House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken on several occasions about the apparent spread of amnesia through the Liberal caucus. I have since talked to several experts in the field. They have concluded that it is not amnesia. It is hypocrisy.

This is made clear with the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour serving as the Liberal critic for ACOA. That member likes to give the impression that he is a defender of ACOA. However, in the race for Stornoway, and members did hear me say Stornoway, he is supporting the member for Kings—Hants, yet that very member wants to scrap ACOA.

Do members see a pattern? Is this Liberal policy? Is this a trend to abandon regional development and an important organization like ACOA? Or is it just more blatant political partisanship on the road to Stornoway?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the passport issue shows the point to which this government regularly and consistently gives in to American demands. After he met with President Bush, the Prime Minister told us that it is a fait accompli and so we should just accept it. Fortunately, the provinces do not give in as easily as the Prime Minister.

Will he listen to the provincial premiers or will he leave it up to the provinces to fly the Canadian flag and defend our rights against President Bush’s administration?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously we will be working together, with all the provinces, to meet this challenge.

I would remind the Leader of the Opposition that it was the Liberal government that failed to defend Canada’s interests on the passport issue with the Americans. The present Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety have made progress with the Americans. We are having success with the United States Congress in solving this problem as soon as possible.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the facts have nothing to do with the answer we have been given. The American ambassador was at least honest with Canadians: he does not think that the Prime Minister’s wishful thinking will become reality and that one way or another enforcement of this policy can be pushed back to the last minute. The western premiers have told us that the implementation of this unnecessary legislation will have a disastrous impact on trade and tourism.

Is there no one in this government who is prepared to defend Canada’s interests, or will it be left to the provinces to do that?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am so glad to see that the Leader of the Opposition is concerned about this matter. When he was part of the previous government, he did nothing to solve the problem.

The Americans have passed the bill. They have brought these new regulations into effect, and that will cause problems for trade between our two countries. However, this Prime Minister, on behalf of the present government, is making progress in Washington in defending Canada’s interests.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary will have to face the embarrassing fact that the Ontario legislature recently endorsed a motion condemning the policy of his government and saying that this plan of the Americans will cause unnecessary damage to our economy. The hon. parliamentary secretary and his party might like to know that this motion was introduced by the leader of the Conservative Party.

Some members will recall the Prime Minister having turned his back on the premier of Ontario when he went to dine with him. Would the Prime Minister listen to the premiers, the tourism industry and his own Conservative colleague and stand up to the Americans on this issue? Or is going to he lead us to his own--

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is en route right now to meet with the western premiers as well as American governors on this very important issue. The real question is, why is it that the previous Liberal government left us to inherit the problem of the western hemisphere travel initiative without having done anything to defend the interests of Canada?

Our public security minister is working through our embassy with American governors, with Canadian premiers and with the business sector on both sides of the border and, because of that, we have seen progress in the American Congress.

This government will stand and deliver, unlike the Liberals.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite is staying in practice for opposition.

This question is for him and specifically relates to the passport issue. The reality is that the government has abandoned Canadians on this issue. Yesterday, four of the western premiers, along with the Ontario legislature, stated that the Prime Minister is not being aggressive in dealing with the United States on this issue.

It is becoming obvious that the vast flow of goods and people across the border is simply not one of the government's priorities. What is shameful is that the government is leaving it up to mayors and the premiers to do the work of the Prime Minister. When is the Prime Minister going to act on his responsibilities and stand up for Canada?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the record. The Liberals allowed that law to come into place. They effectively did nothing to combat it.

Within 100 days of this Prime Minister taking office, we managed, working with our partners in the United States, to secure a very important amendment through the United States Senate. Our diplomatic officials continue to work with the ministry of public security along with the department of homeland security in Washington.

After 13 years of failure in bilateral relations, we have 120 days of success in defending Canadian interests.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the real record is this. The only thing the government opposite has done on this issue is send a star-struck foreign affairs minister who looked dreamily into the eyes of the U.S. Secretary of State.

The Prime Minister wants to wait now until July to visit Washington, when all the people whom he needs to convince in the U.S. Congress will be away on break.

When are the Prime Minister and his cabinet going to stop gawking at their American idols and actually start standing up for Canada?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is another example of Liberal diplomacy, the likes of which we saw this week when a Liberal senator shamefully attacked the elected president of Afghanistan as “an American stooge”, insulting two countries at the same time.

We understand that we do not make progress for Canadians, defending Canadian jobs, by attacking foreign countries. We do it by working with them. That is why we achieved the historic softwood lumber agreement. That is why we are achieving concrete progress on the western hemisphere travel initiative. This is why we have a government that finally is standing up for Canada, not just uttering empty rhetoric.

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister promised Quebec farmers that he would make it a priority to protect the entire supply management system. Yesterday in parliamentary committee, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food sang quite a different tune, implying that protecting supply management at the WTO negotiations was no longer a sustainable position for his government.

Is the Prime Minister not going back on his promise to Quebec farmers during the last election campaign?

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question.

Canadian farmers understand very well that there is an important balance between the supply management system and access to foreign markets. That is why our representatives are extremely active in the current negotiations in Geneva. We are working on solutions that are good for Canada’s entire agricultural sector.

Supply Management
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last November 22, there was a motion here supporting full respect for supply management. Since that time, the balance has changed. There was, in fact, a letter from three western ministers asking the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to revise his position on supply management because it might hamper their farmers’ access to other markets.

Are we to understand that this change of position, the government’s new balance in regard to supply management, resulted from pressure from the western provinces to the detriment of Quebec? Is that not what happened?