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37th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 137

CONTENTS

Friday, February 1, 2002




1000
V     Vacancy
V         Calgary Southwest
V         The Speaker
V     Privilege
V         Minister of National Defence--Speaker's Ruling

1005
V         Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)

1010
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)

1015

1020
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Brian Pallister

1025
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance)

1030
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Mr. Brian Pallister

1035
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Brian Pallister
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, PC/DR)

1040
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR)
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl

1045
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

1050

1055

1100
V         The Speaker
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     Rhombus Media
V         Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.)
V     Jack Matheson
V         Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, Canadian Alliance)
V     Cardiovascular Disease
V         Ms. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.)
V     Urjo Kareda
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)
V     Brampton
V         Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.)

1105
V     Thérèse Daviau
V         Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ)
V     Health
V         Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)
V     International Co-Operation
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)
V     Fisheries
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

1110
V     James Bartleman
V         Mr. Lynn Myers (Waterloo—Wellington, Lib.)
V     Salt Lake City Olympic Games
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)
V     Romeo Dallaire
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)
V     Human Rights
V         Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC/DR)

1115
V     Black History Month
V         Mr. André Harvey (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, Lib.)
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Minister of National Defence
V         Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Minister of National Defence
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance)

1120
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

1125
V         Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)
V         The Speaker

1130
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)
V         The Speaker
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark
V         The Speaker
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)

1135
V         Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Canadian Alliance)

1140
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Canadian Alliance)
V         Mr. Carmen Provenzano (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)
V     Airline industry
V         Mr. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V     Minister of National Defence
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, PC/DR)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)

1145
V         Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, PC/DR)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Citizenship and Immigration
V         Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

1150
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Minister of National Defence
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Natural Resources
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)
V         Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)
V     Public Works and Government Services Canada
V         Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

1155
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V         Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, PC/DR)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     National Security
V         Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.)
V         Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Public Works and Government Services Canada
V         Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ)

1200
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Minister of National Defence
V         Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)
V         Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.)
V     Points of Order
V         Oral Question Period
V         Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Order in Council Appointments
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Nisga'a Final Agreement Annual Report
V         Mr. Stephen Owen (Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), Lib.)
V     Committees of the House
V         Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mrs. Carolyn Parrish (Mississauga Centre, Lib.)
V         Motion agreed to

1205
V     Petitions
V         International aid
V         Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)
V     Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Starred Questions
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V Government Orders
V     Privilege
V         Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP)

1210

1215
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, PC/DR)

1220
V         Mr. Joe Comartin
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Joe Comartin
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR)

1225
V         Mr. Joe Comartin
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR)

1230

1235

1240

1245
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR)
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl

1250
V         Mr. Peter MacKay

1255
V         Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

1300
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Hon. Charles Caccia
V         Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

1305
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. Pierre Brien
V         Hon. Charles Caccia
V         Mr. John Reynolds (House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Charles Caccia

1310
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR)
V         Hon. Charles Caccia
V         Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)

1315
V         Hon. Charles Caccia
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. John Reynolds

1320
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. John Reynolds
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. John Harvard
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. John Harvard (Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia, Lib.)

1325
V         Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)
V         Mr. John Harvard

1330
V         Mr. Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon—Humboldt, PC/DR)
V         Mr. John Harvard
V         Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, PC/DR)

1335
V         Mr. John Harvard
V         Mr. Grant McNally
V         Mr. John Harvard
V         Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

1340

1345

1350

1355
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères--Les-Patriotes, BQ)

1400
V         Mr. Pierre Brien

1405
V         Mr. André Harvey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V     Youth Criminal Justice Act
V         Bill C-7--Notice of Time Allocation
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.)
V     Privilege
V         Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères--Les-Patriotes, BQ)

1410

1415
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. David Pratt
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

1420
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR)

1425
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)
V         Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, PC/DR)

1430
V         The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 137 
NUMBER 137 
1st SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, February 1, 2002

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers


*   *   *

  +(1000)  

[English]

+Vacancy

+Calgary Southwest

+

    The Speaker: It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, namely Mr. Preston Manning, member for the electoral district of Calgary Southwest, by resignation effective January 31, 2002.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to subsection 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed on Thursday, January 31, 2002, my warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill this vacancy.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Privilege

+-Minister of National Defence--Speaker's Ruling

[Speaker's Ruling]
+-

     The Speaker: I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar concerning statements made in the House by the Minister of National Defence. I would like to thank the hon. member for his presentation and the hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough for his comments.

[Translation]

    I also appreciated the interventions of the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre and the hon. member for Lakeland, and I want to thank the hon. Minister of National Defence for his statement.

[English]

    The hon. member for Portage--Lisgar alleged that the Minister of National Defence deliberately misled the House as to when he knew that prisoners taken by Canadian JTF2 troops in Afghanistan had been handed over to the Americans. In support of that allegation, he cited the minister's responses in question period on two successive days and alluded to a number of statements made to the media by the minister. Other hon. members rose to support those arguments citing various parliamentary authorities including Beauchesne's 6th edition and Marleau and Montpetit. In this regard, I commend to the House a citation from Erskine May, twenty-second edition, quoted by the hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough as follows:

The Commons may treat the making of a deliberately misleading statement as a contempt. In 1963 the House resolved that in making a personal statement which contained words which he later admitted not to be true, a former Member had been guilty of a grave contempt.

    The authorities are consistent about the need for clarity in our proceedings and about the need to ensure the integrity of the information provided by the government to the House. Furthermore, in this case, as hon. members have pointed out, integrity of information is of paramount importance since it directly concerns the rules of engagement for Canadian troops involved in the conflict in Afghanistan, a principle that goes to the very heart of Canada's participation in the war against terrorism.

[Translation]

    I have carefully reviewed all the interventions on this issue and the related media reports and tapes referred to in those exchanges. I have also examined the minister’s replies during question period and the statement he made in reply to these allegations.

    In response to the arguments of opposition members on this question of privilege, the Minister of National Defence stated categorically, and I quote, “At no time have I intended to mislead this House—” and then went on to explain the context in which he had made statements that ultimately proved to be contradictory.

  +-(1005)  

[English]

    As the hon. member for Acadie--Bathurst has pointed out, in deciding on alleged questions of privilege, it is relatively infrequent for the Chair to find prima facie privilege; it is much more likely that the Speaker will characterize the situation as “a dispute as to facts”. But in the case before us, there appears to be in my opinion no dispute as to the facts. I believe that both the minister and other hon. members recognize that two versions of events have been presented to the House.

    I am prepared, as I must be, to accept the minister's assertion that he had no intention to mislead the House. Nevertheless this remains a very difficult situation. I refer hon. members to Marleau and Montpetit at page 67:

There are...affronts against the dignity and authority of Parliament which may not fall within one of the specifically defined privileges...the House also claims the right to punish, as a contempt, any action which, though not a breach of a specific privilege, tends to obstruct or impede the House in the performance of its functions; [or that] obstructs or impedes any Member or Officer of the House in the discharge of their duties...

    On the basis of the arguments presented by hon. members and in view of the gravity of the matter, I have concluded that the situation before us where the House is left with two versions of events is one that merits further consideration by an appropriate committee, if only to clear the air. I therefore invite the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar to move his motion.

*   *   *

+-Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

[Privilege]
+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I move:

    That the charge against the minister of defence, for making misleading statements in the House, be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    Mr. Speaker, I need the guidance of the Chair. Does the debate proceed immediately on this issue or do we need consent for it to proceed? I do not know the rules.

  +-(1010)  

+-

    The Speaker: The debate may proceed immediately. It is a privilege motion that takes precedence over all other business.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I think all of us in the House should be pleased with your ruling this morning.

    The reality of the situation unfortunately is that conflicting facts have been brought to the attention of the House in response to an issue of grave importance, an issue of importance not just to me personally or to members of the opposition parties but to all members of the House, for when one member decides not to be forthcoming with information and answers on an issue of importance that is one thing, but when a member decides to come forward with information and then with subsequent information which conflict with one another that is misinformation. When a member decides to respond to a question in the House in a way that misinforms the House that member is disrespecting the House.

    I do not take this as a matter of personal disrespect to me, but rather as something far greater than that. I take it as a matter of disrespect to my constituents, the constituents that I hold dear, the constituents I am here to represent. When I or any member in the House ask a question in question period we deserve to have an honest answer. We deserve to have an answer that is reflective of the understanding that this Chamber, this place, is a place that is to facilitate the democratic rights of all citizens of the country. It is not a Chamber that exists for the convenience of the government. It is not a Chamber that should exist to quell discontent within the government caucus, for example. It is a Chamber that exists to facilitate the rights and the honest concerns of Canadians at all times in all ways, in every respect, not just in some selective manner. The fact of a matter is hard to ascertain when a member opposite provides misinformation in response to a question.

    The issue itself, the issue of whether in fact Canadian troops should be handing over prisoners to another sovereign jurisdiction in which no commitment has been made as to how it would treat such prisoners, is an issue that Canadians have been debating. It is an issue that members on the government side have been debating. It is an issue that many members on the government side have expressed grave concerns about and many members on this side have expressed grave concerns about, because their constituents have grave concerns about that issue.

    The fact of the matter is that as we have questioned the Prime Minister on the issue, as we have done for many days, he has been saying that this is a hypothetical question only, not a question in reality but a question that calls for conjecture or supposition in some way. Such is not the case. Such was not the case. Such was not the case for some time. The fact of the matter is that when one is debating an issue, a hypothetical situation does not call for the same degree, necessarily, of seriousness in response that a real situation does. The Prime Minister, in assuming this was a hypothetical case, was perhaps not giving it the grave consideration that he might have had he known in fact that the case was real, that it happened fully a week before he became aware of it.

    This raises another obvious question. I am sure this is a concern that many of my constituents have and many other members' constituents would logically have as well, and that is this: how is information that is pertinent and relevant to Canadians being transferred through the chains of command? Is it solely at the whim of the minister of defence as to whether information in fact is exchanged with other members of his cabinet? Is it at his discretion that these decisions are made? Or are there other channels of communication possible and in place to assure Canadians that important, pertinent and relevant information is being passed through the government's management structure? If that is not happening, then Canadians would be very concerned and rightfully so.

    The events of the last few days have raised in the minds of all thinking members of the House, I am sure, the grave concern that this is the case, that at a time when Canadian troops have just left to add to our forces in Afghanistan, risking their lives abroad, the communication and command structure is one of confusion and disarray. Logically, that is the impression that has been created here.

  +-(1015)  

    In my personal view, and this is of course only my view, I believe that the Prime Minister was made aware of this information. I believe that he knew of this information. I will say that I do not have any doubt that the Prime Minister himself must have known this information in advance. I do doubt the responses that have been given by both the Prime Minister and the minister of defence.

    Some have said to me, when I expressed the belief that the Prime Minister knew this information, that I am being hard on the Prime Minister. I would suggest the opposite. I would suggest that we have a choice to make. There are two options.

    We can believe that the Prime Minister knew that this information was available, that he knew our troops were involved in some respect in taking prisoners and handing them over to the United States. We can believe he knew that and chose not to let it be public, not to let it inflame the divisions within his own caucus prior to last weekend's caucus retreat, not to put fuel on the fire of discontent in his own party. We can choose to believe that this is the reason he did not come clean on this issue. Or we can choose to believe that he did not know at all.

    I would suggest that believing the Prime Minister is devious and manipulative and a political animal is not such a stretch for most Canadians. I would suggest that Canadians would rather believe that than believe he is incompetent and does not have proper information at his disposal; I would suggest that would be the favourable belief for Canadians. To believe he knew is not such a stretch. To believe he did not is a monumental stretch and defies belief.

    There are deep divides within this Chamber as to whether in fact we should be handing over prisoners to another sovereign jurisdiction. This is a matter of important debate. We should have an open debate. We should be encouraging that debate. We should be encouraging the free exchange of information in a free society. That is what we should be doing. We should not be dismissing debate on the basis that it is just a hypothetical supposition.

    We should be having the debate in a constructive way. Perhaps in that manner we could arrive at some outcome which would assure Canadians that we have considered this issue at length, as they would want us to. That would not necessarily heal all the divisions within our Chamber. It would certainly not make everyone in this country think the same way. That is not the objective. However, it would give Canadians the belief that this Chamber is a place where we can debate issues openly and honestly with one another.

    Instead, what has been created is the impression that we are unwilling to do that here or at least that the government is unwilling to foster that kind of climate here.

    All governments tend, over time, to believe that secrecy and the management of information is superior to open, honest and frank discussion. History tells us that, but this has been revealed this week in truth. Members on the opposite side have expressed strong concerns that the government should not be outsourcing our moral authority to other nations. I believe that is the phrase they have used. We may differ in our views on this issue. Certainly that is the case, but members on the government side have been open. Frankly this is a rarity with the members of the Liberal caucus. They have been very open. Perhaps it has been exacerbated by some of the members' frustration at not being included in the recent cabinet shuffle or not having the position they would have liked as a result of the Prime Minister's decisions a couple of weeks ago. That is quite possible and it is only human nature.

    The fact of the matter remains that on this issue members opposite have expressed their opposition to the government's position and in response to their concerns the Prime Minister has been dismissive and has said it is just a hypothetical situation. Yet we are asked to believe that for a week, in regard to the most contentious issue the government had to deal with internally, the issue being that of the taking of prisoners, the defence minister had in his possession information which clearly and graphically demonstrated that actually we do not have a hypothetical situation on our hands but a real one. We are asked to believe that this information was kept from not only the Prime Minister himself but his entire office, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Privy Council Office, and the new minister of everything, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is in charge of security issues, who is supposed to be involved in or responsible, I am told, for daily briefings of the Prime Minister.

  +-(1020)  

    We are supposed to believe that the department of defence, being in possession of this information, did not share it with any other one of these agencies of government at a time when each of these agencies knew of the severity and seriousness of this debate and this issue that the government was facing and that it should face openly. That is what we are being asked to believe.

    Picture the minister of defence, knowing full well that Canadian JTF2 troops were involved in the taking of prisoners and the handing over of those prisoners to the United States of America, sitting in cabinet when the issue was raised and remaining silent. When others of his colleagues no doubt raised the issue out of genuine concern, the Prime Minister said it was only a hypothetical issue and dismissed it.

    Imagine the defence minister being in possession of that information and not releasing it to the Prime Minister after that discussion. Imagine still further, if we can, that a complete and full meeting of caucus was to take place, where various members of caucus would raise the issue with a genuine concern that it be dealt with openly. Imagine that the minister of defence, as part of that caucus, would sit silent in his place in that room, knowing that this was not a hypothetical debate but that it was real, and not allowing the facts to enter into the consideration of the issue.

    Imagine still further that the meeting was to take place over a period of two days. Imagine as well that a subsequent cabinet meeting would be held and that again the minister of defence would not reveal this information to his Prime Minister. It defies belief. It defies comprehension that such a series of events would take place. For a Prime Minister who has a notable character for managing his caucus and limiting and centralizing discussion in the consideration of issues, it especially defies belief.

    After all these meetings and all these opportunities to present information and after Monday night's debate here on the deployment of troops, there was still no information forthcoming after a full week. What would be the appearance to our allies? What would be the appearance to our friends abroad? What would be the appearance to Canadians if they were to find out subsequent to that entire week's events that one member on that front bench knew full well and had in his possession information of such gravity and importance and did not share it with the Prime Minister? What would the appearance be?

    What would the reality be? It would be that the government does not have its act together, that it does not have a communications strategy in place so that it can command with confidence the real issues of the country, the issues that Canadians want us to deal with. What does it say about the government's ability to manage the deployment of troops and work co-operatively within itself in terms of the deployment of our Canadian citizens abroad?

    I close by saying--

+-

    The Speaker: I want to say something for the benefit of the hon. member and all hon. members. I point to page 127 of Marleau and Montpetit:

Once the motion is properly moved and proposed to the House, it is subject to all the procedures and practices relating to debate on a substantive motion...Members are subject to the rules of relevance and repetition and the Speaker must ensure that the debate is focussed on the terms of the motion.

    I urge the hon. member to confine his remarks. I know he feels that a lot of these other issues tie in, but the question here is the minister's statements to the House only. I would urge him to focus his remarks on those statements and the question of referral of those statements to the committee, which is, after all, the subject of the motion before the House.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister: Thank you for the guidance, Mr. Speaker. What I am doing as best as I can is making the case that the minister did know and that the minister should have known this information was important to his colleagues. He also very likely knew the gravity of this information not being made available to his colleagues in caucus prior to the caucus meeting last weekend, because it would have created deep divisions. It would have allowed the divisions that are there to fester and magnify and he knows that. I am speaking to the issue of him knowing and of him knowingly presenting conflicting information to the House. I am attempting to do that.

    I will close by saying that at this time in our country's history I think it is especially important that we consider our troops and their families and that we consider this: right now we have Canadians who are going to a place in the world where, on behalf of all of us, they are putting their lives at risk. They are doing that because they love this country. They would go in red serge to represent this country if they had to, but the fact of the matter is that those are not Liberal troops. This is not about managing information for the good of the Liberal Party. This is about Canada's troops, all of our troops. This is about giving confidence and assurance to their families. It is about making sure and certain as best we can that this confidence is deserved.

  +-(1025)  

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you at this point for having the motion referred to committee.

    I have observed the events as they have unfolded. I feel it is absolutely essential at this point to have this matter properly examined by the committee. When this comes forward, I urge the committee to take a look at all the circumstances here.

    I would just make a point to lay the groundwork on why this matter is important for the committee to discuss. This really strikes to the very heart of what must happen in a democracy. For a democracy to work and for decisions to be made properly, there must be a free exchange of information and people must know what is happening so we as parliamentarians can make the proper decisions.

    If that information, which should normally shared in the House, is not made available to us, we in opposition cannot perform our duties properly. That is why I want to underscore the importance of this matter. For a democracy to work properly, we must have an opposition that has information and can do its job effectively, and we must have a media that properly scrutinizes the issues and informs the people of the country about the issues.

    Democracy cannot function if those things do not happen. For those things to happen, there must be information readily available to the members relevant to the decisions to made in the House of Commons. That is why this must be referred to committee. That is why this strikes at the very heart of this matter. That is why I feel it is so important that it is referred to committee.

    I want to emphasize the fact that information which does not put the country at risk and does not violate the security of the country must be shared in a timely fashion. If the government withholds information, if it does not release it when it should and if we do not have the information in a timely fashion, those decisions which should be made, discussed and decided upon cannot be made.

    This is something that is running through many questions of privilege and points of order in the last while. I have noticed and observed that. That is why it is so important for the committee to do a proper investigation of what has happened. It can set a precedent for a more open and accountable government and an improvement to the democracy in this place.

    One frustration I have is we do not have the information that should be released to us through access to information. The committee could look at whether the information for which we apply comes forward properly. I have had a lot of experience in a certain area. Many times an application is made and the excuse is given that it is cabinet secrecy. There are times when that is the case, but not in relation to many of the things for which we in opposition apply. That excuse should not be given when there is no reason why certain information should not come to us.

    I want to make one other brief point before my colleague replies to my comments. I have been involved in a battle to make private members' business votable. That impacts directly on what we are doing here. At the present time the government does not want to have all the private members' business that comes before the House made votable. Even though the members of the House have said they wish to have them made votable, this has not been the case. That means the government is trying to restrict information to the House and that strikes at the very core of what we are trying to get this committee to do.

  +-(1030)  

+-

    The Speaker: I think the hon. member heard my admonition to the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar earlier and he will want to ensure that his remarks are entirely relevant to the motion before the House.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Mr. Speaker, I thought it was very important at the beginning of this discussion and before it went to committee that members understand why this was so important to the way things operated in the House. That is my point here. I am using several examples to explain why the committee must properly examine it.

    Canadians are becoming very cynical about what is happening in parliament and this can reverse that process. I urge the committee to properly examine this because it will enable us in opposition to do a much better job of holding the government accountable. We will end up with a much better government if we can have a free flow of exchange of information.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister: Mr. Speaker, just quickly because I accept your admonition and I know we are here to debate this issue. The issue of openness of information is central to the good operation of this Chamber. Yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister asked a question of members opposite in response to one of our questions, not an uncommon thing here. I believe he asked why would it matter or words to that effect. He said that it would not matter if the Prime Minister knew.

    There are a number of reasons why it does matter. Even in his attempt to deflect the criticism in the question, I am sure the member knew as he said those words that they were foolhardy.

    Why would it matter that our Prime Minister know proper information? It would matter because it would give confidence to our troops. It would matter because it would give confidence to their families. It would matter because it would speak to the effectiveness of the management of the government and it would speak very effectively to the ability of the government to share information important to the operational command.

    As my colleague said, this is not a security issue. The issue of this information being released to the public is not even within the realm of dispute. Why it would not be shared among members opposite defies belief.

    Most of all, we should recognize this would speak to the ability of the government to manage with the best interests of the nation, as a whole, at heart as opposed to organizational interests. It would speak to the ability of the government to manage information not for political gain or for strategic benefit, but so it could better manage the affairs of the nation, particularly at this time of war. It would be able to adapt and manage strategically better in response to the needs of our troops and in response to the needs to be represented effectively by those troops.

    Finally, why would it matter? It would matter because this Chamber needs to be accountable and it needs to represent accountability. To do that, it has to represent transparency and openness at all times. When it fails to do that, it risks losing whatever legitimacy it may retain in the minds of Canadians today. That is an ongoing challenge we should all take to heart.

    To restore the integrity and the sense of integrity that this Chamber has in the minds of other Canadians is a central pursuit of mine and of the Canadian Alliance. I would like to see it embraced by all members of the House. I would certainly like to see it embraced by the government.

    I look forward to the discussion in committee, as you have advised, Mr. Speaker. I believe it would be very helpful in advancing a cause which we should all hold very near and dear, the cause of raising the degree of respect that this Chamber holds in the hearts and minds of Canadians.

  +-(1035)  

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague, the mover of the motion, as well as the Chair for in their wisdom taking this matter in a most serious and very professional way. I think Canadians will look to this with some encouragement.

    Integrity, honesty and truthfulness in this Chamber should not ebb and flow like the tides. This should be something that is as solid as the ground we walk on and as solid as the foundation of this very building in these hallowed halls. Every time we come into this Chamber, we should be reminded of that.

    At this very moment, as we embark on this debate, we have an opportunity to illustrate to Canadians this renewed commitment to that sentiment in keeping with the ruling that has been made and in keeping with the intention we have to perhaps revisit some of these principles that should be omnipresent here and should be with us every day. Coming from a legal background, it is very much akin to putting one's hand on the Bible and taking an oath when one walks into this Chamber.

    I want to ask the hon. member this. To preserve the integrity of this process that we will be embarking on, examining the words, the actions and the statements that have been made by the minister, would it be advisable for minister to voluntarily remove himself from office and step aside for the interim during the examination of what has occurred in this case?

+-

    The Speaker: A very brief response. We are out of time for questions and comments.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister: A very brief response, Mr. Speaker. Having been here only a very short time, certainly as opposed to yourself, Mr. Speaker, or many of the members, yesterday was a high point for me. Yesterday we celebrated the contribution to this place of a gentleman named Preston Manning, who has throughout his political career demonstrated integrity and honesty in his dealings with others and with this Chamber.

    I make the point because I think that was--

+-

    The Speaker: In trying to speed things up, you have run out of time. Resuming debate, the hon. government House leader.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the government, we want to thank you for your decision today, which was reasoned and careful. You have noted in your remarks, and you have accepted the minister's categorical statement, that he had at no time any intention to mislead or misinform the House. You also noted the Chair's view that the matter before us required some further ventilation to clear the air by discussion in a committee.

    Therefore, I simply want to make it clear that without accepting some of the more extreme insinuations that have been put before the House today by others, the government is prepared to support the reference of this matter to the appropriate committee to bring clarity as expeditiously as possible. It is in that committee of course that all the relevant details can be properly pursued.

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate both the brevity and the clarity of the minister's stance on this. I agree with him that the committee is the proper place to examine this matter, perhaps in a less passionate and some might say less public way. That is very much the intent of this exercise.

    I ask the minister to consider whether in fact it would be appropriate for his colleague to voluntarily remove himself from the position of minister of defence while this exercise is underway. Does he not feel that this would add to the credibility and integrity of that process? I would submit that thus far there has been at least an admission that an inappropriate action was undertaken by the minister in giving two very different versions of the facts as they pertained to Canada's taking of prisoners in Afghanistan.

    Would it not be preferable and would it not assist us in this process, if the minister were to simply remove himself, albeit temporarily, so that we could examine this issue in perhaps a less passionate way?

  +-(1040)  

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale: Mr. Speaker, I hope that in all these matters reason and common sense will prevail. The minister laid before the House earlier this week his explanation of the flow of events with respect to this matter. He made it very clear that at no time did he intend to mislead the House.

    The matter is now on its way to a committee where all the details can be examined. That is the appropriate course of action.

    To be specific in my response to the hon. gentleman, no, I do not believe the Minister of National Defence should step aside. This country is involved in a major international conflict. This is a time for the minister of defence to be at his post, and he shall be.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, just to follow up on the House leader's comments, this country is involved in an international conflict. It is involved in the most delicate of negotiations with our neighbours to the south, the Americans, who are spearheading the war against terrorism. We are involved in trying to apply international law, things like the Geneva convention. This is not Trivial Pursuit. This is the nub of international law when it comes to international conflict. We are up to our necks in this.

    We are proud of the contribution of our troops. The fact that they even took prisoners is another indication of the quality of our troops and the necessity of their job. We are proud of them. They are doing the job and they are doing it well. The fact that they have prisoners is not the issue.

