House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Industry
Oral Question Period

December 13th, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to housing, when was the last time someone took refuge in a commitment? That is all we can say.

The cozy relationship between lobbyists and the Prime Minister's Office has to stop. Pumping millions into the Prime Minister's campaign will not get people off the hook. Yet the Prime Minister has lifted not a finger to clean things up, letting his friends continue to sell access to a government that they themselves helped to build. The lobbyist watchdog is still not independent. He can be fired by cabinet.

When will the Prime Minister create an independent lobbyist--

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Industry.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the registrar of lobbyists has complete independence from my office. He does not seek advice on any issue that comes before him. Therefore, he conducts his investigations with complete independence, and he will continue to do that.

The bill will be strengthened with regulations that will be gazetted in the next few weeks, and will be implemented early in 2005.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we will believe it when we see it.

Let us talk about the independent Ethics Commissioner on the immigration minister's file. He has contracted out the investigation to a well known Liberal legal firm that employs a former Liberal cabinet minister. It is the same law firm that the Prime Minister used for his own corporate interests. How convenient: a Liberal law firm investigating a Liberal cabinet minister. Does the Prime Minister not think Canadians have had enough of Liberals investigating themselves?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member is not calling into question either the integrity or the credentials of Mr. Shapiro, the independent Ethics Commissioner. We have an independent Ethics Commissioner. He is an officer of this Parliament. That is what everyone in this place sought over a significant period of time, especially members of the opposition. They now have an independent officer of Parliament. It is most unfortunate if the hon. member is calling into question his integrity and ability.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister gave special treatment to campaign workers and received campaign cash from others whom she helped into the country, with ministerial permits. Her actions have hurt the reputation of our country and our immigration system.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Before he goes on his next vacation, will he do the right thing and fire the minister of immigration?

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, again what we hear are unsubstantiated allegations. Unfortunately, members on the other side do not seem to care what they say and do in relation to the reputations of people, and that is most unfortunate.

Let me say, as we have said before, the Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament. He has taken up this matter, and I know that we all await his report.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious to most Canadians that the minister of immigration has to go. In fact, it seems there are only three people who think otherwise: the Deputy Prime Minister, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration herself.

The list is long. She has had people campaigning for her on the public dime. Her assistant visited strip clubs to do business. She gave preferential treatment to campaign workers. She defended the stripper program, after saying these strippers were victims of abuse. This is an embarrassment.

When will the Prime Minister, hopefully before his next vacation, do the right thing and fire the minister of immigration?

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, the only embarrassment is the opposition members and the unsubstantiated accusations they make on the floor of the House under the cover of parliamentary immunity.

The Ethics Commissioner is seized of this matter. I know we all look forward to his report. He is an independent officer of this House. Why do we not just let him do his work?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister has proven she is not competent to hold office. She let a campaign worker jump the queue ahead of 700,000 other applicants. She accepted a $5,000 illegal donation from a member of her riding executive who also obtained eight special ministerial permits. Her office used thug tactics to dissuade MPs from further questioning any of these matters, by threatening to withhold special ministerial permits for real cases.

When will the Prime Minister do the right thing and fire the minister?

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, if the hon. member actually believes the litany of things he has just said, I encourage him to go outside and say those things to the press. I ask him to have the guts to make those allegations outside this House, free from parliamentary immunity.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, rumours are flying outside of the House in the coffee chatter circuit. Rumours are flying around Ottawa about who will be the next immigration minister. The member for Beaches—East York and the member for Parkdale—High Park both have been rumoured to be the next minister of immigration.

The immigration department is directionless, as the current minister spends all her time in damage control. Liberal caucus unity is in disarray, as members openly campaign for the job.

When will the Prime Minister put an end to this uncertainty, put some order and discipline back into his own caucus, and appoint a new minister of immigration?

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, in my opinion, the hon. member should spend a lot less time on the cocktail circuit and a whole lot more time working on behalf of his constituents and discharging his responsibilities as a member of Parliament.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the government announced that the parental leave issue had been resolved.

What is the explanation for the fact that what should have been a few formalities have not been finalized seven months later? This is not the best example of efficiency we have seen.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I previously stated in the House, I am not in the habit of negotiating with the opposition on a very serious matter.

We are in the midst of very sensitive negotiations, and we are hoping for a positive conclusion.