House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not think so because the member for Calgary--Nose Hill will be there.

First of all the national Privacy Commissioner will be there. The privacy commissioner from Quebec will be there. The former privacy commissioner from British Columbia will be there. Because I accepted, the national Privacy Commissioner asked if we could have one representative from the province, and guess what. The deputy privacy commissioner from Ontario will be there.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what open debate means with the minister.

First he pays O.J. Simpson's lawyer $36,000 to open the forum with a stirring speech in favour of ID cards. This is followed by the minister himself, the one pushing the whole idea. Next comes a spokesperson for the industry that stands to make billions if this thing goes through.

Is this forum not really about giving the minister a public excuse to impose ID cards on Canadians?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a great deal of interest in this forum, which makes me very proud, as it is an extremely important debate.

Last week the deputy prime minister met with Secretary Ridge and biometrics were indeed discussed. This debate is essential to our society, and internationally as well. Most certainly, having more than 120 experts representing all aspects of the issue will ensure that we will be able to address the issue of document integrity and how we can maintain an open Canadian border.

The question is not whether or not to have an identity card. We wish to determine whether there is an increasing need for biometrics in this country.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the people of Gaspé and New Brunswick held a major demonstration demanding a moratorium on the Belledune project.

Section 35 of the Fisheries Act provides the federal government with the means to impose the necessary moratorium on this. Why is it refusing to do what everyone in our area wants? Why is it being so stubborn?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is asking me to misuse federal powers to interfere in areas of provincial jurisdiction. We on this side of the House find that totally unacceptable.

Airborne emissions are the responsibility of the province and of the Department of the Environment, not Fisheries and Oceans.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, environmental assessments are the responsibility of Quebec and New Brunswick, but the federal level can impose a moratorium on this project under the Fisheries Act.

If he is so certain, can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans state without the shadow of a doubt that the Belledune project represents no danger whatsoever to fish? Can he make that commitment officially, from his seat? I challenge him to do so.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the minister or the department can tell the hon. member that, if ever any specific information were to come to light indicating harmful effects, we would take the necessary steps.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

October 6th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has learned that as of today, the immigration minister will not be staffing the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing from midnight to 8 o'clock in the morning. This means there will be no immigration officer on duty from Lacolle, Quebec to Niagara Falls for eight hours to screen travellers who require secondary screening for immigration purposes.

Can the minister explain how this will enhance security for Canadians?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will take note of the question and get back to the hon. member.

Clearly, in terms of immigration, our role is to work with the various agencies so as to ensure security. I will investigate further and give her a response shortly.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the United States was not even informed that Canada would not have immigration officers in place from midnight to 8 o'clock. The United States has actually increased its immigration officers at this point of entry, while Canada has decreased its officers.

Will the minister assure Canadians that any individual with immigration concerns will not be allowed into Canada until the individual has been put through a secondary screening?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we are working closely with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and all the other agencies to make sure we send a clear message that security is a priority for us.

Regarding the specific question, I will get back to the hon. member with the answer.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader stated that George Radwanski was not the only one who benefited from an extension of his accommodation allowance so as to maintain two principal residences longer than one year.

Could the government House leader to tell us the names of the other individuals who benefited from the same treatment as George Radwanski? We want the list.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as this concerns personal information, the hon. members certainly do not expect us to provide in the House the names of those individuals with a particular salary or allowance, any more than the spending budgets of members are made public in detail in the House.

I indicated that a certain number of senior officials had received similar allowances and even, in some cases, for much longer. In short, I want to tell the hon. member that the individual in question was entitled to a third year and that, at the same time—

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Châteauguay.

Former Privacy Commissioner
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting but incomplete answer. We need the names only. Names are in the public domain.

The government House leader keeps saying that there is nothing unusual about the allowance George Radwanski received. However, his colleague from the Treasury Board said on the weekend that tighter controls were needed.

Are we to conclude that, if the government House leader refuses to answer, it is because he wants to hide something or is even trying to protect someone?