    I would argue with the House leader to consider that the issue is we are involved in an complex international conflict right now, a war. We are on foreign soil and taking prisoners who are to be handed over to a third party, another nation, to be taken to another nation again. Because of that very issue the minister should step aside. It is serious.

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. I tried to caution hon. members that the issue before the House today does not have anything to do with troops or the handing over of inmates. It is the question of the minister's statements in the House. That is the issue before the House. I would ask hon. members to please stay relevant to that point.

    The motion before us is to refer the statements to committee. We are not dealing with any other matters with which the minister might be concerned. I believe it is important that members keep their comments relevant to the subject of this debate.

    The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: Mr. Speaker, thank you again for that guidance.

    I have been involved in several cases, though not as serious as this, of referring issues to the procedure and House affairs committee for consideration. These issues take a long time to deal with.

    I know the course of events and it is not that there is anything wrong about it. We will get in procedural experts to tell us about rights and wrongs. We will get people in to tell us about precedents. It will be a long process. It is not as if we can go in on Monday, solve this thing and put it behind us.

    In the meantime, because of his statements in the House the minister will have no authority until this is settled. It is not as if we can sweep it aside and forget about it. There is a prima facie case that this is contempt of parliament. It may well be ruled that way in the long run. In the meantime the minister has lost the moral authority and, I would argue, the right to lead the most difficult portfolio in the House right now: that of directing our armed forces in a war situation.

    I urge the government House leader to reconsider. He can stand behind the minister. He can say what he wants to support him. He can say that in the long run he has done the right thing or whatever he might want to say, but it is not the time to say it does not matter. It does matter.

    Because of the length of time this will be hovering over the minister's head it is in even his best interest to step aside. I urge the government House leader to reconsider. I urge the government to say it is time to put the troops and parliament ahead of our own partisan interest.

    Let us do that. It is in the minister's own best interest and certainly the best interest of the House.

  +-(1045)  

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with your admonitions from the chair the issue of the incumbency in the position of the Minister of National Defence has absolutely nothing to do with the terms of the motion before the House. That is a technical observation but I believe it is correct.

    From the government's point of view we are glad to hear the opposition's unequivocal endorsement of the Canadian armed forces and Canada's current engagement in Afghanistan. The Canadian Forces have no stronger advocate anywhere than the current Minister of National Defence.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I will respectfully reply to what the government House leader has said. He made the point that because we are involved in an international conflict the minister should remain in his present position. However for the committee to properly do its work the opposite is true.

    We are involved in an international conflict. It is for precisely that reason that the minister should step aside. Trust is a very important thing when a government is operating and running the affairs of the country. If the nation does not have confidence and trust in the minister we would ask that he step aside until the committee has finished its work. For the committee to properly do its work it is absolutely imperative that he step aside until the issue is resolved.

    I appeal to the House leader to reconsider his decision in the matter.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale: Mr. Speaker, I have heard the representations from the hon. member as similar representations were made by the hon. member before him. Once again I maintain as a matter of the rules of the House that the issue of the incumbency in the office of the minister is not directly related to the terms and conditions of the motion before us.

    We have indicated we are prepared to accept the motion. For whatever reasons the members wish to pursue the larger criticism. It is not a criticism the government is prepared to accept.

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge the short time that is left and direct my question to the government House leader.

    In terms of directions that should go to the committee, does he agree that members of both the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office should be available to testify as to what information and briefings they may have received from the Minister of National Defence during this period with regard to the facts that will be before the committee?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale: Mr. Speaker, you are far more schooled in the procedures of committees than I could be, having arrived in this position only a few days ago. However as I understand it, once the matter is voted on here it will be properly referred to the committee and the committee will determine the appropriate means by which to pursue the matter.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I understand that my time will be interrupted by the period allocated to members' statements and oral questions and that I will be able to continue after that. I would like begin by thanking you for allowing the procedure to continue, since we are dealing with a very serious case in which a minister has provided the House with two totally contradictory pieces of information.

    First of all he told the leader of the Bloc Quebecois that he had been informed on the Friday, and then a little later in question period, that it had been on Monday. This makes an extremely important difference to the minister's statement.

    What I would like to draw to hon. members' attention today is that the matter is even more serious than that. There is a second reason why the minister might need to be brought before the committee—and this will need to be debated.

    Yesterday, in his own defence, the minister used the following arguments, and I quote his exact words:

    The question I answered on Tuesday from the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois I answered in the context of a photograph I had seen on Friday for the first time. When I saw the photograph for the first time I did not connect it with a briefing I had received the previous Monday —

    I will again focus the attention of the members of this House, who are going to debate in committee how the statements by the minister are going to be handled, on the question by the Bloc Quebecois leader and the minister's response. The minister, hon. members will recall, said “I was speaking of a photo”.

    What the leader of the Bloc Quebecois had asked was as follows:

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who is appointed Minister of National Defence should normally be sufficiently qualified to be appointed.

    Since when did he know that Afghans had been captured by Canadians and handed over to Americans?

    Nothing could be clearer than that. He continued:

    Since when did he know that? And why did he not inform the Prime Minister who, as recently as Sunday, stated that there were no such prisoners? Why did he not bother to tell him during yesterday's caucus meeting, before oral question period?

    What is going on with this minister? Did he know or did he not?

    The minister responded to this extremely clear question as follows:

—I first became aware of the possibility on Friday.

    At no time did the minister refer to any photograph whatsoever. At no time, either in the question or in the answer, did there remain any doubt whatsoever regarding the possibility that a photo might have been taken, which could somehow have misled the minister.

    Not only did the minister formally contradict himself before the House, and we will find out why he did so in committee but, what is more, the minister covered up his contradiction with an excuse which I am unable to find acceptable parliamentary language to describe. The minister added insult to injury by rising in his place a second time and offering the following excuse to his peers and to you, Mr. Speaker:

    The question I answered on Tuesday from the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois I answered in the context of a photograph I had seen on Friday—.

    To a perfectly clear question “When was the minister informed that there were prisoners?”, he replied that he found out on the Friday. His explanation: he saw on Friday a photo of Canadian soldiers taking prisoners, and he replied “Friday”.

    My comment is that the Canadian army and all of Canada are involved in a highly strategic operation under circumstances which I need not remind anyone of, but which leave everyone concerned and aware of how important the exceptional role of the Canadian army is in this conflict. Normally, we send the Blue Berets for peacekeeping.

  +-(1050)  

    For the first time in years, Canada is undertaking an active operation through the Canadian Forces. This is not a peacekeeping operation. We are active in the field.

    Third, this is such an important mission that Canada sent an elite unit of the Canadian Forces in camouflage to take part in this combat mission. We are talking about a highly strategic operation, an unique operation, the likes of which we have not seen in years, an operation that is being carried out by an elite unit.

    The Minister of National Defence confirmed that he had an indepth conversation about this operation at a cabinet committee meeting the week before. The minister had been informed that, for the first time in many, many years, the Canadian Forces active in the field were taking prisoners. This is no small affair. For the first time during special missions, the Canadian Forces are taking prisoners.

    During this same time, the Americans were discussing publicly the fate of the prisoners. Everyone was aware of the debate going on in the U.S. until the President made a decision; and even then the fate of the prisoners remained vague. But the Americans were publicly questioning what should happen to the prisoners.

    Then, on Friday, the minister finally got visual confirmation in a photo of the fact that our Canadian soldiers had taken prisoners. How is it that a person who is at the head of the Canadian Forces, who is in charge of a highly strategic international operation, who has sent an elite unit with all of the implications involved as per cabinet decisions, who has been briefed that we had taken prisoners for the first time in years, who has witnessed the Americans discussing the fate of these prisoners, and their treatment, which was still undecided—and there were diverging opinions on the matter—how is it that this minister, during all this time, could not make the connection between a photo showing soldiers capturing prisoners, of which he had been informed one week prior, and the event? How could he not realize that they are one and the same?

    He said himself that he did not make the connection:

    When I saw the photograph for the first time I did not connect it with a briefing I had received the previous Monday—

    How can a minister rise in the House in such a particular context and tell his peers, in defence of an erroneous statement he gave, that “I had not made the connection between a photo of Canadian soldiers with prisoners and a briefing, four days earlier, to the effect that, for the first time in years, Canadian soldiers had taken prisoners”?

    The minister will have a hard time explaining to the parliamentary committee why he hid his first contradiction with another one that is even more blatant and obvious. It is unbelievable that a minister would behave in such a scary way, with such contempt for the House of Commons.

    It is unbelievable that the man who is in charge of the Canadian armed forces, who would not think of informing the Prime Minister that prisoners had been captured, who is responsible for a broad international operation, who was informed of an action and who saw a photo four days later that confirmed the action, would then say that “I did not make the connection”. If he did not make the connection between a photo of Canadian soldiers rounding up prisoners and the information that he had been given, it speaks volumes about his judgment and his ability to understand his responsibilities.

    If the Minister of National Defence is behaving so erratically, it is probably because he is trying to hide some information from the House. What I am saying is that we will have to find out why this man, this member of parliament, behaved in such an incredible way before his peers in the House of Commons, if it is not to protect other information or persons who may have played a role and who may have behaved somewhat like the minister.

  +-(1055)  

    The committee will have to determine not only why this minister behaved in such an incredible way, but also why he tried to cover up his first contradiction with an explanation that does not make any sense, an explanation that not one Canadian would accept. Why did the minister do this? Why would a minister agree to put himself in such a position before his peers?

    This is what the committee will have to determine. The government party, which agreed to let the committee look into the matter, will also have to agree to let witnesses give evidence. It is not enough to agree to have the minister appear before the committee; the government must also let witnesses appear. It will have to let us question—

  +-(1100)  

+-

    The Speaker: I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but he will have nine minutes when the motion is again debated in the House. We must now move on to statements by members.

    The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.


+STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Rhombus Media

+-

    Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we were pleased and proud to hear that Rhombus Media has received a prestigious New York Festivals gold award. This marks the ninth award Rhombus Media has received at this international festival, and is clear evidence of the great quality of its production.

    The award-winning documentary, Crossing Bridges, chronicles the recent trip by the National Arts Centre Orchestra to Israel, under the direction of its director, Maestro Pinchas Zukerman. Crossing Bridges offers an indepth look at the musicians' commitment to connecting with others and fostering peace between peoples.

    This medal is a double honour for Canada, on the one hand acknowledging the quality of Rhombus Media's cinematic production and on the other bringing into the limelight the National Arts Centre Orchestra, an ensemble of eminent Canadian musicians anxious to share their love of music and to serve a humanitarian cause.

    Congratulations from the House of Commons.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Jack Matheson

+-

    Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Jack Matheson, Prince Albert's citizen extraordinaire who passed away of cancer last month.

    Jack was a man whose life was truly dedicated to making other people's lives better. Whether it was his public service as a city councillor, his 12 years as a school trustee or the energy he devoted as a national director of the Canadian Cancer Society, Jack was always a man of service.

    His business was clothing but he clothed himself with a garment of dignity and a hat of wisdom. Jack's dedication to community service is an example to everyone as well as being an example of how private initiative can remedy social ills.

    Jack Matheson will be missed. It will be very difficult to replace a community leader of Jack Matheson's calibre.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Cardiovascular Disease

+-

    Ms. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to remind hon. members and all Canadians that February is Cardiovascular Disease Awareness Month.

[English]

    Despite advances in health care, cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death, accounting for 37% of all deaths in Canada each year. The true burden of cardiovascular diseases is experienced by those Canadians living with these diseases and experiencing a significant decline in their quality of life.

    Health Canada is committed to working with the Canadian Heart Health Initiative, Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, and others in order to encourage Canadians to live a healthy lifestyle. Much work remains, however. The major causes of heart disease and stroke rest with our lifestyles.

    By joining forces with others in attenuating this modern epidemic of chronic diseases, we can mobilize society as a whole to invest in heart health and enhance the quality of life of all Canadians.

*   *   *

+-Urjo Kareda

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is with great sorrow I announce that Urjo Kareda, one of the world's greatest artistic directors, passed away in Toronto on December 26, 2001.

    Like so many people who immigrated to Canada, Urjo was extremely proud of his adopted country. He was also a champion of Canadian artists. In the seventies, as a theatre critic for The Toronto Star, his enthusiasm for Canadian plays and artists was critical in the development of the theatre.

    In 1975 he joined the Stratford Festival as literary manager and he will be remembered for his weekly diary of the arts on CBC Radio in the eighties. But it was as artistic director of the Tarragon Theatre that he found his true calling. During his 20 years at the Tarragon he established the theatre as the leading producer of Canadian plays.

    Urjo Kareda was an example of all the best in an artist; he lived his life creatively and he will be greatly missed.

*   *   *

+-Brampton

+-

    Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the city of Brampton is launching a new logo and plan of activities to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

    The first municipal council of the village of Brampton was established in 1853. It then had a population of 78 people. Brampton is now the thirteenth largest city in Canada with a population of 320,000 people. Today, Brampton has been ranked in the top five most active construction markets in Canada with a record-breaking number of building permits issued totalling $1.1 billion in construction value in 2000.

    I congratulate the city of Brampton for its proud history, its accomplishments and its work in building for a bright and rewarding future.

*   *   *

  +-(1105)  

[Translation]

+-Thérèse Daviau

+-

    Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that we learned this morning of the passing of Thérèse Daviau.

    Thérèse Daviau was a great pioneer, one of the first women elected to council in 1974 with the Rassemblement des citoyens de Montréal, in the Plateau Mont-Royal ward.

    A lawyer by training, Thérèse Daviau was a woman who was involved in advocating for the rights of Quebec society. We will all remember her as a great lady who made a priority of being available to hear from her fellow citizens.

    Her lengthy political career was full of milestones, but her fate was also touched by tragedy, when her daughter died in the Polytechnique shooting. This tragic event prompted her to work tirelessly in the fight against firearms.

    Today, the Bloc Quebecois has lost a friend. On behalf of all of my colleagues, I would like to extend my most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Thérèse Daviau.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Health

+-

    Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Black Thursday as it became known hit B.C. like an earthquake and we are still feeling the aftershocks of Gordon Campbell's unprecedented assault on the very fabric of democracy and civil society.

    His slashing and burning targets the most vulnerable in what can only be described as vengeful and cruel. Deep cuts to basic welfare assistance, legal aid, women's centres and youth services are just a few in a long list. I raise this in the House because Mr. Campbell and his Liberals are also gutting our public health care system and punishing health care workers. Even ERs are threatened by private for profit ventures.

    I will do everything I can to oppose the dismantling of these public services. However, why are the federal Liberals being so silent as their B.C. Liberal friends tear apart people's lives? The federal government has a responsibility to protect public health care, basic social services and people's rights. It needs to be done now and the federal government must speak up and protect these basic services before they are gone forever.

*   *   *

+-International Co-Operation

+-

    Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, recently 285 students from Knoxdale Public School in my riding joined with the United Nations Association in Canada to launch a blue ribbon campaign in an effort to promote international co-operation and peace through the education of our children.

    These ribbons which are the international symbol of peace are now available at Canada Post outlets across the country. I encourage all Canadians to support this campaign by making a donation and wearing a blue ribbon. Using the proceeds from this campaign, the United Nations Association in Canada along with their partners, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Canada Post Corporation, will be reaching 2.3 million school children across the country with their message of hope.

    Our thanks must go to everyone involved in this important project. There is no greater lesson to be learned than the values of peace, co-operation and tolerance.

*   *   *

+-Fisheries

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, today I plead with members of the House and Canadians to turn their eyes to Atlantic Canada. The small town of Canso, an historic close-knit community in my riding of Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, is in dire need of assistance.

    The town's main employer, Seafreeze, a fish plant, is in peril, putting hundreds of people out of work. Canso needs the government's help. Without quota, Seafreeze has been forced to scale down its operations.

    I commend the owner, Bill Berry, Mayor Frank Fraser, the Canso Trawlerman's Association and the fishermen's union, along with MLA Ron Chisholm, for their tireless efforts to keep this vital industry operating.

    Now is the time for the government to step forward. I know that the new federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who comes from a community like Canso, will intervene in this crisis. I am hopeful that this first Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in 40 years will not turn his back on a community in his home province. The red fish quota is needed and necessary for this plant to survive in the short term but access to more resources and fisheries must be secured for the long term.

    The people of Canso deserve stability and the ability to work and live in their hometown. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has agreed to meet with the stakeholders in the future and I hope that he will work with them to find a long term and creative solution for Canso.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was in such a hurry to cover up the allegations of patronage regarding Alfonso Gagliano that he appointed him ambassador to Denmark without telling the Danish people about it first.

    The Vienna convention of diplomatic relations has established that the receiving country should be allowed the option to refuse a newly appointed ambassador before any public announcements are made.

    However, the Prime Minister did not follow those rules on foreign diplomacy because he was concerned Denmark would refuse to be the dumping ground for his disgraced friend. His fears may not have been unfounded. On January 20, the popular Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reported that Alfonso Gagliano had been linked to patronage and corruption. If Alfonso Gagliano was not fit to serve the Canadian people in parliament then he is not fit to serve the Canadian people in Denmark.

    The Prime Minister should show his respect for the rules of foreign diplomacy for Denmark and for the Canadian Danish community by cancelling Mr. Gagliano's undeserved appointment immediately.

*   *   *

  +-(1110)  

+-James Bartleman

+-

    Mr. Lynn Myers (Waterloo—Wellington, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to extend the warmest congratulations to James Bartleman, who was appointed lieutenant-governor of Ontario a few weeks ago. His Honour, the Honourable James Bartleman, is the first aboriginal to be appointed to the post. He is a member of the Minjikanig First Nation.

    Before being named lieutenant-governor, Mr. Bartleman was a senior member of the Canadian foreign service and held very senior posts in Cuba, Israel, South Africa and Australia. Most recently he led the Canadian mission to the European Union.

    I ask members of the House to join me today in extending our congratulations to James Bartleman and to wish him luck in his endeavours as lieutenant-governor. We know he will serve Ontario and Canada with pride and distinction.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Salt Lake City Olympic Games

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Is there anything more wonderful than making a dream come true, Mr. Speaker? That is what is now happening to François-Louis Tremblay, a 21 year old speed skater from Boucherville, who, for the very first time, has been named to Canada's olympic team going to Salt Lake City from February 8 to 24.

    François-Louis Tremblay laced up his first skates at the tender age of 4. He already has an enviable record in his short but successful sporting career. He has developed an impeccable technique and a fluid style that allow him to compete against the best speed skaters in the world.

    I would also like to mention another resident of Boucherville, Christian Messier, who will also be taking part in the games, not as an athlete, but as a physiotherapist. Everyone knows that an athlete's success is the result of their talent and training, but it also depends on the invaluable work of professional and skilled support staff.

    Congratulations to them and to all of the athletes from Quebec and Canada who will be participating in the games in Salt Lake City. I wish you all the best.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Romeo Dallaire

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish our troops well. They left Canada yesterday, and I wish them a safe return to their families.

    I am proud to rise to pay tribute to Roméo Dallaire, who has received the first ever Aegis award presented by Britain's Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre. As a retired lieutenant general in the Canadian Forces, Mr. Dallaire epitomized Canadian values and devoted his heart, mind and soul to the attempt to ensure these values were reflected around the world.

    As a commander of the UN forces in Rwanda in the mid 1990s Mr. Dallaire warned the world of the impending genocide and valiantly tried to prevent the deaths of 800,000 people. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan applauded Mr. Dallaire's efforts. Roméo Dallaire is also a recipient of the Canadian government's Meritorious Service Cross.

    I ask the House to join me in congratulation Mr. Dallaire for the humanitarian actions for which he has received the Aegis award.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, Canadians bid farewell to the first troops of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Edmonton; 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Winnipeg; and a mortar group from 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Shilo, Manitoba. They go with the best wishes and the goodwill of their fellow citizens.

    It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate Brigadier General Ivan Fenton, commander of the land force being deployed to Afghanistan. General Fenton is well known to the people of Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke as a former base commander of CFB Petawawa.

    To the families and loved ones of the soldiers who are either now on their way or preparing for departure overseas, we have a special expression of gratitude for the personal sacrifice we call upon them to make when duty calls.

    We ask them to wear the Canadian patch on their shoulders proudly as they uphold the values and beliefs we all hold dear in the war against international terrorism.

*   *   *

+-Human Rights

+-

    Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw to the attention of the House the plight of a pregnant Nigerian mother of five children, Safiya Husseini, who has been condemned to death by stoning for having committed adultery. The man responsible for the pregnancy has been released without penalty because under Islamic shariah law practised in parts of Nigeria there must be four eyewitnesses to the act before he can be convicted of either adultery or rape.

    Nigeria is a signatory to the UN convention against cruel or inhumane punishment. Surely being stoned to death for adultery is cruel and inhumane in the extreme.

    I call upon the Government of Canada to intervene in the matter and make it clear to the government of Nigeria that such barbarity will not be condoned by the civilized world.

*   *   *

  +-(1115)  

[Translation]

+-Black History Month

+-

    Mr. André Harvey (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the Canadian government declared that February would be Black History Month in Canada. This is an opportunity to pay tribute to black people for their economic, political, social and cultural contribution to humanity.

    Throughout the month of February, Canadians can get to know better black people in our country and in the rest of the world. I am convinced that Canadians will appreciate the important contribution made by black people to our society.

    It is my hope that new ties will develop between our various communities, through intercultural exchanges. Those who are receptive to other cultures always benefit from them.

    Activities will take place across the country to mark Black History Month. Hopefully they will impact positively on the lives of Canadians throughout the year.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Minister of National Defence

+-

    Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Minister of National Defence has presented at least two versions of events to the House. However, there are still many unanswered questions about the minister's contradictions.

    Yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister refused to answer straight questions about who knew what and when. Let me ask him again. Did the Department of National Defence inform the Prime Minister, PCO or the PMO of the handover of al-Qaeda captives to the Americans before this Monday, yes or no?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think that the Minister of National Defence did clarify all those timing issues yesterday in his statement in the House. He made it clear when he informed the Prime Minister and cabinet, which was Tuesday morning. There should be no further ambiguity about it.

+-

    Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it is so clear we have a question of privilege today. It has been recommended that the matter go to a committee because there are two versions.

    We are left wondering why there is such confusion and cover-up on the other side. Is it just incompetence and indifference about our troops, or is this just an attempt to manage divisions within the Liberal caucus about treatment of prisoners by the United States?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is an hon. member who knows a lot about divisions in the caucus.

    What is clear is that the Minister of National Defence made a clear statement to clarify what had happened and expressed his own regret.

    What is more important is that Canadian troops are performing on the ground in Afghanistan tasks which they have been asked to do on behalf of the Canadian people in defence of freedom and against terrorism. They are doing it well and they deserve our support.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, our troops have our support 100%. I wish it were the same on the other side.

    The minister has quite a nerve talking about divisions in caucus when six cabinet ministers have been fired, one has quit to go back to the rock and the women's caucus has been hammering at the Prime Minister every day.

    On Monday the Prime Minister said that the capture of prisoners by Canadian troops was hypothetical. Seven days after, it was already a reality. Many Liberal members did not support the handing over of the prisoners or wanted al-Qaeda terrorists to be given the dignity of prisoners of war.

    Did the Prime Minister call this hypothetical because he did not know, or because he did not want an embarrassing split in his own ranks about our troops' role in Afghanistan?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the important point to understand is that the Canadian position has been consistent that the international laws of conflict apply. Therefore, the Geneva conventions apply. Canadian troops will respect international law and the Geneva conventions. That much is clear.

    The issue that has arisen in some debate in the United States is the question of determination of whether individuals are prisoners of war. That is a recent issue that was raised in debate in the U.S. We are working with our allies to ensure that the issue is resolved consistent with international law.

*   *   *

+-Minister of National Defence

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, first the Minister of National Defence blamed his not telling the Prime Minister about our troops capturing prisoners on being in Mexico. Then he changed the story, which he seems to be doing an awful lot lately, and said that he did not connect it with a photograph on the front page of a newspaper.

    I cannot understand what a photograph in a newspaper has to do with when he tells the Prime Minister about our troops capturing prisoners. I would like the Prime Minister to explain that if he possibly could.

  +-(1120)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of National Defence has explained what happened. He has expressed his own regret over the way events transpired.

    Even in other jurisdictions, this is not a hanging offence. The point is that right now the role that the minister needs to play on behalf of our troops who are overseas is of far greater importance than the political games that seem to be played on the other side of the House.

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, if the minister had done his job properly, he would not be wasting his time defending himself because he had made these mistakes. He would be spending his time defending this country and the troops. He should be doing that. Instead we have an unanswered question as to what having a photo of our troops with prisoners in a paper has to do with when he tells the Prime Minister.

    Surely the Minister of National Defence can give us an explanation of the connection. I do not understand the connection.

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not think I am going to have to often quote Major-General (Retired) Lewis MacKenzie, but what he said about this was interesting:

I frankly don't give a damn whether he was told or if he told somebody else or what the timings were. I know that politics have to be played, but in my estimation this is not the time to do it. There are greater things at stake here.

    I am with the general on that one.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence confirmed, while alluding to himself and the Prime Minister, that the Prime Minister had indeed discussed the treatment of prisoners who might be captured in Afghanistan. The Minister of National Defence said, and I quote “We had discussed it”, we being the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence, “in terms of the policy issue and how we would conduct ourselves should we get into a situation involving the taking of prisoners”.

