House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, farmers are exasperated because for a year and a half now they have been suffering the effects of the U.S. border being closed to Canadian beef.

Why has the federal government not realized that its aid package for farmers with cull is inadequate and that setting a floor price would be much better and cost the federal government absolutely nothing?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I said in answer to an earlier question, some $366 million has been directed in business risk management to the province of Quebec. In terms of establishing a floor price, the province of Quebec has the ability to establish a floor price within the province of Quebec. It does not need the federal government's assistance in doing that.

However, they are right. There is an issue with cull cows. There is an issue for producers. There is work to be done, and we are determined to assist them. That is why we are working with the producers and with the Government of Quebec.

Housing
Oral Question Period

November 22nd, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Until the Prime Minister literally abolished the affordable housing program, Canada stood as a world leader in the construction of affordable housing. Since the Prime Minister took over the reins, when he was finance minister, we have seen nothing but a growth of homelessness from coast to coast to coast, and people dying in the streets.

My question for the finance minister is this. How can Canada be the only G-8 country that does not even have a housing program?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada provides some $2 billion in ongoing support programs for social housing in cooperation with the provinces across the country. At the moment, we have a $1 billion allotment for the new construction of affordable housing. The housing minister and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are very actively pursuing options in the future. Members will know that it was part of our election campaign platform and our throne speech, that we plan to move on this in this Parliament.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, how dare the finance minister include in his numbers money to build shelters for homeless people as though it is some kind of housing program. The government is constantly portraying itself as the great saviour of people who are homeless. If that were the case, why would it not establish some goals for affordable housing construction? Why would it not establish some goals for reducing homelessness in the country?

The only goal the finance minister cares about is his debt to GDP ratio. Where will that leave people who are in the streets? Will the--

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Labour and Housing.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know that I was in Toronto on the weekend. I met with leaders of homelessness in Toronto and in this province, Mr. Shapcott and Ms. Cathy Crowe. They have indicated that they appreciate the leadership that has been given by the government since 1999: $1 billion on the homelessness initiative, $1 billion on affordable housing and $2 billion on social housing. We are leading the world in many ways. We will continue to work with the provinces and communities to deliver more in terms of social housing.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government now faces a serious situation. Allegations pointing to abuse of power by the immigration minister have come from Liberal insiders and public servants. In one example, the minister, just three days before the election, rushed through a residency and work permit for a campaign volunteer, boosting her over the heads of thousands of others waiting in the queue.

Why is the minister being allowed to continue to make decisions affecting the lives of immigrants and refugees with this ethical cloud hanging over her?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned before in the House, the minister has referred this matter to the Ethics Commissioner. The Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament. He will investigate this matter. He will report fully. That report will be made public. Let us not prejudge the work of the Ethics Commissioner. He is independent. Let us let him do his work.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the sad truth is the minister just asked for confidential advice on one narrow matter, not a thorough investigation as the government tries to make out.

Troubling questions have come out as to whether the immigration minister has abused her position to offer political favours. To preserve confidence in our system and until these matters are cleared up, will the minister be asked to step aside?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that an expanded review has been asked for by the Ethics Commissioner. It is also my understanding that the Ethics Commissioner has agreed to that expanded review. I again repeat that it is important we let the Ethics Commissioner do his work and that we not prejudge the work of this independent officer of Parliament.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was wrong not only in giving preferential treatment to the detriment of honest immigrants, but also for having created a system of corruption in her riding. First she gets rid of officials in her election headquarters, then she attracts volunteers by promising favours and, finally, she gives preference to applicants who do not deserve it.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to these schemes?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, there are outrageous assertions and allegations being made by certain members of the House. I think we all know full well that they are only making these allegations in here, where they are protected from the consequences of these outrageous, unproven allegations. The Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of this Parliament. This matter has been referred to him. Let us not prejudge the outcome of the Ethics Commissioner's work.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, these allegations are coming from Liberal insiders and public servants. The minister should listen to what is happening on her own side.

Under the stewardship of this government, Canada's immigration system has become known for more cronyism and unethical treatment than helping legitimate immigrants and refugees. The minister has engaged in shady practices throughout her campaign. She has rewarded her election workers by allowing one to queue jump and another to escape deportation.

When will the Prime Minister demand better of his cabinet and ask the minister to step aside?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, those are the most outrageous and unproven assertions and allegations.

It is incumbent upon all of us in the House not to abuse the immunity and privilege of the House but to act as responsible parliamentarians. That is what the minister has done. The minister has referred this matter to the Ethics Commissioner. The government will cooperate with the Ethics Commissioner in his inquiry. The report by the commissioner will be made public. Let him do his work.