House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we live in a just in time economy. Jobs and growth depend on the efficiency of transportation corridors.

Last February, the Minister of Transport met with U.S. transportation secretary Norm Mineta. They discussed ways to improve security and efficiency of gateways, including the need for additional infrastructure to improve traffic flows, new border capacity for the long term and expansion of border processing initiatives to help expedite cross-border traffic. We are looking into it. We are doing due diligence.

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition testified before the industry committee this week. They stated that the Canadian border facility is clearly inadequate and understaffed.

The new U.S. border facility is in danger of becoming a wall rather than a passageway unless there is Canadian reciprocity. Why is the government being so short-sighted?

Border Crossings
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the only short-sightedness here is not on our part but on the part of the opposition. The government strongly believes that it is important to take a strategic approach to transportation infrastructure investment. Over the last decade, the federal government has committed over $12 billion to infrastructure in Canada.

I am very pleased to say that budget 2005 confirmed the renewal and extension of our strategic municipal, rural and border infrastructure programs to continue our strong support for Canada's cities and communities.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year, Mohamed Cherfi was deported from Canada after officials with Citizenship and Immigration asked the police to violate a religious sanctuary in Quebec City where Cherfi had taken refuge. The United States granted him exile, recognizing that he was in danger and entitled to protection.

In light of the American decision to grant refugee status to Mohamed Cherfi, will the minister admit that there are serious flaws with the Canadian refugee protection division, which decided not to grant Mr. Cherfi similar protection?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we are still in the process of changing all our procedures in order to determine which individuals truly qualify as refugees. I am not prepared to discuss individual cases. Obviously, if the authorities of another country have taken decisions that suited them, all the better for them. Our decisions are always based on the interests of Canadians.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, this is in the interests of Canadians and Quebeckers alike.

Cherfi was granted refugee status in the United States thanks to a decision by the United States board of immigration appeals.

When will the minister admit that Canada needs to establish a refugee appeal division and that this need is urgent?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we should point out that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has already ranked Canada first in the world for its refugee status determination and integration system. We have nothing to apologize for. We have the best system in the world for refugees.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is the day. Judge Gomery has completed nine months of listening to countless witnesses testify. He will be reviewing thousands of pages of documents.

Coincidentally, it has also been nine months since supposedly Revenue Canada began investigating the former chairman of Canada Post who still has not accounted for his $2 million in self-approved receipts. It has been nine months and any other Canadian would have been called to account in nine days.

When will the minister admit that he is covering up for his Liberal crony, or will he announce the date the audit will be made public?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ouellet provided some documents in December to Canada Post, but they did not cover all the expenses set out in the original Deloitte Touche report. Canada Post has given all the documentation to the Canada Revenue Agency and will continue to collaborate with the agency fully with the audit that is under way. The board of directors of Canada Post will take all necessary action at the conclusion of the Canada Revenue Agency audit.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is a stalling tactic and it is a marathon audit.

The Prime Minister told party faithful last night at a speech in Montreal that “those who abuse the system will all be held accountable”. Video will show very likely that he was winking at the time.

If there were any other Canadian involved in a case like this, Revenue Canada would have completed that audit, penalties would have been levied and possible jail terms would have been provided to those wrongdoers.

The revenue minister has failed the people of Canada. He has not upheld the responsibilities of his office. It is time for the government to admit that if it were interested in cleaning up anything, it would clean up the revenue minister and--

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, personal insults and spurious allegations do not advance either the substance of the issue on the table or the reputation of the House.

The fact is the government, at all levels from the Prime Minister through all the ministers, has made it very clear that in this whole affair whatever needs to be investigated will be investigated through the Auditor General, or through the police, or the Gomery process or independent processes and on the basis of those facts, properly determine the proper consequences which will be followed without exception.

Forestry
Oral Question Period

June 3rd, 2005 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the brown spruce longhorn beetle continues to cause hardship for woodlot owners and residents of the Halifax area. They have been unable to move downed trees from hurricane Juan outside a quarantine zone established by the CFIA in 2000. The situation is now made much more dangerous by the onset of another fire season.

In a letter dated June 2, the Minister of Natural Resources indicates that “CFIA is poised to take a more aggressive approach this coming field season”.

Could the Minister of Agriculture give us some detail on the plan and provide some help to these people who have been so dramatically affected by circumstances beyond their control?

Forestry
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the longhorn beetle is a very destructive pest that puts in danger forests in the areas that it infests. The CFIA has been working hard over the years with many others to try to control this.

The hurricane has exacerbated this problem. We need to find new and creative solutions. The hon. member has been working very hard with my officials and officials from other departments to come up with those solutions. We intend to redouble our efforts in the days ahead to find suitable solutions for the woodlot owners and at the same time to protect the long term viability of the forestry industry.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources has promised the people of the Harbour Breton area that federal assistance will be made available to them to help offset the devastation caused by the closure of their plant. This fish plant produced up to 30 million pounds of product a year in the value of $20 million.

If the Prime Minister can do a $4.6 billion deal with the NDP over supper, why is the minister reneging on his promise to the people of Harbour Breton?