House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Securities Industry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the area of securities regulation is a shared jurisdiction. Presently, we have a variety of provinces that have securities regulators.

The view of the government is that the wise persons' report is the way to go, that we should have a national securities regulator and that the current passport system, which presently is being implemented, is not as effective as it could be. In some respects we agree with the observations of the hon. member.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

December 10th, 2004 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister did not deny that a former staff member of the immigration minister was under investigation for security. We are not asking her to comment on such an investigation. We want her to confirm that an investigation is underway.

Giving us the facts on this does not breach any rules. The question is simple and the answer can be one word, yes or no. Which is it?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, not only would it be inappropriate for me to confirm or deny whether an investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to confirm or deny whether there is ongoing investigation.

I would hope the hon. member would respect that.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday that security officials have confirmed that one of the minister's former staff is being probed for allegations relating to national security. This is really simple. We are not asking her to make comments on the investigation, just to confirm if there is in fact any police investigation, RCMP or otherwise. She knows she is allowed to say yes or no to that.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but it is inappropriate for me to either confirm or deny the existence of any RCMP investigation. As I say, I would hope the hon. members would respect that.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I hope after the Minister of Justice made his comments in the House yesterday, he went away and actually read the decision of the Supreme Court on same sex marriage. If he did, he would have found that the Supreme Court refused to declare the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional. In fact, it sent the matter back for Parliament to decide.

Will the justice minister stop misleading Canadians and acknowledge that the decision to implement same sex marriage is not a constitutional requirement, but a policy choice that the Liberals are making?

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I never pronounce on a judgment until I have read it first. That is exactly what I caution the member opposite. If he looks at the judgment, it clearly declares--

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

You pronounced on it first, minister. You should have waited for the decision.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

If the member wants to hear the answer, I will give it. It clearly declares that the opposite sex requirement for marriage is unconstitutional. It is right through the judgment. Otherwise, we could not have a unanimous judgment extending civil marriage for gays and lesbians.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. In fact, that is the question the Supreme Court of Canada refused to answer. It sent it back to Parliament.

The Prime Minister told Canadians that his bill on same sex marriage would protect religious organizations. Yesterday, the Supreme Court told him that the bill's provisions about religious protection were outside the jurisdiction of Parliament.

How does the Prime Minister now intend to statutorily protect not only religious organizations, but also public officials with moral concerns about same sex marriages now that the Supreme Court of Canada has told him his--

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am now convinced that he did not read the judgment, and still has not read it. If he had read it, he would understand that it being an advisory opinion, it cannot direct Parliament to do anything. All it can do is give advice. That is the nature of a reference. It is up to us to undertake that responsibility, to introduce legislation in Parliament, and we will do that. It will protect religious organizations because, under the charter, the court has said that religious freedom is absolutely protected, contrary to what the hon. member said.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance said he was surprised by the sudden interest shown by the Bloc Québécois in the textile industry. However, six months ago, in fact, the Bloc was proposing a rescue plan to help that industry, and was also condemning job losses. As recently as yesterday, the president of Peerless made a plea for help, on behalf of the industry.

The Minister of Finance promised an assistance plan for the industry by December 31. Can he tell us if he intends to take into consideration the proposals by the Bloc Québécois' proposals and in the unanimous report of the Standing Committee on Finance?

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as members know, with regard to this matter, an all party report from the finance committee made a number of suggestions to the minister as to how he could appropriately deal with this matter. The minister has those under consideration.

As well, there have been numerous representatives from caucus, the member for Ahuntsic, the member for Brome--Missisquoi, the former member for Compton--Stanstead, the member for Beauce, the member for Saint-Léonard--Saint-Michel, the member for Etobicoke North, the member for Scarborough Centre, the member for Guelph, all of whom have worked very hard on this file.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that I have been trying to save the textile industry in my riding of Drummond for the past year. The government has yet to take action. We are talking about 40,000 jobs that have already been lost since 1997 in the textile and clothing industry. Behind these numbers are individuals, many of whom are older workers.

In light of this reality, will the minister restore the program for older worker adjustment, which the government abolished in 1997?