House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the minister exercises her arbitrary power to limit the number of applications that will be considered, that will limit Quebec’s choices.

How could she guarantee that these orders will be compatible with the objectives of Quebec and those of the rest of the country? How can she say that reducing the number of applications she will accept will not reduce the latitude Quebec has in respect of immigration?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I already assured this House last week that we were in discussions with the representatives of Quebec. We have assured them that there would be no repercussions for the Canada-Quebec immigration accord.

That will continue as it is now. We are going to abide by that agreement, despite the Liberals’ efforts.

The Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

April 3rd, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government says that it recognizes the Quebec nation. In Quebec, the official language is French, and the language of work is French. However, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages did not even tell us that bilingualism takes precedence in federal institutions and companies governed by the Canada Labour Code, such as banks and telecommunications companies.

My question for the Minister of Labour, who does not think the fruit is ripe, is this: Does he realize that what he is proposing to Quebec workers who fall under the Canada Labour Code is bilingualism?

The Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:20 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, I would point out that the Canada Labour Code does not cover language of work any more than the Quebec Labour Code or any other province's labour code. The Canada Labour Code covers health and safety in the workplace, labour relations and labour standards.

The Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Minister of Labour that Bill 101 applies throughout Quebec and that the federal Official Languages Act applies across Canada.

We are asking the minister to make an exception for Quebec with respect to language of work. If an exception is not made, then Canadian bilingualism legislation applies, and that is not what Quebec wants. Quebec wants the language of work in the province to be French, regardless of whether workers are governed by the Canada Labour Code or the Quebec Labour Code. I think that is easy enough to understand.

The Quebec Nation
Oral Questions

2:20 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, my department is one of the large organizations that falls under federal jurisdiction. Whether they ship merchandise by train, by air or by boat, or provide telecommunications services, large corporations often have head offices in different provinces. As a result, their employees sometimes have to work in the other official language when the need arises.

In Quebec, some people speak English and need services in English, while others speak French and need services in French. We provide services to meet those needs.

Fiscal Imbalance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives refuse to take action with regard to the concrete recognition of the Quebec nation. Furthermore, they are incapable of keeping their own promise with regard to the fiscal imbalance. The government has announced on several occasions that it will table a bill to limit its spending power in provincial jurisdictions. It has yet to materialize.

When does the minister intend to table his bill and thus keep the promise made by the Prime Minister to Quebec in December 2005?

Fiscal Imbalance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

The fiscal imbalance issue was dealt with in 2006-07. I am pleased that we have arrived at fiscal balance in Canada between the Government of Canada and the other governments, not without substantial increases in the transfer payments for the provinces and territories which have taken place.

The witness to this now is that when the provincial premiers and territorial leaders get together the one subject they do not talk about is the former fiscal imbalance which is now fiscal balance in Canada.

Fiscal Imbalance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again.

To limit the federal spending power in Quebec's jurisdictions, the government need only table a bill which provides Quebec with the right to opt out—with no strings attached and with full financial compensation—from any new or existing federal program, whether cost-shared or not, which interferes in its areas of jurisdiction.

Does the government intend to meet Quebec's expectations and finally table a bill as promised by the Prime Minister?

Fiscal Imbalance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are lots of instances where the Government of Quebec receives compensation.

Just yesterday, I think it was, the hon. member raised the question of the GST and Quebec's involvement in that.

In fact, Quebec administers its own tax, as well as the GST on behalf of the federal government, for which the federal government paid Quebec approximately $130 million in 2006-07.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives talk about reducing the backlog of immigrants who have applied to come to Canada but the fact is that the Conservative government simply cannot be trusted.

The changes that are proposed here would do irreversible damage to family reunification. It would hurt families in a way that cannot be undone later. One of the changes would actually give the minister the sole decision making power to shape Canadian society and to make those decisions arbitrarily, behind closed doors.

We hear laughing from the benches. This is a serious matter and the NDP will do everything to stop this unfair practice. Will the government separate it from the--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

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 leader mischaracterizes entirely what is being done. He obviously was not listening earlier.

When it comes to family reunification, we have taken action already and, as a result, wait times for family reunification have been reduced by as much as 40%. That is a commitment for results that we are delivering on. We are solving a problem created by that party over there and that party will never get a chance to do it.

The reason we are bringing in these changes is that we need an immigration system that works for immigrants, that works for the Canadian economy and that allows us to get the skilled help that this country and this economy needs to be as prosperous and successful for--

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, a video tape from a party some years ago was released today in Regina that includes Saskatchewan Premier Wall, former Senator Berntson and the current Conservative member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre who allegedly states on the tape, “Let me put it to you this way: There are As and Bs. The As are guys like me. The Bs are homosexual faggots with dirt under their fingernails who transmit diseases”.

Will the government ensure that the member makes an immediate, unequivocal apology to all members of the gay community and all Canadians for these ill-informed, hurtful and unconscionable remarks? Will it take all appropriate action?