House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right when he says that small and medium size businesses are the engine of growth. What he ought to know is that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has been doing regular surveys over the course of the last three to four months. Those surveys have shown a great deal of optimism in terms of the economy and their ability to create jobs. What they are saying is that they support this government's policies and they are absolutely right to do so.

I do not know if I am allowed to raise a point of order in question period, but calling anybody a conservative minister is surely unparliamentary language.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

We will now hear from a former Conservative prime minister, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

December 7th, 2001 / 11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is about the Business Development Bank document alleging that the BDC loan to the Auberge Grand-Mère would have been used in part to pay a $23,040 debt to the Prime Minister's family holding company.

The Prime Minister claims that allegation is a forgery. After an eight month investigation the RCMP finds no evidence to support the Prime Minister's claim but the RCMP wants to close the file.

Rather than having the Prime Minister's claim unproven, would the government agree to call in independent forensic auditors to see which document is a forgery?

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party is mischaracterizing what the RCMP has said. As was reported in the media this spring, I am told the bank compared the document with the original in its files and determined it was forged. I think that answers the question.

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, which one is forged? I have three related questions for the minister responsible to parliament for the Business Development Bank.

First, did the information commissioner ask to review the BDC files respecting the loan to the Auberge Grand-Mère?

Second, could the minister give the House an unconditional guarantee that none of the BDC files requested by the commissioner were sanitized or otherwise altered before they were made available to the information commissioner?

Third, would he advise whether Mr. Luc Provencher and Mr. Jean Carle were among the bank officials involved in responding to the request of the information commissioner?

Business Development Bank of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, all these questions have been dealt with. All of these questions have been independently looked into by both the commissioner and by the RCMP.

The fact of the matter is, at a time when Canadians are focused on a terror campaign, which is coming to a conclusion in Afghanistan, when Canadian troops are going overseas, when the economy is suffering a recession, which is being felt all over the world, it is indeed surprising and disappointing that this former prime minister so desperately clings to this lost cause of a question.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the official opposition criticized the immigration minister's mismanagement of her refugee system, she called that a dark chapter in Canadian history.

When my colleague criticized the revolving door she maintains for undocumented arrivals, she called those questions treasonous.

Now that her Liberal colleague, the chair of the immigration committee, has called for many of those very same things that the Canadian Alliance has been promoting, what name is she going to call him?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

I have doubts about this question.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I was pleased to receive the committee's report. I have just had a chance to review it.

I noted that it did not call for mandatory detention, but in fact called for detention which is appropriate for both who are undocumented and unco-operative and is already included in Bill C-11, and it was part of the committee's report of March 2000.

While the government will be responding fully to the committee's report, I would say to the member that many of the issues that have been raised in the report are already a matter of government policy. The rest will be looked at very--

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lakeland.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that the minister has read the report or has referred to the comments she has responded to before. Maybe she did not really understand what the opposition was getting at, but that certainly is not because the questions were not clear.

The fact is this Liberal dominated immigration committee has come out with a report which recommends many of the same things that the immigration minister has said in the past simply were not acceptable to her. In fact, she viciously attacked those critics who called for many of those very same changes.

When will the immigration minister put aside her partisan rhetoric and mudslinging permanently? When will she apologize and make the changes to the refugee screening system which will protect Canadians?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, recommendation No. 36 in the report states and I quote:

Detention continues to play a role in our border security procedures...

However it cautions that people should be detained for a minimum period necessary and that detention review should occur within 48 hours. That is existing government policy.

It also goes on to say in recommendation No. 37:

The detention of minors be avoided...

Further, recommendation No. 38 states:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada ensure that undocumented refugee claimants who are uncooperative in establishing their identity are detained.

That is government policy.

Garanteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of Human Resources Development, the government's job is simply to inform the population.

Clearly the minister has not had much success with this yet, and she appears to be incapable of advocating for the poorest in our society who have a right to the guaranteed income supplement.

What is the Minister of Human Resources Development waiting for? Do the honourable thing and give these elderly people what they are entitled to.

Garanteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the guaranteed income supplement is a very important part of the overarching Canadian pension structure. A one year retroactivity provision has been part of that program since its beginning 30 years ago.

This provision is consistent or more generous than similar provisions in the Canada pension plan, the Quebec pension plan or other federal or provincial income support programs.

Garanteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, it might be nice if the minister was familiar with the program.

Does the minister acknowledge that we must give credit to unemployed people, older workers and retired people, because it is thanks to them that this government has been able to balance its budget, and it is from their pockets that this government shamefully stole money in order to reach its objectives?