House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since the Manley report was tabled our conditions have been clear for extending the mission in Afghanistan. This obviously includes the 1,000 troops. The Americans have decided to provide an additional battalion for the long term.

It is clear. The conditions are clear and it is also clear that the conditions will be met.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 3,200 American soldiers currently serving in southern Afghanistan will be leaving the country in October. As a result, in February 2009, they will be gone and there will be 2,200 fewer soldiers, not 1,000 more.

Can the Prime Minister explain how there could be 1,000 more soldiers if the 3,200 soldiers leave Afghanistan in October?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have clearly stated that, in the long term, we are looking for an additional battalion in partnership with another major country in Afghanistan. The Americans have decided to meet that condition, and it is clear that that condition will be met in Kandahar.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just said he is trying to meet that condition. Obviously, this means that it has not yet been met.

All we know is that 3,200 soldiers will be leaving Afghanistan in October. Does he have a guarantee that these 3,200 soldiers will be replaced? If not, then to my way of thinking, there will not be 1,000 more soldiers, but 2,200 fewer soldiers. What sort of guarantee does he have?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I cannot put it any more clearly to the leader of the Bloc. The conditions are clear, and the conditions will be met by the Americans. There will be an additional battalion in Kandahar, and perhaps more, but it is clear that the conditions will be met.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is all well and good for the Prime Minister to say it is clear, but all we know officially—and what is clear is usually official—is that these 3,200 soldiers will be leaving the country in October. Has a clear decision been made about replacing them? I would like to have the numbers and dates, and I would like the Prime Minister to tell me—if he knows—that the 3,200 soldiers will not be leaving Afghanistan. All we know is that they will be leaving the country.

Can he deny this information, and Mr. Manley's statements, that these soldiers will be leaving Afghanistan in October? If not, he should state officially, clearly and publicly who will be replacing them.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe that I am being as clear as I can. The fact is that the Americans are going to be there with us in Kandahar and the French are going to send additional forces to Afghanistan.

And the fact is that the Bloc is not going to support this mission. However, this government supports the mission, and our allies are going to help us.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre has offered a sincere and heartfelt apology and we accept the apology for the remarks.

However, it remains true that many across the country, particularly in the gay and lesbian community, have felt hurt by the remarks and, of course, the discussion that is going on.

We really need leadership from the Prime Minister now to send a very strong signal regarding this issue and that there will be consequences when minority communities experience this kind of hurtful behaviour.

Why will the Prime Minister not, as a step, remove the member as a spokesperson for the government in his position as parliamentary secretary?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, as others in the government have indicated and as the member himself has indicated, the remarks in question were totally unacceptable. The member has taken responsibility for those things that he said a very long time ago. His apology and his remorse were absolutely clear and heartfelt.

Once again, under such circumstances, it is my view that when such an apology is sought, such an apology should be accepted.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, gay and lesbian Canadians know that Conservatives have never supported our full equality. We fear the attitude in question shows their true colours.

The Prime Minister could show leadership. He could add gender identity and expression to the Human Rights Act, overturn an organ donation policy rooted in the fears of the 1990s, adopt and promote the Montreal and Yogyakarta declarations on GLBT rights and restore the court challenges program.

More than words, what action will the Prime Minister take to show that such views are not the position of the Conservative government?

Human Rights
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises a whole range of public policy issues that it may or may not be appropriate to get into at some point. One issue he raised, for instance, was the organ issue. This is a decision not taken by the political wing of the government but taken by those who have regulatory responsibility.

This government, at all times, promotes and supports tolerance among Canadians of all kinds and we will continue to do so.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

April 7th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced a reform package, she stated that it would help eliminate the backlog. The reality is that the new rules will only apply to applications received on or after February 27, which means they do not directly apply to the backlog.

How could the minister introduce such incredibly flawed legislation that fails to deliver on its original intent and is guaranteed to fail?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we are tackling the backlog and we will get it done because we are putting more resources into it: $22 million over the new two years and then $37 million a year after that. We are also going to do things better and smarter so that we can process each application faster, get rid of the backlog and achieve our goal of getting more immigrants here and getting them here sooner.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the discriminatory reform of the immigration system gives the minister the exclusive power to choose who can enter Canada. The new rules do not directly apply to the backlog.

Could the minister explain how she will use her full powers to determine who will appear on the first list, who will appear on the second list, and who will have the door slammed in their face?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are just fearmongering.

Let me be clear. Instructions issued will set priorities for categories of applicants to be processed, in which only the categories should be done, not individuals. All the instructions will, of course, comply with the charter because that is the law. The minister will not be given any rights under these amendments to pick and choose individuals, to cherry-pick. The minister will deal with categories and will not be allowed to override immigration officers.