House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Foreign Credentials
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the leader of the New Democratic Party, that this is a very serious matter. We cannot afford to have the foreign credentials of new Canadians not properly used. It is a tragedy for those people and a loss for our country.

That is why the government in the last budget set aside funds to create a new foreign credentials recognition process for the federal government. Because this matter overlaps jurisdiction of the provinces, we have been consulting carefully with them to ensure the new agency is effective. We will have an announcement on that very shortly.

Foreign Credentials
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is so much that could be done by the federal government itself, if it could just sort out the relationships between the offices that give the visas and points to these immigrants and the federal departments that try to connect up people with jobs. Then we would not have so many people living in poverty, earning minimum wage, driving cabs when they are doctors and working in restaurants when they are engineers.

The Conference Board of Canada has shown that there are half a million Canadians in this category and that they could be earning $5 billion more of revenue, lifting all kinds of families out of poverty.

Where is the $18 million that was promised? Where are these offices? All the government does is talk. We want to see some action for the new Canadians.

Foreign Credentials
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP is right when he identifies the losses that are occurring to the country because of this problem. He is not correct when he suggests that this problem could be totally resolved by the federal government acting itself. He should know, and all members of the House should know, that many professional and other credentials are recognized at the provincial level, not at the federal level. This is why we are coming up with something that will work well with the provinces to achieve these objectives.

The leader of the NDP has been a patient man for many years. If he waits just a little while longer, he will get a promising announcement in this regard.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

February 19th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, like the report from the Prime Minister's special adviser to the Middle East, the Conservatives' promised action on lobbyists seems to be lost.

The Federal Accountability Act requires lobbyists to disclose their activities and prohibits public office holders from lobbying the government when they leave. Yet two months after the act passed, the government has done nothing. The act still waits to be brought into force.

Could the Prime Minister explain his motives in delaying the enactment of the bill when he was once so anxious to see it passed? Why is he stalling on his biggest promise?

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, for nine months that member and his party stalled the legislation to ensure that it did not come into effect when their leadership convention was going on. They simply did not want the rules to apply.

When I became President of the Treasury Board a short while ago, I was impressed at the progress my predecessor had made on the file, and we are moving in that direction. My mandate is to implement the act, not to stall it.

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives had a year to get ready and they did nothing, and perhaps this is why.

Lobbyists like David Salvatore and Kevin MacIntosh, who recently worked for ministers, have even been allowed to lobby their former bosses. In fact, last week Kevin MacIntosh, the justice minister's former executive assistant, registered to lobby over a dozen departments, including the PMO and justice, on behalf of 12 Canadian firms.

When did the justice minister stop sharing an Ottawa apartment with Mr. MacIntosh? Does he still have any business ties to him, including property ownership? How many times has he met his former roommate, turned super lobbyist, since the act passed?

Lobbyists
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I see the member has moved on from trying to destroy the Canadian economy by shutting down economic growth to now making those kind of scurrilous accusations. That is the type of member he is.

Other members in the House are concerned about the issue of lobbyists. For example, I met with the member for Winnipeg Centre to explain where the government was going on that issue. I am prepared to sit down with other members. If they wish to talk about it in a rational, reasonable way, I am prepared to discuss that as well.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the Conservatives deceived Canadians when they promised to be as pure as the driven snow. That was before they made over 50 partisan appointments.

Could the Prime Minister explain why, then, he named the Mississauga—Streetsville Conservative candidate, Raminder Gill, as a citizenship judge and why did Mr. Gill not have to go through the normal screening process?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as all members of the House know, the appointments that we have made are all very qualified, including those who have been made to that board. In fact, the chief official on that board, who was responsible for screening, told the committee of Parliament that the individual in question was indeed qualified to do that job.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

What he did not say, Mr. Speaker, and he said so to the media, is in actual fact that gentleman never appeared before the board in order to be screened.

We are still waiting for the Conservatives to keep their promise to create an appointments commission and establish criteria to ensure all appointments are non-partisan and based on merit. We are also waiting for the Federal Accountability Act to be brought into force.

The government will not explain Mr. Gill's appointment. Could it explain the appointment of former Alliance candidate, Kerry-Lynne Findlay? Can it justify appointing such a neo-Conservative ideologue to the Human Rights Commission?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, all appointments are very qualified. We did attempt to put in place a public appointments commission, with the person in charge to be one of the most qualified and respected individuals in the country. Unfortunately, the members of the opposition united to dismantle the reputation of that man. As a result, that has been delayed. Otherwise that process would have been in place already.

The difference is, under the Liberal Party we saw appointments like Allan Rock, Karen Kraft Sloan, John Harvard, Yvon Charbonneau, Sophia Leung and a series other former MPs who were given going away parties, including some fellow name Gagliano to Denmark.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Tony Blair's adviser, Nicholas Stern, met with David Suzuki today, and the two joined forces to remind the government that environmental issues have major economic implications in addition to environmental and social implications.

How many warnings from international experts does it take for the Minister of the Environment to open his eyes and understand that he must set precise, significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets immediately?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government does not need warnings from environmental leaders. We are taking action. The only reason is that we are the first government in Canada's history to say it is ready to bring in regulations to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality. That is our priority. We on this side of the House are taking action.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, setting precise reduction targets is the prerequisite for setting up a carbon exchange.

Will the Minister of the Environment acknowledge that the carbon exchange must be established in Montreal because that is where derivatives are now being traded?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week to my colleague from Montreal, I have already met with representatives of the Montreal Exchange. I have listened to what they have to say. Of course, some of them want it to be in Montreal and others want it to be in Toronto. If I were to ask my colleague, the Minister of Labour, he might suggest Jonquière or Alma. We are in the process of making a decision. More information will be supplied as soon as possible.