House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, order. Many members are trying to ask questions at the same time. The parliamentary secretary has already been asked a question and now he is going to answer it, so we will hear him. If members have other things to ask, they can try to seek the floor when he is finished answering it, but not until then.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that, as with all of our free trade agreements, this free trade agreement with the EU contains an effective and balanced dispute settlement mechanism. It had broad consultation throughout the country. The Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade are continuing to work with our European counterparts.

The other question that the hon. member really needs to think about, because I could hear them talking about the $3 million they have spent—

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year, the Prime Minister fled scandal. He ran away to Europe and pretended to sign a trade deal. He did not have a deal then and we still do not have a trade deal. Reports reveal major issues remain unresolved and throughout, Conservatives continued to keep Canadians in the dark about the details.

Why will the minister not simply come clean and answer two very simple questions: What remains to be negotiated and when will we see the deal? Then maybe the Liberal Party members can take a look at the deal, because, apparently, they are wanting to sign on to a deal they have not seen, we have not seen, Canadians have not seen. We just want to see the deal. Show us the deal.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I hope they have more questions, because I have lots of answers.

This is the most comprehensive and ambitious trade initiative Canada and the EU have ever negotiated. Since reaching the agreement in principle last October, officials from both sides continue to work diligently to finalize the technical aspects of the agreement that includes conversion of the agreement in principle into a legal text of over 1,000 pages, then translated into several languages. Like Canada, the EU is committed to bring CETA into force as quickly as possible so workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic can benefit from increased trade, opportunities, and job—

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Peace River.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

June 3rd, 2014 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, in Canada, men and women are equal under the law, and that is why I was shocked to read this morning that a female member from the Red Sucker Lake First Nation in Manitoba is being prevented from running for chief in the upcoming band election because she no longer lives with her husband. This is undemocratic and this is offensive.

Will the government stand in solidarity with Louise Spence in her right to be treated as a person?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Peace River and the hard-working chair of the aboriginal affairs committee for the question.

As members know, in the 21st century this is completely unacceptable. That is why the government passed the First Nations Elections Act, which sets out very clear criteria that would allow Ms. Spence to run. Unfortunately, the Red Sucker Lake First Nation has not opted into the First Nations Elections Act, and we call upon it to do so.

At the same time, I call upon all members of this House to join with me in solidarity in standing up for Ms. Spence and for all women living on reserves who are fighting for the right to be recognized as persons.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning, the F-35 procurement process has been done in secret, behind closed doors. The Minister of National Defence was proud to announce at the CANSEC defence industry conference that he would be informing us of the final fighter jet options in the next few weeks. Now, it seems clear that the Conservatives will wait until after the House rises for the summer before they announce their decision, as if they had something to hide from Canadians.

The question is simple. Will the Conservatives proceed with a real competition or will they once again rush into the arms of Lockheed Martin?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we did agree to have a seven-point plan to review the options available to replace the F-18s. We have been going through that. An independent panel has reviewed the work and research done by the RCAF. It has given it a rigorous and thorough examination to ensure there is total impartiality and total objectivity. The ministers are now reviewing the results of those reports, and will be making a decision in the future, and the reports will indeed be released.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, like so many of the government's projects, the F-35 procurement process started as a disaster by the Liberals and has been made worse by the Conservatives. From cost overruns and delays to secrecy about the cost of the project, Canadians do not trust the project, the process used, or the government itself. The minister was happy to tell CANSEC that there would be a decision in the next few weeks, but she has not commented on what will happen here in the House.

Will the decision be made before the House rises for the summer, and will there be a fair competition for the replacement of the CF-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that our primary goal is to ensure that the men and women in uniform get the equipment they need to do the job that we ask.

To that end, ministers are reviewing the reports that were prepared and vetted by an independent panel of experts, including one person who was quite publicly critical of the program. We are going through those. Once we have made a decision we will announce it, and the reports will be released.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, no doubt, in due course I suspect that we will have an announcement of another sole-source boondoggle.

Keeping the review of sexual assaults within the Canadian military will not change the military's way of doing things. It will not get to the bottom of the issue, it will not help those affected, nor promote confidence in the system. Experts have said that this issue needs to be handled by civilians outside the military, but instead the government is promoting a military investigation.

Does the minister really believe that victims of sexual assault will trust anything less than an independent judicial inquiry?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these allegations are truly disturbing.

