House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

North American Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer some guidance. I researched the Adams Mine land titles and I could not find the name Gallo because of course it is a numbered company.

I did, however, find the name Mario Cortellucci, who is a very close friend of the Conservative Party. The Cortellucci clan has given $170,000 recently, including $50,000 to our present finance minister when he was running for provincial leadership, $10,000 to the health minister when he was running, and $60,000 to that party's coffers since 2004.

Would the minister phone up super Mario and ask him to help the government find out just who is going to stand to benefit from this massive hit on Canadian taxpayers?

North American Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure why the hon. member is trying to perpetuate another smear in the House but--

North American Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

North American Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, order. The Minister of International Trade has the floor and everyone wants to hear his answer. We will hear the minister now. The Minister of International Trade has the floor.

North American Free Trade Agreement
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

David Emerson Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Like I was saying, Mr. Speaker, if he wants to perpetuate a smear, he should do it outside the House where people have access to the justice system.

In the meantime, we will be pursuing aggressively this chapter 11 case and we will attempt to demonstrate that it has no merit.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

February 28th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, first the chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board suddenly resigned. Then members of the advisory panel followed him. Now the IRB is raising the alarm about the government's interference, which is damaging its “hard won reputation”.

Why is the government manipulating the IRB to the point that qualified individuals are suddenly jumping ship? The IRB is hemorrhaging.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Let us be clear, Mr. Speaker. The IRB selection process is very flawed and has been for quite some time. Under the current system, one person makes all the appointments and that is the chair. Prior to 2004 one person made it and it was the minister.

We are going to put in a valid system, one where both the minister and the chair work together to choose qualified, merit based candidates so we can clean up the mess the Liberals left.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister made a mistake in her speech.

It is clear that the consultative committee makes suggestions to the chair. Nevertheless, we are not the only ones asking why the board is hemorrhaging.

The Canadian Council for Refugees, the Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association, among others, are also asking that question.

They want to know when the minister will fill the board's 52 vacant positions.

Immigration and Refugee Board
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the fact that there are vacancies is just one more example of why we need to fix it. The Liberals could not recruit people.

I am not the only one who believes there is a problem. Let me read a quote. The current chair of the IRB, Mr. Fleury, has said, “the Board could be an even more effective, efficient and ultimately fair tribunal”. That is the current chair speaking and I agree with him.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has broken his election promise to Canadians to establish a merit based appointment process for independent public institutions. This was provided for in the accountability act, but the government is going in the opposite direction: manipulated appointments to the IRB; ideological appointments to the reproductive technologies board; and, worst of all, stacking judicial advisory committees to give the government appointees a veto.

When will the Prime Minister live up to his promises to the Canadian people?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, our government is very proud of the Federal Accountability Act. We are moving very quickly to in fact fulfill all of our promises and all of the commitments placed in the legislation.

I can only hope that the members opposite will be a little more cooperative than before when they tried to sink the last candidate that we put forward for that position.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I and all colleagues here will be glad to see that appointment process set up soon. The government has no right to manipulate these independent public institutions to force through its political agenda.

When will the Prime Minister stop trying to fill these independent public institutions with his ideological soulmates? When?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party today raise the question of the Immigration and Refugee Board. That process is being reformed and it is being reformed according to a number of criteria that were suggested in a report by the executive director of the Public Appointments Commission to have a merit based process. That is exactly what we are doing.

All the squawking you hear from the Liberal Party, Mr. Speaker, is its attempt to keep the culture of entitlement from the grave. It is not going to work.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives were in opposition, they criticized the partisan appointments of immigration commissioners. In 2004, the process changed. Now that they are in power, these same Conservatives want to go back to the old ways of partisan appointments by stacking the selection committees for commissioners.

How does the government explain this about-face, except to say that they intend to make partisan appointments, ensuring they choose like-minded commissioners? They are taking the same approach with judges.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I explained a moment ago, we are taking a balanced approach, one where the minister and the chair work together to appoint the members of the advisory panel so that there is true accountability. This is one of nine recommendations in the independent report that was commissioned. We are accepting all of them because we want a better system.