House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Passports
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this passport fiasco is creating major havoc for Canadians and border communities. The government is too busy helping George Bush water down G-8 commitments to do anything about it.

I want to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will he phone the U.S. ambassador and tell him that if the backlog for passports in the U.S. is a good enough reason to exempt U.S. citizens for six months, then the backlog here in Canada is a good enough reason to exempt Canadian citizens for six months as well?

When is he going to clean up this mess? When is he going to ensure that there are not long lineups and look at extending the length of validation for a passport?

Passports
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member and members of her party are fixated on George Bush, but I will do her one better. I am not going to call the American ambassador. What I will do is call my counterpart, the secretary of state.

I can assure the House that the Canadian passport office is doing everything it can. In fact, we will be making some specific announcements today that will further discuss the streamlining, the efficiency and the production of passports. We are doing this with the cooperation of Passport Canada officials, who have been doing exemplary work. In fact, to date they have been able to produce 40% more passports at this time than they did last year.

Africa
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, in Canada's 2005 federal budget, at page 213, this country made an explicit commitment to increase our foreign aid to Africa to reach $2.8 billion. The Conservative government now says that Canada will invest less than that promised amount and, further, that Africa is somehow no longer in Canada's “neighbourhood”, no longer a focus for Canadian assistance.

The poorest people on the face of the earth in Africa should not be shortchanged by Canada. Specifically, why has the government decided that Africa is no longer a Canadian priority?

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, that is factually incorrect. In fact, Canada is very much on track to meet its Gleneagles commitments. Canada will double its international assistance from 2001 to 2010, with assistance to Africa also doubling in that timeframe.

According to a report released June 1 by the University of Toronto, G-8 research groups and Moscow State University, Canada is in full compliance with its commitments on African debt, relief and security.

Reading from an article in the Globe and Mail by Alan Freeman, it states, “It emerged yesterday that [the] former prime minister's government quietly reneged on its--

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order, please. A supplementary, the hon. member for Wascana.

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada made a clear commitment to Africa in the budget in 2005. It was $2.8 billion. It was in the budget. That budget was passed by this House and it was not changed.

Why is the Canadian position at the current G-8 summit to downplay Africa, to reduce Canada's financial commitment and to shift Canada's primary foreign aid focus away from Africa? That is the public policy question. Why does the government believe that shortchanging Africa is good public policy?

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, we would all like to know from the member for Wascana why his government did just that. He admitted in an op ed written by his own hand yesterday that his government did not spend all the money it apparently had budgeted for Africa. It went on to say that the level of aid provided by Canada to Africa in the last fiscal year was expected to reach $1.4 billion.

The hon. member knows that his budget was $350 million short. The member for Wascana and his budget commitments can best be described as out of Africa. Maybe he should take up Mr. Geldof's position as the leader of the Boomtown Rats.

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Africa
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre. Order, order.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

June 8th, 2007 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, indigenous people around the world are the most disadvantaged in society. The Departments of Foreign Affairs, of Indian Affairs, of National Defence, all three opposition parties, along with Kofi Annan and Louise Arbour publicly support the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people.

Contrary to all advice, the Conservative government, in a betrayal of this country's position, has been one of most aggressive opponents of the declaration.

How can the government say that it is a protector of human rights when it opposed the rights of indigenous people around the world?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada's position on the draft declaration has been consistent with the previous government's position over the last 10 years that this draft declaration has been negotiated. It is hoped that it will continue to be negotiated so that it is in a format that works for Canada.

I find it very surprising to hear this from a member whose party has yet to support our government's initiative to extend human rights to first nations people on reserve. I would like to see this bill passed before the summer. Hopefully, the Liberal Party will come on board with this.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, meaningless words when the member speaks of human rights and ignores the best advice from all government departments.

Despite the international nature of the declaration, we now know that for some reason the Minister of Indian Affairs has displaced the foreign affairs minister in the lead role.

Why does the Minister of Indian Affairs insist on substituting his own political bias instead of following the advice from the officials in the Department of Indian Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defence?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the member opposite's government previously did not support the draft declaration. Its position was very consistent that the draft declaration needed work. Our government is proceeding with real initiatives for first nations people. I support human rights for first nations people on reserve.

I would very much like for the member to stand with our party, our government and actually extend human rights to first nations people on reserve. She has the opportunity. Before going home to spend time at the cottage, maybe she can think about first nations people on reserve.

Festivals and Special Events
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the spokesperson of the Canadian Festivals Coalition, Luc Fournier, left a meeting with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women completely discouraged. He stated that the door had been shut and locked and that nothing could be done or even attempted.

What is the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women waiting for to take immediate action when she knows full well that she is jeopardizing several hundred festivals throughout Quebec?