Make no mistake. No one who chooses to serve Canada as a member of our Armed Forces should fall victim to this kind of disgusting and unacceptable behaviour. The Chief of the Defence Staff is investigating. Sexual misconduct has no place in our Armed Forces and we will have zero tolerance for it.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud NDP Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a fundamental principle of justice. The Chief of Staff of the Canadian Forces, who for so long turned a blind eye to sexual assault within his ranks, should not be put in charge of getting to the bottom of a scandal related to the culture of the organization. Victims and Canadians feel this approach lacks credibility. They are calling for the government to put an end to this culture of secrecy and impunity.

Why are the Conservatives condoning this process, which allows the army to wash its dirty linen in private, behind closed doors?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba

Conservative

James Bezan ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why the opposition is attacking the Chief of the Defence Staff in allowing this process to work.

As a matter of fact, in the previous session of this Parliament, I introduced a bill that called for greater penalization of those who kidnap, sexually assault, and murder their victims, and the NDP opposed it. It is a little rich for New Democrats to be coming out now commenting on sexual assault within the Canadian Armed Forces and not supporting legislation in this House to actually toughen penalties.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was painful watching Jenny Migneault, the wife of a retired soldier with PTSD, running after the Minister of Veterans Affairs and pleading for help as he scurried away.

Too many military families share Jenny's experience of shouldering the burden of caring for an injured spouse with too little support. This might actually explain why divorce rates for wounded soldiers are sky-high.

Why does the minister not care? When will the government stop treating injured members and their families with such totally callous disrespect?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, certainly this government cares and certainly the minister cares. In fact, as an individual who spent some 30 years as a front-line police officer, he is, I believe, well suited to understand the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

That said, we have a recent report—a unanimous report, I might add—that has come from the veterans affairs committee. This is a good sign that we are working in a non-partisan way to address the issues and concerns of all veterans and their families.

We look forward to continuing that productive, constructive working relationship to ensure that the very best services are available to the men and women in uniform and their families.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the 70th anniversary commemorations of D-Day take place this week in Normandy. The minister knows that the funds he is providing are not enough for an elderly veteran on a fixed income to fly over there if they need a caregiver or additional support.

The minister has deep enough pockets when it comes to spending millions on self-promoting ads, so will he guarantee the House and our veterans that they will not have to pay a cent out of their pockets to commemorate this event? After all, they came at his invitation.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I share with the hon. member and all members here the enormous pride as we prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings. We owe an eternal gratitude to all of the men and women in uniform who took part in that historic liberation.

I note, as the member has said, that we have some 100 former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families, travelling to Normandy. The Prime Minister will be there along with the Minister of Veterans Affairs and other members of the House of Commons.

This is an enormous source of pride for all Canadians, and we thank them for their service.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, somewhat incomprehensibly, Conservatives have actually decided to appeal a court ruling that gave Canadians abroad the right to vote. Instead of listening to the courts and helping Canadians vote, Conservatives are wasting time appealing the decision.

Why would the minister insist on making it harder for Canadians living abroad to vote? When will the Conservatives drop this wasteful appeal, respect the court decision, and let Canadians living abroad vote in our elections?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, non-residents should have a meaningful and direct connection to Canada and to their ridings in order to vote. For two decades, Canada's policy limited to five years the length of time one can be abroad and still vote. That is fair and reasonable, and it is comparable with other similar democracies around the world.

I understand the NDP's position is completely out of touch with everyday Canadians on these matters. Those members believe that people should be allowed to vote without bringing any ID whatsoever. We disagree with the NDP and its approach, and Canadians are on our side.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse NDP Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the fraudulent robocalls and after doing everything possible to try to restrict voter participation with their electoral “deform” bill, the Conservatives are still insisting on restricting Canadians's right to vote. The Conservatives are trying to have an Ontario Superior Court ruling overturned so that they can prevent Canadians who have been living abroad for more than five years from voting.

Why is the minister doing his best to prevent one million Canadians living abroad from voting?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the government believes that Canadian voters should have an ongoing connection with Canada in order to be able to vote. The five-year limit has been in place for two decades. It is reasonable and comparable to what other similar democracies around the world are doing.

The NDP does not share Canadians' values and principles on these issues. The NDP believes that people should be able to vote without even showing any ID. Approximately 90% of Canadians disagree with that approach and that is why Canadians vote for us.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government has a long-standing relationship with Spain in our support for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

Can the Minister for Multiculturalism update this House on the government's position on the important role that recently abdicated King Juan Carlos of Spain played in these matters?