    Are the comments made yesterday by the Minister of National Defence not a confirmation that he and the Prime Minister had indeed made a decision, in full knowledge of the facts, as to the fate of prisoners taken in Afghanistan, and this—

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of National Defence.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, for some period of time it has been the policy to follow international law, Canadian law, and to turn over any detainees to the United States. This was a position I enunciated before the foreign affairs and defence committee. That is the situation we have followed.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, how can the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence say that they would respect international law when a decision was made one week before they took prisoners and when, last week, the Americans were still contradicting themselves publicly on what they would do with prisoners, whether or not they would be treated in accordance with international agreements?

    How could the minister, and particularly the Prime Minister, give us assurances they did not have at the time the decision was made? The debate was public last week. How do they explain that?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what is important is the policy was in place. When prisoners were ultimately taken, they were taken in accordance with that policy.

    We follow international law. We follow the Geneva conventions. We expect the United States to do the same. The United States had clearly told us that it intended to follow international law and the Geneva conventions.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in the case of the prisoners taken in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence acted in full knowledge. They had discussed the issue in the joint committee one week before the events in question took place and they made a decision.

    How can the Minister of National Defence now justify the fact that he and the Prime Minister calmly decided not to respect international law, to the detriment of Canada's international reputation?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. We are following international law.

    There are people that are being sought because they are terrorists. They have inflicted a great deal of pain on the people of the United States through what happened on September 11. These people should be brought to justice. That is what this is all about. That is what we are involved in doing. It is not only the United States, though; it involves the protection of our own country, the safety and security of Canadians from any possible terrorist acts.

    We want these people brought to justice. We are following international law and Canadian law in doing it.

  +-(1125)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ): Mr. Speaker, article 12 of the Geneva convention states, and I quote: “Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention”.

    The Americans argued publicly about what they were going to do with the prisoners, and he tells us today: “We know what they were going to do with them, so we are respecting the Geneva convention”.

    Is that what he would have us think today? Does he take us for complete idiots?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the United States gave us assurances that it would be following international law. It continues to do that.

    There is a dispute over the question of status determination and status determination tribunals. The United States is saying that the people it has are unlawful combatants. There is the question over whether any of them may be prisoners of war. That needs to be clarified. That is a matter we continue to dialogue with the United States to clarify. The United States has made it very clear that it intends to follow international law. It intends to treat these people and are treating these people humanely.

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in light of what is happening all around us, it is very hard to believe that there is only one way for the Prime Minister to find out about national security matters. To leave critical national security matters in the hands of one person, namely the defence minister, is just beyond belief. That is why we have a foreign policy adviser and a deputy secretary of security and intelligence who report directly to the Prime Minister.

    I would like to know from the Deputy Prime Minister today: When did the foreign policy advisor and the deputy secretary of security and intelligence find out about the arrest of prisoners in Afghanistan?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has made it clear that he briefed the Prime Minister in an appropriate way at cabinet on Tuesday.

    I want to make one thing clear. Our troops were engaged in Afghanistan properly, under commitments made by Canada to respect international law. It should not have been a surprise to the hon. member that in doing so they might find themselves arresting people.

    I know there is great concern about how well treated the al-Qaeda prisoners really are going to be. However let us understand one thing very clearly. The role of the Canadian armed forces in Afghanistan is a role that they play in accordance with international laws of conflict.

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister was not told when he should have known about these developments. That is why there is a foreign policy adviser to him and a deputy secretary for security and intelligence. They are paid to know. They have to know. They need to know so that the interests pertaining to national security are conveyed directly to the Prime Minister on an expeditious basis.

    The question for all of us today is, why was this very important information not sent to those individuals and directly to the Prime Minister and left in the hands of one person, namely the defence minister?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has agreed that it would have been preferable had he advised the Prime Minister earlier.

    Let us understand something. Despite the preamble to the hon. member's question, Canadian national security was not affected by the fact that some Canadian troops had taken prisoners in Afghanistan. It was not. It was a relevant piece of information. It was important. The minister has said that he should have conveyed it to the Prime Minister sooner. He wishes undoubtedly that he had. But as I said, it is not a capital offence.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

    The issue here is precisely about how we best serve Canadians whose lives are on the line in Afghanistan. They need a minister who tells the facts immediately to the Prime Minister and who tells the truth to this House of Commons.

    Will the Minister of National Defence accept that he simply cannot exercise the authority his high office requires and voluntarily step aside, at least until the privileges committee has reported? If he will not do that, in the interests of the troops in whose name he speaks in this House, will the Deputy Prime Minister summon up his courage to recognize--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

  +-(1130)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, back in 1993 there was a very high profile candidate for the hon. member's party. He is that party's expert on defence and here is what he had to say. I will just remind him:

I frankly don't give a damn whether he was told or if he told somebody else or what the timings were. I know that politics have to be played, but in my estimation this is not the time to do it. There are greater things at stake here.

    He goes on to say:

The last thing that we need right now is changing the Minister of National Defence.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister should quote the whole article and not just parts of it. He knows that General MacKenzie would never support a minister who lies in the House.

+-

    The Speaker: The right hon. member knows that kind of language is inappropriate in the House and I know he will want to withdraw that word at once and continue with his question.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark: Mr. Speaker: that he would never support a minister who tells two contradictory stories in the House of Commons deliberately.

    My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister who presides over an ad hoc committee on public security in the cabinet. Surely--

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. Would the right hon. member please withdraw the word he used earlier which I think he knows is unparliamentary.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark: Of course, Mr. Speaker, I withdraw that word which the Chair finds offensive.

    My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister, who chairs the ad hoc committee on public security and anti-terrorism, a committee which no doubt oversees Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. Was official military information on Canadians capturing prisoners sent or passed on in any form to the ministers who sit on that committee or any officials who serve them, and when was that information received?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member misunderstands the role of the cabinet committee which in fact does not oversee the military operations in Afghanistan. That of course is the job of the Minister of National Defence and not a role of a cabinet committee.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister claims that we are playing politics. You, Mr. Speaker, obviously do not agree, by your ruling this morning, and neither do we. We believe that the politics being played here are the politics of deceit and the deceit is on the side of the government.

    Our soldiers may have taken al-Qaeda prisoners but the government seems to be holding the truth captive.

    The Minister of National Defence said that he and only he knew for a full week about the circumstances. The Prime Minister says that he did not know for a week what was going on.

    When did the Deputy Prime Minister know what was going on?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is asking about when we were informed, including myself, of prisoners being taken by Canadian troops, it was in cabinet on Tuesday. However, far be it for me to say that they are playing politics. I was quoting Major-General Lewis MacKenzie who was suggesting that.

    I frankly do not understand why, when a minister has stood in the House, given his explanation and has expressed his regret, that they find it so fascinating to continue rubbing his face in it.

+-

    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in a hilarious rebuttal yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister claimed that it made no difference whether the Prime Minister knew whether our troops had taken prisoners.

    It is the difference between open government and secrecy. It is the difference between caring and not caring about our soldiers putting their lives at risk.

    If it makes no difference when the Prime Minister knows our soldiers have taken al-Qaeda prisoners, would it make a difference if our soldiers were taken prisoner by al-Qaeda?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am having a little trouble following this.

    The point I tried to make is that our troops were in place in Afghanistan. We did not give them instructions to shoot everybody they saw. It is not surprising that they might have been engaged with the enemy and they might have taken prisoners. They were doing their job and doing it courageously. They deserve our respect and our support.

    The minister has said that he wishes he had informed the Prime Minister earlier but that would not have caused anything to happen to the prisoners that did not otherwise happen.

  +-(1135)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ): Mr. Speaker, with such an important military operation being undertaken by an elite unit of the Canadian Forces, it is highly unlikely that the Prime Minister was not fully informed that Canada had taken prisoners of war and that they had been transferred, without any trial, to the Americans.

    Can the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that the Privy Council had not received any information on this prior to the Prime Minister's statement on Monday that it was a hypothetical situation and that there were no prisoners of war?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the minister of defence has already explained all of the events and all of the information he provided to the Prime Minister and cabinet. It was a complete synopsis of the situation.

+-

    Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I know just how smart the Deputy Prime Minister is. He did not understand my question at all. Therefore, I will ask him again, and I will ask him to pay attention.

    Can the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that the Privy Council had not received any information on this prior to the Prime Minister's statement on Monday that this was a hypothetical question and that no prisoners of war had been taken?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have no information that would indicate that this was the case.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the lives of our troops and the welfare of their families should not be taken for granted. Canadians demand that the government provide responsible, engaged leadership at the Department of National Defence.

    The minister's judgment has been called into question. His ability to discern the important from the unimportant appears to be impaired.

    How long must Canadians be forced to worry that their troops are being led by someone whose judgment appears to be so poor?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the suggestion that somehow or other troops were put at greater risk than was already the case by their engagement in a very dangerous situation is ridiculous.

+-

    Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague has just mentioned, you obviously agree that there has been some concern here to send this issue to the committee. The government is not taking it seriously at all.

    The Minister of National Defence has too much responsibility and too many lives resting in his hands for questions to linger about his judgment. Will he rise in this place today and explain to Canadians how they can continue to believe he has the judgment to determine what the Prime Minister should or should not know?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is a member who knows something about making judgments. I think he also knows that when the minister has stood in the House and accepted the responsibility for the decisions he has taken and has indicated that he regrets the delay in informing the Prime Minister, that really ought to be the end of it.

    The role Minister of National Defence plays with troops in the field in harm's way is far more important than these political games that the opposition is playing.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the transmission of information within government requires any important information to be provided directly to the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is the Prime Minister's deputy minister.

    Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us at what point the Clerk of the Privy Council was informed that the Canadian armed forces had taken prisoners in Afghanistan?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have no information other than what has been given to the House already.

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, can the Deputy Prime Minister explain to us why the Clerk of the Privy Council did not inform the Prime Minister, if only in order to prepare him for last Monday's question period?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot inform a member of parliament concerning conversations between the clerk and the Prime Minister. Anyway, the Prime Minister has already explained that he received the information in cabinet on Tuesday.

*   *   *

[English]

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, men and women from across this great country are leaving today to help fight the war on terrorism. I would like to send my best wishes to them, but I also want to make sure that the government will not abandon these troops and their families when they get home.

    Afghanistan is not classified as a war and we are not part of a UN peacekeeping mission. I ask the veterans affairs minister, will our troops receive the benefits and rights of veteran status after risking their lives in Kandahar?

  +-(1140)  

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, with respect to how our troops are treated when they go to the theatre of operations, they get all the training, equipment and support they need. When they are there they continue to get it. They will receive a great amount of support in the operation and also when they return.

    We give our troops the support they need before, during and after, and we will continue to do that.

+-

    Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it reminds me of the Sea Kings.

    The minister has let our veterans down again and again. From the merchant navy to the gulf war syndrome, the government has been doing everything it can to sweep our proud veterans under the rug.

    The families of our soldiers are watching their loved ones go off to war. Will the government stand today and commit to veteran status for these troops?

+-

    Mr. Carmen Provenzano (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that the government has the highest regard for all of the persons who serve in its armed forces. The commitment that is being requested is not something that can be made in the way that has been expressed at this moment but the matter will be brought to the attention of the minister and a proper response will be given in due course.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Airline industry

+-

    Mr. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

    The compensation period for third party war risk liability for air carriers is about to expire.

    What does the minister intend to do afterward to ensure that air services in Canada continue uninterrupted?

[English]

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have always been committed to a viable and competitive domestic air industry. It is even more important after the events of September 11. That is why today I am announcing that the government will extend its indemnification for third party aviation war risk liability for essential aviation service operators in Canada. This extension will be based upon the same terms and conditions for a period of 45 days until March 21. Obviously we cannot have our airports and airlines in the country in jeopardy at this very difficult moment.

*   *   *

+-Minister of National Defence

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

    Mr. Speaker, in light of your ruling this morning referring the issue of, quite frankly, the credibility of the Minister of National Defence, does the Deputy Prime Minister not feel that alone should justify the Minister of National Defence stepping aside, at least until the committee has finished its research?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I agree with Major-General MacKenzie on this one. The last thing we need right now is changing the Minister of National Defence.

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I suppose he is also accusing you of playing politics based on your ruling.

    Could I ask the Deputy Minister when the Clerk of the Privy Council found out about the taking of prisoners by our troops in Afghanistan?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge that the Clerk of the Privy Council found out at a different time. The information was passed by the Minister of National Defence to the Prime Minister, which was his duty to do so, on Tuesday morning at cabinet.

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, PC/DR): Shame on the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker. He should be ultimately responsible for what is going on in the House.

    The House today, at your will, Mr. Speaker, is considering a motion of censure for the defence minister. Troops must feel confident in the chain of command. Aside from the Prime Minister himself, the minister is the highest link in that chain. Our military must have confidence in that chain of command but it is pretty clear that they do not.

    When will the minister re-instill confidence in the troops of the Canadian military and resign?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will not comment on where the weakest link is, but I will say that I do not think the troops who are representing us so well on the ground right now in Afghanistan are the least bit concerned about when this information may or may not have been passed up the chain of command. They are concerned with the fact that they are doing a job and they have the full and active support of the government and the people of Canada in carrying out a mission that is important for all of us.

  +-(1145)  

+-

    Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I represent an enormous military base and they are concerned about the competence of the minister who is at the top of that chain.

    The Liberal cabinet obviously does not think it is very important to share vital strategic information with the Prime Minister of Canada himself. Evidently, as per their own admission, the Prime Minister only learned about this absolute fracas eight days after the event happened.

    Just what does the cabinet bother telling the Prime Minister, or in fact what does the Prime Minister really care to learn other than anything but his golf score?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): An absolute fracas, Mr. Speaker. Is she suggesting that these troops behaved improperly in carrying out their duties? Is she suggesting that they did not act with the most professional competence in doing a job they were sent there to do?

    That was not a fracas. That was Canadian troops doing what they were supposed to do. They should be applauded it for it.

*   *   *

+-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Despite all the rhetoric of the government, nothing has changed for customs and immigration officials since September 11.

    Officials say that they are under such pressure to admit people into Canada that they only have 15 seconds to check out new entrants before they leave the airport. Some officials do not even bother looking at passports. This is so unconscionable in the light of September 11.

    What kind of disaster will it take for the government to put in place proper screening for people entering Canada?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, I think we must take care not to confuse two things. There is the work of the customs officers and then there is the work of the immigration officers.

    Since September 11, I believe we have made substantial resources available. There is new legislation in place and new regulations which make it possible for them to do a proper job. I am very proud of our front line workers.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, another story of many has come to light. Over 100 Tunisians posing as tourists were allowed to enter Canada and then promptly disappeared. Thanks to the lousy Liberals, there is another Canadian link to the al-Qaeda chain, and the minister only has promised an internal review of this situation.

    Will this minister tell the House today the results of his review? Why is he allowing his department to systematically drop its guard against the threat of terrorism?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the style of my hon. colleague's questions is extremely dangerous. I trust that he is not generalizing, but I am pleased to announce to this House that at 3 p.m., after meeting with Dorval immigration officers, I shall be holding a press conference to release the results of the investigation.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, earlier, in reply to a question concerning the Privy Council, the Deputy Prime Minister told us that he did not know if the clerk had been informed of the fact that we had taken prisoners in Afghanistan.

    How can he justify that, in a government involved in an international crisis, whose Minister of National Defence is in the hot seat, and whose Prime Minister seemingly made two erroneous statements because he was not given the appropriate information, no one checked with the Clerk of the Privy Council to find out when the information had reached Privy Council?

    He wants to tell us that no one—

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is not our role to justify the actions of the clerk. The fact is that the Prime Minister received the information from the Minister of National Defence on Tuesday morning. He did not get this information from the clerk.

    It must also be understood that regarding information on the situation in Afghanistan, this is not a strategic issue. There are no risks for Canada. It was just a matter of facts.

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, when it comes to information of that importance, particularly when it involves the Prime Minister, who was led to make erroneous statements twice, including before this House, the first thing that a government would normally do—not just blame the minister responsible and try to get rid of him—is to check with the Clerk of the Privy Council. This kind of information gets there under any circumstances.

    Is the Deputy Prime Minister telling us that neither he nor someone in his entourage ever tried to check when that information reached the deputy minister of the Prime Minister?

  +-(1150)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the important issues are: When did the Minister of National Defence receive the information and when did the Prime Minister receive the information? Everything was explained with regard to these questions.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Minister of National Defence

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence apparently visited 24 Sussex Drive to apologize to the Prime Minister. He should have apologized to the Canadian people and to our troops.

    A government insider said today:

We've got soldiers overseas. There's a higher level of conduct expected from a defence minister. It goes to credibility. I don't think he has any.

    Does the Deputy Prime Minister think the defence minister has any credibility?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I agree with Lewis MacKenzie. I think the opposition is playing politics with this, and I agree with General MacKenzie that this is not the time to be doing it.

+-

    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said last fall that Canadians did not want to have a big fight there. Now the government seems to be embarrassed that our troops are in a big fight there.

    Is the real reason the government did not admit that our troops handed prisoners over to the United States until Tuesday was that some of its own members would rather that we had not handed over prisoners at all?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we had to anticipate when Canadian Forces were going into a combat zone that they were going to be conducting operations that could lead to the arrest of prisoners. Throughout though it has been clear that in Canada's view the Geneva conventions applied and we would respect international law with respect to those prisoners.

    There is no embarrassment about that at all. In fact we take great pride in the fact that Canada has contributed the third largest number of troops in the campaign against terrorism, and we are proud of that.

*   *   *

+-Natural Resources

+-

    Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Earlier this week Alberta Energy and PanCanadian announced they had reached agreement to merge and become one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in Canada. It will operate under the name EnCana Corporation and be headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.

    Will this merger have any significant impact on the Canadian economy in terms of competition, employment and investment?

+-

    Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is an important development in the Canadian oil and gas industry. The proposed merger would create the largest oil and gas company in Canada, thereby improving its competitive position globally.

    I welcome EnCana's leadership role in representing Canada in world energy markets. Our natural resources are Canada's greatest assets, now and for the future. I am confident EnCana will play an important role in its development and in the global energy business.

*   *   *

+-Public Works and Government Services Canada

+-

    Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it simply is not credible to expect us to believe that nobody on the government side is the least bit concerned about Alfonso's activities pre-Denmark. Yet yesterday every Liberal on the public works committee voted against any inquiry into the Alfonso affair.

    Why exactly were the Liberal members whipped into voting against an inquiry that would have cleared the air for the public of Canada?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman in his question is inviting the House to cast a reflection on the conduct of the committee and that of course is not within the rules of the House. If he has a complaint, he can bring it in the appropriate manner within the rules of the House, but this question is out of order.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in order to be sure that we have clearly understood the Deputy Prime Minister, I would simply ask him the following specific question: can the Deputy Prime Minister rise in his place and tell us that the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is a deputy minister of the Prime Minister, did not know that Canada had taken prisoners in Afghanistan before Tuesday morning, which is when the Prime Minister says he learned of the situation?

  +-(1155)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can simply say that the clerk informed neither myself nor the Prime Minister. We were informed at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.

    It should also be pointed out that our troops have conducted themselves well in Afghanistan, doing precisely what we said they would do.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, let me make it perfectly clear that the Canadian military is doing a fantastic job, in spite of the defence minister, not because of him.

    The Deputy Prime Minister really does not know when the Clerk of the Privy Council was told about this military incident. Will he find out if the Clerk of the Privy Council knew before Tuesday morning that prisoners had been captured and report back to the House?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once we establish when the clerk knew, I suppose we will work our way down the chain of command in national defence. The Minister of National Defence has given a good account of his knowledge and what he has done. The Prime Minister has explained when he knew of these events.

    We know that our troops did not misconduct themselves in Afghanistan. In fact, they have performed courageously and properly. They did what they were expected to do. They turned the prisoners over to the United States, as they were expected to do. There was no wrongdoing in the conduct of the troops. Nothing different would have happened on the ground in Afghanistan no matter who had known that the prisoners were taken or when.

*   *   *

+-National Security

+-

    Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we know that police services around the world have been focused on the investigation into the events of September 11 and the task of rooting out terrorists. We are proud of the work that Canadian police services have done in this regard.

    However Canadians might concerned that other priorities are being ignored with this renewed focus. What assurances can the solicitor general give us that other criminal activities in Canada are still a priority?

+-

    Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Hamilton Mountain for her concern. Of course the investigation into September 11 has been a top priority for police and security forces in Canada and around the world. However I can assure the House and all Canadians that other priorities certainly are at the forefront.

    In fact, on Wednesday one of the largest raids against indoor marijuana growing took place. Yesterday the police announced the takedown of a major credit card fraud operation with the co-operation of police forces in Canada and the United States.

    Police forces in Canada and the United States are working together to make sure that we live in a safe society.

*   *   *

+-Public Works and Government Services Canada

+-

    Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, we all know that Alfonso made the best cappuccino on the Hill, but that is not a good enough reason to ignore the overwhelming evidence that he played fast and loose with taxpayer money.

    Why not have an inquiry and put the issue to rest? Did Alfonso use his position to hand out taxpayer money inappropriately? If not, why have so many public servants claimed that he did?

    The public has a right to know and I want to know. Why will the government not order an inquiry if its committee lapdogs will not?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what appears to be at play here is some dispute about facts or information. The former minister was very clear on the record. He is no longer a minister of the crown. The matter lays at rest.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Earlier, he answered my question by saying that the clerk had not passed on the information to the Prime Minister and himself before Tuesday morning.

    Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether or not the Clerk of the Privy Council had the information to the effect that we had captured soldiers in Afghanistan before Tuesday morning, the time at which he himself says he was informed? Did the clerk have the information, yes or no? That is what we wish to know.

  +-(1200)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have already answered the question. We are not going to launch into a discussion about every official in the Government of Canada.

    We explained when the minister received the information and what he did, and when the Prime Minister received the information and what he did.

    In fact, regardless of who received the information and when, it would change nothing on the ground in Afghanistan.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Minister of National Defence

+-

    Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is very clear to the Canadians that the government is stonewalling. It may think it is doing damage control to protect the Minister of National Defence, but it is becoming clearer that the very essence of honesty and integrity of government is now in question.

    The Minister of National Defence failed in his duty; that is very clear. The question remains: Why did other procedures to safeguard the system, for example through the PCO, also fail? Why is the Deputy Prime Minister refusing to answer that question?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have not refused to answer the question. The appropriate question is: When did the relevant minister know? That information has been conveyed. The responsibility lies with ministers. Ministers are accountable to this House.

    Rather than conducting some kind of misguided witch hunt, my suggestion to the hon. member is that she focus on the role of the Canadian armed forces.

    Is she suggesting that had the Prime Minister received the information sooner he would have somehow or other intervened with the conduct of the forces? Is she suggesting that they did not conduct themselves properly? Is she suggesting that they should have done something differently which the Prime Minister would have affected had he had the information?

[Points of Order]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Points of Order

+-Oral Question Period

+-

    Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, my friend the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration mentioned during an answer today that he would be making a statement in Montreal this afternoon with regard to government policy. As you know, Mr. Speaker, you have had concerns about policy statements outside the House before members were notified.

    Will the minister agree to make a ministerial statement before he leaves so members of parliament will know what the policy change will be?

+-

    The Speaker: With great respect to the hon. Leader of the Opposition, his point of order sounds like another question to me.

    I do not know whether the minister is inclined to make any statement. He does not need to, of course, but if he wishes to answer the question he may do so. However this is really a question and not a point of order.

+-

    Hon. Denis Coderre (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I cannot make a statement right now because I have not finished all the verification. That is the reason I am going to Dorval airport to meet the agent. Then I will be able to make a statement.


+-ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Order in Council Appointments

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of Order in Council appointments made recently by the government.

*   *   *

+-Government Response to Petitions

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

*   *   *

+-Nisga'a Final Agreement Annual Report

+-

    Mr. Stephen Owen (Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Nisga'a Final Agreement 2001 Annual Report.

*   *   *

+-Committees of the House

+-Procedure and House Affairs

+-

    Mrs. Carolyn Parrish (Mississauga Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 45th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and I should like to move concurrence at this time.

    (Motion agreed to)

*   *   *

  +-(1205)  

[Translation]

+-Petitions

+-International aid

+-

    Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure today to table in the House a petition signed by people in my riding who, though they are deeply saddened by the events of September 11, are concerned by the turn taken by events since that tragedy. They ask that the government be much more dispassionate and wiser in its actions.

    The petitioners ask that the Canadian government act according to a logic of peace including a reflection on the causes of violence and taking into consideration the measures necessary to guarantee peace throughout the world, based on its traditional policy of aid to countries that need support.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 97 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

+-

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 97—
Mr. Peter Stoffer:

    In regard to the Tulsequah Chief Mine project: (a) which of the seventy stream crossings, sixty-four culverts and seven bridges to be undertaken in association with the proposed project pose the highest risks to the spawning or rearing habitats of the chinook, sockeye, coho, pink, chum salmon, and to the water quality in the area; (b) which of the proposed undertakings pose the greatest risk to other fish species in the area such as Dolly Varden char and whitefish, and cutthroat, bull and steelhead trout; (c) what are the estimated costs to pump back and treat the metals tailing seepage entering the Shazah wetland as a result of the project operations; (d) what are the concerns of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans related to post-closure issues and road issues including fish passage at crossings, sediment release from the road, the status of roads post-closure, habitat displacement at causeways, and the geotechnical stability of the road; (e) does the government acknowledge and support requests from the community, fishermen associations, NGOs, and the State of Alaska for the project to be referred to the Pacific Salmon Commission for study and recommendations, and if not, why not; (f) will government approval for the project constitute a breach of the “safe passage” provision in the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and if not, why not; (g) what is the government's methodology for the calculation of reclamation bonding to limit taxpayer liability given the mine's remote location and acid mine drainage risks to critical fish habitat; and (h) why has the site never been reclaimed and acid drainage from the mine, identified by Environment Canada in 1995 as acutely toxic to fish, been allowed to continue to flow into the Tulsequah River?

