House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was religious.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member would prefer to get off that particular line. There is no granting of any of these visitors' visas for political favours. That is a regrettable and reprehensible accusation on her part.

She should perhaps concentrate on getting forward a report, as asked, about how to address larger citizenship issues in that committee rather than repeat those same impeccable sources that nobody can identify.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals politicize visitors' visas and ministerial permits and continue to allow the abuse of our immigration system. The daughter-in-law of the notorious Syrian general, Bahjat Suleiman, was issued a visitor's visa to allow her to give birth in Canada so that the baby would automatically be a Canadian citizen. Now the general's pregnant daughter has been issued a visitor's visa so that she can give birth in Canada.

Why should Canadian citizenship be treated like a political favour?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I said in response to an earlier question, I am not sure that theatre is to be confused with sincerity.

The fact is, judging by the popular press, that someone made an application for a visitor's visa and now we have jumped to a series of other conclusions. I do not know whether we ought to do that. Quite frankly, these fall in the realm of some of the questions that I asked the standing committee to address in preparation for presentation of citizenship legislation that would include, among other things, how one acquires citizenship, how one might lose it, and the--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fleetwood--Port Kells.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, this unacceptable backdoor practice must stop and the visa that has been issued to the general's daughter must be revoked.

General Suleiman supported the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister in February. Why is it the practice of the government to issue visitors' visas to family members connected to such a ruthless man while countless other legitimate applicants are turned down?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me go over the number of people who do not get turned down. Last year we had 1.1 million, seven digits for those who can count, positive decisions for visitors' visas, temporary work visas, student visas and permanent residencies.

I think the hon. member is trying to create a trend out of one or maybe two decisions that she wants to call into question. If she is serious about it, perhaps she and her colleagues would get to work on the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and address the questions on citizenship as asked.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Many community organizations are continuing to raise concerns about the minister's call for proposals process. They indicate that it disregards the quality of services already in place and creates instability for community service agencies, as well as putting them at considerable disadvantage.

Could the minister indicate what actions her ministry is planning to take to address these concerns?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Davenport for his fine work on this issue on behalf of his constituents.

The standing committee did excellent work and I am pleased that its recommendations moved toward a more open and transparent process and toward dialogue with our partners.

The minister is studying the recommendations carefully and remains committed to dialogue with the not for profit sector to discuss proposed changes to the calls for proposals process. The consultations are consistent with the recommended procedures outlined in the volunteer sector initiative.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have seen over the past decade lower standards of living and a lower quality of life for most Canadians. Most jobs created are now part time or temporary and the average Canadian worker has lost 60¢ an hour in real terms.

While we have seen no progress on softwood lumber and BSE, now we find out that this government is prepared to make even greater concessions to the Bush administration through its backroom deep integration talks. Canadians did not vote for that.

Will this government commit to stop making concessions in secret and ensure that Parliament can openly debate the issue, so Canadians can judge what these talks will cost them?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been working with the United States for some time to ensure we have the best possible border between Canada and the United States and the best possible North American regulation systems respecting our identities and our own different ways of doing things. However we also want to ensure they are compatible and are easily making our continent more and more prosperous.

There are challenges out there. There are challenges in Asia and in South America. It is imperative that North America remain the most competitive continent on the planet.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

June 27th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the future of North America task force report released May 17 advocated an even deeper integration with the U.S. and Mexico than feared.

Now in lockstep, the North American security and prosperity partnership has convened to deliver, even if it involves forfeiting Canadian sovereignty over labour standards, bulk water, energy, security and even defence.

Will the Prime Minister assure us today that deeper integration will not proceed on any of these fronts without exhaustive consultations with Canadians broadly and without a say by parliamentarians, their elected officials?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about deeper integration here. We are talking about working with our neighbours, the United States and Mexico.

This partnership is about a follow up to the three leaders' meeting a few months ago. I am very pleased with the progress we are making in this partnership with the Mexicans and the Americans to not only ensure we respect the workers of our respective countries but to ensure we have a competitive economy in which we continue to create good and great jobs for our people.

Nuclear Reactors
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, MDS Nordion signed a contract with our atomic agency to build two reactors. The initial cost was $140 million, and delivery was to be in 1999. Here we are in 2005, and still no reactors. A delay like this hurts our reputation as a world leader in nuclear medicine. In addition, under the contract, the government is responsible for half the cost overrun.

Can the minister tell us how much it is and when the project will be completed?

Nuclear Reactors
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Yukon
Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we do not have the exact costs but Canada is a leader in this area and we will continue to be a leader in this area.

Nuclear Reactors
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer is not good enough. That is no excuse to escape parliamentary oversight.

Furthermore, these delays are forcing MDS Nordion to import bomb grade uranium material into Canada, which the New York Times last week criticized as a security threat.

Reports indicate that this project is $200 million to $350 million over budget. This House deserves to know how much of a hit the public purse will take. The NDP deserves to know how much of a hit its budget will take. Canadians deserve to know how big the security threat is.

Will the parliamentary secretary tell this House how much this will cost us, $100 million, $200 million or $300 million? How much is it?