House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Housing
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is not a student association in Canada, au Québec ou dans les autres provinces, that would agree with that ridiculous statement. Thousands of Canadian students are going into debt every year.

My supplementary question is for the Minister of Labour and Housing. Not only did the government break its commitment to students, but it broke its commitment to thousands of Canadians who are looking for affordable housing.

Why did the government promise $1.5 billion new money for affordable housing and not deliver a penny in the budget?

Housing
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, since 1999, the government has invested $1 billion for the homeless and for people who could potentially become homeless. Since 2001, we have committed another $1 billion toward affordable housing.

We have been working diligently with all of the provinces and have, so far, signed with Quebec, B.C., Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. We continue to work with all the provinces on a cost share basis because $700 million are still available in the pipeline for the provinces to house those people who are looking for affordable housing.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

March 11th, 2005 / 11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to abuse the immigration system to secure political favours. Rather than reducing waiting times, cleaning the system of abuse, corruption and fraud, they are trading ministerial permits for political and electoral support.

Last year the immigration minister gave out over 12,000 ministerial permits.

When will the minister restore transparency, lift the veil of secrecy and tell Canadians how many ministerial permits are issued for every riding and how many at the request of Liberal MPs?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the House should automatically reject any accusation and allegation of corruption unless it can be substantiated.

Every year the minister puts a report on the table for Parliament to consider showing where all of these permits came from. That member should know better. It is there for her reading.

As for what we do with respect to these permits, I have already asked the committee to help the Government of Canada determine how some of these things will be applied.

However, let me tell the member that everything is done above board, and the matter to which she refers, all of those--

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Newton--North Delta.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal MPs continue to use the immigration system for political and electoral gain. Even Liberal wannabe MPs are allowed to manipulate the system. Their defeated candidate in Newton--North Delta claims to have been issued at least 11 minister's permits. The immigration minister even credits him with recent tinkering of immigration policy.

Why are the minister's Liberal friends given access to his office and foreign missions for influence peddling and to manipulate immigration and visitor's visa cases?

When will the Liberals stop trading immigration for electoral gains and politicizing the immigration system?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I guess if the member had a shred of decency he would feel embarrassed about those kinds of accusations.

The RCMP has already investigated everything and found no substance at all to those kinds of allegations. The member hurts democracy, hurts himself and hurts the community when he repeats false allegations, allegations that have already been dealt with in the justice system.

Please, Mr. Speaker, introduce an element of sanity and decency and tell them to look in the mirror and represent their constituents, because they are not doing it this way.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry promised that his government would respond to B.C.'s request for pine beetle help within a few short weeks.

Now the Minister of Natural Resources says, “Uh, uh, ain't so”. The Liberals want to study the issue a little longer.

The pine beetle issue does not need any more studying. It needs cash.

Why was the Minister of Industry's promise broken and who speaks for the government on the pine beetle issue: the Minister of Industry, who should know the issue, or the Minister of Natural Resources who clearly does not?

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Yukon
Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing that we had an entire evening of an emergency debate to explain to the opposition what we are doing on the mountain pine beetle.

We already have a six year $40 million program on the pine beetle initiative. We have researchers in the west. We have been dealing with this since 1913 and we cover all the federal lands and properties related to the pine beetle.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, of that $40 million, only $5 million got to the ground and most of it went to Liberal friends, such as the candidate who ran against me who received a couple of million dollars.

Three years ago the now Prime Minister, at a Liberal fundraiser in Prince George, said that he would treat the pine beetle epidemic as a national problem and that it was the responsibility of the national government to stand behind the people, the communities and the industries that have been affected. He went on to say, get this, “We won't be strong unless we're strong together”.

Why does the Prime Minister continue to show such utter contempt for the--

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Yukon
Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am interested that the opposition member thinks that the only intellectuals and people who can research are Liberals, because a lot of the money goes to research. It outlines the terms that we need to find out how we can reforest better and how we can use the forests that have been devastated by the pine beetle.

We are working with the provinces on this plan and with the industry in public consultations. It is one of our biggest projects. We have been working on this since 1913, so this is not a new issue.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as we observe China's reluctance to recognize human rights, the Minister of International Cooperation announced yesterday that China would be among the 25 to 30 countries targeted by Canada's international aid program.

How can the minister justify such a decision when we all know that China's record on human rights and governance, according to a number of observers, at the very least, leaves—

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of International Cooperation.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly why I am giving aid to the Chinese government.

I have explained again and again that if we want to engage China in a manner that makes China the kind of force in the world we want it to be, we need to provide the kind of programming that assists China to improve its human rights record.

I have made it clear in the House that we do not give aid to the government directly. We give it to Canadian associations, like the Canadian Bar. We are busy engaging China because we want China to experience freedom of speech and not muzzle freedom of speech, like that group is going to do this weekend.