House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Finance
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach Christmas, the NDP is saying, “Bah, humbug” to Canadians. While it likes to pretend it is the party of Bob Cratchit, the NDP really acts like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Can the Minister of Finance tell Canadians what is being delayed by the NDP's foot dragging on Bill C-28? Why the NDP lump of coal in Canadians' Christmas stockings?

Finance
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in Bill C-28 there are several very important initiatives for vulnerable Canadians and low income Canadians. One is the working income tax benefit, which can come into force January 1, just a couple of weeks from now, to help Canadians get over the welfare wall, to help them get to work. The other is the registered disability savings plan, which can also come into force January 1, to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society and their financial security in the future.

The NDP is talking the bill out. It is time for action. I encourage them to act in the true Christmas spirit.

Health
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been estimated that one in ten Canadians suffer from a rare disorder, yet Canada is the only country in the developed world without an official definition for rare disorders or an orphan drug policy. This complicates patients accessing necessary medications and hinders needed medical and pharmaceutical research for these disorders.

My private member's motion M-426 addresses this problem. Why will the government not rectify the situation and respond to the needs of Canadians with rare disorders?

Health
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government was the first government to act decisively when it came to the Fabry's disease issue which was of particular concern in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We found a way to work with our provincial and territorial partners to get increased research dollars and increased supplies and medications for that particular disease.

I am working with the provinces and territories for a broader policy than that. If the Liberal Party wishes to press the Liberal premiers that exist in this country to work with us, that would be of great help to us.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, a unilingual francophone was turned down by Citizenship and Immigration Canada because she could not speak English. When the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages was questioned in committee, she said that it was possible for a unilingual francophone from another country to immigrate to Victoria, even if that person did not speak English. She even said that this was part of her action plan. But this is not what we are seeing with the decisions of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

I am tired of francophones being laughed at. Can the minister explain why unilingual francophones are being turned down by Canada?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, this case has just come to my attention and I do not have any of the details yet. I did, however, ask my officials to look into this right away.

I assure you that this government will respect Canada's two official languages.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has already been a week. Clearly the minister does not understand what it is like to be a Franco-Columbian. One of my francophone constituents wanted to hire a unilingual woman to take care of her children, but the woman was turned down by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The only reason in her file was that she did not speak English. As a minority francophone, I thought my country was inclusive and welcoming.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages explain to francophones how they will be able to survive if the government not only shirks its responsibilities, but also prevents us from growing?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this case has just come to my attention. I do not have any of the details yet.

I have instructed my officials to look into the matter further. I can assure Canadians that as a government we are committed to respecting both official languages in this country.

The Environment
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Liberals who never did anything and the Bloc who can never hope to do anything, our Conservative government is reducing greenhouse gases. We have set strict targets for biofuels, namely, 5% for gasoline by 2010 and 2% for diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012. Massive investments have been made in order to achieve this, particularly in corn based ethanol. Some people, however, are challenging its environmental benefits.

Can the Secretary of State (Agriculture) set the record straight?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Secretary of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his excellent question. Our targets will reduce greenhouse gases by four megatonnes a year, which is the equivalent of taking about a million vehicles off the road.

In order to achieve these targets, however, biofuels must be produced. Corn based ethanol is currently available. It reduces greenhouse gases and creates jobs for our farmers. This is why we have invested $1.5 billion in its production.

We are not stopping there. We have invested $500 million in the next generation of biofuels, which are even better for the planet. It is the next generation of Quebeckers and Canadians who will benefit from them, as a result of the actions of this Conservative government.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the winners of the 2007 Governor General's Literary Awards: Michael Ondaatje, Geneviève Côté, Don Domanski, Serge Patrice Thibodeau, Colleen Murphy, Nigel Spencer, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Annette Hayward, Duncan Weller, Lori Saint-Martin, and Paul Gagné.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Chair has notice of a question of privilege.

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

Hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie
Privilege
Oral Questions

December 12th, 2007 / 3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie effective January 25, 2008. I want to officially thank my electors who voted me in five times.

I entered politics almost 18 years ago: first in 1989 as the member for Chambly in the National Assembly of Quebec, and then in 1995 as the federal member for the riding of Saint-Henri—Westmount, as it was called at the time.

Often being a politician is a thankless job, but it can be extremely rewarding when we succeed in serving our constituents.

I must admit that I was privileged in my political career to have six different leaders, including four prime ministers, believe in me and I want to take this opportunity to thank them: the late Robert Bourassa, Daniel Johnson, Jean Chrétien, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, Bill Graham and the leader of the official opposition, the hon. member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.

Throughout the years I worked wholeheartedly and I would like to think I have shown that it is possible to be in politics and stay true to one's self, by staying true to one's values, by being loyal and honest and maintaining a sense of duty.

I owe my success in this career to the great people around me: to the volunteers in my political party and my association, to Simon Potter, the late Hans Fluehler, and Brigitte Garceau; the staff in my constituency office under the direction of Nathalie Dallaire and the staff in my political offices led by Marc Saint-Pierre, Marie-José Reid and Yves Lemire. I have also worked with public service officials of the highest quality and I want to thank them.

None of this would have been possible without the love of my friends and the unfailing support of my life partner, Christian, who was there with me through all the ups and downs of political life.

I leave today with a sense of accomplishment, but also with high hopes for the future.

I dream of a Canada where respect and belief in the potential of every individual are the driving forces behind every government action and the inspiration for every parliamentarian.

I dream of a Canada where the children are bilingual and travel across the country and are open to the world.

I dream of a Canada where there is equal representation of men and women in Parliament.

I dream of a Canada where the partners in the federation trust one another and focus their common efforts on the best interests of the citizens.

I dream of a Canada that is an international leader in peacekeeping, the development of democracies, the respect for human rights and the preservation of this planet.

I dream of a Canada where our country's history is taught to children and new immigrants so that they come to understand that the presence of francophones throughout Canada, their attachment to their language and culture, and Quebeckers' determination to affirm their unique identity have resulted in Canada being open to cultural diversity.

And I dream of a Canada where Quebeckers take their rightful place in this country that belongs to them.

These dreams, or most of them, could become reality with the will of our political leaders.

Mr. Speaker, dear colleagues from all political parties, it has been a pleasure and an honour to work with you and to serve my country.

Hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie
Privilege
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!