House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was salmon.

Topics

National Security
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, far from being the last ones to know, as I have said before, without divulging operational details, CSIS is well aware of the allegations that have been made. CSIS is doing everything that is necessary to ensure the collective security of Canadians.

I would suggest to the hon. member that if he has evidence of harassment of any individual of whatever origin, he has a responsibility to provide that information to regular law enforcement authorities.

National Security
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is very typical of the government. With all the threats to the freedom of Canadians, the Liberals always give us the same answer, some variation that they have concern.

Let me suggest to the government that it move beyond concern and start putting the time, effort and money into cleaning up this problem.

If the government does not have any money because it gave it all to the NDP, why does it not suspend trade with and foreign aid to China and do something with those resources to expel all these communist spies in our country?

National Security
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, every day there are remarkable and unbelievable statements made on the floor of this House by the official opposition and I think we just heard another one.

Did I actually hear that person suggest that we should suspend trade with China? If one wants any further evidence as to why those people are not ready to govern, we just saw it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, when she was a Conservative, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development said she was in favour of creating an independent employment insurance fund. The minister will no doubt be delighted to learn that the majority of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities voted yesterday in favour of the creation of such a fund.

Does the minister, who was in favour of an independent fund in a past life, intend to respect the committee's decision, which will serve to prevent the government from continuing to plunder the EI fund?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, great strides were made in the budget bill to make the EI account more independent and more transparent.

With regard to the report yesterday, we are very pleased that the Speaker ruled that a royal recommendation was necessary for various parts of that bill. We know the report will be tabled today. We hope you, Mr. Speaker, will rule on it when we come to discuss it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite what the parliamentary secretary says, the way things are at the moment there is nothing to prevent the fund from being plundered by the government.

Does the parliamentary secretary therefore intend to support the bill to create an independent fund, thereby assuring workers that in the future their contributions will be properly protected against any government interference?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I think the member knows that successive auditors general have said that these funds belong in the general revenue fund. This is the government's position and it is the Auditor General's position.

By the way, I think, Mr. Speaker, with regard to your rulings on the royal recommendation, it is your position as well.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary ought to check his sources, because what he has just said is incorrect.

On June 14, members were unanimous in expressing their support for a motion on an older worker income support program. That motion was not about the pilot projects the minister boasts about endlessly, but about the creation of a permanent program to help older workers when they lose their jobs.

Does the minister intend to respect the wishes of the members of this House and create an income support program for older workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that some older workers are having problems when they are laid off. We do understand that. We know also that people are working longer and are retiring later.

The government has had a number of projects. I would mention in particular the investment of $50 million in the older workers pilot projects initiative which concludes this year.

I am pleased to advise all members in the House that this initiative was recently extended to 2006 and enriched by $5 million.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the pilot projects do not meet the needs of older workers, who cannot be retrained and are the victims of massive lay-offs.

Can the government understand that what is needed is a permanent program to provide income support for older workers between the time they lose their jobs and the time they start receiving their pensions?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the EI program is designed to help all workers, whatever their age. We are continually adjusting it to changes in the labour force, be it changes in the demography of the labour force or in the gender balance of the labour force.

I would point out that many older workers are assisted through our existing employment programs. In fact, 160,000 workers aged 45 or over were assisted by those programs this year.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, last February, the Prime Minister said that Canada would not participate in ballistic missile defence.

Apparently, U.S. defence contractor, Raytheon, did not get the message and, as we now know, is scouting Goose Bay as the site for the “eyes” of the U.S. missile defence shield.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister stand in her place today and tell Raytheon that Canada is not interested in its proposals? Will she reaffirm the government's commitment that there will be no star wars in Canada and no participation, or will this be yet another broken Liberal promise?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, myself and everyone in this House have been very clear on this. Canada is not participating in ballistic missile defence and we have no intention whatsoever of participating in ballistic missile defence.

If a private company wishes to go around and scout out, as the hon. member said, or try to sell something, there is nothing we can do to stop that. It is a free country.

However we have not been approached by the United States government. There have been no discussions of any kind about this on an official level. This is a purely speculative matter by the hon. member. I can assure her that she should not worry about it because we are not entering into ballistic missile defence.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said that it was just a matter of speculation.

Why wait for George Bush or Raytheon to come forward with an official suggestion? Why not tell them right here and now that it is a no go in Canada? Why do the Liberals not send that message, or are they simply waiting for the prospectus to come forward from the self-titled industry leader in the battlespace integration?

Let us send a clear message. We should say no and make that clear. Never mind any speculations, just say no now.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not have the liberty of the hon. member who is capable of saying no to something when she does not know what is being proposed.

I do not know what Raytheon is proposing. I do not know the technicalities of what it is suggesting. It is a free country and if it wants to go around talking about it, that is fine.

If it is participation in ballistic missile defence, the answer is a very clear no, but at least let us get an official request of some kind to which we can respond before we say no.

It is no to ballistic defence, no, no, no, but not no to something that is purely speculative that we do not know anything about.