House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukraine.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we ask questions so we can get to the bottom of these allegations. This minister continues to fail Canadians by not exposing her role in this. Allegations that eight women were improperly granted landed immigrant status by this minister's official have recently come to light. Once again, the minister and her staff are in the middle of scandal.

Will the minister finally take the responsibility for her role in this scandal and resign?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I do not take any lessons from that sanctimonious parliamentarian over there who is a disgrace in this Parliament. If the member has any proof of those allegations, he should put them on the table now, or shut up and sit down.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I think it would be helpful if all hon. members kept quiet.

The hon. member for Saint-Lambert.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, recent government comments on the draft convention on cultural diversity are extremely vague on two of the key issues raised. As far as relations between the WTO and the convention in particular, the position is totally nebulous.

What I want to know from the minister is. what position does Canada have in mind to ensure that the countries concerned have the means to protect their culture when they feel it is under serious threat? Also, what exactly did she mean yesterday with her reference to wanting a convention that is legally applicable?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, our comments on the preliminary draft are now available on the net. First, I would point out that comments on the draft were gathered from all provinces.

Second, article 19 states specifically that the convention should be legally applicable, protect the cultures of the various countries, and enable the countries to have cultural policies and regulations that protect their individual cultural expression.

That is the objective of the convention. It will be discussed this afternoon in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the federal government's comments on the Internet last week, it had absolutely nothing to say about the second element of the UNESCO convention, the dispute settlement mechanisms.

Is its refusal to commit to the necessity of having such a mechanism not merely proof that, in actual fact, the government's true position is to subordinate the convention to the WTO rules?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would begin by suggesting that my colleague take a look at article 19. Canada has played a lead role as far as cultural diversity is concerned. Canada is the one responsible internationally for bringing all of the countries together, not just the members of the Francophonie. We will continue to play that lead role. This convention must be legally applicable. Culture is protected, and will continue to be protected under the convention.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, at the Quebec Liberal Party convention, Jean Charest spoke about Quebec's jurisdictions at the international level and said that what comes under Quebec's jurisdiction at home comes under it everywhere.

Is the government prepared to recognize that Quebec has a right to have its own voice at the international level, as regards its own jurisdictions?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that Canada speaks with one voice at the international level. Quebec is often represented in Canadian delegations, as are other provinces. This was the case at UNESCO and at other international forums. We continue to cooperate with our partners, the provinces.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean Charest made the same statement in Charlottetown when he said that it is up to Quebec to assume its internal jurisdictions at the international level. Contrary to what she is saying today, at the time, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said that she could live in perfect harmony with such remarks.

Therefore, will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs commit to asking her government to allow Quebec to have its own voice abroad, as regards its own jurisdictions?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is always somewhat amusing to see the Bloc Québécois trying to be the spokesperson for the federalist government in Quebec City. This is always a bit of a surprise to me.

Right now, we have a case in point with the Francophone Summit. The premiers of Quebec and New Brunswick, and the Prime Minister of Canada, are working in partnership at the summit. This is an example to follow.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

November 24th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what a tangled web we weave. Denial after denial as the minister claims ignorance about the involvement of her chief of staff with strip club owners trying to get visas for exotic dancers.

Today's Toronto Sun says:

Terry Koumoudouros, president of House of Lancaster 1 and 2, said he met with Ihor Wons, [the minister's] senior policy adviser, at his club on The Queensway.

I called him (Wons) up...He came down and I asked for him to help me get the girls from the Dominican Republic.

What was the minister's right-hand person doing meeting at strip clubs to get these--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me also be very clear that I disapprove of this kind of business that was referred to, this industry. I am on record when it comes to all of those issues that involve women and I will fight on them any day. But we also have an obligation for minister's staff that have to meet with people when they are asked to do so. That is exactly what the staff member was doing.