Nigel Wright's $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy. Was that true?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, I have addressed that question, some months ago in fact.

The fact is, as we all know, Mr. Wright himself has said that this was a decision he took himself. He admits it was an error of judgment and he has taken full responsibility for his actions.

This government will continue to take its responsibilities, and those responsibilities are to focus on the real concerns of Canadians, including jobs and the economy. That is why we have been working hard and showing the fruits of those labours through things like the Canada-Europe trade agreement.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as if whether or not the Prime Minister tells the truth to Canadians is not a matter of real concern to Canadians.

Did Nigel Wright tell the Prime Minister that no one else in his office was aware of the $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy? Did he say that, yes or no?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright was very clear when he made that decision. It was his responsibility. He took responsibility for the decision, just as this government accepts its responsibilities. We are responsible for fostering growth, jobs and economic security for Canadians, and we will continue to pursue those goals.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister told Canadians, in the House, that no one else in his office knew about the $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy, was he told that that was not true? Did he even ask the question?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I addressed that question several months ago. The facts are clear. Mr. Wright made the decision himself. It was his responsibility. He accepted responsibility just as this government accepts its responsibility to improve Canada's economic performance, as compared to other developed countries, in these uncertain times. We intend to continue serving the major goals of Canadians and their families.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how are Canadians supposed to know if the Prime Minister is telling the truth if he does not know himself?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting. I just heard an NDP member saying I guess that the NDP supported the Canada-Europe trade agreement when the NDP's leader said that there was going to be a hell of a price to pay and a lot of jobs lost in Canada. Today apparently the NDP members support it, yesterday they said that they had never seen it and on Friday they said that they were against it.

Therefore, what are Canadians to believe? They are to believe that the only party that is focused on the real needs, focused on the economy and doing things for Canada is this government.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the many Canadians at all levels of government and in the public service who played a role in the achievement of the agreement between Canada and the European Union, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade and people like former premier Jean Charest. Congratulations.

We support this agreement in principle because it seeks to reduce barriers to trade, thereby increasing trade between Canada and the European Union, and because it will benefit the middle class.

Can the Prime Minister tell us when the House will have access to the details of this important agreement?

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the Liberal Party supports this historic agreement with Europe.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, last Friday I announced the largest and deepest trade deal in Canadian history with the European Union. It is a very important step forward. We released a compendium of the impacts of that on every single sector of the economy, which I think is why we see such strong support. I can assure the hon. member and his party that in the days to come the government will be releasing additional detailed information.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, leaders take responsibility when things go well but also when things go wrong.

Clearly, when it comes to the scandal engulfing the PMO, things have gone very wrong. The Prime Minister appointed Mike Duffy; he hired Nigel Wright. His inner circle, with whom he meets daily, has worked for months to cover up this scandal.

Will the Prime Minister take any personal responsibility for this abuse of Canadians' trust?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I think I have said, it is unacceptable and those individuals who have been engaged in this particular affair have been dealt with and continue to be dealt with.

As I have said repeatedly, we do not assure Canadians that everything will be perfect, but we do assure Canadians that when anything goes wrong, people will be held accountable. The misuse of expense accounts is not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it does not make any sense.

When it comes to an agreement involving hundreds of people, various departments and a number of levels of government for many years, the Prime Minister is happy to take all the credit, but when it comes to the actions of his right-hand man, he goes into hiding.

Will the Prime Minister finally take responsibility for this sordid affair?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. As I said in Brussels, I am not the only one responsible for this historic agreement with Europe. The provincial and territorial governments have been crucial partners.

This really has been a team Canada effort of all levels of government, of stakeholders in the business community and, of course, of strong public servants who in this country do not work in silos but work across government. I was the first one to acknowledge on Friday that the achievement of this historic agreement was a team Canada effort and it will continue to be, going forward, as we implement it.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Nigel Wright said to Mike Duffy, “We have been working on lines and a scenario for you that could cover all your concerns, including the cash for repayment”.

Who is “we”?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, very exciting—