House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we always take all these allegations very seriously. Clearly, we enjoy a very constructive dialogue with China. We work with the Chinese. We expect from them respect for our sovereignty. When they are here, they are meant to respect our Canadian laws.

When things are brought to our attention, we refer them to the appropriate authorities in our country.

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, those are non-answers to a serious question of security and national sovereignty. We should be getting answers and they should be coming from the leader of the country.

It is a matter of public record that a foreign government is spying on the activities of Canadian citizens and engaging in industrial espionage. Would the Prime Minister tell us whether his government plans to do anything at all about this in the future?

National Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear, as I was yesterday. CSIS and the RCMP are engaged in an ongoing basis in ensuring that the collective security and economic interests of our country are protected.

I have said before that I will not discuss operational detail. I can reassure the hon. member that CSIS and the RCMP do everything that is necessary and required, based on the circumstances of any given situation, to protect the collective security of Canadians.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

June 16th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is appalling that the Prime Minister will not get up and answer a question about this file.

Yesterday the Senate committee issued a scathing report about the Liberal government's inaction on securing key border crossings. Among the problems, border crossings remain vulnerable because of the lack of pre-clearance or reverse inspections. It will be six years after the signing of the smart borders declaration before a pilot project on pre-clearances will begin, let alone be completed.

The report says:

At that pace today’s children will have grey hair before reverse inspection is the norm across the country.

When will the government introduce an implementation plan for pre-clearances at the border crossings as--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, this government is very serious about security, which is why we have been working so closely with our American neighbours to ensure that we identify low risk goods and low risk people so they can cross the border in an unimpeded fashion.

The hon. member talks about getting serious about security. We have spent $9.5 billion since September 11, 2001. Another $433 million has been committed in the last budget to ensure the CBSA has the resources to do the job at our borders.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the all party Senate committee, including Liberal senators, said that the government was not serious about security. In fact, they say that security is failing.

Over 1,600 vehicles ran the border last year. RCMP detachments are being closed. In most cases police officers cannot respond in a timely manner to border calls because they are either not there or they are not close enough.

Our border officials have bullet proof vests, but they do not have sidearms to stop dangerous travellers. The Senate committee said they should.

When is the safety of our border officials going to come first? Why have firearms and the appropriate training not been made available to our front line security officers in our country?

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, first, let us go back to the whole question of running the border. I wonder if the hon. member knows how many border crossings there are every year between Canada and the United States. There are 71 million and all but a handful are legal crossings where either the American customs people or our customs people are interacting with those individuals.

In relation to the question of firearms, this is an issue of long-standing debate. I certainly understand the demands of the union in question. We have done numerous job hazard analyses and all those analyses have indicated that--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte--Marie.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the program for older worker adjustment was eliminated in 1997, no permanent measure has been put in place since. However, on June 14, a Bloc Québécois motion calling for the creation of an income support program for older workers passed unanimously in the House. The Prime Minister has another chance to help older workers.

Will he finally walk the talk and create an income support program for these workers?

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, we were very happy to agree with the need to have a strategy in place for an older worker program. We recognize we must help older workers, not only to upgrade their skills to stay in the workforce, but we must work together to monitor the pilot programs that are in place. We will take those evaluations into consideration when making our strategy.

We do recognize the need to have an older worker strategy in place and I am doing so.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister may be happy, but I would like older workers to be happy too.

Instead of talking vaguely about the need for a strategy, can she say what real action will be taken? Will the government proceed and create a permanent income support program for older workers, not pilot projects, for those unable to upgrade their skills and stay in the workforce? That is what workers want. They are not all millionaires.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, we invested $50 million five years ago in pilot programs. We have extended those programs for a year because we do take this seriously. We understand the need to invest and create programs so older workers can develop their skills to stay in the workforce.

We used to have programs that enabled workers to retire. These programs are there to enable those workers who wish to continue to work to do so. We are studying them. We will take the evaluations into consideration and ensure we adopt, adapt and make the right program for older workers.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is important is that the existing measures to help older workers have been seriously lacking since this government cut the former assistance program, POWA. The needs of some categories of workers are urgent.

How can the government refuse to re-establish a benefits program that would allow workers aged 57 or 58, for example, who have worked their entire lives for a company that is closing, to get by from the time they are laid off until they get their pension? In my opinion, this is a matter of social justice.

Older Workers
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora
Ontario

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that we understand the need to help older workers, not only to stay in the workforce, but to ensure that we evaluate these pilot programs properly. We have extended the pilot programs. We take them seriously. We will take the outcomes of those pilot programs into consideration when we develop our strategy in tandem with the provinces.