    Return tabled.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Starred Questions

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, would you be so kind as to call Starred Question No. 86. I ask that the question and the answer to Question No. 86 be printed in Hansard as if read.

[Text]

*Question No. 86—
Mr. Keith Martin:

    With respect to the Challilo Dam project on the Macal River in Belize, will the Minister for International Cooperation indicate to the House: (a) the findings of CIDA's environmental assessment report; (b) all costs incurred by CIDA concerning the dam; (c) CIDA's involvement in approving or encouraging the construction of the dam; (d) any financial ties between CIDA and Fortis Inc.; and (e) any financial ties between CIDA and AMEC E&C Services Ltd.?

Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):

    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), there was no environmental assessment report prepared by CIDA. CIDA contributed funding to an environmental impact assessment report prepared by AMEC E&C Services Ltd. CIDA sent its preliminary feedback on this report to AMEC and is waiting for more information from AMEC to continue its analysis.

    In response to (b), CIDA has not incurred any costs for this dam. CIDA contributed funding to the environmental impact assessment mentioned above, in accordance with the terms and conditions of a contribution agreement signed between CIDA and AMEC.

    In response to (c), CIDA did not play any role in this regard.

    In response to (d), no financial relationship exists between CIDA and Fortis Inc.

    In response to (e), CIDA has eight active contribution agreements with this firm, including the agreement mentioned above relating to the enviromental impact assessment in Belize. All of these contribution agreements are for engineering studies involving AMEC E&C Services Ltd. for power generation infrastructures in Sri Lanka, Jordan, Bolivia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Turkey, except one supporting an industrial project in Jordan.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan: Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.


-Government Orders

[]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Privilege

+-Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

[Privilege]

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.

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    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Portage--Lisgar for his motion. On behalf of my party I also acknowledge the role of the Speaker in the ruling he has given today. The Speaker's role is always a difficult one, particularly in a case like this where the circumstances are so fractious.

    I do not think anyone in the House can miss the significance of the ruling. When one must determine a factual finding such as we have had here, credibility comes up. It is always particularly difficult when it concerns the credibility of a minister.

    We in the New Democratic Party acknowledge the effect of the ruling, being as significant as it is, in that it raises the issue of the role the minister can play until the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs can finish its investigation and draw the conclusions that will come from it. It begs the question of whether it is possible, in the context the House and the country find themselves in, for the minister to stay in his position until the investigation and findings are complete.

    As we have already heard, it will not be quick. A good deal of investigation will go on. The committee will be actively involved in the issue for a significant time. In the interim we have our military in the field. It begs the question of whether our soldiers in Afghanistan can have any confidence in the minister. Can the people of Canada have any confidence in the minister? On this side of the House there is clearly there is no confidence in the minister.

    It seems inevitable that the Minister of National Defence must step aside. If he is not willing to do the proper thing and resign as has been suggested, he must at least step aside on an interim basis to allow the committee to do its work and let the chips fall once the work is completed. To satisfy the need for confidence in ministers, particularly in a situation where we have military in the field, the minister must step aside in the interim.

    I will address some comments with regard to the directions that need to be given by the House to the committee. It goes without saying that the committee must have the widest possible powers to conduct its investigation. This includes the ability to call witnesses.

    The questions I would ask the committee to pose and answer would be the following: First, what briefings did the Prime Minister's office have in the pertinent period from January 21 until the information was finally released to the House this past week?

    Second, what briefings did the Privy Council Office have during the same period?

    Third, was the cabinet committee on security briefed during this period?

    I will back up for a minute. In each case the briefing I am looking at and on which the committee should be seeking information is with regard to our troops capturing prisoners and turning them over to American forces. In each of the questions I have already posed that is the information we are after. Did we get briefings? Did any of those offices get briefings on the issue? I have said the period is from January 21 onward. Perhaps it is even a day or two before that.

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    The other issue that must be looked at closely is briefings in terms of the chain of command. It is important that the committee appreciate this so I will enunciate the factual situation as we understand it.

    The information would have come out of Afghanistan to the command centre in Florida. From Florida it is passed to the Department of National Defence here in Ottawa and, if we understand the minister correctly, to the minister at that point. As the information went through the chain of command was it passed through to any other office in Ottawa or in Canada?

    A further question must be posed. We heard from the Minister of National Defence that he was briefed at a specific time which, if we take his evidence at face value, was January 21. The question I want the committee to ask, and which the House should direct it to seek information on, is whether the information was repeated at any time to the minister after January 21.

    It is important to understand the context. We have not in reality been in a wartime or combat situation since Korea, and that conflict was under United Nations auspices. It is particularly hard to imagine the issue of taking prisoners would not have come up at a subsequent briefing to the minister in light of the worldwide controversy about the United States' position of refusing to treat the prisoners as prisoners of war under the Geneva convention. This must have come up at other times. It is part of the investigation that must go on for the House to be satisfied it has received full, factual and credible information from the minister.

    Mr. Speaker, I have not given you an all encompassing list. As I said at the start of my comments about the directions that should go to the committee, it needs the widest possible ambit of jurisdiction with regard to evidence and witnesses being called for it to satisfy itself and the House that the minister, his role, his credibility and his conduct have been fully investigated.

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    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his input into this debate on what I think is a very important issue. A very historic event has occurred here today by which we might be able to bring back some accountability to this place and bring back some semblance of responsibility on the part of ministers.

    The hon. member will recall through his previous experience, and I am sure his following of Canadian politics, that there was a time when indiscretions by ministers, when such things as misinforming the House and putting mistruths in the way of the opposition, were met with accountability, were met with a degree of seriousness not only by the Chamber, which we have seen today reflected in the Speaker's ruling, but also on the part of the government. There was an internal sense of accountability and responsibility to this place and to the Canadian people.

    We have spoken a great deal about the chain of command in the military sense. What about the chain of command in the parliamentary and governmental sense? What about the chain of command and the responsibility on the part of the Prime Minister to look a minister in the eye and say “You have made a mistake”?

    Ironically this involves the Prime Minister, who was denied the same information, and if not denied information then perhaps, if we can believe that this is in fact the case, which there is a great deal of doubt surrounding at this point, informed Canadians on Monday that any question surrounding the taking of prisoners was hypothetical. We know now in retrospect that it was anything but hypothetical. In fact it was factual. Canadian soldiers had taken possession of Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan and had transported them to Kandahar airport. This was revealed last week in the Globe and Mail.

    I have a question for the hon. member. When we speak of the chain of command in the military I think of equal importance in the question before us and in the context of this debate is the responsibility on the part of the Prime Minister to take the hard decision and call upon the Minister of National Defence to tender his resignation, as the hon. member suggested, at least in the interim and at least until the air has been cleared.

    I strongly submit that the minister has been damaged. His integrity and his reputation have suffered greatly over the past number of days. His confidence and the confidence that Canadians have in him have been equally damaged.

    Would the hon. member care to comment on the issue of the government and the Prime Minister intervening and making a decision? I will not be the one to praise them, but there must be enough talent in that cabinet that they could find a suitable replacement for the Minister of National Defence, at least in the interim, until the issue has been settled to some resolution.

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    Mr. Joe Comartin: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough for the question as it gives me an opportunity to address the issue of accountability specifically.

    One of the problems I observed from watching the government was the ruling we had in the last year or two with regard to the Minister of Justice, and quite frankly what we heard today both from the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. There is no sense of respect for the House on that side.

    I must admit with regard to accountability the Deputy Prime Minister was ridiculing the question that they should know about the type of information surrounding the taking of prisoners and turning them over to the United States if some underling--

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    The Speaker: I hesitate to interrupt again, but I stressed earlier in the debate to hon. members that the question of information of other people is not relevant to the debate before us today. It is a question of the minister's statements and the fact that this is going to a committee which is the subject of the debate.

    I think it would be better if we restrained ourselves and kept our remarks strictly relevant to the motion before the House. I would appreciate some co-operation in that regard from the hon. member.

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    Mr. Joe Comartin: Mr. Speaker, I will try to focus more directly in response to the question from my colleague, which was one of accountability around the particular role the minister should be playing at this time while the committee's work is ongoing.

    I certainly agree with his suggestion that if the minister is not prepared to see the significance of the ruling, the impact it has had on his confidence, then, yes, the Prime Minister should insist that he step aside for this period of time.

    I stressed in my opening remarks that it would be some time, but surely either the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister could be assigned responsibility for the department until such time as the motion is finalized by the House.

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I take note of your concern that we keep to the actual motion referring the matter to committee. I would like the hon. member to comment on what I see as a potential problem by sending it to committee. Obviously I support the motion. I think it should happen. I do not see any way around it now that it has been ruled a prime facie case. We need to investigate it and it is the proper procedure and the proper place to do it in committee.

    I raise the concern that this issue will drag on in committee for a considerable length of time. I have been through several of these when I was on the committee. As I mentioned earlier, there will be witnesses on procedure. There will be witnesses on precedent. There will be witnesses on what happened. They will review the tapes. They will have the minister and his officials there. This could conceivably go on for a considerable length of time.

    My concern, as has already been mentioned by the hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough, is that in the meantime life does not stop. Members of the military need to know if their minister will be there for them in the long haul, if he is really on the ropes, if it is just a procedural shenanigan or if it is serious and so on.

    The first question I would like the member to answer is whether he thinks we can do this quickly. That is in the best interests of both the minister and the credibility of the department, which is not to blame for it as it is strictly a ministerial problem.

    Could he comment, if he can, on why the issue of conflicting statements is important? We were told today that it did not make any difference because the arrests would have been made in the same timeframe and nothing else would have changed. I would argue that it does matter.

    The Prime Minister is down in the United States talking about the loonie, but he is also no doubt talking to people about our role in Afghanistan. Without the proper facts, without a consistent message from the minister in the House, he will get a grilling not on Canadian involvement but on what parts of the minister's statements are true.

    It is a pretty serious matter when the Prime Minister heads off to our neighbouring superpower and has to say “I really do not know what is going on; the minister does not tell me”.

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    Mr. Joe Comartin: Mr. Speaker, with regard to the issue of speed, I have only been here almost a year. I have certainly never been through something like this so I suppose I am not as confident as the minister to speak to it.

    Let me just suggest in terms of my trial background that I can see where there will be some significant issues around whether the committee will summons certain witnesses.

    In particular the issue of national security will be raised. Does that then mean the committee will be coming back to you, Mr. Speaker, for rulings on witnesses or documents? Are we to get into that?

    In addition to what I can see as a fairly substantial number of witnesses that would have to be called, we could get into some procedural harangues which would certainly delay it. I cannot answer my friend's question in terms of a time estimate. I would not even hazard trying to do that.

    With regard to the other issue around conflicting statements, I have one answer to make. I will limit it to this in light of the time. I take some issue that perhaps there might not have been different conduct directed to our troops had we known about this.

    Fourteen days ago the debate was raging over how POWs were to be treated and whether they were in fact POWs at all. I cannot help but say that if factual information had come forward at the time on these troops having apprehended these prisoners, the issues may have been dealt with differently.

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    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to participate in what I think is a very important and historic debate from which some consequences may flow. Those could be significant consequences.

    In the overall context of the debate the point has been made a number of times, in particular by the right hon. member for Calgary Centre, that we are living in a very unusual time, a time heightened of awareness about a ongoing conflict in another part of the world, in Afghanistan, in which Canadian troops have entered the theatre of war.

    With that backdrop and with that reality we have the minister of defence who is responsible for the administration of decisions that very much affect those soldiers in the theatre of war. We know that the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry embarked yesterday on its mission. We know that for weeks, if not months, members of joint task force 2, an elite Canadian commando unit, have been on the ground in that country participating in the American war effort against terrorism.

    That very minister who holds the responsible position of administering those decisions and those actions has found himself embroiled in a very serious issue over the veracity of statements he has made pertaining to that exercise in the theatre of war.

    I would submit that we are homing in on the issue. By virtue of your decision today, Mr. Speaker, you have placed a great deal of emphasis on the conduct of the minister. We are talking about the integrity of our parliamentary system. We are talking about the accountability of ministers when they rise in their places and put information before the country.

    The decision that has been taken will involve a tribunal, in essence, a committee coming together to examine the actions and the statements of the minister. Within that context we know that contradictory statements were placed before the House of Commons.

    On Tuesday the minister made reference to the fact that on the previous Friday he had been given certain information about the taking of prisoners. The very next day, within 24 hours, he contradicted himself in saying that it was in fact just on the Monday he was made aware of those actions by Canadian soldiers. This is a clear contradiction within 24 hours.

    We also know that added into this mixture is the fact that the Prime Minister of Canada who one would hope is at the very top of government, the highest office in the land, made statements on the Monday that referred to a question from a reporter about the taking of prisoners in Afghanistan by Canadian troops. He said that it was purely hypothetical. Now we know that was not the case. In fact there had been some significant breakdown in the communication between the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister of Canada.

    I would suggest this is not only an affront to Canadians. It is certainly an affront to those in the House of Commons who bore witness to these statements, but most of all and perhaps more telling is that it is confidence shattering for the Canadian military to see this kind of clownish behaviour, this breakdown at the highest levels in communication on an important issue like the taking of prisoners.

    A number of members, including my friend from Windsor--St. Clair, talked about the fact that the taking of prisoners was certainly something that did not come out of the blue. This debate has been going on prior to the incident of Canadians actually taking prisoners. It was anticipated that it might in fact happen.

    Further to that I have to reference the Deputy Prime Minister's flippant remark about what difference would it make or what possible change would have been effected if this breakdown in communication had not occurred.

    Let us look at it from a different standpoint. What if it were Canadian soldiers who were taken into custody? What if it were a Canadian casualty and that type of information was not communicated? What we are talking about is a pipeline. There appears to be some blockage in the pipeline that did not allow the Prime Minister, who is in the highest office and who ultimately is at the highest level of accountability, to get important information in his office so that he could make decisions.

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    The versions of the facts that are now out there still appear to be somewhat muddied. By virtue of sending this to the committee, at the very least we will have an opportunity to find out what exactly happened, who had that information at the appropriate time and who did or did not follow their instructions and pass on that information. It is about integrity and it is about competence.

    Given the reaction of the Deputy Prime Minister in particular and, in fact, the reaction of the minister, there appears to be this almost toxic mixture of arrogance and ignorance over this issue, as in “how dare the members of the opposition try to make issue of this and how dare they try to play politics?” We certainly cannot hold a candle to this government when it comes to the ability to play politics nor do we have the massive army of spin doctors that exists.

    An hon. member: Or the inclination.

    Mr. Peter MacKay: Or the inclination to do so, as my friend points out.

    This exercise will allow us at the very least to put it to a committee, albeit Liberal dominated, which will have to hear from witnesses, from the minister himself, perhaps from the joint chiefs of staff and from personnel in the PMO and the PCO as to how this occurred, how this fundamental breakdown in the sharing of information came about.

    Parliamentary democracy, I would strongly submit, and I know that the Chair would agree, hinges on accountability and responsibility. When we see this sad spectacle of the minister of defence avoiding and not answering questions, sweating and stewing before the cameras, it does a great deal, I would suggest, to undermine the confidence of Canadians in our system and in what is happening in our military.

    Heaven knows that we do not need to do any more to demoralize our soldiers given the debacle over their equipment, their uniforms and now their mission. We have to be very careful not to delve into any suggestion that the military has made mistakes, has withheld information or has done anything in any fashion that could be construed as wrong or inappropriate. This is a political debacle. This is not about the actions of our brave men and women in the theatre of war.

    The question here about casting aspersions or questioning the word of a minister is a very serious allegation. It is a very serious thing. That is why, of course, the parameters of parliament do not permit us to use words like lie, mislead or mistrust. These types of references are forbidden in this place, which the Chair is more than familiar with.

    However, I would suggest that for far too long members of the opposition, and by virtue of that the fifth estate as well, the media, always have given the benefit of the doubt to the Prime Minister and this government. They have always maintained that surely they did not do this intentionally, that surely this was not information that was intentionally withheld, that there could not be that degree of incompetence.

    I think it is far more palatable, in fact, for Canadians to think that the government did intentionally withhold information than to think that this was purely an act of incompetence, that there was such a fundamental breakdown in the chain of command and the way that the information should have flowed into the Prime Minister's Office. That is probably something that the vast majority of Canadians would simply find unacceptable or so distasteful that they would not want to think it could happen.

    Yet there is doubt. There is a real question in people's minds as to what happened, what exactly transpired this week in terms of that vital information about Canadians' actions in the theatre of war not receiving the appropriate attention and the appropriate level of importance so that it would wind up missing the Prime Minister. These actions occur and eight days later the Prime Minister maintains, and there is a real question here as to whether that could in fact be true, that he did not know, he was not aware. That is a scary thought. Canadians overwhelmingly want to believe in the competence and the integrity of government, yet this has been shaken this week in a significant way.

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    Of course the debate on the handing over of prisoners will, I suggest, be taking place at some point and already has begun, and there is also the decision to seek guarantees from our American colleagues to ensure that proper treatment will be shown to these prisoners and that they will be treated under the Geneva convention. Donald Rumsfeld has given guarantees that a decision will be taken in short order. A tribunal will decide whether this designation of unlawful combatants is the correct one or whether the Geneva convention should attach in its entirety to prisoners of war. That debate will no doubt occur, but again, to emphasize, this subject matter has been out there for a long time yet in the context of that, even when it occurred, when Canadian soldiers took prisoners of war or unlawful combatants, somehow there was a blockage or a breakdown in that fact being communicated to the Prime Minister, to the highest office.

    As a result, when questions were asked here in the House of Commons and different versions of those facts were perpetrated, were put out by the minister, that, I would suggest, has very much wounded not only his ego and his political career but it has wounded Canadians' ability to trust and have confidence in the minister.

    That leads me to the point of what will become of the minister. What will become of this committee? We know that when the minister, his staff and individuals who no doubt will be called before the committee are given an opportunity, there will be a tendency to just brush this aside and wash our hands of the issue as quickly as possible because they will not want this to fester and be a distraction to parliament. I would suggest that this is not the way we should proceed, by any means. This is such a serious situation and it has long term ramifications, not only for this situation. As I alluded to earlier, what happens when a Canadian soldier is taken into custody? What happens when there are soldiers who, God forbid, lose their lives in the theatre of war and the information does not make it back to high command, to the parliamentary precinct and into the Prime Minister's Office?

    That is what we have to be concerned about as well, because a very dangerous precedent has been set. That is what we need to address and what we need to alleviate as much as the political future of the minister; it is to ensure that the integrity of the system will be protected. There must be consequences for there to be accountability.

    Madam Speaker, I know you would agree that if the minister stays in office it will shake people's confidence if there are no consequences. The standards of the Prime Minister and in fact the entire standards of the House of Commons and the parliamentary system demand that there be consequences and that ministers take responsibility.

    I believe that in this country there is an incredible appetite on the part of the public at large for politicians to stand in their places and admit when they are wrong, admit when mistakes are made. That in fact would be well received, granted not if it happened too often, but when it does occur. I think that in many ways we should be encouraging that taking of responsibility but that has not been the reputation and that certainly has not been the record of the government.

    We know that the Prime Minister when in opposition made very bold and brash statements, as opposition members do, about what he would do when he formed the government, how his ministers would be directly accountable, how their actions would be transparent and open, and when those ministers made mistakes, what would happen? They would take responsibility. They would fall upon their proverbial swords. We can all be very metaphoric in our examples of what should happen, but it is really at the very root of parliament that parliamentarians, and ministers in particular, are directly accountable and responsible to the people who elect them. They have to act responsibly when they make mistakes.

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    There is also another issue of confidence that I have not touched on. That is the confidence of our allies, the confidence of those countries that are working with us to address this horrible issue of terrorism that is rampant. The actions of government as they reflect on our military operations are very much under the microscope at this time. We are very much out there in the world right now by participating in this monumental effort to address the dangers and perils of terrorism, so our allies' confidence is also of great importance to us and does factor into the minister's decision if he chooses to remain and if the government chooses to simply try to put this issue aside.

    In the parliamentary tradition ministers are collectively responsible for the actions of their colleagues, so in fact this is a reflection on the entire government. This is not simply about one member of the cabinet. The cabinet speaks with one voice. That has been the tradition in this place. If it is the government's position that the minister can simply slough this off, walk away and move on with his very important responsibilities, then that reflects on the entire government. There is a moral ethic that has to be applied by the minister, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister acting in his stead.

    It is unfortunate in many ways that it took a ruling from the Chair. It is unfortunate that the government and the minister essentially have been forced on bended knee to account for their actions, because we know this issue was on its way to page 10. It was not going to be a priority, yet by virtue of the hon. member from Portage la Prairie moving the motion and other members of the House, including the right hon. member for Calgary Centre, making the case that this is not something that can be washed away, we are now at this important and pivotal point.

    The public has to be confident that when the actions of government or ministers are transgressions, and here we are talking about fundamentals, about what in legal terms would be the equivalent of perjury, putting untruthful statements forward, they have to be dealt with in the most serious fashion. It is not a matter of simply putting this to committee and forgetting about it. That, I would suggest, would further undermine confidence in the system.

    We are very hopeful that when the issue finds itself in committee after a vote in the House it will be dealt with in the same serious nature with which we have seen the Speaker of the House and other members address it. There should be no assumption that when the House sends a minister to committee there will be a rallying around that minister on the part of the government. There certainly should be a great degree of independence in place.

    We have seen previous occasions in this parliament where the Minister of Justice, not through personal actions of her own but through the actions of her department, found herself on two separate occasions appearing before the committee. Again that is a precedent that has been set and it should be followed, but this differs greatly in the sense that we have a minister who himself has made certain statements and taken certain actions that have drawn into question his truthfulness, his veracity. When the issue goes to committee, the committee will no doubt delve into this in greater detail.

    I am pleased that this has occurred for one reason and one reason only: The parliamentary tradition of holding ministers to account may be something that now will be taken off the shelf, dusted off, revisited and enforced.

    One would hope that throughout this entire exercise there is some contrition, some humility that might creep into the government. As I have said, the levels of arrogance mixed with ignorance on this issue appear to have done severe harm, not only to the government itself but to parliament. Heaven knows, this is not a time when we can afford to tarnish the reputation of this place. The number of voters who stayed home in the last election is evidence enough that Canadians' confidence has been severely impinged upon. I look forward to seeing this issue go to committee and I know that all hon. members will participate in that process fully.

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, I would like to specifically follow up on some of the member's comments and try to zero in on the motion that we are dealing with today, especially the apparent contradiction between statements made in the House and why it matters.

    It seems to me that the crux of the matter is “should we care?” It does not make any difference. The Deputy Prime Minister asks what the difference is and says that it does not matter.

    I have jotted down three or four things that I would like the member to comment upon that are essentially the crux of why it matters. It does matter whether we hear the facts here and whether we hear conflicting facts on such an important issue.

    The first thing that was touched upon already by the member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough was that the Prime Minister was embarrassed. I do not care if the Prime Minister gets embarrassed; he has embarrassed himself before.

    Today the Prime Minister is in New York defending the Canadian dollar and all things Canadian, and trying to put a good face on things. He is no doubt also talking about the war effort with people. They, if not with tongue in cheek then probably with a bit of a smirk on their faces, are wondering if our Prime Minister even knows what he is talking about. Of course it matters because it embarrasses the Prime Minister and therefore it embarrasses the country. This is important because he is our main representative abroad.

    Second--

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Order, please. I fail to see the relevance of what is going on in New York to the motion. I would ask the member to stick to the subject matter, which is the motion before the House. The Speaker has ruled a number of times today that we must be strict on the rule of relevance.

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl: Madam Speaker, I think it would have made a difference because of the conflicting statements and the questions we were able to ask in the House of Commons subsequently.

    It is one thing to take a minister at his word when he says what happened. We believe it has to be the truth because we are all compelled to tell the truth here and we want to hear the truth. Yet when we do not hear the truth and do not get the whole goods it changes the entire focus of the House's questioning, particularly on the rules of engagement.

    The Prime Minister stood up and said there were two kinds of prisoners, he argued that there were prisoners involved in terrorism and prisoners involved as unlawful combatants in the Taliban government.

    We on this side of the House said there were no prisoners anyway so it really did not matter, it was just a theoretical discussion, but it did matter and the fact that we got conflicting views from the Minister of National Defence made an entire difference on our follow up here in the House to get to the facts.

    I would argue that, since we did not get the facts from the minister, it made a big difference on how quickly we pursued the idea of rules of engagement. The Americans had the rules of engagement in their wallets which explained what they would do if they took prisoners.

    The commander of our troops said that we went there with the rules in our heads. If we knew, and when we knew, that prisoners were taken, I would bet that we would not have said that we should do our best and we would live with the consequences.

    If this side of the House, the general public and the armed forces had a set of facts that were consistent and we knew that we were actually at the point of taking prisoners, this would no longer be theoretical.

    It is essential to know what we do when we take prisoners. It is not a matter of guesswork or of taking it down in one's head. It is a matter of the military saying to the Minister of National Defence that based on his word the armed forces will do the following.

    We on this side of the House will support our troops fully but we need to know that when we get an answer from the minister it will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because otherwise everything else falls from that. We cannot then say the rules of engagement are somewhere in the mix and our troops will get them sometime.

