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

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if there is one political blueprint in Canada that would be disastrous for the environment, it is this party's separatism.

The worst possible thing would be to place international boundaries between provinces that are working together to achieve cleaner air and safer water, and particularly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to return to the questions that the immigration minister refused to answer. She has been asked three times today about the number of ministerial permits she granted to members of her constituency, Liberal volunteers, and donors in her constituency.

She has avoided the question on three occasions. Here is a fourth opportunity for her to put it on the record. How many ministerial permits did she issue?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me be quite clear. Permits are issued to foreign nationals. Permits are not issued to people who are living in this country. They are issued to foreigners.

I issued permits to over 20 countries in that period of time. Some of them were for the opposition. There were a few others. I issued eight for the Ahmadiyya community. It had a conference of almost half a million people coming up on July 2, 3 and 4. In fact, if I am not mistaken, several members over there were also there.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Well, Mr. Speaker, let the record show that the question goes unanswered again. Is the Prime Minister aware of any police, RCMP or CSIS investigations into the conduct of the immigration minister or any members of her staff, past or present?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that there are no investigations that I am aware of, for myself or any of my staff. I stand here and will put my integrity up against any guys on the other side, anytime.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, according to the 2004 Fraser Institute report on waiting times, it shows that waiting times have increased exponentially since 1993. One of the major causes is the shortage of doctors and specialists across Canada. While the immigration minister is handing out “get into Canada free” passes to strippers, there are doctors waiting in line and waiting a long time, like everyone else.

When will the Prime Minister get his priorities straight and help the doctors who want to come here?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said in the House before, we arrived at an unprecedented health care accord with the provinces and territories, and we will put $41 billion into health care over the next 10 years.

A significant amount of that money will be used to train our new doctors and nurses, and other health care professionals in this country. It will bring into our health care system all of the doctors and nurses who are here from other countries, who need to be re-skilled and retrained, and will be integrated into our system, so that we can deal with the wait times.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, if I can stand in this House and ask this question, the Prime Minister can certainly stand and answer. It is an easy choice. If I had to choose between doctors or strippers, I would choose doctors. That is where the immigration minister and I disagree.

When will the government stop fooling around and get serious about the shortage of doctors and specialists in Canada?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we will pour over $41 billion into health care over the next 10 years. It is important to recognize that a significant amount of that money will be used to train more health care professionals in Canada. A significant amount of that money will be used to retrain, re-skill and integrate international medical graduates into health care work here, so that there are no wait times for Canadians.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

December 8th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government announced steps to extend benefits to veterans and their caregivers which would allow our veterans to lead independent lives. Along with taking care of our veterans is the duty to commemorate their service.

Can the minister tell the House what the government is planning to do to commemorate our veterans during the Year of the Veteran?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mississauga East—Cooksville
Ontario

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there can be no greater priority than to serve those who have served Canada. The year 2005, the Year of the Veteran, will be a national history lesson and a national show of gratitude for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who wore the Canadian maple leaf in defence of our country.

I invite all members of the House to join us and join veterans in the official launch of the year next Tuesday afternoon, December 14, right here on Parliament Hill.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Supreme Court will decide on equal marriage for lesbian and gay couples. The Prime Minister has avoided this issue for years.

I have a question I know many would find comfort in his answering. As a citizen, as a gay man and loving partner, a clear answer to my question would be very significant.

Does the Prime Minister support my right to marry the man I love?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the answer in one word is yes.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's clarity, but I would have preferred an answer from the Prime Minister.

I hope that clarity will result in swift introduction of legislation that acts on those words. I hope that the Minister of Justice will be in the House tomorrow to table legislation ensuring equal marriage for gay and lesbian Canadians. When will this legislation be introduced?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have draft legislation before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada will deliver its advisory opinion tomorrow. Consequent to that advisory opinion, which we believe will be organized around the principles of equality and respect for freedom of religion, we will move with all deliberate speed to introduce legislation in the House.