House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Jurgen Seewald
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday hundreds lined the streets of Antigonish to say goodbye to RCMP Constable Jurgen Ziggy Seewald. A sea of red serge marched to the sounds of pipes and bells to a service at St. Francis Xavier chapel, where over 600 RCMP and peace officers from across the country gathered with friends and colleagues to support the Seewald family in an emotional farewell.

Forty-seven year old Constable Seewald, a 26 year veteran, was gunned down last Monday in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, while responding to a domestic dispute. Serving 22 years in Nova Scotia, he was described as a gentle giant, quick with a joke, a grin and a helping hand.

He received the duty service award for peacekeeping in Bosnia. His brother Horst said Ziggy believed that through conversation one could overcome confrontation, and he pleaded for an end to the violence in communities.

Nunavut government Commissioner Peter Irniq similarly echoed those sentiments, calling for solidarity and reflection across Canada to heal this wound.

Constable Seewald was a caring, compassionate man of great bravery, humility and honour. He left behind a wife, Tanis, children, Carla and Aron, parents, a brother, and a remarkable legacy that will live in the hearts and minds of many for years to come.

Membertou
Statements By Members

March 12th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to tell the House about an exciting initiative in the community of Membertou, Cape Breton.

The Membertou Band Council will research and develop a learner booklet on the history of Membertou. Out of school youth aged 16 to 24 will be recruited to engage in this unique and historical project. While participating in the development of the learner booklet, they will not only be learning more about their history by interviewing elders, visiting museums and archives, but they will also be improving their own reading, writing and oral skills, as well as learning to edit and produce a booklet. The learner booklet will be used as a learning resource for the Mi'kmaq and to educate the Mi'kmaq community about its history.

Creative projects like this one sponsored by the Membertou Band Council are helping to unite this community by sharing history and encouraging reading and writing skills.

This knowledge and these skills will enable them to chart their own course in the future.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Gaetano Amodeo has been a fugitive living in Canada on and off since 1996. Among his accused crimes is the murder of an Italian police officer who was shot in the face at point blank range.

Two weeks ago, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration told the House that her department recently moved to deport Mr. Amodeo shortly after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. Now we discover that the Italian government informed the RCMP over two years ago that Mr. Amodeo lived here.

Would the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please tell us when she really learned that the RCMP knew Mr. Amodeo was wanted?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadian officials have been co-operating and sharing information with Italian officials since 1999. When there was sufficient information, including a positive identification and knowledge of Mr. Amodeo's whereabouts, the RCMP engaged the assistance of immigration officials. As stated previously by the minister, her department took appropriate steps to initiate deportation proceedings after receiving this information.

Within three weeks of the proceedings beginning, Mr. Amodeo was arrested. He is now in custody and is awaiting the appropriate legal proceedings.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's supposed facts are all out of line. Just two weeks ago, the minister of education-immigration stood in the House and refused to acknowledge these very important details. For two years the RCMP apparently knew about this information. The solicitor general was also in the House and he refused to inform the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and he refused to inform the House.

I ask him: When did he really know about this file? When did he find out the RCMP had the information? When did he inform the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or did he at all?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when, I repeat, there was sufficient information such that the RCMP felt that it could be brought to the attention of the immigration people, this was done. It included a positive identification and knowledge of Mr. Amodeo's whereabouts.

As a result, as the ministers have said, the immigration department receiving this information issued the appropriate warrants and within three weeks Mr. Amodeo was arrested. He remains in custody right now.

I do not know why the Leader of the Opposition is opposed to that. I thought he would be happy that Mr. Amodeo is in custody.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will try one more time. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and apparently the solicitor general said that they knew nothing, or they kept the information from the House. It was the Italian government that told us that it had informed the RCMP over two years ago, not just recently.

Now I will ask the Prime Minister, which of the two ministers, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the solicitor general, will he ask to resign over this scandal?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is the last person who should be talking about somebody else resigning after the problems he has had the past several years over his lawsuit and the donation. Speaking of resigning, he should start any parade on his side of the House.

The fact of the matter is that Canadian officials have been co-operating and sharing information with their Italian counterparts since 1999. I have said that and I repeat that. The hon. member is not providing anything new to the House. I repeat the answer I have given and I stand by that answer.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's answers are a little bit misleading. A fugitive, described by Interpol as being armed and dangerous and wanted for murdering a police officer, lived in Canada for two years. The RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada both knew he was here for two years. Both ministers knew he was here.

Is it not really time that the minister of education-immigration was held responsible and accountable for this and resigned for leaving the Canadian public open to this kind of risk?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the hon. member's question. I do not see what basis he has for alleging that both ministers knew for two years. That is not the fact of the situation as far as I am aware.

The two Alliance members keep saying that they want to ask questions about education. They should have gone back to Alberta and ran in the election that is taking place now. I am trying to educate the hon. members and they are not capable of learning.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, we will get to the facts. The Deputy Prime Minister can attempt to avoid this but it will not work.

The moment Gaetano Amodeo's name appeared on an application for permanent residency back in June 1999, the department of immigration should have run his name through both Interpol and the database of the RCMP, especially since it was advised by the Italian police that he was wanted.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration explain why her department did not check RCMP and Interpol in 1999 to see if there were any outstanding—

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will have to get further information but I want to add that the application was not granted. Landed immigrant status was not granted to this individual and that is the important fact.

Auberge Grand-Mère
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is still not able to shake off the serious appearance of a conflict of interest hovering over him in the matter of the Auberge Grand-Mère. In fact, the Prime Minister is counting on others to do the job for him.

After the ethics counsellor, who took his boss' side, David Asper, a senior executive with CanWest Global, is now coming to the Prime Minister's defence.

When will the Prime Minister realize that the only way to remove the doubt about his actions is to make public all the documents linking him to the Auberge Grand-Mère file and prove himself that he is beyond reproach?

Auberge Grand-Mère
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor testified before the parliamentary committee and answered questions on the documents. I wonder why the member is not prepared to accept the words of the ethics counsellor and of the Prime Minister in this House?