House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, each year about 18,000 people arrive at this nation's airports without documentation. Somehow they get on a plane in another country and yet arrive here without papers and claim refugee status.

If the government ever gets around to air safety legislation, will the minister ensure it has provisions to stop this mysterious cycle of disappearing papers?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we are aware that people arrive in Canada who do not have proper documentation. In fact other countries have the same problem.

Let me quote Ambassador Cellucci. He says that we need to work together overseas even before people get on airplanes. We are not saying that the United States and Canada should not continue to be countries that welcome immigrants, refugees or those seeking asylum. I agree with Ambassador Cellucci.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, then the minister should agree with the official opposition because that is exactly what we have been saying all along. Not only is the immigration minister risking national security. She is doing incredible damage to Canada's legitimate refugees.

Those who abuse Canada's refugee system bring into question the legitimacy of all refugees. If the government will not include measures in air safety regulations, will the immigration minister immediately announce measures to detain undocumented refugee claimants until their identity and background can be verified?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a proud signatory to the Geneva convention of 1951. We have an obligation to offer protection to those who are in genuine need. We know that some people come to Canada without documents. Some of those people are in genuine need of protection and others are not.

It is wrong to acquaint undocumented people with automatically posing any kind of security risk. That is not true. That is why when we have evidence to suggest that someone poses a security risk we can and we do detain them.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, a CBC producer took part in the Montreal love-in, held in violation of Quebec's referendum laws, without any repercussions, yet Normand Lester writes a book that has nothing to do with his job and is suspended.

Journalistic ethics alone are not enough to justify the difference in treatment. Does the difference not lie instead in the Corporation's desire to comply with the wishes of the Prime Minister, who complained right after the referendum that it was not defending Canadian unity sufficiently?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

No, Mr. Speaker.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the problem with Normand Lester not connected to the fact that his somewhat unflattering depictions of John A. Macdonald and Mackenzie King are not consistent with the somewhat watered down version of the Canada Information Office as broadcast by Robert Guy Scully and his Heritage Minutes ?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

No, Mr. Speaker.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are reports of an RCMP investigation into corruption charges with the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Could the minister confirm that as part of this investigation the office of the Immigration and Refugee Board commissioner in Montreal has been raided by the RCMP?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear. I take very seriously, as does the government, any allegations of wrongdoing. That is why when there are allegations officers of the RCMP are called in. I would suggest to the hon. member that we let the police do its job and that we let it do it without political interference.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, another statement of denial from a sad minister. Sources have told the official opposition that the office of the Immigration and Refugee Board commissioner has in fact been raided.

Has an employee been suspended pending the outcome of the RCMP investigation?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the Immigration and Refugee Board is a quasi-judicial independent body. The chair of that board has all the authority necessary to take appropriate action whenever there are suggestions of inappropriate behaviour or in fact wrongdoing.

I would repeat again that it is up to the police to do its job. We should let it do its job without political interference.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

November 21st, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the recent closings announced by large paper mills will result in the loss of 5,000 jobs in the softwood lumber industry.

Thousands of workers will be affected in the Abitibi, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, North Shore, Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé regions.

The Minister of Human Resources Development has a unanimous report in her hands, and an $8 billion surplus is anticipated in the employment insurance fund. What more does she need to take action?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned with these recent announcements and recognize the difficulties they will cause for those who may be facing layoffs.

I can tell the hon. member that we have been in touch with Abitibi specifically and with workers. We want to make sure they have full access to the programs that exist through employment insurance. We anticipate the majority of them will be eligible for benefits and we hope the government of Quebec will be there with their part II dollars that are transferred from this government to assist individuals at this time.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister may play the same tape as much as she wants but a fact remains.

Will the minister admit that when surpluses of $8 billion are accumulated in an insurance fund for this year alone, and profits total $44 billion, either the protection provided is inadequate, or else contributions are too high?