House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration outline some serious initiatives the government has taken to improve our system of immigration?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question, which is a serious question regarding governance and the programs the government is putting forward. I was pleased yesterday on behalf of the Government of Canada to indicate three initiatives in our immigration and citizenship program, things that are of no interest to members opposite, the Conservative Party members or others.

We accelerated the process by which parents and grandparents will be brought into the country. As well, we put in a program for regionalizing immigration and recruiting more international students who will be trained here and who will be given an opportunity to gain Canadian experience and then locate in regional municipalities. That is unification and that is--

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made speeches ad nauseam about launching a policy review on how to give the world more of the Canada the world wants.

Two years later, the foreign policy review is stillborn. Mr. Dithers has become Mr. Do Nothing with his betrayal of our 0.7% commitment for overseas development assistance.

Why, to the collective embarrassment of Canadians, has the Prime Minister gutted our commitment to meet our millennium development goals and made our contribution to making poverty history?

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud as Minister of International Cooperation to have joined my colleagues in the release today of the international policy statement. It is an excellent portrayal of where the Prime Minister will take us and Canada in its role in the world.

The government is aiming for 0.7%. We are aiming to continue to increase our aid in the international assistance budget by 8%. We will see it doubled by the year 2010. In the last year alone we have seen an increase of 21%, which by any federal budget comparison is a remarkable benchmark. We are standing proud in our--

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine the embarrassment of the CIDA minister in trying to explain why Canada has said that it wants to be a leader in meeting its 0.7% commitment to overseas development assistance. In the absence of an implementation plan, in the absence of timetables and targets from the Prime Minister, Canada may reach its commitment to 0.7% by the year 2035.

How can the minister defend the broken promises on this--

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of International Cooperation.

International Cooperation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Barrie
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, this year alone saw our budget in the international assistance envelope go to $3.7 billion. In five years we will be at more than $5 billion.

What this government and this team know is that aid is far more than just volume. It has a great deal to do with aid effectiveness. What has been announced today gives us five sector priorities and gives us 25 countries with which we will have a very strong development relationship. That is about aid effectiveness.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, apparently the Prime Minister has entered the witness protection program, so let us try a question for the finance minister.

In 1995 David Dingwall wrote the following to the current finance minister when he was the agriculture minister:

In addition, three projects have been funded through “contributions”. I'm concerned this method of funding could become a means to avoid the normal procedures for public opinion research.

My Department has made efforts to inform Agriculture and Agri-food Canada officials of the policies. It would be helpful if you could reinforce these efforts along with the concern about contribution arrangements for public opinion research.

How can the finance minister stand up and say--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issues raised by the then minister of public works were referred properly and immediately to the deputy minister of agriculture. The deputy minister of agriculture made sure that within the Department of Agriculture all the procedures were properly followed.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it must be pretty embarrassing to get chastened by somebody like David Dingwall.

This was exactly the same thing that was happening in the Department of Finance as has happened in the sponsorship program. Money went from the Department of Finance to Earnscliffe back to the Prime Minister's leadership campaign. How can anyone believe that the Prime Minister, who said he would leave no stone unturned, will actually look at all, given that he is doing exactly the same thing?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is drawing his crayon on the paper but he is not connecting the dots. The fact of the matter is that all the evidence on the record indicates that the Prime Minister and his staff sought to increase competition, not to decrease competition. That is verified by at least two reports of two auditors: Ernst &Young externally and the Auditor General of Canada internally.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has buried Nova Scotia and Newfoundland's offshore moneys in the implementation bill. Then, for no apparent reason, it took the implementation bill off the order paper, adding another delay to what has already been too long a process. Apparently the implementation bill is back on the order paper, confirming that the Liberal government is playing games with the accord and treating Atlantic Canadians with disdain.

Will the Prime Minister split the offshore accord from the budget and pass it today?