House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labrador.

Topics

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately for the hon. member, I am not the Minister of Finance but I can answer his question.

This government has demonstrated its commitment to international development. If the hon. member were to examine the last budget, he would see that we have increased our international aid by $435 million over three years. If he were to take a look at this year's throne speech, he would see that this government has again committed to increasing our international aid.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, even CIDA, with its specific mandate of meeting the need for international aid, considers that the additional $16 million invested by the government in Afghanistan is clearly inadequate.

That being the case, does the government plan to promote humanitarian aid within a multilateral approach under UN auspices, and to allocate the necessary funds to it?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to giving $16 million in aid to Afghanistan.

Since we have made this commitment, that is $1 million on September 29, another $5 million thereafter, followed by $10 million on October 17, we have both committed these amounts and delivered on them.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

October 30th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Syrian Hassan Almrei was granted refugee status in Canada last year based on a fake United Arab emirate passport and a Canadian visa that he purchased for $5,000. He claimed that he feared persecution because his father was a member of the Muslim brotherhood in Syria.

The fact is the Muslim brotherhood is a well-known terrorist group that assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.

My question is for the immigration minister. Why is having a terrorist in the family grounds for refugee status here in Canada?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite keeps putting facts out that are inaccurate and wrong. They are then picked up by other people who repeat them like they are true.

I would suggest that what he do is remember that his title is a member of the loyal opposition and he should not be sending the message to people that they are admissible to Canada if they have a criminal record or if they pose a security threat, because they are not.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is this person was given refugee status in our country because his father was a member of a terrorist group.

The Canadian Alliance has been the strongest proponent for genuine refugees but the minister's poor screening has given refugees all a bad name in the country, and that is not acceptable to the loyal opposition.

Does the immigration minister think she did the right thing in giving refugee status based on family membership in a terrorist group?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows that decisions are made by the Immigration and Refugee Appeal Board, a quasi-judicial body. Where we disagree with those opinions they are appealed to the courts.

Any persons applying for refugee status who uses fraud or misrepresentation, or are found to be inadmissible to Canada because they pose a security risk or have a criminal record, we take appropriate action to remove them from the country as quickly as possible. The member opposite knows that.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has the unfortunate habit of underestimating government surpluses in order to make his life easier and avoid having to justify his budget choices to parliament and his own caucus.

Will the Minister of Finance confirm that, for the first five months of the current fiscal year, his department's figures establish the accumulated surplus at $11.1 billion, whereas, for the next seven months, the most pessimistic scenarios predict an additional $2.5 billion, for a total of $13.6 billion in manoeuvring room?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that as of July we had a surplus of over $11 billion.

That said, the member must know, if he has not realized, that the economy was slowing down before September 11. After the 11th, it must be said that the attacks on the World Trade Center had a significant effect on the Canadian and American economies.

That said, there is no doubt that the surpluses will shrink, and, unfortunately, substantially.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, naturally we are taking these slowdowns into account. The figure for the next seven months is $2.5 billion, whereas it was over $11 billion in the first five months. We are not crazy.

We must have a clear plan in this House. Will the Minister of Finance admit that we in the Bloc have already presented a clear, targeted and deficit free plan that responds to the situation and supports the economy and employment?

He should use it, and for once have the wisdom to listen to us.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the member is so proud of his plan, perhaps he should present it to the Standing Committee on Finance, of which he is a member. I look forward with enthusiasm to the report.

I also suggest the member submit his plan to Ms. Marois, who is to present her budget on November 1.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Prime Minister just told the House, police authorities say that Toronto is a staging ground for al-Qaeda terrorists and that they have a stunning amount of evidence to prove it, including five suspects and more to come.

I would ask the solicitor general, in the face of intelligence information showing terrorist activity, such as fundraising, recruiting and counterfeiting of documents taking place in Toronto, how can he still deny any Canadian connection to the attack on America?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, is my hon. colleague asking me if there is a direct connection with what happened on September 11? If that is the member's question, the answer is, no.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, CSIS has told the federal court that it believes there are supporters of bin Laden and his terrorist network here in Canada now. A proper and more thorough investigation of Al-Marabh in June may have revealed this fact and exposed key evidence regarding the September 11 attack on America.

Our Prime Minister says that there is no imminent attack but we know that bin Laden's terrorists are here in Canada now.

Given the glaring evidence of CSIS and the RCMP, why should Canadians trust the solicitor general with their security and their safety?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have said a number of times in the House that there are people involved in terrorist groups in this country. Let there be no illusions, there are people in this country who belong to terrorist groups.

My hon. colleague asked why he should trust me. Who he should trust are the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and CSIS who do an excellent job of making sure this country remains one of the safest countries in the world today.