House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current EI economic regions came into effect on July 9, 2000. These regions reflected changes in the labour market and ensured that people living in areas with high unemployment received the assistance they need from the EI program.

HRDC also recognized at that time that the impact of the changes was greater than expected in the regions and introduced transitional measures.

Recently, we have heard that workers in these regions will require additional time to adjust.

Can the Minister of Human Resources Development tell the House what the government is doing to help workers in the affected regions in Quebec and New Brunswick?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that we have extended the transitional period for employment insurance in the economic regions by one year. This is the case in the Madawaska-Charlotte region of New Brunswick and the Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore regions of Quebec.

We understand that seasonal work forms an important part of the social and economic fabric of Canada, which is why I am pleased that the Prime Minister will be establishing a task force on seasonal work that will examine the range of issues that affect the industries, the workforce and the communities that are dependent on these activities.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I just received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs that says that Maher Arar was only in Jordan while he was “in transit” on his way to Syria.

The Syrians confirmed yesterday that he was not in transit but he was incarcerated and being interrogated while he was in Jordan.

Why would the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell me that this Canadian was in transit when he was really in jail and being questioned?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Arar was deported by the American authorities from New York to Syria. He passed through Jordan; he was in transit in Jordan. He was taken to Syria through Jordan.

The letter is absolutely accurate. The hon. member knows that. That is exactly what we said and that is the truth.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, being interrogated and in jail is not in transit.

The Syrians confirmed yesterday that Mr. Arar was in jail and not in transit at all. Now that we know Mr. Arar was in Jordan, where was he in Jordan? Who had him in custody while he was in Jordan? Did the minister ever ask any of these questions?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course, we asked those questions.

However, Mr. Arar has returned to Canada. I think it is important to allow Mr. Arar to have an opportunity to tell his story as to what happened to him. We are respectful of that and we will allow that to happen.

We will respect the case of Mr. Arar as we respect the cases of all citizens. We will not prejudge what they will say about their rights, which we intend to support in defending them.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is again to the Minister of Industry.

I will allow for the fact that perhaps his first answer to my question might have been based on not knowing what the situation was. Some time has passed.

Could the minister tell us whether or not such a contract has been awarded to Lockheed-Martin for the census. If it has, could he tell us in which wing of the Pentagon all this information on Canadians will be stored?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as with any other such crown agency, contracts awarded by Statistics Canada are awarded after a full bidding process where value for money and the contract price is evaluated.

I have every confidence Statistics Canada used that process in its entirety in this and every other case.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Solicitor General.

Today the Solicitor General reaffirmed that there was no contact between Canadian and American officials prior to the deportation of Mahar Arar to Syria.

However, today in the Toronto Star there is a quote from an American official which says that Canadian security informed them that Arar was under surveillance by Canada because he had travelled to Afghanistan.

How can the minister continue to deny that there was an exchange of information between his government and the Americans that may have led to the deportation of Arar to Syria? If he continues to deny that, why does he not just resign?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have tried to make it clear all along that I cannot confirm or deny any investigation of any individual or any matter involving the RCMP.

That would be irresponsible of me, including in terms of any exchange of information. To do so would violate the privileges of individuals and could impinge the integrity of investigations.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

October 9th, 2003 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the junior defence minister used a private jet owned by the Irving Group of Companies on a political trip to Washington.

He is governed by conflict guidelines preventing him from receiving benefits greater than $200. An executive jet just idling to the end of the runway costs more than $200.

Why did this individual take this trip and not disclose it to the proper public authorities?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I presume the hon. member is referring to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.

He should know that the member in question cleared his relationship, which is a longstanding one between his family and the Irving family, in advance of taking on his duties as parliamentary secretary.

The ethics counsellor has blessed that relationship, and understands the nature of the business that occurred between those families.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the conflict to anybody else is pretty obvious.

The Irving Group has defence interests through Fleetway Inc. Its website states that it is well positioned to respond to the needs of government involving engineering support contracts, including national defence.

Who over there will stand up to justify this junior defence minister taking an airplane trip from a company that has defence contracts, and good luck to them?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the very fact that the hon. member claims that this is a junior defence minister shows that the whole foundation for his question is false. If he had any interest in telling the truth he would not be saying such things.

What the ethics counsellor proved was a longstanding personal relationship, as is anticipated in the code of conduct. Does the member know what is in the code of conduct? I suspect not.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Borja family has spent the last 100 days in a church in North Hatley, in the Eastern Townships, under threat of expulsion.

This family is desperate for a fair and equitable review of its case. This sad case due to the lack of any appeal tribunal for refugees.

What is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration waiting for before he complies with the act and sets up an appeal tribunal for refugees?