    The Princess Pats left last night still without the rules of engagement in their wallets. They are going there saying they will pick it up when they get there and hopefully some of the other guys will fill them in on what they will be doing.

    We need to know the facts. Without consistency in the facts, how can anybody in the chain of command or in the House of Commons follow up with any meaningful discussion about where we go from here? That is why it has been referred to committee. It goes to the core of ministerial competence and confidence, not only that which we have but that the Prime Minister should have in that minister.

    Everything flows from that. When one's word is in dispute then nothing else will work. If the word is in dispute then all bets are off because we do not know where to start the conversation. We cannot have a debate on issues because we do not know what the starting point is. We need to know the facts.

    The minister was incredibly wrong to give two answers to one question that involved things about notification when he knew things and how he communicated them. It is beyond the pale that we would say whatever, because everything follows from the first statement of truth. When we do not start with the truth everything that follows is wrong, flawed, weak, feeble and just wrong.

    I would like the member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough to talk about why ministerial accountability in this case, and the unwillingness of the minister to communicate the truth to the House, put the entire ministerial accountability system into disrepute. More importantly, it has hampered the ability of the House of Commons, the Fifth Estate, the people who reported on this, and the Canadian people to have faith in the minister and that is why the minister should step aside until this investigation is over.

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    Mr. Peter MacKay: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the seriousness and the passion of the question from my friend from Fraser Valley.

    I wish to emphasize that the issue of proof is very much what lies at the root of this issue. Our system would crumble if we were to pull a balaclava over the truth every time disputes arose and leave Canadians wondering what happened. Our justice system and parliamentary democracy would crumble.

    It shakes one's confidence to wonder if there is a need for a committee. I would not go as far as to suggest that members of parliament must be sworn under oath when we become parliamentarians. However we have sworn an oath. We swore an oath to serve our people responsibly by coming here. That aura should be constantly around us. It should be omnipresent in the Chamber.

    There are certain precedents within Canada and within the Commonwealth that apply here. I can find no better words in responding to the member's question in the context of a minister who finds himself in the eye of the storm over comments that have been made than to refer to a volume entitled The Question of Confidence and Responsible Government authored by Eugene A. Forsey and G.C. Eglington. The then prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, who originally came from Lorne, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, in responding to questions about the resignation of ministers within his government is quoted on page 23:

This government has always upheld the fundamental principles of ministerial responsibility, and that the appearance and reality of integrity are indispensable parts of our system of government. I have insisted, and our party expects, that responsibility should be maintained...The penalties in public office are high. It is my intention to recommend to His Excellency the Governor General that the resignations be accepted--

    That precedent has always been there. It is expected. It is something that is very much germane and relevant to our discussion. One would hope that we will maintain the expectation of the public that ministers will take responsibility for their actions and their indiscretions.

  +-(1255)  

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    Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Madam Speaker, having listened to the debate for over two hours now, and having heard expressions of profound, synthetic indignation on the part of opposition members, I must conclude that we are dealing with a tempest in a very small teacup.

    Not one scintilla of evidence of incompetence has been suggested by members. If anything, this is a case of work overload on the part of a very hard-working and committed minister of the crown who has the respect and support of most of his colleagues in the House, certainly on this side. He also has the respect of the entire population of Toronto who elected him as mayor. He has displayed a high level of professionalism over the years.

    If anything, the minister of defence could be accused for a non-flamboyant style. If anything, he could be accused of being rather modest in his interventions and refraining from rhetoric. To suggest, as did the last speaker a few minutes ago, that this little event is a reflection on the entire government, is absolute nonsense.

    It seems to me that members of the official opposition are bereft of issues of substance and are losing sight of the larger picture, the real issues of the country. It is astonishing that they would devote two valuable hours of the House to pursuing a non-matter, a non-problem that has been referred to a committee of the House, and very correctly so, for its ultimate destination and deliberation, and where I am sure it will be disposed of very quickly and effectively.

    Perhaps they could find the time and energy instead to devote their attention to issues such as rising unemployment, security at our harbours and airports or perhaps issues emerging, particularly in the last few months, of climate change and the fact that at the present time we are going through a phase of persistent temperature readings that are five to seven degrees Celsius above normal. If that sounds too esoteric and difficult for hon. members, perhaps they could devote some attention to the issues of population and immigration. If that is not appealing enough, perhaps some time and effort could be devoted to the state of water quality across the country or pollution in the Great Lakes. If that is perhaps too difficult to tackle, then perhaps they could devote some time to the lack of adequate regulations in the field of aquaculture and the state of our fishery.

  +-(1300)  

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I will remind the hon. member, as I have reminded all other hon. members, of the relevance. The relevance is the motion before the House which is to refer to committee.

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    Hon. Charles Caccia: Madam Speaker, I welcome your reminder and I plead guilty in that respect. I will return to the theme by concluding that there is an enormously long list of items that could take precedence over the one to which the last two hours have been devoted.

    Therefore, one must conclude by asking whether there is an intelligent role for the official opposition to play in the House of Commons, whether there is a way in which this item can be disposed of in a matter of minutes so that the House can return to its normal business and not be distracted by phoney allegations and accusations that have no foundation with respect to a minister of the crown who has the respect and admiration of everyone in the House, except for a few. We need to get on with the business of the nation and demonstrate, I would hope, on the part of the opposition, that it understands its mandate is to perform a constructive role in the opposition in the best interest of the business of the country.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ): Madam Speaker, I have great difficulty accepting what the hon. member has just said. He is suggesting in a rather simplistic way that the House should get back to more serious business.

    This position seems very subjective to me and it suggests that the terms of engagement of the Canadian Forces in a foreign country are of no importance to the hon. member.

    Our troops have been sent to a place where the situation is very problematic. Here we can see that our political leaders are unsure about our troops' terms of engagement. When they have information in their possession, they do not even take it seriously enough for the minister of defence to inform the Prime Minister that Canadian soldiers have taken prisoners of war in Afghanistan.

    For the hon. member, it is not important that for a whole week no one was aware of the situation and that the government is not sure whether Canada's international commitments of have been met. The Geneva convention is not something important, in the view of the hon. member. It does not seem to be important to know how our troops will behave on the field. Furthermore, he says that we should consider other issues. He was referring to employment insurance. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  +-(1305)  

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member, but I have to repeat the same thing once again. As I told the hon. member for Davenport, members must focus their remarks on the topic being debated. The same goes for questions and comments. They must be on topic. I will repeat this as many times as I have to.

    The hon. member for Témiscamingue can resume with questions and comments.

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    Mr. Pierre Brien: Madam Speaker, I invite you to reconsider, because I believe it is very relevant and it ties in with the matter at hand.

    What I am trying to convey to the member, who said himself that there were other priorities, is that we are debating a motion aimed at giving a committee the mandate to shed light on this matter. Parliamentarians are having their say and they are saying what their expectations are, and they are putting in context the facts known to the public. These are all important things that will help members in their work when the committee starts sitting.

    I find his comments unacceptable and I would ask him to repeat what he said earlier, if he really believes it, namely that defining the terms of engagement under which soldiers operate when on a mission as important as this one is not important to him. Is this really the message he wants to send and does he not think that the House should have its say regarding the fact that Canada must carefully define the terms of engagement for these people, and also live up to its international commitments, namely the Geneva convention and others?

    There is no doubt there is a connection here. If the House was misinformed, it is because there is a hidden agenda. There is a reason why things were done the way they were. The committee might be able to shed some light on this as long as members opposite who will sit on the committee work in good faith. For now, I assume they will. For the rest, we will see. In this context, it is an extremely important question.

    What I have to say is that for us it is important enough that we must take the time to talk about it.

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    Hon. Charles Caccia: Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that the member for Témiscamingue did not understand. I will try to make him understand that the issue is not as he has described it.

    The minister recognized that he made a mistake. The Speaker of the House decided to refer the matter to the committee. The committee will review the matter and make a decision. This is where things stand now.

    I find it really appalling that the member for Témiscamingue would invoke the Geneva convention and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the mistake made by the minister.

    The mistake made by the minister will be examined by the committee. That is where the matter will be settled. We must therefore move on and proceed with our work.

[English]

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    Mr. John Reynolds (House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, Canadian Alliance): Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the member for Davenport. However, he talks about getting back to the government business of the House and how important parliament is; there is nothing more important than a Speaker's ruling in the House. The Speaker has made a ruling with regard to sending this issue to a committee. The rules then allow a debate to take place before a vote is taken by all members of the House on whether to send it to committee. The government always has the opportunity to vote against that motion if it so wishes, although I doubt it would do that on this issue.

    What could be more important than a Speaker's ruling that allows us to have the debate today? Nothing can be more important than accusations made against a minister that are very serious. It is not the opposition playing politics. We are talking about a ruling made by the Speaker of the House.

    I ask the member, what could be more important than the House debating a very important ruling made by the Speaker of the House?

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    Hon. Charles Caccia: Madam Speaker, it is interesting that the Alliance leader would come into the House at this point on a Friday afternoon and ask a question. It tells me that the Leader of the Opposition feels his party is losing ground in this debate and an intervention is necessary.

    It is very clear that the leader was not in the House when the House leader for the government, at roughly 10.40 a.m., indicated the willingness of the government to support the motion. Perhaps this is news to the member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast, otherwise he would not have made the remark that he made a moment ago.

    The government is in full agreement with the motion. Everybody who could speak has spoken on behalf of the parties once. There has been a representative for each party so far, so the matter has been covered. Why drag it out ad infinitum? Why make something more out of it than there is, namely a tempest in a small teacup?

  +-(1310)  

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    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, I want to say to the hon. member for Davenport that I have immense respect for him. He has made significant contributions over his time in this place. He is a dean in the Commons.

    However I have to take some issue with the suggestion that there should be higher priorities than the trust that Canadians can have in the cabinet.

    My question for him is along those lines. He certainly understands the importance of confidence. He understands the significance that rests in a minister whose judgment, and not only his judgment but whose word, has been questioned. I do not ascribe any motives to his very spirited defence of the Minister of National Defence. However I do question whether he agrees that the standard expected must be higher and whether in fact partaking in a debate in which we are very much putting before Canadians legitimate concerns that members of the opposition have, and I suggest that members of his government may have, about those standards, must be examined and debated. Surely it is worth taking the time to do that.

    I was glad to hear him reiterate the word of the House leader of the government that this matter will be put to a vote and will in fact be sent to that committee. However, does he not agree that it is worth taking the time to at least have the discussion in this place when it comes to ethics, when it comes to standards and when it comes to the truth that is expected from ministers of the crown?

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    Hon. Charles Caccia: Madam Speaker, that was the whole point I was trying to make. The matter has been debated already at length. One speaker for every party has already made an intervention. Accusations have been made about the Minister of National Defence which are totally unjustified. Allegations have been made about him which are most unfair. There is a point when something must be said, although he does not need to be defended, on behalf of the Minister of National Defence.

    It seems to me, it being 1.15 in the afternoon, this debate having started at 10 o'clock this morning, and having the government agree to send the matter to a committee for full elaboration, examination and so on, that this matter should be voted upon and that we should resume the business of the nation in a proper and orderly fashion.

    All that needs to be said about this issue has been said. The speeches are becoming redundant and, in some cases, even offensive. That is why it seemed to me only appropriate, and whether I am the dean of the House or not is irrelevant, to make an intervention. It seems to me that it is time to move on.

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    Mr. John Reynolds (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Madam Speaker, I have some things I want to say but I would like to start by answering some statements made by the member for Davenport about my being in the House which are very unparliamentary for someone of his seniority in the House. I have been in the House since 10 o'clock this morning when the Speaker made his ruling, with the exception of leaving for lunch, which we all have to do, although some of us may not have to leave as often as others.

    I did talk to the government House leader and he did agree that this would go to committee. Certainly the member should realize that in the House members have the right to speak. That is why we have standing orders and that is why the debate is still taking place. It will finish sometime and then it will go to committee.

    The member said that all that needs to be said has been said. I can remember back when the Liberals had the rat pack. There were a lot of debates that went on forever.

  +-(1315)  

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    Hon. Charles Caccia: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast should not misquote me. I did not say what he alleges I said.

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): That is debate. It is getting late in the day and it is Friday, so we shall return to the motion at hand.

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    Mr. John Reynolds: Madam Speaker, he said “All that needs to be said has been said”. I wrote it down. I am saying to him that is not accurate, that all that needs to be said has not been said. I will have some more things to say about this issue. I am sure that other members will have other things to say about the issue because the subject matter of the motion that the member put this morning is a very serious concern to all Canadians.

    I want to read the motion again. The motion moved by one of my colleagues and seconded by me indicates that the charge against the Minister of National Defence of making misleading statements in the House be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    My hon. colleague knows that with the Speaker allowing that to take place, it is a very serious concern. With the advice of the experts sitting at the Clerk's table, to allow that motion to take place and go to a committee is something Speakers do not do all that often. That is the importance of the issue before the House today. The fact is that the Speaker has made his very important ruling and a debate will take place in committee.

    The issue of whether the Minister of National Defence should resign for misleading the House has come up in this debate many times. It is a very relevant point, particularly with regard to the charge of contempt.

    In 1976, following comments André Ouellet, the then minister of consumer and corporate affairs, made on the acquittal by Mr. Justice Mackay of the sugar companies accused of forming cartels and combines, Mr. Justice Mackay cited him for contempt of court. Mr. Ouellet resigned his cabinet post over the incident.

    A charge of contempt by the House should be considered just as serious, if not more serious, as a charge of contempt by a court. The minister should do the honourable thing and resign his cabinet post while the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs considers a charge against him because it involves a matter of confidence.

    We may have 100 reasons to ask for this particular minister's resignation over various other charges. However, a charge of contempt standing alone is sufficient to seek the minister's resignation, as André Ouellet did in 1976. Others will say that the judge cited him but it has not gone to committee yet. Our point is that the minister is in charge of our troops and they are at war. He is going to have to spend a lot of time going to a committee to defend himself on this issue while taking his mind off the very important issue of our troops and the war.

    I know that this morning the Deputy Prime Minister had quotes from generals stating that they do not want the minister to go now. I can understand their concerns. The fact is we know that the minister has other issues and other problems. This is another one he faces before committee. He should resign and allow someone to take over that portfolio full time while this investigation is going on.

    During my speech on the motion to adopt the recommendations of the modernization committee, I brought up some unfortunate omissions from that report. I was hoping the committee would recommend some wording clarifying ministerial responsibility. We have lots of documents written by PCO and academics but the House has never made a statement of its own. It is ironic since ministers are responsible to it.

    The U.K. passed a resolution regarding ministerial accountability, which we find on page 63 of the 22nd edition of Erskine May. It states:

--it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament....Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister--

    As the Speaker has already ruled, the minister already has given two different versions of events to the House. One of them has to be correct and one of them is incorrect.

    There are even further issues. Those involve the Prime Minister. When did he really know? On Monday the events were hypothetical, but did anybody in the PMO hear from the Minister of National Defence during that week? If they did not, I am shocked.

    I can tell the House that if I were the Prime Minister of Canada and our troops had just captured some of these terrorists and criminals, I would want to have a press conference to tell the Canadian people that our troops were successful. Yet here we are a week later and the Prime Minister is saying that it was hypothetical. I think that is terrible. It is poor management and the Minister of National Defence is in charge of that management.

    This is not the first time the Minister of National Defence has been caught stretching the truth. In early October 2001, the minister announced that the JTF2 special forces would be made available to the coalition war effort. For two months he broadly implied that Canadian Forces were already in the field without directly saying so.

    On November 22, 2001 the member for Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke questioned whether the troops were actually there.

  +-(1320)  

    On November 27 the minister finally admitted, after weeks of playing coy and letting people infer that our soldiers were on the ground, that they had not even left Canada.

    Then we had the incident in early January when the deployment of 750 soldiers from the PPCLI was announced. The minister said that we had chosen to deploy with the Americans because the Americans had asked Canada to participate. That is why we joined the U.S.-led offensive operation, not the multilateral peacekeeping operation. Then General Richard Myers said that Canada had offered our troops to the U.S. mission, contradicting the minister.

    We have also seen many contradictions in the timing of the helicopter contract with the minister still saying that they would be delivered by 2005, while Ranald Quail, the deputy minister of public works, is saying December 2006 at the earliest. Many experts are saying 2010.

    Unfortunately, the minister has shown by his past actions that he cannot be trusted and that he changes his stories. This is not the kind of minister that Canadians or our troops deserve. They deserve a minister who will tell the truth all the time on matters as important as the actions and safety of the Canadian Forces.

    We need this matter to go before the committee.

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I apologize to the hon. Leader of the Opposition, but the same rule applies to the hon. leader as applies to everyone else, which was set by the Speaker of the House: that we will stick to the motion before the House. The motion before the House, which the hon. member read again into the record, is not the resignation of the minister but the motion to go before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. I will apply it very strictly, as the Speaker so instructed me and others in the House.

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    Mr. John Reynolds: Madam Speaker, I certainly respect that. I was just getting to the point that this needs to go before committee so we can determine the real chronology of events in this case. That is why we were using the preamble to establish why it needs to go to committee. We need to establish when the minister knew and when the Prime Minister knew about the capture of al-Qaeda terrorists and their handover to the United States. That is the important issue here.

    We look forward to this going before committee. We hope it will get there quickly and that we can have all the witnesses we want. We would like to see witnesses from the PMO with full documentation as to when they knew, witnesses from the minister's department, witnesses from the deputy minister's department and witnesses from the Deputy Prime Minister's department. We look forward to this.

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): On questions and comments, the hon. member for Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia

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    Mr. John Harvard: Madam Speaker, one really has to wonder--

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    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Order. Because the hon. leader has unlimited time there are no questions and comments, unless the House would give its unanimous consent. The Chair serves the House. Is there agreement that there be questions and comments?

    Some hon. members: No.

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    Mr. John Harvard (Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I will try to make my presentation quite short. One really has to wonder the about the motivation of the opposition in the debate. I listened to the hon. Leader of the Opposition a moment ago. He said this matter should go to committee immediately. We all agree with that.

    The hon. House leader on the government side indicated well before eleven o'clock, more than two hours ago, that the government was prepared to support this matter going to committee. Yet we are talking about this motion. It should have gone to a committee two to three hours ago.

    I listened to the hon. member for Fraser Valley about an hour ago. He said that we needed to know the facts of this case. We all agree, but who is going to establish the facts of the case? It would be the committee. It is not the House in this debate. Why are we not sending the motion to the committee?

    It makes us wonder about the motivation of the members of the opposition in this debate. They are going over the same ground over and over again.

    The member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough was concerned about the reputation of parliament. We are all concerned about the reputation of parliament. Listen to what the opposition members have said for the last two to three hours: Everything they have said has brought down the reputation of parliament.

    Anybody with a sane mind would understand that this is a very straightforward motion. The Speaker has accepted that this is a matter acceptable to the House. We have indicated on both sides of the House that it should go to the committee. The committee is the proper body to deal with this matter

    I wonder whether the opposition members have faith in the committee. Does the kind of presentation they are giving mean that they have contempt for the committee? Do opposition members have faith in the committee? I suspect the committee is well equipped to deal with this matter.

    I appeal to the opposition members to give it a rest; let it go. We have listened to these spurious arguments for two to three hours. I think that viewers across Canada who have been watching the debate must be sick by now.

    We have established the parameters of the argument. Let the debate end and let the motion go to committee immediately.

  +-(1325)  

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    Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Madam Speaker, I guess it is no surprise to any of us on this side of the House that a government member would say to give it a rest, let it go, people are sick of this.

    The hon. member is really missing the point about why this debate is so important before this matter goes to committee. We understand the committee system and how it works. There are a certain number of members on a committee from the opposition side and obviously a majority from the government side. The procedure to allow this debate to take place exists so members of the House can give input and frame the kind of debate that needs to take place in the committee.

    This is not spurious thing. This is not waste of time. The viewers are not sick of this. What they are sick of is the fact that the Liberals, the government in power, are using damage control to get this off the political agenda.

    When this goes to committee, it will be vitally important that the committee not only examine the question of conflicting information provided by the minister of defence, but also examine and reveal to parliament and the public the very systems that are in place, which apparently did not work bringing us to this crisis in the first place.

    This is not about bringing down the reputation of parliament. In fact, I take great offence to that statement. This is about maintaining the reputation of parliament and ensuring the House and the committee do their work adequately.

    Would the hon. member agree that it is very important that the committee not only examine the question the statements from the minister of defence but also examine what other systems failed in this regard so that the Prime Minister was not aware of critical information?

    The Deputy Prime Minister said today that we really should not be concerned about this because nothing went wrong as an outcome. That is not the question. Maybe the government was just lucky that nothing went wrong in taking these prisoners.

    The question is this. How does the government operate in a crisis like this? If the system does not work, if the minister of defence could not do his job or was not willing to do his job, why did these other procedures not come into play that would have assured us as parliamentarians and the Canadian public that somebody was in control and knew what was going on? That is the question for the committee.

    Does the hon. member believe that this is a legitimate question to examine?

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    Mr. John Harvard: Madam Speaker, the hon. member has asked some relevant and very good questions. Those questions should be raised at committee. I have absolute faith in the committee. The questions of the hon. member cannot be answered in this forum and in this debate

    That is why we have indicated on this side of the House that the matter should go to committee. That is what I have been arguing for for the last five or ten minutes. Because the committee is well manned and has good personnel, I am sure it will decide what is relevant and what is not. I have complete faith in that committee and that is where this motion should go immediately.

  +-(1330)  

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    Mr. Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon—Humboldt, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has laid before the House conflicting statements at a time when our troops are engaged actively overseas. That is what makes this such a serious matter.

    He told the House that he had first been informed of the capture of al-Qaeda forces by our troops on a Friday, then on the following day he said that it had been much earlier in the week, in fact on the Monday. Then when asked to explain this contradiction he gave a very confusing explanation that did not make any sense. He linked it to a picture and said he did not recognize that the picture was connected to the capture of these people, but that does not change the fact that he said he was first informed on two different dates.

    Either he deliberately is throwing out a red herring to mislead the House or he is very confused. In either case, whether it is just gross incompetence and mental defect on the part of the minister or whether he is intentionally misleading the House, it brings the issue of credibility and confidence in the minister into question before the House.

    Therefore my question to the member is this. Since the issue of the competence and the credibility of the minister is very much on the minds of Canadians and the matter is being referred to a committee, surely he would support the removal of the minister from his position until the results of that committee are final, because the minister may very well be compelled to resign in disgrace when we find out the results from that committee.

    Either he should support the removal of the minister from his position or he should provide the House with an explanation that makes sense. The minister's explanation of this picture, how he did not realize it was connected, is confusing and does not make any sense and he still gave two different dates.

    Either the member should explain it in a way we can understand or he should support the minister's removal from his position while the committee investigates.

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    Mr. John Harvard: Madam Speaker, I would like to quote the hon. Deputy Prime Minister. This morning in question period he said that this was not a capital offence, that this was not a hanging offence.

    This is exactly what the hon. member who just asked the question wants: He wants to have the hanging even before there is any case heard. That is what he wants. He wants the minister to be hanged. He wants the minister out of the way even before the committee has a chance to work. If that is not putting the cart before the horse, there is something awfully wrong here.

    It is quite straightforward. We have had a motion that is being supported by both sides of the House. The House already has indicated that this matter should go to committee. It is the committee that is qualified to deal with many of the questions that the hon. members from the opposition already have raised. These questions cannot be answered in this particular forum in this particular debate.

    The opposition members are dragging it out. They are going over the same ground again and again. If the hon. members from the opposition had a chance to listen to themselves they would be embarrassed, because they are sounding very silly. They know there is no argument here. We all accept that this matter goes to committee and it should go immediately.

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    Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, obviously the debate would have ended sooner if the member had not chosen to stand and say the same things over and over again, as he accuses opposition members of doing.

    Leadership starts at the top. I want to say that I support this motion. I appreciate that you have kept us on track, Madam Speaker, because it is a very important ruling. I have been here five years and I have not seen this happen before, whereby a minister's direct actions have been questioned. I do hope the committee gets to the bottom of it.

    However, certainly in parliamentary tradition in this place, in previous times a minister simply would have stepped aside with these kinds of serious allegations being brought forward, thereby stopping this whole procedure from even needing to go forward. I am wondering if the member would agree with that.

  +-(1335)  

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    Mr. John Harvard: Madam Speaker, I did not catch the essence of the question. Would the member just take 10 seconds to repeat the essence of the question?

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    Mr. Grant McNally: Madam Speaker, I certainly clearly laid out my position. I asked him once and I will ask him again: Does he agree with what I laid out before the members in the House? It is a simple question. Does he agree with what I just laid out? Yes or no.

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    Mr. John Harvard: Madam Speaker, here is what I agree with and I have said it before. I agree that this debate should end, that the facts of the case should be ascertained by the committee, that the relevant questions from the opposition should be answered as best as possible by the committee. The only way that can happen is if the debate ends as quickly as possible so that the work of the committee can begin as quickly as possible. It is as straightforward as that.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ): Madam Speaker, we are debating a motion that stems from a ruling made by the Chair concerning the serious events that unfolded this week in the House, which led the Chair to refer the matter involving the Minister of National Defence to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    We think that it was a very good idea and a very wise ruling on the part of the Speaker to suggest that the matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. All this brings us to reflect on why we find ourselves in this situation.

    But first I would like to make a comment. I hope that the government members who sit on the committee, who have been saying that everything will be settled in committee, will be just as open-minded when the committee needs to hear from various witnesses to shed some light on this issue. Certain people will have to come and explain certain behaviours.

