House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the impact of the unwarranted closing of the only francophone military college in Saint-Jean is now being felt.

How can the francophones in this government calmly stand by while the army not only refuses to respect the spirit and the letter of the Official Languages Act but also perpetrates a serious injustice against francophone officers who are bilingual and could take on the responsibilities of those senior officers incapable of learning a bare minimum of French?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this plan complies with the Official Languages Act and also accommodates the unique structure of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.

Had the Bloc member truly wished to help francophones, particularly francophones outside Quebec, he would have enlisted support for Bill S-3.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the balance between the Canadian contingent's military and humanitarian activities in Afghanistan is not as perfect as the Minister of International Cooperation would have us believe. Again this morning, the media confirmed that unless the government restores the balance, the international effort could fail.

Does the government plan to make more of an effort to reconfigure the mission in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know where the Bloc Québécois member was when the previous government allocated just $60 million per year for Afghanistan.

We increased that budget to $100 million. The Liberals spent a mere $5 million in the province of Kandahar. We have already spent over $16 million there and by the end of the year, we will have spent $20 million or more.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation thinks it is unfair to compare the funds allocated to each aspect of the mission. I would like to remind the minister that in Bosnia, the government spent $325 per person on humanitarian relief, but in Afghanistan, it is spending less than $50 per person.

In light of that huge gap, does the minister realize that the people of Afghanistan urgently need a better balance?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member that that was the first thing we did this year. We pledged up to $100 million per year until 2011 to bring a better balance to this mission that, under the former government, was facing declining funding. That government was hoping to get better results by reducing the amount of money allocated to development.

Where was the member then?

Mexico
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month a teenager from Woodbridge was killed while vacationing in Mexico. Two weeks later another hit and run killed a Chatham man. Just last Saturday a gunman opened fire and shot two more Canadians in Acapulco. All this has happened less than a year after the brutal murders of Dominic and Nancy Ianiero in Cancun.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please tell the House what needs to happen before his department will finally issue a travel warning for Canadians visiting Mexico?

Mexico
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the ongoing investigations in Mexico are of great concern to our government. Our condolences go out to all the families and friends of the victims who have experienced this violence.

We have travel reports that are put on line by the Department of Foreign Affairs to reflect up to date safety and security conditions, urging Canadians to always take precaution when they travel abroad. Even though we may prepare ourselves, there are those circumstances where nothing we do can prevent those crimes.

We have consular services for Canadians abroad that are available 24/7.

Mexico
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to take its head out of the sand on this file. Canadians deserve to be notified that their safety could be in jeopardy while travelling in Mexico.

The foreign affairs minister has finally met with his Mexican counterpart. Could the Prime Minister tell the House what concrete assurances were received that Canadians would be protected while in Mexico, or could he tell the House that the minister has instructed his department to prepare an official travel warning?

Mexico
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey
Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was in Mexico yesterday and is there today. He is raising the issue again with his counterpart, urging that there be very thorough, timely and transparent investigations for all these cases.

Again, I remind the member that there has always been a travel report in which it advises Canadians that there have been some random shootings and that they should exercise extra caution when travelling to Mexico.

Darfur
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I urge the Conservative government to make a specific contribution to an emerging humanitarian catastrophe developing in south Sudan.

Fifty thousand Darfur refugees have converged in the region in recent weeks, with many more expected in the coming months. The International Organization for Migration and the United Nations are on the scene, but desperately need the help of the international community.

If the government committed just $6 million, it would mean the difference of between life and death for thousands of families. Will the government answer this plea and alleviate what is already a desperate situation?

Darfur
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, so far, the government has provided $35 million in humanitarian assistance to Darfur. This is indeed a very troubling situation, which we are monitoring very closely. However, we also have to make sure that relief workers are able to work in the safest conditions possible.

Darfur
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I just returned from the region and I can tell the House that time is of the essence. The region cannot handle the influx of these refugees from Darfur. The International Organization for Migration and the United Nations are prepared to do the heavy lifting. They only requires the funds and the political will of this House. All Canadians want this solved.

Will the Prime Minister do it, and will he do it today?

Darfur
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

The hon. member is right, Mr. Speaker. Canadians are extremely concerned about the situation in Darfur. We are closely monitoring the situation. It is important to us to ensure that relief workers can work in a safe setting.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

February 8th, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that a dynamic forest industry contributes to a healthy Canadian economy.

That is why we provided $400 million in budget 2006 to ensure a more stable future for the forest industry. Earlier today, the Minister of Natural Resources announced the forest industry long term competitiveness initiative.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources update the House on how the government is creating the environment necessary for Canada's industry to compete on a global scale?