Conservatives have no intention to live up to internment agreement - ehMac.ca
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 09:28 AM   #1
 
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Arrow Conservatives have no intention to live up to internment agreement

March 1, 2007
Conservatives have no intention to live up to internment agreement

Ottawa ?Today during Question Period Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney all but confirmed that the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper had no intention of living up to the Agreement-in-Principle (see http://nouvelles.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/...icleid=166199&) signed by the previous Liberal Government and the Ukrainian Canadian Community on August 24, 2005.

Exasperated by the foot-dragging of the Conservative Government to finally live up to the Agreement-in-Principle, Wrzesnewskyj attempted to hold the Conservative Minister and Government to account during today’s Question Period. Following the question, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism would not acknowledge the agreement, and then lashed out resorting to personal attacks against Wrzesnewskyj claiming there was never a budget for the Agreement-in-Principle during the previous Liberal Government.

Kenney stated that Wrzesnewskyj had made a “complete, blatant and I believe deliberate falsehood.” Commenting on Secretary of State Kenney’s verbal assault, Wrzesnewskyj stated:

“Secretary of State Kenney’s statement in the House of Commons was shocking. The Conservatives continue to attempt to deny that the historic Agreement-in-Principle signed with the previous Liberal Government exists and now they are trying to tarnish me and accuse me of spreading a falsehood. For over fourteen months I and former Liberal MP Walt Lastewka, Liberal Secretary of State for Mulituculturalism the Hon. Raymond Chan, senior officials in Prime Minister Paul Martin’s office (Karl Littler and Heather Watson), and staff from the departments of Justice and Canadian Heritage worked hard to lay the groundwork for the Agreement-in-Principle and its budget. Representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the Shevchenko Foundation all participated in a conference call with senior officials of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s office where final details of the $12.5 million was agreed to, including the agreement on the Shevchenko Foundation being the delivery mechanism for the funds.”

The August 24, 2005 Agreement-in-Principle specifically stated that “an initial amount of $2.5 million to the Ukrainian Canadian community” was part of the three-year $25 million Acknowledgement, Commemoration, and Education (ACE) Program announced in the Liberal February 2005 Budget (see page 102 of The Budget Plan 2005 http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget05/pdf/bp2005e.pdf).


Attached find the Question Period exchange.
House of Commons Debates
Oral Question Period
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Volume 141, Number 121
1st Session, 39th Parliament

Ukrainian Internment Agreement

Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on August 24, 2005, the Liberal government signed an historic agreement for $12.5 million with the Ukrainian Canadian community for the acknowledgement, commemoration and education of Canadians of the dark episode of internment operations against Ukrainian Canadians.

The program was to be administered by the Shevchenko Foundation. The Conservative government outrageously cancelled the agreement and ripped it away from the Shevchenko Foundation.

Will the government re-announce this Liberal initiative in its budget before Mary Haskett, the sole survivor of internment, dies?

Hon. Jason Kenney (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), CPC): Mr. Speaker, this government did no such thing. This government will acknowledge and has acknowledged the injustice of first world war wartime internment measures.

However the member should apologize to the community. He and I attended a Ukrainian event last week in Toronto where he stood up and said that the Liberals had “budgeted” $12.5 million for Ukrainian internment. That was a complete, blatant and, I believe, deliberate falsehood.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 10:12 AM   #2
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:32 PM   #3
 
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Arrow con MP retracts statement

Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Yesterday in the House, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism used the cover of parliamentary privilege to slander my reputation by stating that I uttered, in his words and I quote: “a complete, blatant and, I believe, deliberate falsehood” after I questioned him about the Conservative cancellation of an historic $12.5 million acknowledgement, commemoration, and education agreement signed by the previous Liberal government and the Ukrainian Canadian community.

Parliamentary privilege is a right that members use to assist them in getting at the truth and should not be used as cover to slander other members. I will give the Secretary of State for multiculturalism the benefit of the doubt that he really is not aware that $12.5 million from the ACE Program which was cancelled by the Conservatives was dedicated to the issue of internment of Ukrainian Canadians. If he tables in this House page 4 of the “Sources and Uses Table” from the Department of Finance dated November 24, 2005 he will see that the funding was budgeted.

I request that the member fully retract his slanderous statement so as not to further sully this House with his verbal vulgarities and to salvage his own reputation.

Hon. Jason Kenney (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I am confident the Speaker will find this is not a question of privilege. Perhaps the member could have raised this as a point of order yesterday following question period. He chose not to. It is clearly not a question of privilege and it is a point of debate. In that respect I stand by my remark yesterday in this place. The member said at page 7506 of Hansard that: “...the Liberal government signed an historic agreement for $12.5 million with the Ukrainian Canadian community...”

I have that agreement in my hand and I quote from page 2 of that agreement: “The Government of Canada plans to provide an initial amount of $2.5 million to the Shevchenko Foundation.”

This agreement in principle does not mention $12.5 million. The budget does not mention $12.5 million. None of the three Liberal budgets in the year 2005 mentioned $12.5 million for Ukrainian redress with respect to wartime measures.

Yesterday the member said that there was a $12.5 million agreement. Here is the agreement. It says $2.5 million. He was wrong by 500% and perhaps he could explain to the community why he is not telling the truth.

The Deputy Speaker:
If there are no more interventions, the two members have had an interesting debate as to the facts of the case, but nevertheless the fact of the matter is that the hon. Secretary of State is recorded in Hansard as accusing the hon. member for Etobicoke Centre of a complete, blatant and deliberate falsehood, which the hon. member knows is not parliamentary language.

Therefore, he may want to continue to argue about the facts with the hon. member for Etobicoke Centre, but accusing another hon. member of a deliberate falsehood is a no-go zone and I offer the hon. member an opportunity to retract.

Hon. Jason Kenney: Mr. Speaker, I retract.

The Deputy Speaker: I heard the hon. member retract the words that I asked him to retract and he has done so and the matter is closed and the hon. members can continue to argue about the facts.
======================

note that the con MP never does produce "page 4 of the “Sources and Uses Table” from the Department of Finance dated November 24, 2005 he will see that the funding was budgeted."

====================================


seems our con MPs are taking lessons from their neo con brethren south of the border
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