House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

October 21st, 2005 / 11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources suggested that the federal government had not only the right but also the responsibility to evolve EI programs as society evolves.

What are we to make of the minister's remarks? Are we to understand that she is announcing further encroachments on the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, let me say I am very pleased at the Supreme Court of Canada's decision that recognizes and upholds the federal jurisdiction as it relates to EI benefits and maternity benefits. I am also proud to say that there will be no interruption in any of the benefits that Canadians receive. In fact, the judgment does say that we do have the responsibility to evolve EI programs as society evolves, as it relates to the workplace.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, in reality, this new invention of national interest is a tool to justify encroaching on the jurisdictions of others.

Instead of using the national interest as an excuse to encroach on Quebec's areas of jurisdiction, should the minister not start by looking after her own responsibilities, by improving the employment insurance program and establishing an income support program for older workers, for instance?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to add that I did call Minister Courchesne yesterday and expressed to her that we are going forward with the agreement that we have with Quebec so that Quebec can have its maternity and benefits program in place by January 1, 2006. We are working collaboratively and very well with Minister Courchesne and the Quebec government to achieve this.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

As justice minister the minister brought in draconian security law that violated civil liberties. As security minister she blocked information from being made public in the Arar inquiry. As part of a government that looks like it has been involved in the sending of Canadians to countries that use torture, I want to ask her, when it comes to the proposed new wiretap legislation, why should we believe that Canadian civil liberties are going to be protected?

National Security
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I reject the entire premise of the hon. member's question.

Having said that, he has raised an important question around lawful access. As everyone knows, we have had wiretap legislation in this country for years, as have other countries. What we need to do is update that wiretap legislation to take into account the fact that we need to intercept communications in relation to new methods of communications. It may be a BlackBerry; it may be the Internet; it may be a cellphone.

In fact, let me inform the hon. member that other countries have been working on this challenge around law enforcement and we—

National Security
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Yes, Mr. Speaker, and other countries have violated human security as well.

My next question pertains to what Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former distinguished member of the Canadian Supreme Court said yesterday. She said, “there are no circumstances that can ever justify torture”.

Does the minister agree, and if so, will she categorically assert that no Canadian will be sent again from our country to a country that indulges in torture?

National Security
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I can reassure the hon. member that we are in complete compliance with both international and domestic law, the domestic law as defined by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Suresh case. I can reassure the hon. member that we intend to continue to be in compliance with both international law and the domestic law of this country as defined by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Richard Mahoney is a friend of the Prime Minister. He engaged in lobbying his friend without registering. He was lobbying in Regina with the Liberal caucus in August. He was lobbying at the Prime Minister's cocktail party at 24 Sussex in September, but Richard Mahoney did not register until October 4 after winning a favourable decision for his client.

Is the Minister of Industry directing the lobbyist registrar to investigate Richard Mahoney?

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the registrar administers the act in a completely independent manner. The registrar seeks no advice from any minister in the Government of Canada. If the registrar has reason to believe that there has been a contravention, he will take the appropriate steps to ensure that the law is enforced.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians are not satisfied because the facts are that Richard Mahoney is a close friend of the Prime Minister. Richard Mahoney was in Regina with the entire Liberal caucus in August. Richard Mahoney was at the Prime Minister's cocktail party and two days later the government ruled in favour of Richard Mahoney's clients.

Friends of the Prime Minister can register a month after winning. The facts demand an investigation. The Conservative Party, the opposition, demand that the lobbyist registrar investigate the illegal activities of Richard Mahoney.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has obviously put some allegations on the floor of the House.

I would emphasize once again that the registrar is a completely independent officer. The registrar does not take instruction from the government and I am sure that the hon. member would not wish it to be otherwise.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Public Works Canada first awarded and then cancelled two contracts with Abotech, a company owned by a Liberal MP's wife.

Can the minister explain why these contracts were cancelled and what the irregularities identified by the KPMG consultants were?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we decided to cancel these contracts as part of an overall review as we strengthen governance and improve competition and value for tax dollars. It is important to note that there was no issue with the services being provided, and in fact, that value was received for tax dollars.