House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, on March 17 of this year, the residents of Vancouver Quadra exercised their democratic right in a byelection.

I am humbled to have won that byelection and carry on in the tradition of Stephen Owen as a Liberal member of Parliament representing Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.

Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to meet with the residents from UBC to Oak Street, from Kits to the Fraser River, from Kerrisdale to Dunbar and everywhere in between. I thank my supporters and all of the constituents of Vancouver Quadra.

One of my top priorities is protecting the environment. I am proud of my record of environmental achievements, both as a citizen and as B.C.'s environment minister, achievements recognized by my Eco-Olympic award from the Sierra Club.

By contrast, the Conservative environment minister received the fossil of the year award, making Canada an embarrassment in Bali.

The government can bluster and deceive all its wants but it is clear that it cannot deliver when it comes to the environment.

Hockeyville 2008
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Roberval is Hockeyville. Roberval won the Hockeyville 2008 title with over two million votes in a contest put on by Kraft and the CBC, and will receive $100,000 to upgrade its arena in order to host the Canadiens in September.

No one can deny that the success of the Village on Ice project was due to the tremendous involvement, solidarity and hard work of the volunteers who believed in it. This is the latest in a long list of achievements and shows that the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean have an exceptional ability to work together and know how to throw a party. Next fall, Roberval will welcome the Canadiens to its renovated arena with great enthusiasm.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to offer our hearty congratulations to the organizers, the volunteers and all of the people who participated actively in making this project a success.

Battle of Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, 91 years ago, on April 9, 1917, at Vimy Ridge, France, 100,000 soldiers from all over Canada fought shoulder to shoulder for the first time in international battle under the Canadian flag and under a Canadian commander.

Canadians representing all of Canada's regions fought together and won together. This victory has become known as the day when Canada truly became a nation and it earned for Canada a signature on the Treaty of Versailles.

The victory at Vimy Ridge is historic for both its significance and the losses our armed forces incurred. Some 4,000 Canadians gave their lives during this battle. They never saw the result of their sacrifice.

However, this important victory proved to our allies that Canadian soldiers were prepared to fight our common enemies. This enabled our country to take a strong position in the group of nations.

As of 2003, April 9 became an official military heritage day in Canada after the enactment of Bill C-227.

I ask all my colleagues to join me in commemoration of the bravery and courage of those who won at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Leader of the Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, 16 months ago, the so-called leader of the Liberal Party said that he was “a hero” but the self-proclaimed hero has in fact turned out to be a zero. The only one who has had a worse year than the Liberal leader is Britney Spears.

In a desperate effort to rebuild his image, the Liberal so-called leader has turned to his best friend for advice. No, not the Liberal deputy leader and, no, not the Liberal member for Toronto Centre, but to his dog Kyoto, and he has followed Kyoto's advice with lethal effect.

Kyoto says “down boy” and the Liberal leader responds by driving his poll numbers in Quebec way down. Kyoto says “sit” and the Liberal leader responds by having his caucus sit vote after vote after vote. When Kyoto says “roll over”, the Liberal leader obliges on every significant matter of policy and confidence in our government.

However, the Liberal so-called leader is saving Kyoto's best advice for last. In the next election, which Liberals now pretend they will call in the dog days of summer, their so-called leader will finally play dead.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for half a century, Canada has pursued immigration goals based on fairness and objectivity. Why is the Prime Minister trying to get rid of these principles of fairness and objectivity? Why does he want to replace them with abusive powers in the hands of his minister, to replace open arms with closed doors?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker. This government is restoring fairness and objectivity to the immigration system. On the contrary, this government is ending the kind of preferential practices over on the other side that led to the backlog.

What the government is undertaking in terms of reforming immigration and ending the backlog, these measures are important to immigrants and important to our economy, which is why they are confidence measures.

I look forward to seeing whether the Leader of the Opposition believes his own rhetoric on this.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, speaking of rhetoric, none of the far-reaching powers the minister wants to give herself will shorten the waiting lists, for the simple reason that she said that her powers would not apply to applications received before February 27, 2008. If they do not apply to the backlog, they cannot shorten the waiting lists. The government needs to be logical.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the arbitrary powers he wants to legalize will do nothing more than legalize arbitrary decisions, with all the risks that represents?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the leader of the Liberal Party is trying to defend his party's record. In the next few years, waiting times for immigrants will grow from six years to 10 years. He is trying to defend his $1,000 tax on immigrants. These are wrong-headed policies, and that is why we will change them. We will hold votes in the House of Commons. We are seeing the real position of the leader of the Liberal Party.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, even the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has said that the abusive powers that she wants for herself will do nothing to reduce the backlog. The real reason is that she will cherry-pick, which means some people will wait longer. We need to be logical about that.

Will the Prime Minister admit that these changes will do nothing to end the backlog, will only discourage potential immigrants from applying and will slow down the reunification of families, which is so important for the integration of newcomers in Canada?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. If we continue with the policies of the Liberal Party, the backlogs in this country will only continue to grow. The Liberal Party knows that.

I know members of the Liberal Party want to go back to what they consider the good old days, the good old days where backlogs just kept getting bigger, where one needed special access to government members, where, frankly, they gave priority to strippers in terms of immigration policy and where, after waiting for six years, they charged immigrants $1,000 to come to Canada. We are changing those things and we are not going back.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the previous Liberal government, contrary to what the Prime Minister has just said, the queue for refugee claimants had been effectively reduced to zero.

Under the Conservative government, the backlog has ballooned to nearly 60,000 and it is said to be heading to 100,000 by 2012.

The chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board says that it is the largest backlog in its history.

This is not just a bad record, it begs a simple question. What does the government have against refugees?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we agree with Canadians. Canadians want a refugee system that helps and protects legitimate refugees. To do that, we need qualified members of the IRB, not people who the Liberals hired regardless of their qualifications, many of whom were relatives.

Our candidates have to actually pass the test to prove they are qualified before they get appointed because that is what Canadians want, competence.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the source of the problem is simple: the board needs more members.

When this government's term began, the board had only 10 vacancies. It now has nearly 60 because of this minister.

If these positions are not filled, files will continue to pile up and thousands of refugees will have their lives put on hold.

Why have they let the problem they created turn into a crisis? What do they have against refugees?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, we want a refugee system that helps and protects legitimate refugees. We therefore need to appoint qualified board members, and that is what we have done. We have appointed more than 100 IRB members. We chose them because they passed the test, something the Liberals did not require.

The Environment
Oral Questions

April 9th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, discussions are being held in the United States to implement greenhouse gas emissions ceilings. The three U.S. presidential candidates have even spoken in favour of a carbon exchange. In Canada, the government's so-called green plan is based on intensity targets, meaning that for the oil sand industry alone, greenhouse gas emissions will double by 2020.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his so-called green plan goes against the economy, the environment and the global mindset?