House of Commons Hansard #17 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was voters.

Topics

Status of Women
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to point out to my colleague from the Bloc that her microphone is working.

Of course, since August, I have met with many groups, and women's groups in particular. Our government has done right by women, increasing by 42% the program budget for Status of Women Canada. Why? Because we are results oriented.

The fact of the matter is that, scream as she may, the Bloc Québécois member will never be able to get anything for the women of Canada.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

November 15th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that a government with a $14 billion surplus is pilfering the money set aside to compensate victims of Indian residential schools so that it can cover the costs of other programs.

This is an insult to the survivors, as the government has already missed the deadline for the payments.

The government claimed that the funds came from reduced operating costs from the Indian residential schools trust. How can the government claim that the operating cost requirements have been reduced when there is a backlog of survivors waiting for compensation?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

I am assuming, Mr. Speaker, that the member just came into the House and the standing ovation we heard is for listening hard.

We answered this question earlier. The $82 million that was in question in the newspaper article has already been spent as an advance payment to seniors, former residential school students. That money has already been sent out. The full $1.9 billion that this government has negotiated with aboriginal people will be sent out. There have been no cutbacks whatsoever.

Aboriginal people deserve this settlement. Our government has settled with them. It is time to get on with making the payments to these students.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, last spring the Leader of the Opposition displayed just how out of touch his economic policy is for the 21st century. The policies that the shortsighted leader is proposing have not been in vogue since bell-bottoms and shag carpet. He is playing politics with Canada's economy by calling for a moratorium on foreign investment.

Could the Minister of Industry share with the House what the government is doing on foreign investment/state-owned enterprises and what are the findings of a 10 year study done by Statistics Canada?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Industry

As we know, Mr. Speaker, foreign investment is very important to Canada. This government appreciates that, which is why we are continuing to ensure that Canada remains an attractive place to invest.

Foreign investment brings many benefits. In particular, the Statistics Canada report shows that foreign companies operating in Canada are more productive. They pay higher wages. They create more jobs. All of this contributes to research and development. It is all good news for Canada.

The recently appointed competition policy review panel, the so-called Red Wilson panel, will be further examining ways that we can increase our competitiveness in the global economy. I look forward to receiving its work.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, a man about to begin a new life in Canada died after a taser gun was used on him by the RCMP in the Vancouver International Airport. Graphic video of the incident now haunts Canadians and the screams of a dying man echo throughout the country. It is time for answers.

What directives have been issued to the RCMP relating to the operational use of tasers in the aftermath of this horrible death and what is the status of the officers involved in this case?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, this tragic incident is being pursued on a number of levels. The RCMP, of course, is doing an investigation, and that is with members of other police forces, not just the RCMP. There is also the complaints commissioner, who is looking into the matter in terms of complaints against the RCMP. There is a coroner's inquest that is ongoing. I have asked for a review related to the use of tasers.

This is a tragic and grievous incident. We want to find out answers that can prevent these things from happening in the future.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it makes no sense that the RCMP is investigating itself, which it really is in this incident.

Has the government not learned lessons from the RCMP pension scandal, the Arar affair or the Ian Bush case?

It is simple. The RCMP is also in a conflict of interest in this case and therefore it should immediately be removed from the investigation, hand over all relevant materials to the Vancouver police and let this investigation be run by another police force. Will the minister order that?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of investigations that are ongoing in this particular matter. The policy of a police force investigating something that has happened internally is fairly common. As a matter of fact, it is not just the RCMP that is involved in that, but a number of other police jurisdictions.

There is the coroner's inquest. There is my request related to the taser use and also the Commission for Complaints Against the RCMP.

I might add that we also have the Brown task force in place, which is due to report by the end of this year. We believe there are going to be recommendations there in terms of new approaches to help police do investigations.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer, which he read twice from his blue sheet, as to why he took millions of dollars from residential school survivors just does not wash. Many, many payments are late. The minister should be cleaning up this mess. If the government were serious about compensation for residential school survivors, he would not be touching that money before all the survivors were paid.

This is an appalling insult to the survivors who are still waiting for their compensation. Will the minister put the money back where it belongs and apologize to the survivors today?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member listens kind of like his leader.

I will tell him what: these payments are late, about 10 years late. That is why this government, as soon as we could, made an arrangement with first nations. We worked closely with the Assembly of First Nations. We have come to an agreement. We have come to the $1.9 billion figure working with the AFN and the courts.

The full $1.9 billion will be sent to residential school students. The $82 million in question has already gone out before all the rest because we wanted to get that money out to seniors as quickly as we could. All of that money is for those students.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of the Environment returned to Hamilton Harbour-Burlington Bay and demonstrated our government's commitment to action on cleaning up environmental hot spots in the Great Lakes by announcing $30 million for the Hamilton Harbour.

The mayor of Hamilton, eternally grateful to the Minister of the Environment, said to him, “You have made a fundamental and significant difference in the way this city is going to develop”.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell this House how this $30 million will help the Hamilton and Burlington area?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, let me say first that I am surprised at this question.

There were two problems and there were two things that helped clean up the Hamilton Harbour Randle Reef. Those two things are the member for Burlington and the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale. Those two members fought hard to get the money to clean up Randle Reef, one of the most contaminated sites in this country.

The Liberals had their chance to help Hamilton, but this government is cleaning up Randle Reef. This will lead to a better quality of life for people in Hamilton, a redevelopment of the Hamilton shoreline, and expanded port facilities. It is one more example of where this government is getting the job done.

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Independent

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago I asked the Minister of Public Safety about ongoing investigations into the leaks and false information that resulted in Maher Arar being imprisoned for a year. Could the minister advise us if there is any progress in any of these investigations and does he think that anyone will be held accountable in the end?

Maher Arar
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as one of many examples of how this government moves quickly in situations like this, all of the recommendations of the O'Connor report were put into place. An apology was given and also compensation, which was satisfying to Mr. Arar.

None of that was done by the people opposite even though that entire situation took place under their watch. We continue, as a matter of fact, to appeal on behalf of Mr. Arar with our counterparts in the United States regarding the removal of his name from their cautionary list in the United States.