House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sudan.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

October 3rd, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, speaking about patronage, as an immigrant woman, I was outraged by reports of sexual harassment by a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board. This is not just about one Liberal crony, but is an indication of the breakdown of a sick system.

Five years ago this House approved the refugee appeal division, but neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have acted. Will the minister finally take action and protect the most vulnerable from being abused?

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think we are all troubled by the allegations. This issue is under review by the RCMP, which is investigating. It is under review internally. If changes are necessary, we will work in concert with the IRB to make those changes. Our first priority is protecting the vulnerable.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, no firm action is being announced. If there was ever a day to announce the reform of the immigration system process, today is it. This is about not just a personal scandal but a national disgrace. This will not be solved by replacing a Liberal crony with a Conservative crony. That will not work.

Will the minister fix the system immediately and take away the absolute authority of these judges?

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my friend that we take this matter very seriously. This is a tragedy for the people involved. Thankfully, the RCMP is investigating.

I want to point out, though, that simply having another level of appeal does not resolve this situation. When bad people decide to do these things, it does not matter how many levels of appeal there are. It means that these people have tremendous power and we have to be very careful about whom we select to sit on these boards. We are going to take every step to make sure that people who sit on these boards are qualified and ethical.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minority Conservative government is straining its credibility. It failed to report Conservative convention money. It violated the access to information rules. The Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary had to admit a deliberate disinformation campaign. Conservative insiders are using their privileged connections as stepping stones to private lobbying. Partisan patronage is exposed in virtually every ministry.

Canadians are concerned by all these contradictions and double standards. When will the government walk its own talk?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that question is coming from a man who sat around the cabinet table with the likes of André Ouellet, David Dingwall and Alfonso Gagliano and said nothing during all those years of scandal.

While he is on his feet in his supplementary, maybe he could tell Canadians how the income trust scandal investigation is going.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will not be fooled by the minister's bluster. They recognize the Mike Harris style, the meanspirited right wing that left Ontario with massive legal problems like Ipperwash, with massive environmental problems like Walkerton, with massive economic problems like a $5 billion hidden public debt, and that minister with massive ethical problems like millions for partisan advertising and personal image consultants.

Will the minister at least promise that he will not do to Canada what he did to Ontario?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, what we on this side of the House and people in Ontario genuinely hope is that Bob Rae does not do to Canada what he did to Ontario.

When the member for Wascana talks about thousands of dollars for an image makeover for this member, it never happened. If it had, I would be the first one to ask for a value for money audit.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the court challenges program allowed francophone and anglophone communities to assume their proper place, which is rightfully theirs, within Canada.

How does the Prime Minister plan to implement Bill S-3, which obliges the federal government and its agencies to comply with the Official Languages Act and allow minority communities to bring legal action against the government when violations occur, to ensure that their rights are protected?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell my colleague from Nova Scotia that, if the Liberals believe that any provincial or federal legislation fails to respect the Constitution, they should explicitly say so.

Human rights are very important. Perhaps the member from Nova Scotia could stand in his place and explain the outrageous allegations levelled by the member for Eglinton—Lawrence, who has charged that he has faced bigotry and discrimination because he is not Canadian enough. Maybe the member opposite could explain those comments.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the outgoing Commissioner of Official Languages, Dyane Adam, denounced the cuts to this fund. The chairman of the board of the fund indicated that more often than not the challenges were to provincial laws rather than federal laws. Such was the case that got us French language instruction in Nova Scotia. Such was the case that got us French language health services in Ontario.

Perhaps this is retribution for Harper versus Canada, where the Prime Minister was embarrassed. Perhaps it is retribution for the Montcalm, where he and other provincial ministers were embarrassed. The minister still talks about federal laws. Will he apologize for misleading Canadians?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, all of us in the House want to ensure that human rights are respected. We want to ensure that the Constitution and the charter are respected. That is the job of Canada's government to defend.

The previous government wanted a program to fund Liberal lawyers to challenge its own government. We on this side of the House accept our constitutional responsibilities.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 21, 2006, my colleague from Compton—Stanstead asked the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development if she will extend the transitional measures intended to alleviate the adverse effects of the reorganization of the economic boundaries for EI in eastern Quebec. The minister dodged the question at the time and responded with her usual mantra, that is, that she would make informed decisions at the appropriate time regarding the boundaries. October 7 is not far off; the time has come.

Can the minister tell us what decisions she has made regarding the reorganization and the extension of transitional measures? October 7 is only four days away.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware of the deadlines of the transitional measures. That is why we have been working very hard to try to make sure that we have a program in place within the deadlines. We are still working toward that deadline.