House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was financial.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the murder of Zahra Kazemi while in the custody of Iranian police and the brutal execution of two young men this summer because of their sexual orientation clearly shows that Iran acts as one of the world's most flagrant violators of basic human rights.

What is the minister doing to enlist our friends and allies in taking decisive action with respect to Iran and its persistent violation of human rights?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Iran has not lived up to its international human rights obligations and has not conformed to the past UN resolutions. This is why I am announcing today in the House that for the third year in a row Canada will present a resolution at the United Nations regarding the deplorable human rights record of Iran. Such a resolution will send a strong message to Iranian authorities regarding the urgent need to address the human rights situation now prevailing in Iran.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Communities throughout B.C., across northern Ontario and across Canada are suffering from the government's inaction on softwood lumber.

The Bush administration has ripped up the parts of the NAFTA that it does not like and the government has done nothing. The industry minister famously said that the government would take the Americans into the boards. The government is not even on the ice. It is hiding in the dressing room.

It has been two months since the NAFTA dispute settlement was ripped up by Bush. Where is his response? Where are the results? Where is our $5 billion?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we have been very strong on this issue. We have insisted that the NAFTA be respected. We are taking all measures necessary to ensure that it will be respected, including litigation, retaliation and advocacy.

I want to thank the members in the House, particularly the Prime Minister, who have been so very strong on this issue. We are grateful for the support we have received from President Fox, and we will continue to take all measures necessary.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has promised to clean up public wrongdoing.

There is a major loophole at the heart of the regulations pertinent to lobbyists. It works like this. It is illegal for a company to offer a profit-based payment to a lobbyist, but a lobbyist like Mr. Dingwall can accept $350,000 in such a payment without it being illegal.

Will the Prime Minister clean this up and ensure that if it is illegal to give such a payment, it ought to be illegal to receive it?

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, it is against government policy to receive a contingency if one is a lobbyist. We enforce that in the contracts we have with the companies with which we deal. Those moneys are recovered from the companies, and they can take action against the lobbyist.

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government said that ministers use the Challenger jets to ensure the smooth operation of government business. Nonetheless, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs used this flying limousine to the tune of $14,000 to go from Montreal to Ottawa. A deluxe chauffeured limousine would have cost $450 for the same trip.

Can the minister tell us why the smooth operation of government business requires overcharging Canadian taxpayers by more than $13,000?

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these jets are not used on a whim and it is incorrect to say that they are. Their use is strictly controlled. The jets are available only in case of emergency for government activities.

I suggest that the official opposition, which is using statistics prepared by a former Conservative candidate, do some research on these statistics before citing them in this House for partisan reasons. These are partisan statistics used for partisan purposes.

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a two hour drive. Talk about sticking it to taxpayers. That gives new meaning to the term “mile high club”.

The Minister of Transport said yesterday that flying rules are too tough, that Liberals deserve even more mile high limousine rides.

While ordinary Canadians struggle to fill their gas tanks, while they work hard and play by the rules, why are these Liberal ministers spending millions of dollars on the backs of those same taxpayers, jetting around the country?

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that Canadians travelling by plane or car do not have access to private jets. We also recognize that sometimes a minister needs such access, as was the case with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She works very hard and needs to travel all over the country. In case the hon. member did not know, this country has 10 provinces and 3 territories. I can assure you that all the ministers who have used the Challenger jets have followed the rules, provided justification and gotten approval in advance.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the pizza expenses keep piling up like a mountain of cheese for the immigration minister.

On August 20, the minister visited his favourite pizza joint once again and spent a whopping $207 for pizza for himself and two guests. That is $70 per person. I do not know about other members, but I am sure Canadians are getting indigestion just thinking about all that pizza.

The minister could not explain how he spent $138 for two, but could he now explain how he spent $207 on pizza for three?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I—

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know talk about indigestion may cause some discomfort for hon. members, but we do not need to hear the sounds of it on the floor. The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has the floor to give an answer. We would like some silence to hear the answer.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated already in other answers, I conduct meetings with stakeholders and other constituents over the course of hours that are beyond the normal working hours in the House. When I invite those people for the benefit of their consultation, I do so in a responsible fashion and I pick up the costs of those meetings.

We put it on proactive disclosure in the House and we do it to demonstrate that we do this—