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 federal.

Topics

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question of parental leave has dragged on for a long time and young parents in Quebec are the ones who are suffering.

How can he explain that seven months after a pre-election agreement in principle, we are still waiting? Will it take another election campaign to reach a resolution?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the same question deserves the same answer.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

December 13th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question will be coming up often because it never gets answered.

In the days following the end of this session of Parliament, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities will present its report on the amendments the government should make to the employment insurance system.

Does the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development intend to analyze this report as quickly as possible in order for this House to begin work on this necessary and urgent reform as soon as we return in January? He could draw inspiration from the bills the Bloc has already proposed to make changes in the system.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have already proposed suggestions. I am studying them right now. I still have great respect for the committees of this House and I will await the tabling of the subcommittee's report before making comments or talking about the conclusion.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not complicated. The question is just whether or not he will respond quickly to the report.

Every time we question the minister on the need for an in-depth review of EI, he talks about jobs that have been created and the health of the economy. Does the minister not understand that the people we are talking about are are facing factory closures, have seasonal work, and need to have improvements made to EI.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have said I am always open to suggestions that will improve the system. Still, over the past 10 years, in the current system, we have created 3 million jobs. Even in the first 9 months of this year—we have verified this—there were 39,000 new jobs in Quebec, as well. Across the country, the economy is working and working well, thanks to the system we already have in place.

Citizenship and Immigrations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the immigration system is broken. It seems the minister has compassion for cases that might help her politically, yet the minister or the system cannot help real refugees.

The credibility of the minister is in shreds. The minister apparently had no compassion for the young lady whom I brought to her attention last week. She now has been deported, subsequently jailed and abused in Iran, just I like I warned her.

When will the minister protect real refugees instead of queue jumpers?

Citizenship and Immigrations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a very proud record with regard to refugees. The hon. member also knows that the minister is not allowed to speak about individual cases in the House because it is against the privacy laws. Each case is always judged on its merits.

Citizenship and Immigrations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister has shown her complete contempt for the hundreds of thousands of legitimate refugees and immigrants waiting in the immigration backlog. Rather than fast tracking skilled immigrants, the minister expedites the applications for strippers and campaign workers.

The minister should spend less time dishing out political favours and more time on fixing the visitor visa mess, cleaning up fraud at our overseas missions, and reducing family class waiting times.

When will she admit that the jig is up and resign?

Citizenship and Immigrations
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the minister has said repeatedly that she is dealing with the Citizenship Act. The committee has dealt with it. We have talked about reviewing the whole refugee system in spite of the fact that we are proud of how we deal with refugees abroad.

We always listen to members in the House. The system needs fine tuning and it could be better. We are working with committees and with members from both sides of the House to do exactly that.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on CPAC the government House leader and a senior government minister took the position that civil servants, such as justices of the peace or marriage commissioners, should lose their jobs if they fail to take part in same sex marriages on the basis of religious or conscientious beliefs.

Is the minister's position the position of the Liberal government? Is the real agenda of the Liberal government to make the proposed marriage legislation an attack on religious and conscientious freedoms of ordinary citizens?

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court, which is the decision we will follow, explicitly and manifestly protects freedom of religion in all its respects.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, is the minister's position that anyone who does not take part in the religious ceremony or performs a religious service on the basis of religious freedom will likely get fired? Will he take steps to ensure that these rights are protected and that no individuals will lose their job because they insist on their rights and freedoms?

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court judgment was explicit that no religious official will be compelled to perform a same sex marriage. We will be working with our provincial counterparts to ensure that freedom of religion is fully protected.

Government Programs
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, as everybody knows, accountability for how well we spend our citizens' money is very important. I understand Treasury Board will soon be considering an accountability framework for every government department. Will the minister ensure that the accountability frameworks include a gender based analysis to ensure we are delivering programs equally well for men and women?