    People find it unusual and alarming that they have a political system in which a minister said two different things regarding the same facts, two contradictory versions, and that this is accepted by the Chair, who rules that there is no doubt, and that no one protests the fact that the minister gave two versions of the same situation. He said quite clearly that he received the information on two different dates: surely one of those dates was the wrong one. What remains to be known now is whether or not it was done deliberately.

    The minister says that he did not do so deliberately. Until there is proof to the contrary, he has the benefit of doubt. However, this raises a number of questions, and if everything the minister says is true, the simple fact that he says “I am sorry, I should have provided the Prime Minister with the information more quickly, but he knows now”, is hardly reassuring.

    We are talking about a situation where the Minister of National Defence says that he was briefed about an important situation, namely that Canadian soldiers had captured prisoners in Afghanistan, that they handed them over to the American authorities, and that it took more than one week for the Prime Minister to be informed.

    The Prime Minister made public statements on this and the Minister of National Defence did not see fit, following these public statements, to advise the Prime Minister that what he had just said was not accurate.

    This is at the very least surprising, particularly for all those who work in political spheres and who follow these things closely, because they are aware of all of the preparation that oral question period requires, in both asking and responding to questions. We hope that everyone arrives relatively well prepared, especially when an issue provokes a major debate in the media. There was a major debate in the United States; there were different versions of the status that would be granted prisoners taken in Afghanistan from those close to the U.S. president.

    This issue captured media attention around the world. Meanwhile, here we have the Minister of National Defence who says “I had very important information and I did not think it was important to advise my Prime Minister that he was making inaccurate public statements”. This boggles the mind and raises a number of questions regarding this minister's real abilities.

    One may argue, rightly so, that this is another issue. In the present case, however, things have to be clarified, all the more so because the defence minister himself gave contradictory versions of the facts. One might ask why. How can the minister have said two different things?

    I will go over some events of the last few days. Last week, there was a cabinet meeting; there was a caucus of the Liberal Party and, on Monday night, there was a take note debate in the House.

    I would imagine that when there is a take note debate on such an issue, the minister and the government prepare for it. The minister made several erroneous statements in the House during the debate.

  +-(1340)  

    On several occasions, he referred to the taking of prisoners. He used the conditional form, suggesting that it was hypothetical. Actually, he had had the information in his possession for a while, whatever the date mentioned in his statements.

    There is cause for much concern. Members of the Standing Commitee on Procedure and House Affairs will have to sort things out, but they will also have to verify the statements made by the Minister in his speech to the House on Monday evening. Here is an example.

    Speaking in the House, the defence minister said, and I quote:

Let me assure members of the House that the Canadian Forces will treat detainees in accordance with international law and always fairly and humanely. International law, as reflected in the Geneva Conventions, establishes requirements for all detainee states when transferring detainees. The Canadian Forces will meet its international legal obligations—

    The minister used the words “will meet” as if the situation could occur, while it had actually occurred. I am not even raising here the substantive issue of whether the Geneva conventions have been met or not. I had the opportunity to mention during oral question period earlier today that what has happened was actually very far removed from the requirements of the Geneva convention.

    In the United States, when there is a debate on what status is to be given to these prisoners of war, with different versions coming from various presidential advisers, the word is that the president will decide. We on the other hand have already decided: “We know what they are going to do with them”. Colin Powell did not know their status, but the defence minister did. That is passing strange.

    We should tell the U.S. reporters to come and ask their questions to our defence minister. He seems to know, and know with certainty, when no one did in the U.S. Where there was a whole public debate going on about the actual status of these prisoners of war.

    Monday's debate was very educational. I again quote the Minister of National Defence:

As happened during the second world war and the Korean war with Canadians and Americans, as part of our responsibility in turning them over and transferring them to another force, which is a common thing to do, we have to ensure—

    “We have to ensure”, as if there were a situation that might perhaps occur. This was Monday evening, during a take note debate, which had somewhat the flavour of an emergency debate on a very important issue. Anyone with the slightest respect for our institutions and for the public does not come to the House and make statements that he knows very well are not true.

    I was involved in that debate and I find it totally unacceptable that the Minister of National Defence treated this as a kind of academic situation for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan to take prisoners. He put on a great show, a wonderful performance about “Under these conditions, we will respect our commitments, we will do this or that”. It had already happened, and he knew it. He owes us some explanations.

    Why? Because he had known for a week. There had been a caucus meeting. I would remind hon. members that, when the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs met, the matter of detainees' status was the topic of discussions originally raised by the government side. I recall that. I was in my riding and following the debates on the CBC French radio network in order to know what was going on in committee. Some Liberal MPs were concerned that Canada might not respect its international commitments.

    All the government members met a week later and the government would have us believe that neither the Prime Minister, nor the Deputy Prime Minister, nor others who must be prepared to answer questions from members of parliament, were told that this was no longer theoretical but a real issue, because the situation had occurred. Perhaps they do not have enough respect for their caucus to be prepared. There is a problem here.

    The next day, we were back in parliament after the break for the holidays, after the recess in December and January. Again, on the first day of the session, after we had just got back from our ridings, they did not see fit to inform the Prime Minister and to tell him that the Minister of National Defence had some information.

    The Prime Minister said after the caucus meeting that the taking prisoners was a hypothetical issue.

  +-(1345)  

    No one in the entourage of the Minister of National Defence, among the Prime Minister's advisers, or among government and Privy Council officials, followed the issue closely enough to ring a bell and say “The Prime Minister erred on Sunday, but we should tell him the truth so that at least he is ready on Monday, in parliament”.

    There is cause for concern. Is it common practice on the other side of the House to hide information from the Prime Minister, to let him come here without knowing the facts?

    Either there is a major problem and the Prime Minister should be concerned, or else there were other people who knew things and who acted as if they did not know anything. It remains to be seen whether the committee will have all the necessary leeway and the co-operation of members opposite to also shed light on these possibilities, because the committee could look at very interesting things.

    The issue of when Privy Council received the information was raised today during oral question period. The minister said that he reported to cabinet on Tuesday. That is fine. But it must be understood that in real life having ministers informing the Prime Minister of everything, of every decision made, is not the only line of communication. There are official communications among defence authorities, the Department of National Defence and the Privy Council. It would be disturbing if this were not the case. And all these communications do not rest strictly with the minister who, incidentally, was out of the country.

    I am convinced they protected themselves; they passed on the information in various ways. Other people in the government knew. So either these people did not pass on the information, or others knew but today they are keeping quiet, and the defence minister has a lot more on his shoulders than is apparent today.

    I would like to respond to a comment made by some members on the Liberal benches. We, as parliamentarians, have every right to have our say right now before the matter is referred to the committee. In any case, if it were not relevant, it would not be allowed by the Standing Orders I suppose. This debate is allowed under our rules and it might guide and steer those among us who will sit on this committee which will have an important role.

    Hopefully this will not end with an order to government members to deliver the goods in order to put an end to the whole matter. This is a real concern, but let us take a chance and see whether the committee will be able to do the job, especially once we see the list of people who will come and testify before it.

    In this whole sorry mess, one wonders too what are the real reasons, what might be the rationale for hiding this information from us or relaying it in an erroneous way. Because that is exactly what happened.

    I go back to the Geneva convention which sets the rules regarding prisoners of war. I quote article 12 of the convention which says that “prisoners of war may only be transferred by the detaining power”—Canada in this case—“to a power which is a party to the Convention”—the United States—“and after the detaining power”—therefore Canada—“has satisfied itself”—it becomes a bit technical—“of the willingness and ability of such transferee power”—the United States— “to apply the Convention”.

    That means that when Canada takes prisoners of war, it can hand them to the United States only if it has guarantees that the Americans will respect the Geneva convention. But we are being told here: “We trust them. The Americans will respect the Geneva convention”. We are more or less giving them a blank cheque. While this was going on, there was a controversy in the United States about the status of these prisoners. Ultimately, the decision was left to the president. But that decision was made just last Sunday.

    The prisoners had been handed over to the United States a week earlier. Therefore, it was impossible to have any guarantee about their status. The Americans had not made a decision on the matter. I need an explanation of this. It has everything to do with the sequence of events that unfolded after that.

  +-(1350)  

    But it is rather embarrassing for Canada now to admit that it transferred prisoners without knowing how they would be treated.

    I do not mean to stand up for people who may have committed crimes but in our society and in our system, people have the right to a fair trial. That is why we have due process. That should be respected. Otherwise, why bother signing conventions?

    On that point, I understand the government. They are a bit nervous about this because they are concerned about Canada's reputation. In this situation, it seems that the government put our elite troops under the Americans without thinking too much about it and just told the Americans: “Good luck, and use them as you see fit”. If that is the case, we should know it. Will it be the same for our soldiers who just left? Will they follow American orders and will they be accountable to the Americans only?

    It may not be very popular with Liberals who want to brag about our independence from the United States to admit that we do not have much of a word to say, but if that is the case, we have the right to know the truth.

    There are many things and what is going on is no trivial matter. Ultimately, this is about knowing the framework in which Canadian soldiers have been sent, in the context of a mission as important as this.

    I am thinking of the families, for instance, who know people in the Canadian armed forces and who must be worried that we are not too clear on whether they are reporting to the Canadian or the American authorities, although as things now stand, they would perhaps feel better knowing that the authorities around here are not calling the shots. But this raises a number of questions.

    Naturally, I hope that the committee will be able to shed some light on this. The fact remains that, right now, the reputation, the credibility, of the minister is very badly tarnished. This is why some have argued that during this period the reins should perhaps be handed over to someone else.

    I will give an example. The Minister of National Defence said “I was out of the country. I was informed that soldiers had been captured” as though it were almost a trivial matter. On his return, he said “When I saw the photo, it made me think that there might be a connection with what I was told a few days earlier”.

    If that is the case, I must repeat that I am very worried. He knows that soldiers captured prisoners, he saw the photo in the newspaper and he said that there was maybe a connection. They were recognizable by their uniform. It will be recalled that the uniform they wear in other countries is a distinctive feature of Canadian troops. Furthermore, it was because of this that they were recognizable in the photo.

    Would the Minister of National Defence, or all the people in his entourage—because I imagine they must read the newspapers at National Defence as well—not have thought of saying “We really should advise the Prime Minister of the situation. It is in the newspapers. We know that there were prisoners. There is a major international controversy taking place over this, but I am not going to advise the Prime Minister”. What more was needed for the Minister of National Defence to wake up at this point and say “There is a problem”?

    Either he did not act as he says he did, and something else happened—once again we do not know—or there was a serious lack of judgment. Either way, there is cause for concern. There was either lack of judgment on the part of the minister or a lack of respect for the House where, I repeat, a special debate was held on that issue Monday evening. It was a real masquerade, because the Minister of National Defence made several statements based on the fact that he had information, but he was saying the opposite of what had really happened.

    Therefore, there is a serious credibility issue, and one of trust, both from the public and the House, not to mention that our privileges as parliamentarians have been violated. I hope the committee will clear the air, on the basis that mistakes were made by the minister. It does not suffice to say “Yes, I made a mistake”. There are implications and consequences, and I hope the committee will show some authority and make sure our privileges and our rights are respected in the future.

  +-(1355)  

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères--Les-Patriotes, BQ): Madam Speaker, first, I thank the member for Témiscamingue for his eloquent speech on the motion. I would like to thank him also for the explanations he gave us during question period on the provisions of the Geneva convention.

    There is much talk about it since last Sunday, but it would have been very instructive today if every one of us were to know exactly what is in the Geneva convention concerning the problems we are now facing.

    I also found quite amusing and interesting the way the debate has developed since the tragic events of September 11. It seems to me that on both sides of the House people are suddenly discovering the virtues of sovereignty and want to preserve Canada's sovereignty at all costs.

    I will simply make a comment, and come back to the heart of the matter later: they are the same people who want to deprive others of the same great virtues of sovereignty.

    This being said, I believe my colleague clearly showed in his speech that there is an obvious contradiction in the minister's declarations, and that this justifies the decision rendered by the Speaker this morning. According to this decision, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs will examine thoroughly this issue in order to give us a true account of what really happened and to dispel all doubts.

    Of course, this concerns the declarations made by the minister in the House. But if we had to further justify the minister's appearance before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, I believe we could have found quite a whole series of reasons.

    I know the Chair will ask me to stick to the heart of the matter, but may she allow me to say briefly that, besides the fact that the minister has, through conflicting statements, I would say, betrayed the confidence of this House—or potentially betrayed the confidence of this House, since the committee has not yet ruled on the matter—there is a problem with the confidence that the House can have in the minister and, more importantly, a problem with the confidence Canadians and Quebecers can have in this minister.

    More important yet in the circumstances, there is the confidence that the Canadian Forces, men and women who are now serving Canada in Afghanistan and the gulf, can have in this minister. And perhaps even more important is the confidence that allies, with whom we are working, can have in this minister.

    Perhaps by the end of the day I will have the opportunity to elaborate on this, but I could still make another series of arguments. I hope that I will be able to do so by the end of the day. This other series of arguments effectively allows us to be seriously concerned about what has happened. This greatly justifies the meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    I would like my colleague from Témiscamingue to address the other aspects that certainly justify, as I said, our concerns about what has happened.

  +-(1400)  

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien: Madam Speaker, my colleague from Verchères—Les-Patriotes gave a very good illustration of the most crucial issue.

    I believe that the main issues at stake here, beyond any other considerations, are trust and credibility. Indeed, in the sequence of events, one might wonder, for example, about the communications between the various government authorities, including between the Department of National Defence and the Privy Council. I think this is one of the things that will have to be reviewed.

    The Prime Minister stated categorically that he was informed only on Tuesday morning of something that had been going on for more than a week. I find it very troubling that no one in his political or government entourage informed him or had access to this information. That is the second point.

    There are several elements, but there is the minister, his statements, his contradictions and the motivations behind all that. There is the Prime Minister and the fact that he was not informed. There is also the types of communications. We will come back to the substance of the matter later on, but in the meantime the credibility of a minister and the confidence of parliament and of the people in that minister is an important issue.

    Third, we must know whether or not Canada is honouring its international commitments and what happened exactly with regard to the prisoners taken in Afghanistan.

    These questions remain unanswered. The fact that we are trying to shed some light on the false statements made by a minister, whatever the motivations were, does not mean that we will forget everything else. I am sure that some people are concerned. We saw today that the Deputy Prime Minister was not very comfortable talking about the Privy Council's involvement in this whole matter. It is something that must be cleared up.

    I am convinced that we will have questions to ask through the members of this committee, which will have to report to the House, and I hope the House will have another opportunity to speak to this matter. A group of us will study the matter more closely, but I am sure that it is a matter of concern for all members of the House.

    The main thing is that we are in a situation of wondering how we will be able to do our job if anybody can come to the House at any time and tell us any old thing, rather than the truth.

    We know very well, as I have demonstrated just now with several quotes from the words of the minister in this House Monday night, that he was making use of the conditional tense and making the capture of prisoners in Afghanistan seem to be a hypothetical situation, while knowing that it had happened, while in possession of that information. I have trouble accepting that.

    How can we have confidence on some sort of sliding scale? Sometimes we will be able to trust him, and sometimes not. Is this common practice, for a minister to come to the House and not tell the truth? If this is not general practice, there will have to be some consequences.

    I can understand that the Chair has given some benefit of the doubt. Parliamentary privileges are at stake, and a situation like this lays our ability to work properly for our constituents open to question. I hope some light will be cast on this, but the government must not think that it is not going to be required to account for other issues in this connection just because the matter has been referred to a committee.

    If they think this is a way to avoid the whole thing, they are mistaken. There are many unanswered questions still, not only about the minister's attitude, but also about the attitude of the government.

  +-(1405)  

+-

    Mr. André Harvey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Lib.): Madam Speaker, in our individual lives and as a group, we should not turn debates that are sometimes quite technical into an obsession. In the last few days, we had the impression that we should apologize for taking part in the arrest of terrorists who killed thousands of people, that we should apologize for taking part in an international war against people who killed thousands of victims.

    I know very well what this is all about. I know the reference to committee procedure. This issue should indeed be referred to committee quickly. But I have the feeling that the opposition is greatly misusing this situation. There is a war going on. We are a partner in this war against international terrorism, against people who have a base in dozens of countries throughout the world and kill thousands of people each month.

    Ask the victims, the parents and the children who lost loved ones in terrorist attacks. They will have no mercy for the terrorists who have been taken by the allied forces and are imprisoned in southern Cuba.This is not Siberia—

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I am sorry to interrupt the hon. parliamentary secretary, but the time for questions and comments has expired.

    The hon. government House leader.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Youth Criminal Justice Act

+-Bill C-7--Notice of Time Allocation

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Madam Speaker, I wish to advise the House that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or Standing Order 78(2) with respect to the stage of consideration of Senate amendments to Bill C-7, an act in respect of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other acts.

    Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3) I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose, at the next sitting of the House, a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.

*   *   *

[Translation]

-Privilege

-Reference to Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.

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    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères--Les-Patriotes, BQ): Madam Speaker, first, I want to reply to the hon. member for Chicoutimi--Le Fjord, because the hon. member for Témiscamingue could not do so, and tell him that he is out to lunch.

    What is going on today has nothing to do with questioning Canada's participation in the current mission to Afghanistan. Of course, a few weeks ago, before the so-called take note debate, we might have wondered whether or not to send troops, when everything had already been decided. We could have considered how appropriate it was for Canada to take part in such a mission.

    But the fact is that the government decided to take part in that mission. Consequently, we must stand by the troops deployed, these men and women from Canada and Quebec. There is no doubt that we must support Canada's action over there.

    That being said, the problem is that when the hon. member for Chicoutimi--Le Fjord says from the outset that those who are arrested are criminals, assassins and terrorists, he is behaving exactly like those people in the United States who wanted to act without complying with the Geneva convention.

    Those involved deserve that we at least determine whether or not they took part in reprehensible actions or operations against the international force, before finding them guilty.

    The hon. member for Chicoutimi--Le Fjord probably made comments that far exceeded his thoughts—this is perhaps something that happens very frequently—in fact, I am convinced that what he said a few moments ago goes beyond what he thinks.

    I want to go back to what I said earlier, in my comments to the hon. member for Témiscamingue. There is a fundamental principle in the British parliamentary system concerning the confidence of the House.

    Given the contradictory statement or statements by the minister, that confidence is, to say the least, shaken. We must dig deeper to find out if the minister deliberately made statements that may have misled the House and is therefore in contempt of the House.

    If there are doubts about the confidence that the House may have in the minister, there most certainly are doubts as well in the population about his capacity to perform his duties. If there are doubts in the population, as I just said, there are some in the Canadian Forces, and this is very dramatic.

    If there are doubts in the Canadian Forces, there must certainly be in allied headquarters, are, seeing our troops joining theirs, very concerned about this turn of events. Consequently, I believe that the strategic or rather tactical position of Canada in this mission in Afghanistan is in question.

    This is why we certainly must support—and I know that I am straying from the subject matter of the motion as such but I will come back to it, the comments made this morning asking that at the very least during the study of the issue in committee the minister temporarily withdraw, so that we may have all the necessary credibility on the international scene.

    There obviously are contradictions in the statements made by the minister, as the Speaker of the House has acknowledged in his ruling, although he could not presume from the outset, and I believe this is legitimate, that the minister acted intentionally.

    When the minister says to the House that he was not aware and that he learned about the fact when he saw the photo, and we learn later that he actually was informed earlier, that is, about 24 hours after the events have taken place, which would be around January 21, I believe that this is a cause for concern and a source of confusion.

  +-(1410)  

    In a context such as this where we are in a crisis situation, where our soldiers are at the front, where our soldiers are risking their lives daily, how can we, in all this confusion, be sure that Canada is able to do the job properly on the ground when the minister is not even able to do his political job properly here in Ottawa?

    It is cause for concern that a minister would keep to himself, intentionally or not, information as important as this and not pass it along to the Prime Minister. Obviously, he did not pass along this information until the morning of Tuesday, January 29, but the Prime Minister had to field questions on this on Sunday.

    It will be recalled, as the member for Témiscamingue mentioned earlier, that Liberal party members were the first bring up the issue of the Geneva conventions. It is astonishing that the minister did not take the trouble to reassure his colleagues at the Sunday caucus meeting that the Geneva conventions were being respected, that he preferred to keep this information to himself until the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

    Let us say that the minister, without due consideration, did not see fit to pass this information along to caucus. The Prime Minister still found himself with microphones in his face and journalists asking him what he was going to do if Canadian soldiers captured alleged terrorists and took them prisoner. “Hypothetical question,” he answered. “We will cross that bridge when we come to it”. And he added: “In any event, should the situation ever arise, we are going to respect the Geneva conventions”.

    On Mondays, there is an oral question period. As the member for Témiscamingue pointed out, this was the first time since we adjourned for the Christmas break that we had been back in the House to debate all sorts of general matters, but this one in particular. Oral question period began. Normally, after the scrum in which the Prime Minister took part the day before, one would think the Minister of National Defence would pass on any information that he has--and we now know that he had some--to the Prime Minister, so that he will be able to answer the questions which he will inevitably be asked by members of this House.

    But it appears that again on Monday the Minister of National Defence, perhaps again without due consideration, did not see fit to inform the Prime Minister. Finally, on Tuesday, the Minister of National Defence made up his mind to put the Prime Minister in the picture.

    So the veracity of the facts mentioned by the defence minister certainly raises questions. The ability, or at least the judgment, of the defence minister raises questions, but this is not the topic of the current debate; I will not disagree with that.

    This being said, there are certainly other questions which are still nebulous. For example, we were told here in the House no later than a few minutes ago that Canada will respect and has respected and done what it had to do in this matter. Canada did what it had to do.

    If they say, as they did again today in this House, that Canada did what it had to do when it transferred prisoners to the Americans, this means that contrary to what the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence told us, Canada in fact has violated the Geneva convention.

    If I may, I will read article 12 of the third convention, where it is said, and I quote:

Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is party to Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention.

  +-(1415)  

    My colleagues opposite can rave and rant all they want; the fact remains that what I am talking about right now goes to the heart of the issue we are currently debating.

    The ravings and rantings of my colleagues opposite remind me in a strange way of what Sir John A. Macdonald said referring to the dogs in Quebec as Louis Riel was about to be hanged.

    This being said, surely there is more information that—

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes. The hon. member for Nepean—Carleton, on a point of order.

[English]

+-

    Mr. David Pratt: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is clear the member of the Bloc is straying so far from the issues under consideration by the House today that he must be advised by the Chair that what he is saying is not relevant to the motion before the House.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I thank the hon. member for enlightening the Chair but I have tried to enlighten all members.

[Translation]

    For the members' information, I would like to quote the following

    Members are subject to the rules of relevance and repetition and the Speaker must ensure that the debate is focussed on the terms of the motion.

    The hon. member for Verchères—Les-Patriotes.

  +-(1420)  

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron: Madam Speaker, I hope my colleague from the other side thinks he made a useful contribution to the discussion. However, you will agree that he did not add one single valid point to the debate.

    Instead of shouting, getting all excited and changing place constantly, if he had listened to what I was saying, the member would know that my point is totally relevant to the issue at hand. So I would ask him to listen up, stay put, listen to the simultaneous interpretation and hear what I have to say.

    I was saying that our colleagues from the Canadian Alliance were very generous in the motion they submitted to the House, because they referred to certain contradictory statements. What I am saying now is that there are other contradictions besides those mentioned by our Canadian Alliance colleagues in the motion or the question of privilege that led to the motion we are now discussing.

    These were a few of the contradictions that I was in the middle of describing when our colleague got his knickers in a twist for no reason. Among these latest contradictions, which were not included in the question of privilege, but which most certainly could have been included, and I commend the kindness of our friends from the Canadian Alliance for wanting to protect or at least spare the government and the Minister of National Defence from too much worry, but among these contradictions, there is certainly the fact that we were told that the Geneva agreements and the Geneva convention would be respected.

    We were even told in the House again today that the government, that Canada, had done what it had to do, when clearly we did not respect the Geneva conventions.

    This is most certainly cause for concern, for how can we be a credible player on the international stage during a conflict of this type, when we are crying from the hilltops that we will respect the Geneva conventions, when quite clearly we have not?

    There are of course a number of contradictions with respect to dates, facts, chronology, and obviously this brings us to the motion at hand which will soon lead to the calling of a meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which will have the official mandate, by order of the House, to get to the bottom of this issue.

    First, I would like to commend the government members for their decision to support the motion. I think that this is a demonstration of openness and of their responsibility. I hope that this is not simply a diversionary tactic they are using to smother the affair in some obscure committee that is never televised.

    In closing, I hope that the government members will make a conscientious effort and will truly try to get to the bottom of things, that they will allow us to call witnesses who will truly allow us to get some answers, and that this is not another pathetic attempt or operation, as has often been the case in the past, to cover up this affair as quickly and as cleverly as possible.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, I have a question that is germane to the process that will be undertaken in reviewing the entire affair.

    Does the hon. member feel it would be appropriate, given the direct involvement of a minister of the crown and the Prime Minister, that the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary, the chief government whip and all parliamentary secretaries who are part of the procedure and House affairs committee remove themselves from any proceedings that pertain to the matter? Given their innate bias and their connection to the Prime Minister and the cabinet, does the hon. member think it appropriate that they sit in judgment of the affair?

  +-(1425)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron: Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough for his well-chosen question.

    I must admit that it did not strike me as pertinent to ask such a thing, since I felt, naively perhaps, that our colleagues on the government side would do what has to be done under the circumstances, that is to show judgment, impartiality, objectivity, conscientiousness. That is perhaps asking too much of them.

