House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cuts.

Topics

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my dismay on behalf of the thousands of western Canadian farmers who are distressed by the government's attacks on the Canadian Wheat Board.

The multinational grain corporations have found another government willing to do their dirty work, remove a formidable competitor, and then capture the price advantage of our superior Canadian wheat.

Bundles of letters are coming in expressing this outrage and demanding that farmers themselves decide the future of the Wheat Board at the grassroots level. This is not a time for big government, whether new or old, to be dictating the future of the family farm.

Let us be clear: if the government successfully undermines our Canadian Wheat Board today, this will be the beginning of the end for our supply management system, which should very much please the large multinational companies.

It is time that our federal government support our Canadian and Quebec farmers in their fight for the survival of rural communities.

Women
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, women make up approximately 52% of the Canadian population. It is a proven fact that they are often at a disadvantage, and even discriminated against, in most fields.

To cut programs that support their financial security and equality is categorically unfair.

We have been working to improve our situation for years, and I feel we have been very successful. These cuts send a very negative message from the Conservative government.

When the Conservatives gain ground, Canadian women lose ground.

Quebec City
Statements by Members

September 28th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, according to the annual ranking by Canadian Business magazine, Quebec City is the best city for business, as already pointed out by KPMG and the Conference Board in recent months. Quebec City has a comfortable lead over Charlottetown, Saguenay, Laval, St. John's—Newfoundland, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Quebec City is one of 40 cities ranked for establishing a business in Canada and had the best ranking based on the criteria of construction of commercial buildings, employment rate, cost of living, operating costs for a business, and crime rate. Quebec City is experiencing an economic boom with 60,000 jobs created since 1999. It is reaping the benefits of economic diversification undertaken 15 years ago by local decision-makers.

All Quebeckers are pleased with this first place ranking and the Bloc Québécois applauds the results of the efforts undertaken 15 years ago.

Court Challenges Program
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this minority Conservative government struck a blow against human rights in Canada by cutting the court challenges program. This important program provides funding to help minority, women's and other disadvantaged groups to challenge laws that may violate their human rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The cutting of the court challenges program as well as the cuts to Status of Women Canada shows that the government has no interest in advancing the rights of minorities and women.

This minority Conservative government had a $13 billion surplus, yet it chose to cut a $5.6 million program that helped disadvantaged people. This was not only meanspirited and petty, but it was an ideological cut.

Now, the only Canadians who will have access to the courts are those with deep pockets. The government is muzzling the voices of less advantaged Canadians who only seek to protect their rights under Canada's Constitution.

On behalf of all those Canadians, I call on the Conservative government to reinstate the court challenges program.

Afghanistan
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is playing a crucial role in Afghanistan as the country rebuilds after years of oppression. In addition to our military role, Canada is leading the way by cooperating with dedicated and experienced NGOs to provide needed development, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.

Our new government is working with NGOs like the Aga Khan Foundation Canada to provide support for programs that are making life better for the people of Afghanistan as they move forward to a peaceful and more hopeful future.

With CIDA's support, the foundation is working to provide viable economic alternatives to poppy production in several Afghan provinces. The project works closely with the Afghan government to enhance livelihoods by spurring entrepreneurship and rehabilitating the country's economy.

This government is also proud to support projects enhancing democratic participation among ordinary Afghans.

This government's support for the positive work being done by NGOs like the Aga Khan Foundation is just one way Canada is stepping up to provide real leadership in Afghanistan.

Phil Latulippe
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 24 Mr. Phil Latulippe died at the age of 87. He was known for his many running feats that benefited charities and the foundation bearing his name.

Born in Cabano, Témiscouata, Mr. Latulippe was a member of the Order of Canada and a knight of the Ordre du Québec. These honours are a testament to his determination, altruism, courage and generosity.

Mr. Latulippe crossed Canada twice on foot, when he was 62 and 70, and once by bicycle at the age of 80. He took up these challenges to help the disabled, youth, and seniors in Canada and Quebec.

I pay tribute to Mr. Latulippe for inspiring his fellow citizens and for his remarkable life. I extend my sincere condolences to his spouse and family.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Commissioner of the RCMP did an honourable thing. He apologized to Maher Arar, his wife and children for the injustice that they suffered. Last week, this House also offered an apology, but Mr. Arar and his family are still waiting for a formal apology from the government.

More than a week after the publication of the O'Connor report, why has the government still not apologized to Maher Arar? An apology is not sufficient, but it is necessary.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government agrees that Mr. Arar was the victim of a great injustice. That is the reason the government has accepted, without reserve, all the recommendations in Mr. Justice O'Connor’s report, as the Commissioner of the RCMP did this morning before the Parliamentary committee.

However, we have a responsibility to arrive at a fair and honourable solution for Mr. Arar, and to represent the taxpayers’ interests. That will be done in a responsible and timely manner through discussions between government lawyers and those representing Mr. Arar.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when he was in opposition, the Minister of Public Safety preferred to undermine Maher Arar's reputation rather than supporting the appointment of the O'Connor commission, which enabled us to get to the bottom of this matter. Without that commission, we would never have known that Mr. Arar's wife and two young children were on a security watch list.

Ten days after the publication of the clear conclusions of Mr. Justice O'Connor, why are Ms. Mazigh and her children still waiting for a formal apology from the government?

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite simply because as the government we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure that the result is responsible in financial terms. We are proceeding with discussions between lawyers for the government and lawyers for Mr. Arar to reach a conclusion that is honourable, fair and financially responsible.

The Minister of Public safety emphasized this morning that he had questioned the previous government about its failure to accept responsibility concerning Mr. Arar.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Canada owes a moral debt to Maher Arar, his wife, and their children. Our Liberal government took the first step in establishing the O'Connor inquiry. We followed up when we supported the motion in this House apologizing to the Arar family. Commissioner Zaccardelli has apologized. Only the Conservative government has yet to apologize.

Why has the government not done the honourable thing? Surely compassion is not a matter of negotiation. An apology is not sufficient, but surely it is necessary.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, how ironic that a representative of the Liberal Party should say they took the first step with respect to Mr. Arar. They did by taking actions which ended up putting him in a Syrian jail.

I find it peculiar that the Leader of the Opposition has not asked questions in this regard. After all, it was the Leader of the Opposition who denied that Mr. Arar was facing torture. It was the solicitor general of the previous government who refused to take action.

We have taken responsibility on behalf of the Government of Canada, which is our obligation. It would be nice to see the Liberals take some of that responsibility too.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was a willing misrepresentation in this House and it behooves all of us to convince the government not to peddle that kind of stuff.

Given that the public safety minister has admitted that he had several conversations with the RCMP commissioner over the past few days, does the minister still claim that the commissioner never received any direction from any agent of the government saying not to comment on the Arar report to the media until today?

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague makes it sound like I admitted that I talked with the commissioner. I talk with the commissioner on a regular basis. It is my duty to do that.

As a matter of fact, last Wednesday and Friday we had discussions. That is certainly no secret at all. The commissioner had indicated to me that his officials, just like other government officials, were taking the time to look at the recommendations. Then he indicated to me they were going to accept all of the recommendations pertinent to the RCMP.

He also indicated that he was going to be having a public discussion with the media or otherwise. He was the one who told me that. He also indicated that he would indeed appear before the committee. So it was a good--

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.