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

Passports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, excuses like that might fly in Washington, but they sure will not work in British Columbia.

My question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In a recent November 2005 news article in the New Glasgow Evening News, the Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote, “Moving to a rigid 'passport-only' requirement will almost certainly harm cross-border travel, hurting tourism” and resulting in tourism losses on the Canadian side that “would amount to nearly $1 billion” a year.

Will the minister now eat his words or will he continue to con Canadians?

Passports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate these questions because it gives us one opportunity after another to show how effective the Prime Minister has been and how effective we have been in meeting with chambers of commerce, governors and premiers.

He can choose to insult the President of the United States if he wants. There was better action a week ago when the President of the United States raised concerns about this issue and how it needed to be deferred. We can thank our Prime Minister for putting that kind of pressure on the situation.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, at present two items are under negotiation at the World Trade Organization: supply management and services. The stated positions of Quebec and Canada maintain that culture must not be covered by an agreement on services. The government now seems to be adopting a fallback position on the issue of supply management.

Can the government reaffirm here that it is standing by its position defended at UNESCO, a position that clearly states that culture is not negotiable at the WTO?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, cultural industries and cultural protection are not a negotiable item for the Government of Canada. We are committed. We continue to live by that commitment and we will continue to do so.

Cultural Diversity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the behaviour of this government is becoming increasingly worrisome. On the issue of the environment, it is blatantly following in the footsteps of the American administration. According to our sources, this is also the case for culture, which Americans want to treat as a simple commodity at the WTO.

If the Conservative government wants to show that it is acting in good faith, will it agree to actively promote ratification of the Convention on Cultural Diversity in order for it to come into effect as soon as possible?

Cultural Diversity
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear to the House and to all Canadians. The government has supported in the past and will continue to support the UNESCO declaration for the maintenance of diversity in cultural expression.

I am proud to say that I have met with the Coalition for Cultural Diversity and we have just authorized more funding so it can continue the work. As well, I will do what I can with the other countries as I meet them.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, General Gauthier says that Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan do not have to follow the Geneva Convention with respect to individuals who are taken prisoner because the conflict in Afghanistan is not—or is no longer—the result of a state of war between conflicting nations.

Can the Minister of Defence guarantee that Afghan combatants who are taken prisoner will receive the same treatment they would have been entitled to as prisoners of war?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is a standard procedure for our military no matter what operation it is on throughout the planet. When it takes prisoners, it will always follow the rules of the Geneva Convention. There is no lower standard than that. That is in every case whether the operation is under the Geneva Convention or not.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, under these conditions, can the minister explain why Canada did not follow Holland's example and sign an agreement with the Afghan government to allow continued contact with prisoners for constant information on their fate? What is the government waiting for to renegotiate this agreement?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the agreement we had with the Afghan government fulfills the needs that we have from the point of view of security of the prisoners. The Red Cross or the Red Crescent is responsible to supervise their treatment once the prisoners are in the hands of the Afghan authorities. If there is something wrong with their treatment, the Red Cross or Red Crescent would inform us and we would take action.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

May 31st, 2006 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year the largest minor hockey tournament in the world takes place in Quebec City.

Teams from across the United States take part in this peewee tournament. Now it is up to young Quebeckers to fight the passport issue on their own. The Minister for la Francophonie, who is a member for Quebec City, could not care less about them.

Why should our young hockey players and Canadian minor hockey fans have to count on the American Senate rather than the Conservative government and the member for Quebec City?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, it does not seem to matter how we say it or to whom we say it on the Liberal side, they just do not understand. They do not understand how many people we have engaged to work on this issue. They do not understand.

I am pleased to tell Canadians that they can cross the border right now without a passport if they have their driver's licence and some other document. Alternative documents are also going to be acceptable. We are already seeing at the senate and now in the White House that it looks like there could even be a deferral from the date of 2008 on this issue. I wish the Liberals would pay attention and help us get the message out too.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, no matter how hard I pay attention and listen, I cannot hear any answers.

This tournament, the largest in the world, attracts over 200,000 fans every year. With the Quebec Winter Carnival, this tournament makes Quebec City a winter tourist destination par excellence. The economic benefits from these two events are huge, but the Conservatives and the Conservative members from Quebec City do not care.

Why should Quebeckers have to rely on the Americans instead of the Conservatives to protect the tourism industry in Quebec City?

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this tournament will continue, and I hope the Canadian teams will win.

It is important to realize that we are not just concerned about passports. We have done other things. For example, we have made large grants to the Quebec City airport.

This is but one example among many others, showing that the government is prepared to support tourism in Quebec and across Canada.

Canada-U.S. Border
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has abandoned Canadians to fend for themselves on passport requirements by the U.S. The government does not appreciate the integration of Canada and U.S. border communities. We never consider the border to be an obstacle when deciding where to work, go for lunch, visit friends, or enjoy culture and recreation. Not only is this a way of life for Niagara region and western New York residents, it is the cornerstone of our local economies.

The real work of finding solutions and lobbying is coming from everyone but the government. Why is it being left up to governors, provinces and our mayors to stand up for Canadian border communities?