House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

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, we have too many hon. members who feel free to throw unsubstantiated allegations around in this place. I will again reiterate that anyone working for any minister in the government must go through a security and background check.

In relation to any operational matters involving the RCMP or any other investigative agency, it is simply inappropriate for anyone in the government or for those agencies themselves to confirm or deny any details in relation to operations--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary West.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

If the Liberals want to talk about inappropriate, Mr. Speaker, the minister misled the House when she denied there were any investigations into her office. Now we find out that it is not just a police investigation but a national security probe.

The minister is no longer just an international embarrassment, she is now a security threat, having a staff member with ties to the Tamil Tigers who has admitted to using 241 suicide bombers in the last 17 years of a campaign of terror.

I would like to know what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has planned for a New Year's resolution. Will she reduce the stress in her life and just resign?

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, what we just heard from the hon. member are the most outrageous, unsubstantiated allegations and assertions.

I would encourage people like that to actually have the courage to go outside where they do not have parliamentary immunity and make those statements.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

December 14th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Boire Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Huntingdon in my riding are calling for help. More than 800 jobs are disappearing from this town. Just before Christmas, that is a disaster.

What is the minister's plan for rescuing the textile industry and helping the communities who are suffering? I demand an answer now.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has been working very hard on this file in consultation with industry, with employees and with members of Parliament, including, most particularly, members on the government side. We recognize the importance of this industry and we also recognize the seriousness of the situation, such as those in Huntingdon.

We have been seeking solutions that will not just maintain the status quo but will actually better position the industry for the future.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Boire Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mayor of Huntingdon is calling for government help for his residents. Among other measures, he is asking for speedy payment of EI benefits and retirement measures to help older workers.

Is the federal government able to respond positively—today—to the mayor's request for emergency assistance?

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have met with the employers, the unions and other representatives in order to begin the process of ensuring that these employees get all the benefits they are entitled to as a result of this tragic event. My department is willing and ready to do anything necessary as quickly as possible.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's closure of the textile mill in Huntingdon is a tragic illustration of the usefulness of an assistance program for older workers. The average age of the Huntingdon workers who have completely lost their jobs is over 50.

I ask the Minister of Human Resources if he will re-introduce an improved program for older worker adjustment—or POWA—for textile workers and those in Huntingdon in particular.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated that I am available to look at all possible means of easing the transition for the employees who have lost their jobs, including the POWA.

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, decisions must be made. A dissenting report by a Liberal member of the other chamber states that the government is on the wrong track in its employment insurance policies.

In her report on dissidence and distress, she demands serious improvements, because she thinks the reforms are insufficient and she blames the bureaucrats in the departments of finance, human resources and skills development, and Treasury Board.

Will the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development finally show some sensitivity to the plight of older workers and restore an improved form of the POWA as quickly as possible?

Textile and Clothing Industry
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was being very sincere when I said I was available to examine the programs for older workers.

However, it seems the hon. member opposite is not as sincere as he would like to appear, since he is talking about a report that has nothing to do with the problem before us, that of textile industry employees.

Moreover, with the help of my staff, I have already begun setting up a program that may find solutions for the immediate problem.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday night the Minister responsible for Democratic Reform let slip the government's hidden agenda on freedom of religion. On CPAC the minister said that public officials who refuse to perform same sex marriages for reasons of conscience or religion should be disciplined and fired.

My question is for the Minister responsible for Democratic Reform. Will the minister admit he has let slip the government's hidden agenda to undermine full freedom of religion?

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 decision is clear. The charter is clear. Freedom of religion is protected and people who are not religious officials are also protected with respect to their religious beliefs.

Marriage
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is simply outrageous for members on that side to state that people should be fired or disciplined for their religious beliefs. This is a direct attack on Canadians' freedom of both conscience and religion.

Why is the government's position that individuals who do not agree with changing the definition of marriage should be excluded from public life?