House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

The Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the ministers of this government and the Quebec MPs have worked to ensure that the Quebec nation is recognized within a united Canada. That is precisely what this party's Quebec members did for Quebec.

What is more, it is a federal responsibility to provide services in both official languages in Quebec. As for the minimum wage, which is covered by Canada Labour Code standards, the provinces did indeed ask us to respect their jurisdictions and we apply minimum wages according to the level set by the province.

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if recognizing the Quebec nation does nothing for Quebeckers, it is pointless. It is exactly the same for Canada's multiculturalism policy. It is not consistent with the Quebec model of integration. "That notion hardly seems compatible with Quebec's reality." That was the opinion of a man whom the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities very much admired, I would think. Yes, it was Robert Bourassa who wrote those words to Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1971, more than 35 years ago.

Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities repudiate Robert Bourassa and refuse to ensure that Quebec is exempted from the Multiculturalism Act?

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, clearly, as everyone knows from media reports over the weekend, the Bloc Québécois is going through an existential crisis. After conversations about nationhood, here they are questioning their raison d'être here in Ottawa. Really. That is how new propositions arise.

As Quebeckers, we will continue to promote the Quebec nation within Canada.

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister had been reading the newspapers lately, she would not be proud of the portrait they are painting of her.

The federal government's policy on multiculturalism is an obstacle to the harmonious integration of newcomers to the Quebec nation, where the model is based on shared values and a common language, French.

Now that it has recognized the Quebec nation, will the government show consistency and exclude Quebec from the Multiculturalism Act, thereby allowing Quebec to fully develop its own model for the integration of newcomers?

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, indeed, as a minister from the Quebec City region, I have read the results of polls printed in the newspapers, polls that project a positive image of the Conservatives in the region.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has been at her job long enough to know the problems in her department. Because of decades of cutbacks to offices abroad, we have thousands of applications that sit untouched, and there are no resources in the budget to fix this. Her solution? Make hasty changes by hiding a bad law in a bad budget.

Why do something that will only lead to arbitrary decisions about immigrants?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 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, on the contrary. In this budget and in the previous budget of 2007 we have provided additional funding to assist in addressing the very serious immigration backlog. We inherited close to a million from a backlog that was almost non-existent when the Liberals became government. Therefore, we have been investing.

The changes we are proposing are changes that are going to allow us to even better serve the people seeking to come to this country and allow them to make big contributions to the Canadian economy. People come to our country as a place of freedom, of hope, of opportunity where they can build strong futures and lives for their families, and that helps all Canadians.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the law proposed by the government will break the hope of so many families that have come here because it is fundamentally arbitrary. When these families come here, they usually send mom or dad ahead. They find an apartment, they get a job, they get a bank account and then they turn around and try to reunite their family.

This law will prevent thousands of families from being reunited because the government will have arbitrary power. It will simply say, “You're here now, but it turns out your family is from the wrong country. You've got a disabled kid. We don't like your family. You can't be reunited”.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 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 NDP likes to pretend it is a great fan of immigrants. In reality, the record shows otherwise.

Every time we have made a change to make it easier for people to come to this country, to contribute to our economy and enjoy the freedom, hope and opportunity that we have, whether it is cutting the tax that immigrants had to pay under the Liberals, whether it is adding $1.3 billion for new settlement funding, whether it is setting up a foreign credentials reference office, all those things we have been doing and the additional resources to cut the backlog, the NDP votes against every one. Those members talk the words, but they do not vote consistent with those values. We do.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

April 1st, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Yesterday, the minister said that the government could wait until next year for our NATO allies to commit additional troops for our mission in Kandahar.

Will the government set a specific date by which the conditions must be met so that Canada continues its mission in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. new colleague for his question.

It is clear in the Manley report that we have until February 2009 to have an additional 1,000 soldiers on the ground, in theatres in Afghanistan, to help us have a mission that can achieve its objectives.

As I have said recently, I am confident and optimistic that we will be able to achieve that objective. The Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister have worked very hard to make sure we have the troops.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the House worked very cooperatively to get to a resolution that could be passed by a majority of the House. We have a non-partisan mission, but we do not have a non-partisan approach to solving this problem.

Why can the minister not produce for us, now, a clear indication of the timetable that will be followed and a transparent sense of the accountability toward the House that will be followed, so the conditions of this mission and the conditions of the resolution can be met by the government?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our intention is to abide by the resolution adopted by this House. We are very happy to have the support of the opposition for our mission in Afghanistan. The resolution calls on the government to have clear objectives and to report regularly to the House. We will report regularly to the House about the objectives and the status of our mission in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, a key recommendation adopted by Parliament on the mission in Afghanistan was for the government to increase transparency to all Canadians. The House passed a motion requiring that transparency.

The Prime Minister says that this is a Canadian mission and a Canadian motion. Why is he leading a partisan delegation to Bucharest?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud to be in Bucharest with all our allies to talk about Afghanistan and make sure it remains a priority for NATO. I am optimistic that by the end of this meeting, we will have achieved what we set out to do. We are there with a strong mandate that the opposition and Parliament have given us, and we will respect that mandate.