House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was salaries.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I note that the minister did not answer the question.

The question is, how many ministerial permits did the immigration minister issue to her supporters and in her riding during the 2004 election? How many?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I have to go and look at the allegations of supporters. I am very proud that I and many of you are supporters in the Ahmadiyya community in this country. How much richer this country is because of the work that community does here for all of us to move this country forward. Any help I give that community or any other one, I am very proud of what I did, and I will do it some more.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the immigration minister claimed ignorance about the illegal campaign contribution, dismissing it as a “clerical error”, but today we learned that she actually attended the donor's event on the same day that the cheque was issued.

Is she still claiming ignorance, or will she finally admit her incompetence, rethink her answer of yesterday, and resign?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the fact that I attended that event for the Ahmadiyya community, as I attend events for all the ethnic communities in this country. It is those ethnic communities that we care about. Clearly the opposition has only got one issue at hand and that is how it can continue to smear immigrants and vulnerable women.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a previous attempt to spin this mess, the minister told the House that she was out of commission for the last three weeks of the campaign, but apparently she was well enough to attend meetings, issue permits for political supporters and accept illegal donations.

It is time for you to stop hiding behind the Ethics Commissioner and to start accepting the responsibility--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I want to remind the hon. member that I am not hiding behind anything. If she wants to address her remarks to somebody, she is to address them to me. She is following very bad examples that have been set earlier in this House, and not today. I would invite her to address her remarks to the Chair, please.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the minister to stop hiding behind the Ethics Commissioner and to start accepting the responsibility that Canadians demand. When will the disgraced and incompetent minister resign?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, this circus has been going on for about four weeks now. We have heard unfounded allegations in these last four weeks. We have had staff being smeared and a whole variety of things.

Frankly, we came to Parliament, to this House of Commons, to move forward on the facts of what matters to the government. Clearly, our government and our Prime Minister are doing such a great job that all opposition members can do is to continue smearing new immigrants.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Malcolm Brown, assistant deputy minister for the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, told the Subcommittee on the Employment Insurance Funds that lowering the qualifying threshold for the employment insurance program to 360 hours, for everyone, would only cost $390 million.

Does the minister realize that, instead of reducing the EI contribution rate by three cents, he could have allowed thousands of workers to have access to employment insurance benefits at a similar cost? Why did he deliberately make the wrong choice?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, according to the Auditor General, the general actuary, we have made a fair and appropriate choice. We are in the process of making several decisions, and these decisions should be evaluated together, not individually.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to reducing contributions, the minister does not look at the overall picture. Mr. Brown also stated that lowering the number of hours required to 360 would make employment insurance accessible to an additional 90,000 people, who would no longer have to live in poverty.

Is this a case of bad faith? Why does the minister stubbornly leave all these people and their families in hardship, when he has ample means to come to their aid?

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 only thing that is a hardship here is the lack of honesty of the party opposite.

I would like to indicate to the hon. members of that party that, over the past 10 years, we have created three million jobs, which generated a lot of hope and benefits while also creating a positive future for all Canadians.

During the last year alone, we created 59,000 jobs in Quebec.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

December 8th, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with implementation of the Kyoto protocol at last only weeks away, we learn that Canada's water and air are more polluted than ever. Over the past decade, Quebec has had the best performance as far as reduction of greenhouse gases is concerned, and this is why we are calling for a bilateral Canada-Quebec agreement.

Rather than acting as the voice of Canada, could the Minister of the Environment focus his efforts instead on a territorially based agreement with Quebec, one that acknowledges Quebec's past efforts?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the negotiations with the Government of Quebec in connection with the Kyoto protocol are going smoothly, particularly since the Bloc Québécois is not interfering.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, although there is a federalist government in Quebec, as the minister has said, no progress is being made on anything, child care, fiscal imbalance, parental leave, let alone the environment.

Does the minister recognize that only an agreement based on a territorial approach can do justice to Quebec and its past efforts to deal with climate change?