House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie.

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, profit should never trump a child's safety.

Quality and for profit too often contradict one another. Quality means retention of workers, decent wages, enriched learning activities, higher licensing standards, consistency of care, parent involvement through a volunteer board and lower staff-child ratios.

Is not the real reason the federal government needs for profit centres is to deliver on its arbitrary promise of 250,000 child care spaces, even if it means it will jeopardize the quality of care for our children?

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, once again, the challenge for the government and the country is to create an early learning and child care system across the country. It is to respect what we have, to work with what we have and to make better what we have. That is in the big cities, the small towns and in the various provinces in this country.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the last 50 years communist China has demonstrated a horrible record of human rights violations to the people and the territory of Tibet. As a matter of fact, it is so bad that 159 MPs from the House recently signed a letter asking the Prime Minister to meet with the Dalai Lama to see how they could put pressure on communist China to meet directly with Tibetan officials and resolve this horrific record.

The Prime Minister is the only one who can answer the question related to his recent meetings in China. Will he tell us how aggressively he raised this specific issue of Tibet with the Chinese leaders?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in addition to having been the only one who met at that time with the Chinese leadership, I am also the first Canadian Prime Minister who had ever met with the Dalai Lama. I met with the Dalai Lama and we discussed this. He raised spiritual issues with me, the issues that he wanted transmitted. Those are of course the messages that I would transmit.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, he did not answer the question in full. I asked about his meeting with the Chinese officials. What he is trying to say here flies in the face of a recent declaration he signed in China, basically signalling that he would never publicly raise issues of human rights violations, including in Tibet.

Even the recent Liberal minister of Asia-Pacific has criticized the Prime Minister for abandoning Tibet and human rights issues. I would ask the Prime Minister specifically, how does he square his position? On the one hand he tells us that he is going to speak up on human rights violations and on the other he signs a declaration with the communists saying he will not.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, respect for human rights, including cultural and religious freedoms, minority rights and freedom of expression or association, are important objectives of Canada's views on the situation in Tibet. The Prime Minister has expressed that time and again. It is absolutely part of our foreign policy and of our preoccupations. We will continue to do this.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister simply ducked the question. One hundred and fifty-nine MPs have asked him to put pressure on the Chinese government to ask the Chinese to meet with the Dalai Lama and negotiate the status of Tibet.

It is a very simple question. Did the Prime Minister ask the Chinese government to negotiate the status of Tibet with the Dalai Lama, yes or no? Did he ask them to negotiate with the Tibetans, yes or no?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yes or no.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has the floor. The member for Calgary Southeast has a supplementary coming up. How can he ask his supplementary if he cannot hear the answer?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently spoken out about the human rights situation in China. We have specifically mentioned Tibet in our public statements at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and at the United Nations General Assembly. Canada's record is absolutely clear on that.

We continue to express Canadian concerns about the human rights situation in China and to Chinese authorities. The Prime Minister, when he met with Prime Minister Wen of China, even gave him a list of cases that preoccupy Canadians. This is exactly what we have been doing.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, he is right on one point. This government has been consistent. Every time the United States sponsors a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva condemning Chinese human rights violations, this government votes against that resolution and sides with the communists in China.

The question is very simple. Only the Prime Minister can answer this question. Did he place direct pressure on the Chinese to meet with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan officials to negotiate the status of Tibet to stop the 50 year campaign of cultural genocide that has eradicated thousands of monasteries and destroyed the way of life of Tibetan Buddhists?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very daring of the member for Calgary Southeast to get up in this House and say that to this Prime Minister, who has raised the human rights situation with the Chinese authorities.

Where was he? He preferred to cop out. He preferred never to sit down with parliamentarians.

This Prime Minister signed with Prime Minister Wen a declaration on both sides broadening dialogue between Canadians and Chinese institutions but the member refused to participate in the dialogue. He prefers to do his thing with--

Aerospace Industry
Oral Question Period

February 1st, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the industry minister's press secretary admitted that she did not know when the federal government would be making a formal offer to Bombardier, contradicting what the Minister of Transport said on January 13.

What is the Minister of Industry waiting for to put an end to the ambiguity maintained by his colleague at Transport and to give us the assurance that the offer put on the table will ensure that Bombardier remains in Quebec?