    In fact, in the public interest and with a concern for transparency, a concern for justice, a concern for respect, or quite simply just to avoid even the slightest suspicion that there could have been any manipulation, or misdirection of the investigation, I think that the government would indeed be wise, without waiting to be asked, to comply with the wise suggestion from the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough. It would be showing its true desire to get to the bottom of things, rather than trying to make use of the procedure and House affairs committee merely to stifle the problem.

[English]

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    Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.): Madam Speaker, it is an indication of how badly off track the debate has gone that we hear the hon. member across the way talk about the Geneva convention. I could not help but hear his comment that Canada was not respecting the Geneva convention.

    Is the hon. member accusing the government of committing war crimes in Afghanistan? If so, what particular--

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): Order, please. Because one of the hon. members was not speaking to the motion I will not allow a question that is also not on the motion.

    The hon. member for Dewdney--Alouette on the motion before the House.

+-

    Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, PC/DR): Madam Speaker, before I put my question I remind colleagues of the statement made by the Speaker today which, as we get close to the end of debate today, should refocus our attention on what the debate has been about. As you have instructed us, Madam Speaker, it has been about the motion before us.

    The Speaker clearly said “There appears to me to be no dispute as to the facts. I believe that both the minister and other hon. members recognize that two versions of events have been presented to the House”. That is what we have been talking about today. It is what the entire motion is framed around.

    The hon. member for Portage--Lisgar then moved the motion:

    That the charge against the minister of defence, for making misleading statements in the House, be referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

    My hon. colleague used to be a member of the committee as did I. We understand the importance of matters that are brought forward to it. We understand the importance of allowing all hon. members, in the context of the debate before us today and without straying from the facts, to put their comments on record about procedure, process and the relevance of entertaining this type of debate. It is entirely necessary to debate and put our comments to the committee so it may as part of its deliberations be able to reflect on what we have said in the House.

    I have heard today from government members that this is some kind of sidetrack issue--

  -(1430)  

-

    The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos): I must inform the House that this item will be taken up at 11 a.m. on Monday when the House resumes.

    Private members' business will not be taken up on Monday.

    It being 2.30, the House stands adjourned until Monday next at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

    (The House adjourned at 2.30 p.m.)

APPENDIX

Alphabetical List of Members with their
Constituencies, Province of Constituency
and Political Affiliations;
Committees of the House,
the Ministry and Parliamentary Secretary


Chair Occupants

 

Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Bob Kilger

 

Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Réginald Bélair

 

Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole House

Ms. Eleni Bakopanos

 


Board Of Internal Economy

Hon. Peter Milliken

Hon. Andy Mitchell

Mr. Bill Blaikie

Ms. Marlene Catterall

Mr. Bob Kilger

Mr. Peter MacKay

Mr. Jacques Saada

Mr. Pierre Brien

Hon. Ralph Goodale

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz

Mr. Randy White


Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons

First Session--Thirty Seventh Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Province of Constituency Political Affiliation
Abbott, Jim Kootenay--Columbia British Columbia CA
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary--Nose Hill Alberta CA
Adams, Peter Peterborough Ontario Lib.
Alcock, Reg Winnipeg South Manitoba Lib.
Allard, Carole-Marie Laval East Quebec Lib.
Anders, Rob Calgary West Alberta CA
Anderson, David Cypress Hills--Grasslands Saskatchewan CA
Anderson, Hon. David, Minister of the Environment Victoria British Columbia Lib.
Assad, Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Gatineau Quebec Lib.
Assadourian, Sarkis Brampton Centre Ontario Lib.
Asselin, Gérard Charlevoix Quebec BQ
Augustine, Jean Etobicoke--Lakeshore Ontario Lib.
Bachand, André Richmond--Arthabaska Quebec PC/DR
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean Quebec BQ
Bagnell, Larry Yukon Yukon Lib.
Bailey, Roy Souris--Moose Mountain Saskatchewan CA
Baker, Hon. George Gander--Grand Falls Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Bakopanos, Eleni Ahuntsic Quebec Lib.
Barnes, Sue London West Ontario Lib.
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West--Mississauga Ontario Lib.
Bélair, Réginald Timmins--James Bay Ontario Lib.
Bélanger, Mauril Ottawa--Vanier Ontario Lib.
Bellehumeur, Michel Berthier--Montcalm Quebec BQ
Bellemare, Eugène Ottawa--Orléans Ontario Lib.
Bennett, Carolyn St. Paul's Ontario Lib.
Benoit, Leon Lakeland Alberta CA
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères--Les-Patriotes Quebec BQ
Bertrand, Robert Pontiac--Gatineau--Labelle Quebec Lib.
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio, Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development) Vaughan--King--Aurora Ontario Lib.
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont--Petite-Patrie Quebec BQ
Binet, Gérard Frontenac--Mégantic Quebec Lib.
Blaikie, Bill Winnipeg--Transcona Manitoba NDP
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Secretary of State (Children and Youth) Western Arctic Northwest Territories Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Ontario Lib.
Bonwick, Paul Simcoe--Grey Ontario Lib.
Borotsik, Rick Brandon--Souris Manitoba PC/DR
Boudria, Hon. Don, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Glengarry--Prescott--Russell Ontario Lib.
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne--Blainville Quebec BQ
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of Labour and Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) Moncton--Riverview--Dieppe New Brunswick Lib.
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton--Melville Saskatchewan CA
Brien, Pierre Témiscamingue Quebec BQ
Brison, Scott Kings--Hants Nova Scotia PC/DR
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Ontario Lib.
Bryden, John Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot Ontario Lib.
Bulte, Sarmite, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Parkdale--High Park Ontario Lib.
Burton, Andy Skeena British Columbia CA
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Caccia, Hon. Charles Davenport Ontario Lib.
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North British Columbia CA
Calder, Murray Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey Ontario Lib.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Ontario Lib.
Caplan, Hon. Elinor, Minister of National Revenue Thornhill Ontario Lib.
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke Quebec BQ
Carignan, Jean-Guy Québec East Quebec Ind.
Carroll, Aileen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Barrie--Simcoe--Bradford Ontario Lib.
Casey, Bill Cumberland--Colchester Nova Scotia PC/DR
Casson, Rick Lethbridge Alberta CA
Castonguay, Jeannot, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health Madawaska--Restigouche New Brunswick Lib.
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West--Nepean Ontario Lib.
Cauchon, Hon. Martin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Outremont Quebec Lib.
Chamberlain, Brenda Guelph--Wellington Ontario Lib.
Charbonneau, Yvon Anjou--Rivière-des-Prairies Quebec Lib.
Chatters, David Athabasca Alberta CA
Chrétien, Right Hon. Jean, Prime Minister of Canada Saint-Maurice Quebec Lib.
Clark, Right Hon. Joe Calgary Centre Alberta PC/DR
Coderre, Hon. Denis, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Bourassa Quebec Lib.
Collenette, Hon. David, Minister of Transport Don Valley East Ontario Lib.
Comartin, Joe Windsor--St. Clair Ontario NDP
Comuzzi, Joe Thunder Bay--Superior North Ontario Lib.
Copps, Hon. Sheila, Minister of Canadian Heritage Hamilton East Ontario Lib.
Cotler, Irwin Mount Royal Quebec Lib.
Crête, Paul Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques Quebec BQ
Cullen, Roy Etobicoke North Ontario Lib.
Cummins, John Delta--South Richmond British Columbia CA
Cuzner, Rodger Bras d'Or--Cape Breton Nova Scotia Lib.
Dalphond-Guiral, Madeleine Laval Centre Quebec BQ
Davies, Libby Vancouver East British Columbia NDP
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill Manitoba NDP
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière--L'Érable Quebec BQ
DeVillers, Hon. Paul, Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Simcoe North Ontario Lib.
Dhaliwal, Hon. Herb, Minister of Natural Resources Vancouver South--Burnaby British Columbia Lib.
Dion, Hon. Stéphane, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Saint-Laurent--Cartierville Quebec Lib.
Discepola, Nick Vaudreuil--Soulanges Quebec Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East Newfoundland and Labrador PC/DR
Dromisky, Stan Thunder Bay--Atikokan Ontario Lib.
Drouin, Hon. Claude, Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) Beauce Quebec Lib.
Dubé, Antoine Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Quebec BQ
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier--Sainte-Marie Quebec BQ
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North British Columbia CA
Duplain, Claude Portneuf Quebec Lib.
Easter, Wayne Malpeque Prince Edward Island Lib.
Eggleton, Hon. Art, Minister of National Defence York Centre Ontario Lib.
Elley, Reed Nanaimo--Cowichan British Columbia CA
Epp, Ken Elk Island Alberta CA
Eyking, Mark Sydney--Victoria Nova Scotia Lib.
Farrah, Georges, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bonaventure--Gaspé--Îles-de-la-Madeleine--Pabok Quebec Lib.
Finlay, John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Oxford Ontario Lib.
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert Saskatchewan CA
Folco, Raymonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development Laval West Quebec Lib.
Fontana, Joe London North Centre Ontario Lib.
Forseth, Paul New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby British Columbia CA
Fournier, Ghislain Manicouagan Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Christiane Québec Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Champlain Quebec BQ
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke Ontario CA
Gallaway, Roger Sarnia--Lambton Ontario Lib.
Gauthier, Michel Roberval Quebec BQ
Girard-Bujold, Jocelyne Jonquière Quebec BQ
Godfrey, John Don Valley West Ontario Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie--Bathurst New Brunswick NDP
Goldring, Peter Edmonton Centre-East Alberta CA
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Wascana Saskatchewan Lib.
Gouk, Jim Kootenay--Boundary--Okanagan British Columbia CA
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toronto Centre--Rosedale Ontario Lib.
Grewal, Gurmant Surrey Central British Columbia CA
Grey, Deborah Edmonton North Alberta PC/DR
Grose, Ivan Oshawa Ontario Lib.
Guarnieri, Albina Mississauga East Ontario Lib.
Guay, Monique Laurentides Quebec BQ
Guimond, Michel Beauport--Montmorency--Côte-de-Beaupré--Île-d'Orléans Quebec BQ
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast Alberta CA
Harb, Mac Ottawa Centre Ontario Lib.
Harris, Richard Prince George--Bulkley Valley British Columbia CA
Harvard, John Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia Manitoba Lib.
Harvey, André, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Chicoutimi--Le Fjord Quebec Lib.
Hearn, Loyola St. John's West Newfoundland and Labrador PC/DR
Herron, John Fundy--Royal New Brunswick PC/DR
Hill, Grant Macleod Alberta CA
Hill, Jay Prince George--Peace River British Columbia PC/DR
Hilstrom, Howard Selkirk--Interlake Manitoba CA
Hinton, Betty Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys British Columbia CA
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi New Brunswick Lib.
Ianno, Tony Trinity--Spadina Ontario Lib.
Jackson, Ovid Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound Ontario Lib.
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton--Strathcona Alberta CA
Jennings, Marlene, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine Quebec Lib.
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin Alberta CA
Jordan, Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Leeds--Grenville Ontario Lib.
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Nunavut Lib.
Karygiannis, Jim Scarborough--Agincourt Ontario Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore Nova Scotia PC/DR
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast Alberta CA
Keyes, Stan Hamilton West Ontario Lib.
Kilger, Bob Stormont--Dundas--Charlottenburgh Ontario Lib.
Kilgour, Hon. David, Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) Edmonton Southeast Alberta Lib.
Knutson, Hon. Gar, Secretary of State (Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East) Elgin--Middlesex--London Ontario Lib.
Kraft Sloan, Karen York North Ontario Lib.
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel Quebec BQ
Laliberte, Rick Churchill River Saskatchewan Lib.
Lalonde, Francine Mercier Quebec BQ
Lanctôt, Robert Châteauguay Quebec BQ
Lastewka, Walt St. Catharines Ontario Lib.
Lavigne, Raymond Verdun--Saint-Henri--Saint-Paul--Pointe Saint-Charles Quebec Lib.
Lebel, Ghislain Chambly Quebec BQ
LeBlanc, Dominic Beauséjour--Petitcodiac New Brunswick Lib.
Lee, Derek Scarborough--Rouge River Ontario Lib.
Leung, Sophia, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue Vancouver Kingsway British Columbia Lib.
Lill, Wendy Dartmouth Nova Scotia NDP
Lincoln, Clifford Lac-Saint-Louis Quebec Lib.
Longfield, Judi Whitby--Ajax Ontario Lib.
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot Quebec BQ
Lunn, Gary Saanich--Gulf Islands British Columbia CA
Lunney, James Nanaimo--Alberni British Columbia CA
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence, Solicitor General of Canada Cardigan Prince Edward Island Lib.
MacKay, Peter Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough Nova Scotia PC/DR
Macklin, Paul Harold Northumberland Ontario Lib.
Mahoney, Steve Mississauga West Ontario Lib.
Malhi, Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Bramalea--Gore--Malton--Springdale Ontario Lib.
Maloney, John Erie--Lincoln Ontario Lib.
Manley, Hon. John, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations Ottawa South Ontario Lib.
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg--Jacques-Cartier Quebec BQ
Marcil, Serge Beauharnois--Salaberry Quebec Lib.
Mark, Inky Dauphin--Swan River Manitoba PC/DR
Marleau, Hon. Diane Sudbury Ontario Lib.
Martin, Keith Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca British Columbia CA
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre Manitoba NDP
Martin, Hon. Paul, Minister of Finance LaSalle--Émard Quebec Lib.
Matthews, Bill, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Burin--St. George's Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Mayfield, Philip Cariboo--Chilcotin British Columbia CA
McCallum, Hon. John, Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions) Markham Ontario Lib.
McCormick, Larry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Hastings--Frontenac--Lennox and Addington Ontario Lib.
McDonough, Alexa Halifax Nova Scotia NDP
McGuire, Joe Egmont Prince Edward Island Lib.
McKay, John Scarborough East Ontario Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Minister of Health Edmonton West Alberta Lib.
McNally, Grant Dewdney--Alouette British Columbia PC/DR
McTeague, Dan Pickering--Ajax--Uxbridge Ontario Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga--Maisonneuve Quebec BQ
Meredith, Val South Surrey--White Rock--Langley British Columbia PC/DR
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead Alberta CA
Milliken, Hon. Peter Kingston and the Islands Ontario Lib.
Mills, Bob Red Deer Alberta CA
Mills, Dennis Toronto--Danforth Ontario Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Parry Sound--Muskoka Ontario Lib.
Moore, James Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam British Columbia CA
Murphy, Shawn Hillsborough Prince Edward Island Lib.
Myers, Lynn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada Waterloo--Wellington Ontario Lib.
Nault, Hon. Robert, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Kenora--Rainy River Ontario Lib.
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba Lib.
Nystrom, Hon. Lorne Regina--Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan NDP
O'Brien, Lawrence Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
O'Brien, Pat, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade London--Fanshawe Ontario Lib.
O'Reilly, John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Haliburton--Victoria--Brock Ontario Lib.
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East Alberta CA
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development) Vancouver Quadra British Columbia Lib.
Pagtakhan, Hon. Rey, Minister of Veterans Affairs Winnipeg North--St. Paul Manitoba Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage--Lisgar Manitoba CA
Pankiw, Jim Saskatoon--Humboldt Saskatchewan PC/DR
Paquette, Pierre Joliette Quebec BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis, Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie) Brome--Missisquoi Quebec Lib.
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga Centre Ontario Lib.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds--Dollard Quebec Lib.
Penson, Charlie Peace River Alberta CA
Peric, Janko Cambridge Ontario Lib.
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles Quebec BQ
Peschisolido, Joe Richmond British Columbia Lib.
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister for International Trade Papineau--Saint-Denis Quebec Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Ontario Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond Quebec BQ
Pickard, Jerry Chatham--Kent Essex Ontario Lib.
Pillitteri, Gary Niagara Falls Ontario Lib.
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu--Nicolet--Bécancour Quebec BQ
Pratt, David Nepean--Carleton Ontario Lib.
Price, David Compton--Stanstead Quebec Lib.
Proctor, Dick Palliser Saskatchewan NDP
Proulx, Marcel Hull--Aylmer Quebec Lib.
Provenzano, Carmen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Lib.
Rajotte, James Edmonton Southwest Alberta CA
Redman, Karen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Kitchener Centre Ontario Lib.
Reed, Julian Halton Ontario Lib.
Regan, Geoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Halifax West Nova Scotia Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark--Carleton Ontario CA
Reynolds, John West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast British Columbia CA
Richardson, John Perth--Middlesex Ontario Lib.
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords--Lloydminster Saskatchewan CA
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, President of the Treasury Board Westmount--Ville-Marie Quebec Lib.
Robinson, Svend Burnaby--Douglas British Columbia NDP
Rocheleau, Yves Trois-Rivières Quebec BQ
Rock, Hon. Allan, Minister of Industry Etobicoke Centre Ontario Lib.
Roy, Jean-Yves Matapédia--Matane Quebec BQ
Saada, Jacques Brossard--La Prairie Quebec Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny Quebec BQ
Savoy, Andy Tobique--Mactaquac New Brunswick Lib.
Scherrer, Hélène Louis-Hébert Quebec Lib.
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna British Columbia CA
Scott, Hon. Andy Fredericton New Brunswick Lib.
Serré, Benoît, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Timiskaming--Cochrane Ontario Lib.
Sgro, Judy York West Ontario Lib.
Shepherd, Alex, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board Durham Ontario Lib.
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar Saskatchewan CA
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat Alberta CA
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot Alberta CA
Speller, Bob Haldimand--Norfolk--Brant Ontario Lib.
Spencer, Larry Regina--Lumsden--Lake Centre Saskatchewan CA
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil Quebec BQ
St-Jacques, Diane Shefford Quebec Lib.
St-Julien, Guy Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik Quebec Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma--Manitoulin Ontario Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron--Bruce Ontario Lib.
Stewart, Hon. Jane, Minister of Human Resources Development Brant Ontario Lib.
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan--Shuswap British Columbia CA
Stoffer, Peter Sackville--Musquodoboit Valley--Eastern Shore Nova Scotia NDP
Strahl, Chuck Fraser Valley British Columbia PC/DR
Szabo, Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Mississauga South Ontario Lib.
Telegdi, Andrew Kitchener--Waterloo Ontario Lib.
Thibault, Hon. Robert, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans West Nova Nova Scotia Lib.
Thibeault, Yolande Saint-Lambert Quebec Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick PC/DR
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose Alberta CA
Tirabassi, Tony Niagara Centre Ontario Lib.
Toews, Vic Provencher Manitoba CA
Tonks, Alan York South--Weston Ontario Lib.
Torsney, Paddy Burlington Ontario Lib.
Tremblay, Stéphan Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay Quebec BQ
Tremblay, Suzanne Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis Quebec BQ
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton--Kent--Middlesex Ontario Lib.
Valeri, Tony Stoney Creek Ontario Lib.
Vanclief, Hon. Lyle, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Prince Edward--Hastings Ontario Lib.
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon--Wanuskewin Saskatchewan CA
Venne, Pierrette Saint-Bruno--Saint-Hubert Quebec BQ
Volpe, Joseph Eglinton--Lawrence Ontario Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Ontario Lib.
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North Centre Manitoba NDP
Wayne, Elsie Saint John New Brunswick PC/DR
Whelan, Hon. Susan, Minister for International Cooperation Essex Ontario Lib.
White, Randy Langley--Abbotsford British Columbia CA
White, Ted North Vancouver British Columbia CA
Wilfert, Bryon Oak Ridges Ontario Lib.
Williams, John St. Albert Alberta CA
Wood, Bob Nipissing Ontario Lib.
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap Saskatchewan CA

Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons by Province

First Session--Thirty Seventh Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Political Affiliation

Alberta (25)
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary--Nose Hill CA
Anders, Rob Calgary West CA
Benoit, Leon Lakeland CA
Casson, Rick Lethbridge CA
Chatters, David Athabasca CA
Clark, Right Hon. Joe Calgary Centre PC/DR
Epp, Ken Elk Island CA
Goldring, Peter Edmonton Centre-East CA
Grey, Deborah Edmonton North PC/DR
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast CA
Hill, Grant Macleod CA
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton--Strathcona CA
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin CA
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast CA
Kilgour, Hon. David, Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) Edmonton Southeast Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Minister of Health Edmonton West Lib.
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead CA
Mills, Bob Red Deer CA
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East CA
Penson, Charlie Peace River CA
Rajotte, James Edmonton Southwest CA
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat CA
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot CA
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose CA
Williams, John St. Albert CA

British Columbia (34)
Abbott, Jim Kootenay--Columbia CA
Anderson, Hon. David, Minister of the Environment Victoria Lib.
Burton, Andy Skeena CA
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North CA
Cummins, John Delta--South Richmond CA
Davies, Libby Vancouver East NDP
Dhaliwal, Hon. Herb, Minister of Natural Resources Vancouver South--Burnaby Lib.
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North CA
Elley, Reed Nanaimo--Cowichan CA
Forseth, Paul New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby CA
Gouk, Jim Kootenay--Boundary--Okanagan CA
Grewal, Gurmant Surrey Central CA
Harris, Richard Prince George--Bulkley Valley CA
Hill, Jay Prince George--Peace River PC/DR
Hinton, Betty Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys CA
Leung, Sophia, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue Vancouver Kingsway Lib.
Lunn, Gary Saanich--Gulf Islands CA
Lunney, James Nanaimo--Alberni CA
Martin, Keith Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca CA
Mayfield, Philip Cariboo--Chilcotin CA
McNally, Grant Dewdney--Alouette PC/DR
Meredith, Val South Surrey--White Rock--Langley PC/DR
Moore, James Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam CA
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development) Vancouver Quadra Lib.
Peschisolido, Joe Richmond Lib.
Reynolds, John West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast CA
Robinson, Svend Burnaby--Douglas NDP
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna CA
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan--Shuswap CA
Strahl, Chuck Fraser Valley PC/DR
White, Randy Langley--Abbotsford CA
White, Ted North Vancouver CA

Manitoba (13)
Alcock, Reg Winnipeg South Lib.
Blaikie, Bill Winnipeg--Transcona NDP
Borotsik, Rick Brandon--Souris PC/DR
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill NDP
Harvard, John Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia Lib.
Hilstrom, Howard Selkirk--Interlake CA
Mark, Inky Dauphin--Swan River PC/DR
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre NDP
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Lib.
Pagtakhan, Hon. Rey, Minister of Veterans Affairs Winnipeg North--St. Paul Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage--Lisgar CA
Toews, Vic Provencher CA
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North Centre NDP

New Brunswick (10)
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of Labour and Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) Moncton--Riverview--Dieppe Lib.
Castonguay, Jeannot, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health Madawaska--Restigouche Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie--Bathurst NDP
Herron, John Fundy--Royal PC/DR
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi Lib.
LeBlanc, Dominic Beauséjour--Petitcodiac Lib.
Savoy, Andy Tobique--Mactaquac Lib.
Scott, Hon. Andy Fredericton Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest PC/DR
Wayne, Elsie Saint John PC/DR

Newfoundland and Labrador (6)
Baker, Hon. George Gander--Grand Falls Lib.
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East PC/DR
Hearn, Loyola St. John's West PC/DR
Matthews, Bill, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Burin--St. George's Lib.
O'Brien, Lawrence Labrador Lib.

Northwest Territories (1)
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Secretary of State (Children and Youth) Western Arctic Lib.

Nova Scotia (11)
Brison, Scott Kings--Hants PC/DR
Casey, Bill Cumberland--Colchester PC/DR
Cuzner, Rodger Bras d'Or--Cape Breton Lib.
Eyking, Mark Sydney--Victoria Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore PC/DR
Lill, Wendy Dartmouth NDP
MacKay, Peter Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough PC/DR
McDonough, Alexa Halifax NDP
Regan, Geoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Halifax West Lib.
Stoffer, Peter Sackville--Musquodoboit Valley--Eastern Shore NDP
Thibault, Hon. Robert, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans West Nova Lib.

Nunavut (1)
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Lib.

