May 27, 2008

LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Obviously the minister said something, but I did not hear him.

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting. The Minister of Public Safety just said there are systematic security checks of companies that bid on contracts in airports. Julie Couillard put in a bid. A security check was done that uncovered her background.

Knowing that background, why did the minister stand idly by when he saw that she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs' companion? Let us hear the answer.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I know that once again the only issue for them is the private life of Madam Couillard and they continue to pursue it.

The fact is that no contract of that type was awarded. We know that happened under a Liberal government, but no contract was awarded. If one was awarded, I am sure that as part of that process all security clearances would have been satisfied.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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LIB

Anita Neville

Liberal

Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the justice minister refused to answer whether the President of the Treasury Board was in the running for a federal judicial appointment in Manitoba. I took his refusal to answer as confirmation that the minister has in fact completed a personal history form and is now a prospective nominee.

The hypocrisy of such an appointment discredits the judicial appointment process.

Will the justice minister now be honest and admit that this appointment is rife with conflict? Will he confirm that as the minister responsible he will not participate in such an abuse of power?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

We are getting much advice, Mr. Speaker, from the Liberal Party.

I indicated that all the appointments we have made and the ones we will make in the future have been and will be based on legal excellence.

I think what is really upsetting the Liberals is that now we are making the appointments and they are not.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Denis Lebel

Conservative

Mr. Denis Lebel (Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the coastal communities in Quebec and the rest of Canada are facing considerable challenges. Although the Bloc never mentioned fisheries in its long list of budget demands published this year, some Bloc members would now like us to believe that they are concerned about Quebec's small craft harbours.

Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans update the House on this important issue?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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CPC

Loyola Hearn

Conservative

Hon. Loyola Hearn (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for his question. I will also be doing everything I can on behalf of Quebec fishers.

We have added $31 million in permanent funding for small craft harbours. We have added $45 million for the divestiture of unneeded ports which has helped us put money into the real needs. We have identified new resources. We are helping them reduce their expenses. We will not add a carbon tax to their fuel to put them out of business.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the children of Attawapiskat are taking the extraordinary step of coming to Ottawa to challenge the minister directly on his decision to abandon any commitment to build a grade school. These are the children who have spent their entire primary lives without a proper school. They are tired of being patient. They are tired of being told to wait and, most of all, they are tired of the broken promises.

They are coming to Ottawa to ask the minister a simple question. What will it take to ensure that he does not abandon the next generation of Attawapiskat children like they have been abandoned?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Chuck Strahl

Conservative

Hon. Chuck Strahl (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I know about the situation in Attawapiskat, including the unfortunate situation with the spring flooding again this year and I am glad to see that was resolved.

These children are coming here in the next day or two. I am going to meet with them and with the chief as well when they are here. I look forward to the discussions we are going to have with them and we will do that without the benefit of YouTube, like the member tries to use from time to time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I have 2,000 letters from St. Edmund Campion School in Brampton, 5,000 letters from students in Aurora, 1,500 letters from Clarke Road Secondary School, thousands of letters from educators, students and teachers across this country, and they have one simple message. They are ashamed of a government that has the nerve to cry poor when it comes to dealing with the most basic educational needs of first nations children.

What will it take for the minister to end the systematic negligence that has left so many children abandoned to makeshift portables, condemned facilities, and substandard education? And he can take that to YouTube.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Chuck Strahl

Conservative

Hon. Chuck Strahl (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I will admit up front that I will never be able to keep up with the hyperbole of that member. That is for sure.

I am looking forward to meeting with the students from Attawapiskat. As I did this last week, I continue to meet with students and school leaders. I was in Akwesasne on Sunday meeting with the school board and the teachers there as they continue to do good work.

We continue to sign agreements. We have one in B.C. We signed another one just a month ago with New Brunswick that deals with everything from funding to a tripartite agreement. We have an agreement in Nova Scotia. We continue to work together with first nations and willing partners to make sure we look after educational needs.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
Permalink
LIB

Yasmin Ratansi

Liberal

Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for over a year the Prime Minister's friend, Emanuel Montenegrino, has worked for Conservatives on personal legal matters and PMO assignments while actively lobbying the PMO and MPs on behalf of clients. This lobbyist, who has been suspended by the Law Society for professional misconduct, is also vetting potential applicants for judicial appointments.

Does the government not see the obvious conflict of interest?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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CPC

Rob Nicholson

Conservative

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

All individuals, Mr. Speaker, who are interested in a judicial appointment have to apply through the judicial advisory committees. We have set them up in every province and territory. They go through that process. It is a good process and I think that is one that has worked up to this point.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Code of Conduct
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CPC

David Sweet

Conservative

Mr. David Sweet (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, for over a decade low and middle income students in particular were left to struggle as the previous Liberal government ignored their needs and ignored the crucial importance of a skilled and educated workforce for the future of this country. In the riding I represent this impacts a large percentage of some 25,000 students who attend McMaster University and Redeemer.

Finally, in budget 2008, the government announced the biggest reforms to student financial assistance in a generation. Can the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development give us an update on its progress?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Post-Secondary Education
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CPC

Monte Solberg

Conservative

Hon. Monte Solberg (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am very excited about these important reforms to student financial assistance. They include an improved online service to manage student loans, a more reasonable and flexible repayment system for student loans, and upfront, dependable, monthly cash grants for low and middle income students in every year of a university, college or trade school undergraduate program.

For the first time in our history as a nation, the dream of a post-secondary education is available to every Canadian student. We are working in the classrooms, unlike the Liberals who love to root around in the bedrooms of the nation.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Post-Secondary Education
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

New Democratic Party

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the health minister recently told the health committee that his government was not going to get involved in home care. It is unbelievable. No wonder ordinary Canadians cannot trust this government when it comes to health care.

Back in 2000, first ministers agreed that home care was a national priority. The Romanow commission said it was the next essential service. The first ministers of 2004 said it was an important program.

When will the minister start acting like a national Minister of Health, show some federal leadership, and start implementing national home care?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Tony Clement

Conservative

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. What I said at committee was that as a result of budget 2006, budget 2007 and budget 2008, we have added 6% per year compounded to the health budgets of every single province and territory in this country. We are proud of that record. It means the provinces and territories that care about home care have the funds necessary to do the right thing.

I say to the hon. member, if she cares so much about actually implementing home care, she should resign from Parliament, run provincially for the leadership of the NDP, and then she can do something about home care in her province.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Bob Rae

Liberal

Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would just ask this very simple question. Five weeks ago, apparently the minister of foreign affairs at that time left a document at Madame Couillard's house. Since that time, we on this side have consistently questioned the government as to why it was not asking questions of Madame Couillard and the minister about the potential security issues that arose because of that relationship.

We have never received an answer to that question. We had to wait for a television program. Why did we have to wait for a television program to receive answers from the government about what happened?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have already told this House that the issue is not about the private lives of the individuals. The issue is not Madame Couillard.

The issue in question was that documents were left inappropriately in an unsecured place. Those documents could have been left on the front steps of Parliament and the same results would have occurred. It is inappropriate to leave those documents in an unsecured place. The rules were violated and for that reason the minister offered his resignation.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
Permalink
BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly, which is supposed to take place in Quebec City in 2010, is in jeopardy because of the Conservative government's intransigence. The Inter-Parliamentary Union proposed a solution to the impasse: the government could issue ministerial residence permits while maintaining the principle of security.

Will the government commit to easing its rules to allow the event to be held in Quebec City as the Canadian section of the Inter-Parliamentary Union has asked?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Inter-Parliamentary Union
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May 27, 2008