House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member will know, of course, that Parliament approves a particular range of permanent residents who will be accepted, integrated and settled in this country.

Last year we accepted some 236,000. We also had some 600,000 who came here as tourists. We had an additional 110,000 who came as international students. We had a further 70,000 who made application as temporary visitors with work permits. We had an additional 13,000 who came here as a result of special events.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner has ruled that the former minister of citizenship and immigration was in conflict of interest, but then the Prime Minister knew that long ago.

Following last June's election, Ms. Katherine Abbott, an aide to the former minister, briefed the Prime Minister's director of communications about conflict of interest issues regarding several immigration files. Despite this, the Prime Minister put the member for York West into cabinet.

Exactly when did the Prime Minister learn of the member's potential conflict of interest?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I actually have the report of the Ethics Commissioner here and I have taken the opportunity to read it. The Prime Minister's staff did not act in any way that was inappropriate.

The Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of this House. The matter was referred to the Ethics Commissioner. In fact, many on this side asked that the Ethics Commissioner take up this matter. He did so. He has issued his report and has made findings of fact and conclusion.

The Prime Minister has reviewed the recommendations and he has asked the minister and the Privy Council Office to take up these recommendations and determine how we can move forward.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, the usual hear no evil, see no evil response.

Each member of Parliament must abide by the conflict of interest code and the former minister breached this code by issuing temporary residency permits to relatives of people associated with her election campaign.

The Prime Minister knew about this, and we know this because a former minister's staffer told the Prime Minister's office, and yet the Prime Minister still appointed her to cabinet.

Why did the Prime Minister not act when he first knew ethics had been breached?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is following in the footsteps of others on that side of the House in making sweeping--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton Centre, AB

Let me assure you, Mr. Speaker, those people have nothing to be proud of in this regard.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister has the floor and everyone wants to hear the answer.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an assertion of fact. If the hon. member had read the Ethics Commissioner's report she would have thought twice about what she said before uttering it on the floor of this House.

I apologize to all Canadians for the reckless disregard for people's reputations that--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Agriculture Canada and Health Canada have given the green light to a variety of genetically modified corn known as MON 863. Mice fed with this corn have developed kidney abnormalities and elevated white blood cell counts.

How can the government explain the approval of this product, when even an Agriculture Canada employee is quoted as saying the CFIA is aware of the Monsanto data but it hasn't changed their assessment.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this particular material has been tested throughout the world, particularly in the G-8 countries. Many of those countries have had this particular substance approved.

After the results of these tests came to light, no jurisdiction, after the review, has actually dismissed this substance as useless.

Therefore I suggest to the hon. member that Health Canada has followed the appropriate procedure in maintaining the status quo.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister, would he be prepared to eat this type of corn tomorrow morning? A Greenpeace spokesperson has said it would be wise to suspend approval of this GM corn and to carry out another assessment.

Does the government intend to follow Greenpeace's recommendation and suspend approval, or will it continue to stick up for the huge multinational Monsanto?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada was made aware of these results in 2004. Health Canada took into account its own review, in addition to the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand which also reviewed the data in its consideration. None of those particular agencies have taken this off the market.

I choose my food carefully, as do all other Canadians, and I eat Canadian food.