House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was poverty.

Topics

Citizenship Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, in committee yesterday, the minister said that the numbers of lost Canadians who are unaware that their status is in jeopardy were exaggerated. She claims that the number is 450 but Statistics Canada figures show that the number is as high as 50,000. Canadians believe Statistics Canada versus the minister.

Will the minister admit that she has no plan to immediately restore the $20 million the government cut to get the much needed review of Canada's Citizenship Act back on track?

Citizenship Act
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, what I said at committee yesterday was that 450 people have identified themselves and registered with the department acknowledging that they may have some anomalies with their citizenship. Those are the ones who have identified themselves.

If the hon. member or, indeed, any other hon. member in the House is aware of any other cases where this information needs to be clarified or special action needs to be taken, I invite them to contact the department immediately so that we can accelerate the handling of those cases.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last June, the human resource minister, rather than taking a cab, spent almost $12,000 on limos and swanky hotels to attend the World Urban Forum in Vancouver. She was said to be discussing, of all things, poverty. It is unbelievable.

To add insult to injury, as the minister was busy talking she was also ruthlessly cutting vital programs for the poor and homeless.

Now in immigration, the minister continues to turn her back on the plight of some 50,000, not 450, lost Canadians and hundreds of parents who are trying to complete foreign adoptions.

Why is the minister so loose with the public's money when it comes to her own expenses, but so meanspirited--

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 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, the minister has been working very hard on behalf of Canadians and a lot more frugally than her predecessor Liberal ministers. In fact, her predecessors in the Liberal government spent seven and a half times as much as her on their personal expenses. It is unbelievable.

What is more, she is not like the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country who, after the 2004 election, was given a taxpayer funded trip to Kabul by the Liberal government.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, it costs $45 a day for a government member to rent a car. However, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration preferred to spend $6,200 for a limousine with a uniformed driver.

When will the minister stop her excessive spending of taxpayers' money? And above all, when will she restore the $20 million she slashed from our immigration system?

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 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, there would be a lot more money to help out with the immigration system and immigration settlement if the minister's predecessors had not spent $247,308 in the last year of the Liberal government. That is $247,308 in travel expenses compared with $32,500 by the minister; seven and a half times as much. Now we know where all the money went.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, the high rolling immigration minister travels in style, spending $1,440 for a two night stay in Vancouver. Meanwhile, she drags her feet on the Citizenship Act overhaul, which is dead, the dual citizenship review, which is delayed, and plans for the creation of the foreign credentials agency are gathering dust.

Why is it so easy for the minister to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars on herself while making Canadians fend for themselves?

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 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, there is one thing that Liberal ministers did and it is something they worked very hard at, and that was spending money.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2005, this minister's counterpart spent $96,000 on travel while this minister spent $10,000 on travel in the comparable quarter.

In the second quarter, the Liberal minister spent $61,410 in travel while this minister spent $10,243 in the comparable quarter.

While we are at it, in addition to that money the Liberals spent, perhaps the members of the Liberal Party could tell us where all that sponsorship money went.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Conservative government presented its first budget a little more than a year ago, providing Canadians with much needed tax relief, billions of dollars in tax relief, after 13 years of tax and grab, tax and spend, and tax and tax again Liberal governments.

Would the Minister of Finance please inform this House when he will present the next budget.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I invite Canadians to continue to consult about the budget at www.fin.gc.ca.

I am pleased to advise the House that the budget will be presented on Monday, March 19.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

February 20th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Privacy Commissioner has said:

I fail to understand how the disclosure of birth information in [Bill C-31] would contribute to protecting or improving the integrity of the electoral process.

--the only reason put forward...to justify sharing date of birth information...it enables candidates and MPs to direct messages to constituents....

Will the Prime Minister promise Canadians that in the upcoming election he will not put the interests of political parties ahead of the rights of Canadians?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:45 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, when this matter was debated at committee an amendment was put forward by the opposition parties, supported by the Liberals and the Bloc, to include the birthdates on the lists that were being provided. That amendment was actually opposed by members of the Conservative government.

However, it is very important, for the integrity of legislation, that it not proceed on a multi-partisan basis and, on that basis, we chose to no longer oppose it when it came back to this House so we could maintain that multi-level party support.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, they can run but they cannot hide.

The electoral lists are not secure documents. Often, all it takes to activate a credit card is a name, address and date of birth. Now the Conservatives plan to give birthdate information to anyone who asks.

This big brother bill does nothing to protect the integrity of the voting system. All it takes is support from the government.

Will the Prime Minister take this matter seriously and scrap the peeping Tom clause in Bill C-31, yes or no?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Questions

2:45 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 indicated, while this amendment did not come from the government and the government opposed it at committee, we chose to no longer do that.

However, I should make it clear that in appearing before the committee on June 14, 2006, the Privacy Commissioner did agree that the measure would not be in contravention of the Privacy Act and that it was a matter for parliamentarians to decide, which they did.