House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

World Autism Awareness Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise today to acknowledge and celebrate the new UN resolution marking today, April 2, the first annual World Autism Awareness Day.

It has been more than a year and a half since I introduced my private member's motion calling for evidence based standards, innovative funding arrangements for diagnosis, treatment and research and a national surveillance program.

The motion was adopted in good faith and supported by the government. It is therefore regrettable that the Conservative government has made no mention of a national autism strategy in its past two budgets.

This is about improving the lives of hundreds of Canadian children and families. I call on the government to work with the provinces to take concrete action and make the necessary investments to finally implement a national autism strategy.

The Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few months shy of their 18th anniversary, the Bloc members are hoping to dispel the unprecedented existential crisis they are experiencing as the perpetual opposition party. We often hear the Bloc leader say that democracy should not be reduced to just exercising power because if that were the case parliaments would be closed.

Despite the Bloc's attempt to make democracy a simple matter of asking questions in the House, the fact remains that, before making such statements, it would be best that it consult its own members.

Last Monday, a Bloc member declared, “Being in opposition wears you down. I know some individuals who would like to use their abilities to govern.” I agree with this unidentified colleague.

The Bloc should immediately stop misleading Canadians and acknowledge that it is useful for an MP to be a member of government. In 18 years in Ottawa, the Bloc has spent more than 6,000 days in perpetual opposition, asked more than 4,000 questions in the House, made more than 700 empty promises and yielded no concrete results because it cannot come to power.

Immigration
Oral Questions

April 2nd, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I used a 1988 quote from the Prime Minister on immigration, but he had more to say in 2001 when he said:

—west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society.

Is it not true that the Prime Minister's view about immigration has not changed in 20 years?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 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 views are nonsense as is evidenced by the fact that under this government we have the highest levels ever of immigration in Canadian history, which helps fuel our economy.

On another note, I noticed today that the secretive and controlling Liberal leader is now trying to turn to the courts to censor the media. It is based on the argument that being publicly identified as a Liberal in the province of Quebec can cause irreparable harm to someone's reputation. I understand that argument.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since I did not get an answer to my question, I will try again in French.

Here is what the Prime Minister had to say about immigrants and immigration in 2001: “West of Winnipeg, the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into western Canadian society.” Ghettos!

It is not true the Prime Minister's opinion on immigration and immigrants has not changed in 20 years?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 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, that is nonsense. It was the Liberal Party that introduced the Chinese head tax. It was the Liberal Party that then expanded it to apply to all immigrants in the form of a high landing fee. It was the Liberal Party that opposed the reduction in the landing fee that we brought into place. When we presented an apology for the Chinese head tax, the Liberal leader was nowhere to be seen.

Do members know where he is this week?

I understand he is fighting in court. What I understand is that the leader of the Liberal Party wants to turn to the courts to censor the media. This action is based on the notion of being publicly recognized as a Liberal—

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have every right to be concerned about the government's hidden agenda on immigration, on censorship, on minority rights, on the Constitution.

That is why I am asking again: Why is the government attempting to make radical changes to the immigration system through the back door instead of bringing forward independent legislation and being honest with Canadians?

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, we are very honest with Canadians. We tell them where we stand and then we vote that way when we stand in our place in the House.

The Leader of the Opposition and his party are going to have a chance to do that on the very bill about which they are talking. The debate starts in the House tomorrow. They can debate it as long as they want. They can do what they like on the bill. They can even stand in their place and vote against it if they do not like it. We are waiting to see them do that, but I suspect they are going to implement his strategy of seeking only power and not bothering to stand up regardless of the issue.

The Liberals are only interested in calling an election when the poll numbers are right for them.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we cannot fix the immigration backlog by giving the minister powers to pick her favourite immigrants. We cannot fix the backlog by throwing a meagre $22 million at the problem. We cannot fix the backlog by cherry-picking the queue. We should not fix the backlog by capping immigration levels. This is not a solution to the problem.

Will the minister admit that this so-called reform is a power grab so she gets to pick and choose who gets into the country? Will she then explain why we are supposed to trust her?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberals who created this mess in the first place. Even the hon. member admitted that when he said that the Liberals did not get it done on immigration.

What we are trying to do is to make it possible for more immigrants to come to this country and for them to get here sooner. That is important. We need it for industry. We need families to be reunited. Employers need these people now.

We are being fair. It is transparent and there will be charter compliance because we need these people even if the Liberals do not want them to come here.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, Quebec announced $68 million in new funding for immigration. Ontario recently announced additional funding and so did British Columbia. This government, however, has announced the paltry sum of $22 million to deal with the waiting list backlog.

Will the minister finally admit that she is trying to increase her own powers, rather than solving the real problems concerning the backlog?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to see the Liberals defend a system that they themselves destroyed. We are the ones who invested $1.4 billion to help immigrants succeed upon their arrival. They are the ones who voted against that funding and those investments intended to help newcomers succeed.

Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour told the Globe and Mail that the government would have to give more meaning to its recognition of Quebec as a nation, or, as he phrased it, “put some meat around it”. In so saying, the Minister of Labour admitted that his party's recognition of our nation is purely symbolic.

Can he explain how he plans to move from words to action in recognizing the Quebec nation?

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, since we came to power, our party, the Conservative Party, has been more open than any other party to ways to help Canada. I repeat: our party is the one that demonstrated open federalism with respect to Quebec. Our party is more receptive to Quebec's demands than any other party.

What have we done since coming to power? We recognized the Quebec nation within a united Canada. We gave Quebec a seat at UNESCO and we did even more in two other areas. Why? Because we are open to—