Ontario (102)
Adams, Peter Peterborough Lib.
Assadourian, Sarkis Brampton Centre Lib.
Augustine, Jean Etobicoke--Lakeshore Lib.
Barnes, Sue London West Lib.
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West--Mississauga Lib.
Bélair, Réginald Timmins--James Bay Lib.
Bélanger, Mauril Ottawa--Vanier Lib.
Bellemare, Eugène Ottawa--Orléans Lib.
Bennett, Carolyn St. Paul's Lib.
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio, Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development) Vaughan--King--Aurora Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Lib.
Bonwick, Paul Simcoe--Grey Lib.
Boudria, Hon. Don, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Glengarry--Prescott--Russell Lib.
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Lib.
Bryden, John Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot Lib.
Bulte, Sarmite, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Parkdale--High Park Lib.
Caccia, Hon. Charles Davenport Lib.
Calder, Murray Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey Lib.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Lib.
Caplan, Hon. Elinor, Minister of National Revenue Thornhill Lib.
Carroll, Aileen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Barrie--Simcoe--Bradford Lib.
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West--Nepean Lib.
Chamberlain, Brenda Guelph--Wellington Lib.
Collenette, Hon. David, Minister of Transport Don Valley East Lib.
Comartin, Joe Windsor--St. Clair NDP
Comuzzi, Joe Thunder Bay--Superior North Lib.
Copps, Hon. Sheila, Minister of Canadian Heritage Hamilton East Lib.
Cullen, Roy Etobicoke North Lib.
DeVillers, Hon. Paul, Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Simcoe North Lib.
Dromisky, Stan Thunder Bay--Atikokan Lib.
Eggleton, Hon. Art, Minister of National Defence York Centre Lib.
Finlay, John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Oxford Lib.
Fontana, Joe London North Centre Lib.
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke CA
Gallaway, Roger Sarnia--Lambton Lib.
Godfrey, John Don Valley West Lib.
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toronto Centre--Rosedale Lib.
Grose, Ivan Oshawa Lib.
Guarnieri, Albina Mississauga East Lib.
Harb, Mac Ottawa Centre Lib.
Ianno, Tony Trinity--Spadina Lib.
Jackson, Ovid Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound Lib.
Jordan, Joe, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Leeds--Grenville Lib.
Karygiannis, Jim Scarborough--Agincourt Lib.
Keyes, Stan Hamilton West Lib.
Kilger, Bob Stormont--Dundas--Charlottenburgh Lib.
Knutson, Hon. Gar, Secretary of State (Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East) Elgin--Middlesex--London Lib.
Kraft Sloan, Karen York North Lib.
Lastewka, Walt St. Catharines Lib.
Lee, Derek Scarborough--Rouge River Lib.
Longfield, Judi Whitby--Ajax Lib.
Macklin, Paul Harold Northumberland Lib.
Mahoney, Steve Mississauga West Lib.
Malhi, Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Bramalea--Gore--Malton--Springdale Lib.
Maloney, John Erie--Lincoln Lib.
Manley, Hon. John, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations Ottawa South Lib.
Marleau, Hon. Diane Sudbury Lib.
McCallum, Hon. John, Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions) Markham Lib.
McCormick, Larry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Hastings--Frontenac--Lennox and Addington Lib.
McKay, John Scarborough East Lib.
McTeague, Dan Pickering--Ajax--Uxbridge Lib.
Milliken, Hon. Peter Kingston and the Islands Lib.
Mills, Dennis Toronto--Danforth Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Parry Sound--Muskoka Lib.
Myers, Lynn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada Waterloo--Wellington Lib.
Nault, Hon. Robert, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Kenora--Rainy River Lib.
O'Brien, Pat, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade London--Fanshawe Lib.
O'Reilly, John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Haliburton--Victoria--Brock Lib.
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga Centre Lib.
Peric, Janko Cambridge Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Lib.
Pickard, Jerry Chatham--Kent Essex Lib.
Pillitteri, Gary Niagara Falls Lib.
Pratt, David Nepean--Carleton Lib.
Provenzano, Carmen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Sault Ste. Marie Lib.
Redman, Karen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Kitchener Centre Lib.
Reed, Julian Halton Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark--Carleton CA
Richardson, John Perth--Middlesex Lib.
Rock, Hon. Allan, Minister of Industry Etobicoke Centre Lib.
Serré, Benoît, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Timiskaming--Cochrane Lib.
Sgro, Judy York West Lib.
Shepherd, Alex, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board Durham Lib.
Speller, Bob Haldimand--Norfolk--Brant Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma--Manitoulin Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron--Bruce Lib.
Stewart, Hon. Jane, Minister of Human Resources Development Brant Lib.
Szabo, Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Mississauga South Lib.
Telegdi, Andrew Kitchener--Waterloo Lib.
Tirabassi, Tony Niagara Centre Lib.
Tonks, Alan York South--Weston Lib.
Torsney, Paddy Burlington Lib.
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton--Kent--Middlesex Lib.
Valeri, Tony Stoney Creek Lib.
Vanclief, Hon. Lyle, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Prince Edward--Hastings Lib.
Volpe, Joseph Eglinton--Lawrence Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Lib.
Whelan, Hon. Susan, Minister for International Cooperation Essex Lib.
Wilfert, Bryon Oak Ridges Lib.
Wood, Bob Nipissing Lib.

Prince Edward Island (4)
Easter, Wayne Malpeque Lib.
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence, Solicitor General of Canada Cardigan Lib.
McGuire, Joe Egmont Lib.
Murphy, Shawn Hillsborough Lib.

Quebec (74)
Allard, Carole-Marie Laval East Lib.
Assad, Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Gatineau Lib.
Asselin, Gérard Charlevoix BQ
Bachand, André Richmond--Arthabaska PC/DR
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean BQ
Bakopanos, Eleni Ahuntsic Lib.
Bellehumeur, Michel Berthier--Montcalm BQ
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères--Les-Patriotes BQ
Bertrand, Robert Pontiac--Gatineau--Labelle Lib.
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont--Petite-Patrie BQ
Binet, Gérard Frontenac--Mégantic Lib.
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne--Blainville BQ
Brien, Pierre Témiscamingue BQ
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke BQ
Carignan, Jean-Guy Québec East Ind.
Cauchon, Hon. Martin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Outremont Lib.
Charbonneau, Yvon Anjou--Rivière-des-Prairies Lib.
Chrétien, Right Hon. Jean, Prime Minister of Canada Saint-Maurice Lib.
Coderre, Hon. Denis, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Bourassa Lib.
Cotler, Irwin Mount Royal Lib.
Crête, Paul Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques BQ
Dalphond-Guiral, Madeleine Laval Centre BQ
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière--L'Érable BQ
Dion, Hon. Stéphane, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Saint-Laurent--Cartierville Lib.
Discepola, Nick Vaudreuil--Soulanges Lib.
Drouin, Hon. Claude, Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) Beauce Lib.
Dubé, Antoine Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière BQ
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier--Sainte-Marie BQ
Duplain, Claude Portneuf Lib.
Farrah, Georges, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bonaventure--Gaspé--Îles-de-la-Madeleine--Pabok Lib.
Folco, Raymonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development Laval West Lib.
Fournier, Ghislain Manicouagan BQ
Gagnon, Christiane Québec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Champlain BQ
Gauthier, Michel Roberval BQ
Girard-Bujold, Jocelyne Jonquière BQ
Guay, Monique Laurentides BQ
Guimond, Michel Beauport--Montmorency--Côte-de-Beaupré--Île-d'Orléans BQ
Harvey, André, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Chicoutimi--Le Fjord Lib.
Jennings, Marlene, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine Lib.
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel BQ
Lalonde, Francine Mercier BQ
Lanctôt, Robert Châteauguay BQ
Lavigne, Raymond Verdun--Saint-Henri--Saint-Paul--Pointe Saint-Charles Lib.
Lebel, Ghislain Chambly BQ
Lincoln, Clifford Lac-Saint-Louis Lib.
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot BQ
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg--Jacques-Cartier BQ
Marcil, Serge Beauharnois--Salaberry Lib.
Martin, Hon. Paul, Minister of Finance LaSalle--Émard Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga--Maisonneuve BQ
Paquette, Pierre Joliette BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis, Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie) Brome--Missisquoi Lib.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds--Dollard Lib.
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles BQ
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister for International Trade Papineau--Saint-Denis Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond BQ
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu--Nicolet--Bécancour BQ
Price, David Compton--Stanstead Lib.
Proulx, Marcel Hull--Aylmer Lib.
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, President of the Treasury Board Westmount--Ville-Marie Lib.
Rocheleau, Yves Trois-Rivières BQ
Roy, Jean-Yves Matapédia--Matane BQ
Saada, Jacques Brossard--La Prairie Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny BQ
Scherrer, Hélène Louis-Hébert Lib.
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil BQ
St-Jacques, Diane Shefford Lib.
St-Julien, Guy Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik Lib.
Thibeault, Yolande Saint-Lambert Lib.
Tremblay, Stéphan Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay BQ
Tremblay, Suzanne Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis BQ
Venne, Pierrette Saint-Bruno--Saint-Hubert BQ

Saskatchewan (14)
Anderson, David Cypress Hills--Grasslands CA
Bailey, Roy Souris--Moose Mountain CA
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton--Melville CA
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert CA
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Wascana Lib.
Laliberte, Rick Churchill River Lib.
Nystrom, Hon. Lorne Regina--Qu'Appelle NDP
Pankiw, Jim Saskatoon--Humboldt PC/DR
Proctor, Dick Palliser NDP
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords--Lloydminster CA
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar CA
Spencer, Larry Regina--Lumsden--Lake Centre CA
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon--Wanuskewin CA
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap CA

Yukon (1)
Bagnell, Larry Yukon Lib.

LIST OF STANDING AND SUB-COMMITTEES

(As of February 1, 2002 — 1st Session, 37th Parliament)

Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Development and Natural Resources
Chair:
Raymond Bonin
Vice-Chairs:
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Maurice Vellacott
Larry Bagnell
Gérard Binet
Serge Cardin
Jean-Guy Carignan
David Chatters
Reed Elley
John Finlay
John Godfrey
Gerald Keddy
Richard Marceau
Pat Martin
Benoît Serré
Guy St-Julien
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
André Bachand
Claude Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Joe Clark
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Ghislain Fournier
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Jason Kenney
Robert Lanctôt
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Joe McGuire
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jean-Yves Roy
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Chair:
Charles Hubbard
Vice-Chairs:
Murray Calder
Howard Hilstrom
David Anderson
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Claude Duplain
Mark Eyking
Marcel Gagnon
Rick Laliberte
Larry McCormick
Dick Proctor
Bob Speller
Paul Steckle
Suzanne Tremblay
Rose-Marie Ur
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Rob Anders
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Mario Laframboise
Robert Lanctôt
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jean-Yves Roy
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Canadian Heritage
Chair:
Clifford Lincoln
Vice-Chairs:
Jim Abbott
Dennis Mills
Paul Bonwick
Sarmite Bulte
Rodger Cuzner
Claude Duplain
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Roger Gallaway
John Harvard
Betty Hinton
Wendy Lill
Grant McNally
Caroline St-Hilaire
Tony Tirabassi
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
Antoine Dubé
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Stan Keyes
Robert Lanctôt
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Serge Marcil
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Hélène Scherrer
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on Sport
Chair:
Dennis Mills
Vice-Chair:

Rodger Cuzner
Cheryl Gallant
John Harvard
Loyola Hearn
Robert Lanctôt
Serge Marcil
Dick Proctor
Hélène Scherrer
Total: (9)

Citizenship and Immigration
Chair:
Joe Fontana
Vice-Chairs:
Paul Forseth
Steve Mahoney
Mark Assad
Yvon Charbonneau
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
John Godfrey
Art Hanger
Inky Mark
Anita Neville
Jerry Pickard
David Price
Stéphan Tremblay
Tony Valeri
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Lynne Yelich
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Francine Lalonde
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams

Environment and Sustainable Development
Chair:
Charles Caccia
Vice-Chairs:
Karen Kraft Sloan
Bob Mills
Roy Bailey
Bernard Bigras
Joe Comartin
Paul Forseth
Marcel Gagnon
John Herron
Gar Knutson
Rick Laliberte
Karen Redman
Julian Reed
Andy Savoy
Hélène Scherrer
Alan Tonks
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Robert Lanctôt
Clifford Lincoln
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Finance
Chair:
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Vice-Chairs:
Nick Discepola
Ken Epp
Sue Barnes
Carolyn Bennett
Scott Brison
Roy Cullen
Albina Guarnieri
Rahim Jaffer
Jason Kenney
Sophia Leung
Yvan Loubier
John McCallum
Shawn Murphy
Lorne Nystrom
Pauline Picard
Gary Pillitteri
Monte Solberg
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
Antoine Dubé
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Alexa McDonough
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Gilles-A. Perron
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Stéphan Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Fisheries and Oceans
Chair:
Wayne Easter
Vice-Chairs:
John Cummins
Paul Steckle
Sarkis Assadourian
Andy Burton
Rodger Cuzner
Georges Farrah
Loyola Hearn
Dominic LeBlanc
James Lunney
Bill Matthews
Lawrence O'Brien
Jean-Yves Roy
Peter Stoffer
Suzanne Tremblay
Tom Wappel
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Ghislain Fournier
Marcel Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Yves Rocheleau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Chair:
Bill Graham
Vice-Chairs:
Jean Augustine
Brian Pallister
George Baker
Aileen Carroll
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
John Duncan
John Harvard
Marlene Jennings
Stan Keyes
Francine Lalonde
Diane Marleau
Keith Martin
Pat O'Brien
Pierre Paquette
Bernard Patry
Svend Robinson
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Sarkis Assadourian
André Bachand
Claude Bachand
Roy Bailey
Colleen Beaumier
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bernard Bigras
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Irwin Cotler
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
Stan Dromisky
Antoine Dubé
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Mark Eyking
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Mac Harb
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Beth Phinney
David Price
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Yves Rocheleau
Benoît Sauvageau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Bob Speller
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Stéphan Tremblay
Tony Valeri
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment
Chair:
Mac Harb
Vice-Chair:

Rick Casson
Mark Eyking
Gary Lunn
Pat O'Brien
Pierre Paquette
Svend Robinson
Bob Speller
Tony Valeri
Total: (9)

Sub-Committee on Human Rights and International Development
Chair:
Beth Phinney
Vice-Chair:

Sarkis Assadourian
Colleen Beaumier
Bill Casey
Irwin Cotler
Antoine Dubé
Marlene Jennings
Deepak Obhrai
Svend Robinson
Total: (9)

Health
Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Vice-Chairs:
Reg Alcock
Rob Merrifield
Diane Ablonczy
André Bachand
Colleen Beaumier
Diane Bourgeois
Jeannot Castonguay
Brenda Chamberlain
Stan Dromisky
James Lunney
Réal Ménard
Hélène Scherrer
Judy Sgro
Yolande Thibeault
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Pauline Picard
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chairs:
Joe Peschisolido
Diane St-Jacques
Eugène Bellemare
Paul Crête
Libby Davies
Raymonde Folco
Monique Guay
Tony Ianno
Dale Johnston
Gurbax Malhi
Serge Marcil
Joe McGuire
Anita Neville
Carol Skelton
Larry Spencer
Greg Thompson
Alan Tonks
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Carolyn Bennett
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
Antoine Dubé
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Marcel Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
John Godfrey
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Robert Lanctôt
Wendy Lill
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Larry McCormick
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jean-Yves Roy
Werner Schmidt
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Myron Thompson
Tony Tirabassi
Vic Toews
Stéphan Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:
Carolyn Bennett
Vice-Chair:

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Raymonde Folco
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Wendy Lill
Anita Neville
Larry Spencer
Greg Thompson
Tony Tirabassi
Total: (9)

Sub-Committee on Children and Youth at Risk
Chair:
John Godfrey
Vice-Chair:

Libby Davies
Monique Guay
Anita Neville
Carol Skelton
Diane St-Jacques
Greg Thompson
Tony Tirabassi
Alan Tonks
Total: (9)

Industry, Science and Technology
Chair:
Susan Whelan
Vice-Chairs:
Walt Lastewka
Charlie Penson
Larry Bagnell
Stéphane Bergeron
Bev Desjarlais
Claude Drouin
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Preston Manning
Dan McTeague
James Rajotte
Andy Savoy
Brent St. Denis
Chuck Strahl
Paddy Torsney
Joseph Volpe
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Mauril Bélanger
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Pierre Brien
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
Antoine Dubé
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Mario Laframboise
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Joe Peschisolido
Dick Proctor
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Justice and Human Rights
Chair:
Andy Scott
Vice-Chairs:
Chuck Cadman
Denis Paradis
Carole-Marie Allard
Michel Bellehumeur
Bill Blaikie
Irwin Cotler
Paul DeVillers
Brian Fitzpatrick
Ivan Grose
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
John McKay
Lynn Myers
Stephen Owen
Kevin Sorenson
Vic Toews
Pierrette Venne
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Dominic LeBlanc
Derek Lee
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Anita Neville
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
David Pratt
James Rajotte
Geoff Regan
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Tom Wappel
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
Bryon Wilfert
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on National Security
Chair:
Derek Lee
Vice-Chair:

Bill Blaikie
Marlene Jennings
Peter MacKay
Lynn Myers
David Pratt
Geoff Regan
Kevin Sorenson
Vic Toews
Pierrette Venne
Bryon Wilfert
Total: (11)

Liaison
Chair:
Bill Graham
Vice-Chair:
Susan Whelan
Peter Adams
Mauril Bélanger
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Raymond Bonin
Bonnie Brown
Charles Caccia
Wayne Easter
Joe Fontana
Gurmant Grewal
Charles Hubbard
Ovid Jackson
Clifford Lincoln
Judi Longfield
David Pratt
Andy Scott
John Williams
Total: (18)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Reg Alcock
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Jean Augustine
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bill Blaikie
Garry Breitkreuz
Pierre Brien
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Murray Calder
Rick Casson
David Chatters
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Nick Discepola
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Michel Guimond
Art Hanger
Mac Harb
Richard Harris
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Jason Kenney
Karen Kraft Sloan
Walt Lastewka
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Steve Mahoney
Preston Manning
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
Dennis Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Denis Paradis
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Beth Phinney
David Price
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Jacques Saada
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Diane St-Jacques
Paul Steckle
Darrel Stinson
Yolande Thibeault
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Tom Wappel
Randy White
Ted White
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on Committee Rooms
Chair:
Bill Graham
Vice-Chair:

Joe Fontana
Clifford Lincoln
John Williams
Total: (4)

Budget Sub-Committee
Chair:
Bill Graham
Vice-Chair:

Bonnie Brown
Wayne Easter
Clifford Lincoln
Judi Longfield
Susan Whelan
John Williams
Total: (7)

National Defence and Veterans Affairs
Chair:
David Pratt
Vice-Chairs:
Leon Benoit
David Price
Rob Anders
Claude Bachand
Colleen Beaumier
Stan Dromisky
Cheryl Gallant
John O'Reilly
Janko Peric
Louis Plamondon
Carmen Provenzano
Peter Stoffer
Elsie Wayne
Bryon Wilfert
Bob Wood
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Francine Lalonde
Wendy Lill
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Svend Robinson
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on Veterans Affairs
Chair:
Colleen Beaumier
Vice-Chair:

Roy Bailey
Stan Dromisky
Dan McTeague
Louis Plamondon
Carmen Provenzano
Peter Stoffer
Elsie Wayne
Bob Wood
Total: (9)

Procedure and House Affairs
Chair:
Peter Adams
Vice-Chair:
Jacques Saada
Garry Breitkreuz
Pierre Brien
Marlene Catterall
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Michel Guimond
Jay Hill
Joe Jordan
Paul Harold Macklin
Carolyn Parrish
Geoff Regan
John Richardson
Tony Tirabassi
Randy White
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Sue Barnes
Michel Bellehumeur
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Bill Blaikie
Rick Borotsik
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
John Harvard
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
Dennis Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Caroline St-Hilaire
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Paul Szabo
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Ted White
Bryon Wilfert
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on Private Members' Business
Chair:
Carolyn Parrish
Vice-Chair:

Bill Blaikie
Garry Breitkreuz
Michel Guimond
Jay Hill
Marcel Proulx
Total: (6)

Sub-Committee on Parliamentary Calendar
Chair:
Marlene Catterall
Vice-Chair:

Pierre Brien
Yvon Godin
Richard Harris
Jay Hill
Total: (5)

Public Accounts
Chair:
John Williams
Vice-Chairs:
Mac Harb
Beth Phinney
Robert Bertrand
John Bryden
Gerry Byrne
Odina Desrochers
John Finlay
Rahim Jaffer
Sophia Leung
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Shawn Murphy
Gilles-A. Perron
Alex Shepherd
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Total: (17)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Denis Paradis
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
Lynne Yelich

Sub-Committee on Combating Corruption
Chair:
John Williams
Vice-Chair:

Robert Bertrand
John Bryden
Odina Desrochers
Pat Martin
Philip Mayfield
Shawn Murphy
Beth Phinney
Alex Shepherd
Greg Thompson
Total: (10)

Transport and Government Operations
Chair:
Ovid Jackson
Vice-Chairs:
James Moore
Marcel Proulx
Reg Alcock
Gerry Byrne
John Cannis
Joe Comuzzi
Bev Desjarlais
Peter Goldring
André Harvey
Mario Laframboise
Ghislain Lebel
Val Meredith
Alex Shepherd
Darrel Stinson
Paul Szabo
Total: (16)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Bernard Bigras
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Serge Cardin
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Ghislain Fournier
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Charles Hubbard
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Dominic LeBlanc
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Serge Marcil
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Réal Ménard
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Bernard Patry
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Dick Proctor
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Peter Stoffer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Special Committee on non-medical use of drugs
Chair:
Paddy Torsney
Vice-Chairs:
Carole-Marie Allard
Randy White
André Bachand
Bernard Bigras
Libby Davies
Mac Harb
Dominic LeBlanc
Derek Lee
Réal Ménard
Stephen Owen
Jacques Saada
Kevin Sorenson
Total: (13)

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEES

Library of Parliament
Joint Chair:

Joint Vice-Chair:

Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsGérald Beaudoin
John Bryden
Jane Marie Cordy
Donald Oliver
Vivienne Poy
Representing the House of Commons:Mauril Bélanger
Carolyn Bennett
Robert Bertrand
Marlene Catterall
Marcel Gagnon
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Jim Karygiannis
Raymond Lavigne
Wendy Lill
Jerry Pickard
Louis Plamondon
Jacques Saada
Darrel Stinson
Andrew Telegdi
Total: (21)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Howard Hilstrom
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Official Languages
Joint Chairs:
Mauril Bélanger
Shirley Maheu
Joint Vice-Chairs:
Scott Reid
Yolande Thibeault
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsGérald Beaudoin
Joan Fraser
Jean-Robert Gauthier
Laurier LaPierre
Viola Léger
Jean-Claude Rivest
Raymond Setlakwe
Representing the House of Commons:Eugène Bellemare
Gérard Binet
Sarmite Bulte
Claude Drouin
Christiane Gagnon
John Godfrey
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Richard Harris
John Herron
Raymond Lavigne
Dan McTeague
Benoît Sauvageau
Total: (24)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Loyola Hearn
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Lorne Nystrom
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Jim Pankiw
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
Louis Plamondon
James Rajotte
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Suzanne Tremblay
Maurice Vellacott
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
Ted White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Scrutiny of Regulations
Joint Chairs:
Gurmant Grewal
Céline Hervieux-Payette
Joint Vice-Chair:
Tom Wappel
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsJohn Bryden
Sheila Finestone
Mobina Jaffer
Noël Kinsella
Wilfred Moore
Pierre Claude Nolin
Representing the House of Commons:Sue Barnes
Paul Bonwick
Pierre Brien
Jean-Guy Carignan
Joe Comuzzi
John Cummins
Jim Gouk
Michel Guimond
Gar Knutson
Derek Lee
Paul Harold Macklin
Lynn Myers
Lorne Nystrom
Jim Pankiw
Ted White
Total: (24)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rob Anders
David Anderson
André Bachand
Roy Bailey
Michel Bellehumeur
Leon Benoit
Rick Borotsik
Garry Breitkreuz
Scott Brison
Andy Burton
Chuck Cadman
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Joe Clark
Stockwell Day
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Reed Elley
Ken Epp
Brian Fitzpatrick
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Deborah Grey
Art Hanger
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
John Herron
Grant Hill
Jay Hill
Howard Hilstrom
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Robert Lanctôt
Ghislain Lebel
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Preston Manning
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Philip Mayfield
Grant McNally
Val Meredith
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Deepak Obhrai
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Joe Peschisolido
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Larry Spencer
Darrel Stinson
Chuck Strahl
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Maurice Vellacott
Pierrette Venne
Elsie Wayne
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich


Panels of Chairman of Legislative Committees

The Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The The Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Bob Kilger

 

The Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Réginald Bélair

 

The Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole House

Ms. Eleni Bakopanos

 


THE MINISTRY

According to precedence

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien Prime Minister of Canada
Hon. David Collenette Minister of Transport
Hon. David Anderson Minister of the Environment
Hon. Ralph Goodale Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Hon. Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage
Hon. John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations
Hon. Paul Martin Minister of Finance
Hon. Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence
Hon. Anne McLellan Minister of Health
Hon. Allan Rock Minister of Industry
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada
Hon. Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board
Hon. Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Hon. Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development
Hon. Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade
Hon. Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Hon. Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Hon. Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour and Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)
Hon. Robert Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Hon. Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue
Hon. Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. Sharon Carstairs Leader of the Government in the Senate
Hon. Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Rey Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs
Hon. Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Susan Whelan Minister for International Cooperation
Hon. Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew Secretary of State (Children and Youth)
Hon. David Kilgour Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)
Hon. Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development)
Hon. Paul DeVillers Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Gar Knutson Secretary of State (Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East)
Hon. Denis Paradis Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie)
Hon. Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)
Hon. John McCallum Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)
Hon. Stephen Owen Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIES

Mr. Joe Jordan to the Prime Minister
Mr. André Harvey to the Minister of Transport
Mrs. Karen Redman to the Minister of the Environment
Mr. Benoît Serré to the Minister of Natural Resources
Ms. Sarmite Bulte to the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Ms. Aileen Carroll to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. John O'Reilly to the Minister of National Defence
Mr. Jeannot Castonguay to the Minister of Health
Mr. Lynn Myers to the Solicitor General of Canada
Mr. Paul Szabo to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Mr. Alex Shepherd to the President of the Treasury Board
Ms. Sophia Leung to the Minister of National Revenue
Ms. Raymonde Folco to the Minister of Human Resources Development
Mr. Pat O'Brien to the Minister for International Trade
Mr. Geoff Regan to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Mr. Larry McCormick to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Mr. Georges Farrah to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Mr. Carmen Provenzano to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Gurbax Malhi to the Minister of Labour
Mr. John Finlay to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Mrs. Marlene Jennings to the Minister for International Cooperation
Mr. Mark Assad to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration