House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigrants.

Topics

Ingrid Betancourt
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of Ingrid Betancourt's captivity. It has been nearly five years since Ingrid Betancourt was first detained in the Colombian jungle by FARC guerilla forces, along with thousands of other civilians.

Ms. Betancourt is a senator and former candidate in the Colombian presidential election. Sadly, she was not able to achieve what she was fighting for, because she was kidnapped for having the courage of her convictions and denouncing the corruption and violence that plague her country.

For now, the only hope on the horizon is the encouragement from support groups and people around the world who, through their actions and activism, remind us of the fight, led by this extraordinary woman, for a new Colombia.

As I have done in the past, I am calling on the federal government once again to put pressure on Colombian authorities in order to promote a peaceful approach to restoring the peace and social justice sought by the vast majority of Columbians.

We must take action to ensure that this sad anniversary is the last.

Jocelyn Coulon
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the recent appointment of Jocelyn Coulon to the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre.

Mr. Coulon is a visiting researcher at the Université de Montréal's centre for international research and study and director of the centre’s French-speaking network on peace operations research.

Mr. Coulon was director of the Montreal campus of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre from February 1999 to December 2003 and director of international information at the daily newspaper Le Devoir from 1987 to 1989.

He is also well-known for his weekly columns on international politics in the newspaper La Presse, as well as for his frequent appearances as a commentator on television programs.

With his skills and credibility, Mr. Coulon is ideally suited to help the IDRC redefine its orientations and priorities.

Speaking for myself and as Chair of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, I would like to offer him my hearty congratulations on taking up this new challenge. I have no doubt that he will be highly successful as he continues to serve our country's best interests.

Air-India Inquiry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history remains unsolved and unexplained.

After 22 years, the families of the victims of the Air-India bombing are still waiting for closure and justice, which is why our government called for a public inquiry into this tragedy. However, now the opposition parties are threatening to hinder the investigation.

The RCMP plans to use provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act to compel Air-India suspects to testify before a judge. Prominent Liberals, including two former deputy prime ministers, agree that this is widely important but the leader of the Liberal Party is saying that he will not allow the provisions to stand.

Failing to approve an extension of the Anti-terrorism Act will kill an essential investigative tool in the Air-India inquiry.

Partisan politics should not trump public safety or justice. Let us permit the Air-India inquiry to get on with its job and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister attacked my integrity and the integrity of my family.

Now that he has had some time to think, will the Prime Minister simply retract his remarks?

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I first must say that I met earlier today with representatives of the families of the 300 Canadians who were killed on the Air-India flight. As we all know, this is an important matter.

Although I do not accept the premise of the hon. member's question, I will say that this government will undertake any action necessary to ensure that we put in place the measures to allow the police to do their investigation and to ensure that these things never occur again.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is avoiding my question. He made inappropriate remarks about myself and my family. I respectfully ask the Prime Minister to retract his comments.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am not precisely sure what remarks he is referring to. If the hon. member denies any particular element in The Vancouver Sun story, I would be more than happy to accept his word on the matter.

At the same time, though, I cannot say how important it is that we proceed with the police investigation into the Air-India bombing.

The Liberal Party knows this is important. It put these measures in place. Bob Rae told them that they were necessary. I would hope the Liberal Party would reverse its position, for the benefit of the Air-India families and for all Canadians, and do the right thing.

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in this House, the Prime Minister's behaviour disgraced this institution. It was a disgrace that the Prime Minister called into question the integrity of a member of Parliament and his family without a sliver of proof. It was a disgrace that he tried to stigmatize a possible witness of an investigative hearing. This is a Prime Minister who will currently say anything to get elected and will possibly do anything to hold power.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to the House and to the Canadian people?

The Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, I do not accept the premise of the hon. member's question.

This government and this Prime Minister will take any course of action necessary, if we can get the Liberal Party to change its wrong-headed position, to ensure the police investigation into the Air-India bombing can continue and that we have the measures necessary to ensure this does not occur in the future.

I would ask the deputy leader of the of the Liberal Party whether he would agree to do that.

Air-India Inquiry
Oral Questions

February 22nd, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is misleading the public on this issue. The anti-terrorist legislation has nothing to do with Justice Major's inquiry. He has all the powers he needs. In fact, his chief problem is that the party opposite is not providing him with the documents necessary to complete his job.

As for the RCMP inquiry into the Air-India tragedy, it has been going on for 15 years.

Why is the Prime Minister misleading the public on this crucial issue?

Air-India Inquiry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Air-India inquiry is proceeding because this government has given and is prepared to give Justice Major all the documents and all the powers necessary to get to the bottom of it.

However, it is a matter of public record that the police investigation requires these powers to profitably proceed and the Liberal Party knows this. The Liberal Party knew this when it changed its position to oppose this bill. That is an irresponsible and dangerous action and the Liberal Party should change course, should ensure the police investigation cannot be blocked and that we can get justice in this matter.

Air-India Inquiry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again we are confusing separate issues. The Major inquiry has the powers necessary to get at the root of this terrible tragedy.

This side of the House stands at one with the government in wishing the Air-India inquiry to come to a successful conclusion, but the systematic attempt to mislead the public about this deprives us of confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister. These issues need to be presented clearly to the public.

When will the Prime Minister stop misleading the Canadian public on this issue?

Air-India Inquiry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the misleading statement was that one. The statement is, and it is a matter of public record, that the police investigation is still ongoing and it desires these powers to conclude its work to ensure there is justice done and to ensure that these kinds of things never occur again.

The Liberals knew when they changed their position that the police inquiry required these powers. Why are they standing in the way of the police investigation and why will they not stop and let the police do their work?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, job losses in the forest industry, at Shermag and Goodyear, are only the most recent examples of the crisis affecting the Quebec manufacturing sector. In the past four years, 100,000 jobs have been lost in Quebec manufacturing, 35,000 in the last year alone. And what is the government doing? It simply lowers taxes for companies that do not pay any because they are not making a profit. That is known as the laissez-faire approach.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his strategy for helping Quebec manufacturers is not a strategy at all but an outright failure?

Manufacturing Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are pressures on the manufacturing sector, not only in Quebec and Canada, but in the entire western world. The leader of the Bloc Québécois knows why.

As he mentioned, this government lowered corporate taxes. We implemented measures to stimulate research, development and training to help workers and their families. We will go ahead with other measures in the next budget.