House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, those people have been promising and consulting for 10 years.

Today Canada ranks near the bottom of developed countries when it comes to doctors available to citizens. In fact, four million Canadians are without a family doctor.

All we have seen from the Liberals is a 10 year unbroken streak of meaningless promises on credentials while talented international doctors are forced to sit idle.

Why do the Liberals continue to dither instead of delivering on the credentials issue?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are taking firm action in this matter because we know there is a need. It is a complete loss to have professionals in this country whose credentials have not been recognized. Still, we must do this in accordance with the country's Constitution, that is, with our partners the provinces and with all the professional associations, as well. That is why very practical steps are being taken right now, along with the Medical Council of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association. We will continue this work in the coming year.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, seven times the government has cancelled its announcement of a plan to recognize foreign credentials. Doctors, engineers and accountants should not have to drive taxis to make a living.

New Canadians are not getting access to skilled occupations and their skills continue to be underutilized. It is costing our country over $2 billion annually in lost output.

It is time for the Liberals to back up their promises. When will the Prime Minister quit his dithering and provide the leadership needed to give Canada a 21st century immigration settlement policy?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development has answered that question.

The jurisdiction for credentialing is under provincial jurisdiction and under provincial legislation. We have built relationships with the regulatory bodies for doctors, nurses, health care providers and engineers. We are currently working with them to move the agenda forward. We have funded some assessment programs for them to begin.

This is not something the federal government can do alone. We must work with our partners to achieve this.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are on record opposing a motion on the recognition of credentials. They have realized their mistake and have promised a plan but now there are delays and excuses.

First they said that it was a scheduling problem, then that there was a last minute glitch, then that there was a miscommunication between two departments and then that the participants had dropped out.

When will the Liberal government stop fooling new Canadians and stop dithering and actually put together a meaningful plan to recognize foreign credentials?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the member just said, our government has acted on that. We have put money on the table. That is the first action.

Second, the Prime Minister is very committed to working with the provinces, which is what we are doing right now. The parliamentary secretary for immigration is working with the provinces.

I do not think we have any lessons to learn from the Conservative Party on that. This is a complex issue and the most important thing we can do is to work with the stakeholders to solve the problem.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Canadian troops might participate, under the authority of NATO, to activities outside Iraq. There are rumours that these activities might involve the training of Iraqi soldiers in Jordan.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that he disagrees with this statement and will he pledge not to do through the back door what he cannot do through the front door?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, Canada is involved in helping rebuild Iraq. We pledged $300 million. We are currently helping train the Iraqi police in Jordan. This is a policy that we have been following for a long time. The Prime Minister said that we would not send troops to Iraq. However, we want Iraq to be a full-fledged member of civilization and we will try to help that country, though all possible means, achieve that result. We are continuing our efforts.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just said that the training of Iraqi police officers by Canada is done with the agreement of the UN, under the Madrid conference.

Is the Prime Minister, or the minister, prepared to apply the same logic to the training of soldiers and confirm that he will not consider sending Canadian troops to Jordan, or elsewhere, if that is not done specifically with the approval of the UN?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the UN absolutely wants Iraq to be rebuilt. We are working closely with the UN. This is precisely why we provided our expertise to the UN, specifically to consider what to do in Iraq. We will work with NATO. We will work with the UN. We will work with anyone to ensure that Iraq can once again be a member state of our civilization, for the well-being of the whole world.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 8th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, last year when the Chrétien government's secret unity slush fund came to light, the Prime Minister expressed total shock at this, and his senior spokespeople referred to it as a secret slush fund and honey pot. Today Mr. Chrétien has told us the truth, that the finance minister was up to it hip deep. He said, “the Minister of Finance and I always agreed to set aside fifty million dollars a year for expenditures related to national unity”.

Why did the Prime Minister mislead Canadians about his involvement in and knowledge of the secret unity slush fund?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister responded--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know that members may have a lot of supplementaries they want to ask but we only have one question, then we have an answer. The member for Calgary Southeast will have a supplementary after the minister has given his answer. If members could contain themselves, we will hear the minister's answer, I hope. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister already responded to that question earlier. Beyond that, I find it absolutely shocking that the hon. member would talk about unity a day after it has been reported in the Globe and Mail that his leader has been dividing, not unifying, Canadians and pitting one minority group against another in a country like Canada that prides itself on our multicultural identity. It is absolutely appalling first, that the leader and that party would try to divide Canadians and second, that the hon. member would ask a question about unity.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that minister has a single issue obsession with the marriage issue, but Canadians have an obsession with the waste of their tax dollars by this government, and that is why they want answers.

They want to know this. Why did Prime Minister deny knowledge of the unity fund when his former boss and close partner, Mr. Chrétien, revealed in testimony today that the Prime Minister as finance minister approved and was responsible for the annual $50 million secret unity slush fund? Why did he cover it up?